Monday, March 8, 2010

TI-Nspire Touchpad and OS2.0 update

So what is different with the new OS2.0 that works on TI-Nspire CAS, TI-Nspire, and on the new TI-Nspire Touchpad and TI-Nspire CAS Touchpad handheld shown on the left? I just got back from a great conference in Atlanta, the Teachers Teaching with Technology International Conference where I traded in the classic Clickpad model for the improved Touchpad. The rest of this review applies to whatever Nspire handheld you have, but first why might you be interested in getting the new handheld:
1. It looks good. Yea, it is downright beautiful.
2. The Touchpad makes it easier to move the cursor. You can mouse around quickly with a large swipe or make small movements with a short swipe or make small discrete movements using click left, right, up and down.
3. The alpha key layout is easier to use and has a great feel when you press down on a key. This will be especially appreciated by those who use TI-Nspire Navigator (updated to v1.1) to answer open-response questions. People with larger fingers will also be thankful for this. The raised green buttons on the clickpad were cute, but for some they were annoying.
4. It now has the LED for visual acknowledgment of Press-to-Test. (I need to update this PTT ppt to include that info.)
5. You can use rechargeable batteries that should last 3 years. You can recharge them in several ways: plug it into a USB of your computer (in fact with this OS any handheld will run off the USB instead of the AAA batteries - Wow, I just used an Nspire that didn't have any batteries in it using 1st the USB and then the Navigator cradle. It worked great.), slide on the Navigator cradle, and ... I need to wait until goes live to confirm the other method. We got this link on a handout at the T^3 conference about the rechargeable batteries.
6. Notice also the improved key layout and labels. People will call a certain button with an up arrow "shift" instead of "CAPS". My daughter commented that she likes the toggle for + - and multiply & divide. It definitely looks like there are fewer buttons; less to be afraid of. A "trig" button replaced three trigonometric buttons and will save a number of early algebra students from wondering was 'sin' they will commit if they press the button for sine. Those who use trig functions will more easily access secant, inverse cotangent and the like.

Now, on to what is new and true with OS2.0 regardless of your model ...
Let me start with Tools:
ctrl home is no longer Tools. It is now called "doc" or "Documents". Looking in there you can find several new things. (Note: You cannot access ctrl home from the new home screen. Navigator and Connect-to-Class users will be glad to know that you can log in from Settings. I told my students who asked today, "Press 5, 5 from the home screen.)

By popular demand you can now close a document. This can be done in three ways that are all quite similar to a computer.
i) Under doc, File, Close
ii) For those who know and love their short cuts, ctrl W works :)
iii) Notice the X in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Yep, that will work to close it. Move the cursor (with the new touch pad) up there and press click. (Now you can tap the touch pad in order click if you set it for that. From the home screen press 5 for settings, look in handheld settings. I like the tap. The left click under the touch pad on my computer hasn't worked faithfully for some time, so I've become a tapper.)

The emulator is a much more complete emulator. Settings can be changed. Now ctrl click works for grabbing points, lines and other objects. Moving around the screen is so much faster using the same type of method students use.

On to G&G. No longer is it Graphs & Geometry; now it is Graphs and Geometry. They are divided for ease of opening. If you want the Geometry View, you do not need to first open up G&G, press menu, View, Geometry View. Now it is just there are ready for use.

After graphing a function, you may have used ctrl T as a shortcut to see the table of values for that graph. You could find the reminder for that shortcut when you are on a G&G by pressing menu, View (look toward the bottom as shown in the image). Now you can hide the table. Make sure you have the graph screen selected and not the table part of the split screen. The press ctrl T or menu, View, Hide Table.

Actually, I've found that removing a page or reducing a split screen from 3 to 2 or 2 to 1, etc, is a lot faster. Select the application to removed using ctrl K and press delete/backspace.

Let's talk about the new menu option on G&G - Analyze. I think this will help TI-83/84 users feel more at home when they wonder how do I graphically find the zeros, maximum, minimum, intersection, derivative, or integral. Note: Using this method you will only find one at a time. (There were, of course, great methods to find these things before. Integral is no longer under menu > Measurement, but slope is. You can still use menu > Points & Lines > Tangent, to put a tangent line on a graph and then find the slope of that to get the derivative at a point. Max, min, and zeros can still be found by menu > Trace > Graph Trace. As long as "Automatically find points of interest" is checked off on home > Settings > Graphs & Geometry. Press enter on that point of interest and the point will 'drop' with the coordinates left behind.)
Tracing is also improved. Try graphing f1(x)=(x^3+4*x^2+x-6)/(x+3), then press menu > Trace > Graph Trace, and type in -3.

Notes are now INTERACTIVE too! We may refer to it as Interactive Notes. I posted a few examples of who this has made life better on the Nspire google group - see link below.

In my next blog entry I'll add some more info and let you know about the next events where teachers and students majoring in education can attend to trade-in one of their old TI-Nspire or TI-Nspire CAS handhelds. What else would you like to hear about?

Read more for yourself in the Release Notes (2.2MB). If you are a teacher, join the discussion on


Andrés Fernando Mertínez M. said...

Thanks, this information will be useful when I sell my Nspire CAS Handheld and buy this new Nspire CAS Touchpad.

I would be thankful if you post some links to sites where I can now buy this new version.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I have been looking everywhere for the "new" part of the OS! What is this about sending in your old handheld and getting a new one? We have classroom sets of the now "old" ones - what will happen to them? Can we send them back in?

Josh said...

Yeah, I have the older clickpad model and want to trade in for this touchpad version. Who do I contact about this?

Mr. Bird said...

Educators can trade one in at upcoming conferences. T^3 Regionals and NCTM are places I think will be offering this. I've heard that teachers can mail it in (call TI-CARES first) for the trade, but it will take 6-8 weeks. I like the trading in person option.


One source I've seen is School Mart
A great thing about getting the new handhelds is it comes with the student computer software (because of this I don't think I would get the 'teacher kit'

Anonymous said...

The ti nspire os 2.0 is more usable than os 1.7 especially on the non cas nspire, considering the polynomial tools and linear equation solver. But there is a bug in the scratchpad and in the graphs mode. In the scratchpad, if you open the library and then let the calculator go into sleep mode, you will not be able to close it once you start the calculator back up, unless you press menu or some other key which closes the library and bring up another window. Then you must close this window to get back to the scratchpad.In other words esc will close the scratch pad rather than just the library, like it should. Try it and you will see what I mean. In the graphs mode you cannot trace an inequality without the trace step getting exccesively large. Other than these two thing though os 2.0 is much better than any previous os.

Anonymous said...

To correct what anonymous said above, turn on your calculator, go to scratchpad, open the library and then shut the calculator off. Then turn it back on go back to scatchpad and the library will still be up on the screen. ESC will close the whole scratchpad instead of just the library. Another fellow over at TI bank said the same thing. But aside from that, os 2.0 is a much better even for then clickpad. But best of all,I am looking forward to os 2.1 supposed to be released on April 21!

ABense said...

I have the older 'click pad' nspire CAS. Anyone know if there's an option for us (non educators) to trade this in for one of the newer touch pad models? My nspire CAS has just been sitting in the case and my voyage200 sees most of the action. ):

Anonymous said...

I love my HP50g, but I'd like to put my hands on this Nspire CAS Touch. Much sexier than previous Nspire CAS.

Anonymous said...

The press to test led is on the top of the old clickpad model. I didn't know it was there until i clicked press to test when i got 2.0

Mr. Bird said...

You're right, there was an LED on the blue numeric TI-Nspire Clickpad, but not the gray TI-Nspire CAS. With the Touchpad they both have this feature.

andreanx said...

You don't need OS 2.0 to make the Nspire run from USB alim without any batteries. This is an OS-independant feature which has been here and known of for years. Could you correct, please? Thanks!

Paul Miller said...

What good is the non CAS nspire since everyone will need it for algebra at some point?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone knows how to do inequations with the nspire touchpad handheld?
I need help!

Mr. Bird said...

If you mean 'how do you graph an inequality', then backspace over the equal sign on a graphs page. Choose which inequality you want and finish the expression.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where I can sell my old nspire cas clickpad?