The iconic TI-84 calculator now comes in rose gold, and hot damn I want one

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The iconic TI-84 calculator now comes in rose gold, and hot damn I want one

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Look at that glorious number-cruncher.
Look at that glorious number-cruncher.

Image: Texas Instruments

2018%2f05%2f22%2f78%2fimg 2415.d8e2bBy Jake Krol

Anyone who’s been through a high-school algebra class surely remembers using a TI graphing calculator.

But who had a calculator like this one

Apple started the trend with the rose gold iPhone, and now you’ll be the coolest kid in class with the new rose gold color option for the TI-84 Plus CE. (Note: It’s more of a light pink color.)

The timing is pretty perfect, with students starting back-to-school shopping soon. Amazon and OfficeDepot offer the rose gold model for $119.99. I remember paying $149.99 for my TI, and it was not rose gold.

This sleek new color will certainly make more of a statement than the classic black, blue, or gray options.

The 2.8-inch LCD screen is a big upgrade.

The 2.8-inch LCD screen is a big upgrade.

There’s more. Texas Instruments has updated the TI-84 from the days of a grayscale display. The calculator now features a 2.8-inch full-color backlit display with a 320 X 240 resolution. It also packs in 154KB of RAM and 3MB of ROM, for a faster experience. The design is slimmer at 0.8 inches; the calculator weighs in at 14.1-ounces. It’s got a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a USB-cable instead of a pair of AA batteries. 

There are still plenty of pre-loaded education-centric applications, like CellSheet, MathPrint, and Cabri Jr. And of course it can handle addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division, along with intense graphs and quadratic formulas. But in the same way you can play games on your iPhone or Android, you can also game on this graphing calculator.

Games can easily be ported and installed by plugging the TI-84 into a Mac or PC with the included USB cable. A quick Google search provides a bunch of websites that store the game files. The list is long: Pac-Man, Mario 2.0, Tetris, Connect 4, even Roller Coaster Tycoon — and more. Many of these are designed for the gray-scale model but should still run on the Ti-84.

Granted, these games are not endorsed by the original creators and have different controls (although I’m sure someone could figure out how to hook up a gaming controller to one of these calculators). In fact, it’s running a proprietary version 5.4 operating system that will likely make future applications easy to bring over.  

At the end of the day, the TI-84 still stands as a trusted companion for any algebra, geometry, calculus, and even physics class. It’s even permitted for the SAT and ACT. 

My blue and gray TI calculator was good. But had I had slightly more RAM, a rechargeable battery, and this epic new color, I would have been geeking out in high school. It’s time for smartphones to move over. Calculators are cool again.

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The Microlino makes ‘adorable’ an automotive trait

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As far as automobiles go, cute isn’t a term you see thrown around too often. The VW Beetle, for instance was one of the first cars to be perceived as cute (I’m more of a Mini Cooper man myself), but post its success, not many cars have harnessed that aesthetic… or harnessed it well (Google’s self-driving car looks cute, but feels more like a toy robot than a car).

Inspired by the BMW Isetta from the 50s (another adorable car), the Microlino does a rather wonderful job of looking cute, but at the same time also looking road-friendly. It harnesses the color palette you’d associate with Vespa and Lambretta scooters, and applies it to itself, looking friendly and approachable, but more importantly, it looks fit for the road. The electric car comes at just 2.4 meters long, and doesn’t have doors on the sides, but rather has one on the front. The dashboard and steering wheel literally open along with the door on the front, that allows both driver and passenger to board and deboard the vehicle. Its rather compact build makes it perfect for commuting effectively within the crowded city, although its aesthetic makes it ideal for a road trip on the French Riviera… and depending on the battery you choose, you can travel as much as 125 miles on a single charge.

The Microlino grabbed our attention primarily for its aesthetic, and held onto our attention with its impressive interiors and feature list. I’m personally not a speed-seeker myself, and consider the Vespa to be my soul-vehicle… but after seeing the Microlino, I may just change my mind! Besides, would you just look at those absolutely heart-warming color options!?

Designer: Micro Mobility

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Healthy Body + Healthy Mind= Success

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Hey, I’m back with another self-development article (the room empties haha)…wait! This you need to hear. Last time I discussed the secret ingredients to achieving your dreams. Well to consistently do this you need to make sure you are taking care of both your body and your mind.

Everyone has heard the old saying healthy body, healthy mind. Most of us Including myself not so long ago probably smirked, sniggered ‘whatever’ in our thoughts and chugged down a Redbull or cold ale! Whilst thinking we are the epitome of health, and not even the wrath of God could slow us down. Especially in our industry where most people think we live a life of luxury, sitting at a desk or casually pressing a little button on a camera, or even playing around in Photoshop for a few hours. Why do we need to live by this code, our lives are easy….or so it seems. Well, let me regale you a little story. Are you sitting comfortably, ok, well let’s drift away back to 2016….

I sat on the edge of my bed sweating, the air in my lungs shallow, as pins and needles crept down my arms and into the tips of my fingers. I clenched my fist, but my grip seemed weak. Standing up, my vision blurred as I moved towards the window. I fumbled the lock open and felt the cold air on my face. My mind was racing! Jesus, I think I’m dying, am I having a heart attack? I tried to breathe slowly but the thoughts in my head overpowered any logic, and my body just wanted out. I rang my mother, relaying that I think my time is up, as my head turned light and I fell to the floor!

This was the start of the darkest period of my life I can remember. I had been ill 3 times since Christmas, with 2 chest infections, and a strong flu virus. Then in February, the biggest influence in my life, my Grandad passed away. Being the stubborn, strong-minded person I am, I dealt with it in my usual Yorkshire way, I blocked it out and tried to carry on as normal. But sometimes your body has a way of letting you know, “Hey buddy, you can’t get away from this one, you need to deal with it”. And then all hell broke loose!

The panic attacks started. Although at the time I didn’t know that is what they were. First one a day, then two, then every few hours. I literally thought I had some kind of undiscovered terminal illness that was taking over. My mind was constantly in panic mode 24/7. The slightest little change in my body and it spiraled out of control! Multiple times I had to leave work and drive to the hospital. It was a vicious circle my mind would stress the body, and my body would react to my mind in the most random ways. Lumps appeared up my arms. And one day the glands in my neck swelled up so much I thought I was going to choke to death. My body and mind were broken! My thoughts were caught in a negative loop of self-despair, self-hate, and fear…..of everything! Which then influenced the reactions in my body.

Eventually, the doctor diagnosed me with panic disorder, probably brought on by multiple elements, bad diet (junk food, no greens, energy drinks), lack of sleep (5 hours a day), and the stress of my grandad passing. And as doctors do in their traditional ways, he quickly passed me some tablets to fix me. Sertraline. Or as I like to call them, ‘Hol f***ing s**t I’m an alien from another dimension tablets’! There was no way I could live my life, become the creative I wanted to be or be a good father whilst taking these zombie pills which felt like they sent you to separate parallel universe! So what to do?

There was no quick solution, but one thing photography had taught me was you don’t get anywhere without being pro-active and hardworking. So I decided to do it on my own, without the pills. First thing first was to try to tackle the panic attacks, to eradicate or at least lessen them. I did this by researching breathing techniques, which I had to implement when I felt an attack coming on (tightening of the chest, pins, and needles, fast breaths). For this who want to know it was breathing in slowly (5 seconds), hold for 6 seconds, and breathe out slowly (7 seconds) and repeat until your heart rate slowed down and the panic began to recede. Believe me, this works but it takes maximum effort. I went to the Photography show in 2017 in my darkest period, had multiple panic attacks, but did the breathing technique to bring me around and no ever knew how much of a terrible state I was in at the time. I would be working away on a night, start having a panic attack……stop, do my breathing techniques then get back to work. It wasn’t easy, but again you have to be all in with things like this. Eventually, I began to get a grasp on the attacks and they slowly over 6 months declined and got weaker in strength.

Now breathing techniques on their own are no good without hitting the body and mind from all angles with the nutrients and supplements it needs. The first thing I had to change was my diet. I was never a big fan of fruit or veg, but this would have to change. And I would have to start eating fresh foods instead of processed crap and foods full of sugar. I’ve got to say, this wasn’t as easy it sounds. We are all addicted to sugary foods these days and even still I might fall off the wagon for 3-4 days sugar wise once a month, but I make back up for it in cardio hahaha. Slowly over time I cut out the bad stuff and started adding fruit and veg into my diet. It took a little time to get used to, but I can safely eat broccoli without wrenching over the sink! WIN!!!! As my eating habits got better, my fitness got better. As my fitness got better, my mind felt better. One thing that has helped me shift the weight was switching from eating low-fat everything to having a high-fat diet. Don’t listen to what most people say. The correct fats are good and the body needs them. By eating low fat you are just pumping your body full of sugars and that is the worst thing you can do! Seriously I changed to high-fat and the weight literally fell off. I could write a whole post on this, but alas I don’t have time, so do some research.

Eating nutritious food is a good way to fuel the body, but now we have the fuel, we need to put that fuel to good use! Exercise! To some, this word is an apocalyptic word. It reeks of pain, steel and the huge guy on the machine next to you’s sweat (barf). But without strengthening our body, keeping all the pieces in top condition and loose, we are missing out on a vital piece of the puzzle. Now exercise doesn’t have to be the fear-inducing, heart pounding circuit training (although that is better for you), it can be just a long walk up a hill, 20 mins jogging….just any kind of exercise to get the body moving and the heart rate up is better than none! Start small and grow big. I started doing 20 mins twice a week. Then 5 times a week. Then moved into circuit training an hour 5 times a week. Now I do weights in the morning 4 times a week and circuit training in the evening 4 times a week.

So we got our good foods down, we are nailing our exercise, what next! We want to optimize on the changes we are already creating in ourselves. How do we do this? Supplements! We live in a sterile world, full of processed foods and chemicals. The way we used to get out nutrients back in the old days has gone. To counter-act this we need to supplement a few nutrients to correct this disadvantage. The main ones I take are pro-biotic drinks, vitamin D, B-complex, magnesium and omega 3. Pro-biotic drinks help and feed the gut good bacteria. Recent studies have found the gut to be a huge part of how our body works, in fact, they have called it the 2nd brain. It controls our immune systems, hormones and much more! So bad gut, bad body, bad brain! All these supplements on this list helped me to overcome and conquer the panic attacks and are all essential to optimize your body and mind. Again I could do a whole article just on supplements but I’m guessing you will already be nodding off to sleep HA.

One quick controversial side note….I have also started taking CBD oil, and the benefits mentally of this oil are pretty amazing. Research up on it.

We have a powerful trifecta now of Nutrition, exercise, and supplements. Compounded together these three elements will give you the clarity of mind and health you need to survive not in just this industry but in this world. We already have so many challenges to face why make it harder by tackling them at 50% power. If you can lift that brain fog, not only will you feel better but you will start to see the results that you want in your life and in your work. It will change your mindset, instead of thinking negative your brain will start to think positive and with a little training your whole outlook on life will completely change for the better.

So many of us creatives regularly burn out, suffer from anxiety or depression and we wonder why. Look deeper, are you looking after your body, are you eating right, is your body getting the nutrition and minerals that are needed to perform on a daily basis? If the answer is no, then make the changes, starting today! The reason I told you the long and potentially boring story of my dark times, is becuase I’ve been there, I’ve experienced it first hand. I understand. I want to show you how these little changes every day make a difference! Without any medical help, and determination I eradicated the panic disorder. I can’t even remember the last time I had a panic attack. It can be done!

If you want to follow the secret ingredients to achieving your dreams, Hard work, Persistence and patience you will need to be n the correct mind frame! Your body and mind have to be aligned. Healthy body = healthy mind=success.

Peace!

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