Casio - fx-9700GE

Description

Brand: Casio
Model: fx-9700GE
Type: Graphical programmable scientific calculator
Batteries: AAA x 4 + CR 2032 x 1 (Memory backup)
Lifetime: Introduced: ca. 1996
Terminated: unknown
Notes: When one compares this calculator with one of the early Casio Graphing Calculators such as the Casio fx-7000G, it is hard to imagine how anyone could get any proper work done on the older ones. It feels like the early graphical possibilities were more a gadget than something actually useful.

This calculator (as do many other Casio scientific calculators) uses one and the same key for both the constant π as well as exponents. This works as follows. When you first enter digits, the "EXP"-key will enable you to enter the numbers exponent, otherwise it will enter the constant π.

This calculator however makes excellent use of the possibilities of a graphical display and a more modern user interface. First steps towards a newer and better user interface can be seen in the earlier Casio fx-8700G. The Casio fx-9700GE has some refinements. When the calculator is switched on, an "icon menu" shows the available calculation modes. The "PRE"-key is replaced by an "EXIT"-key; every calculation mode has a "SET UP" screen where its behaviour can be changed. Specific modules such as the built-in text editor can be stopped using the "QUIT" function.

Table screen dump Functionally this calculator is quite nice as well. I especially like the Table function, where any particular function can be viewed in a table for a defined range of input values. Especially nice is the Table function for recursive functions (see the implemtation of (n+1)! on the right). A very nice function to play with and study any particular recursive function definition.

Very nice as well are dynamic graphs, where the effect of changing one variable in a function can be displayed graphically.

Often used functions can be stored in a Function Memory.

The calculator does complex number calculations as well, which is a pre.

And there's no need to program for factoring a quadratic equation. Programs for solving "aX^2+bX+c=0" and "aX^3+bX^2+cX+d=0" are already built in. Quite handy. It even presents complex solutions if there's no real root.

Another pre is the use of plain AAA batteries. The fact that many other graphing calculators use expensive batteries like the CR 2032 has always amazed me, especially because these calculators are often quite power hungry.

A flaw with this calculator (and many of the other Casio models in this series) is the so called protective cover, which in many cases does more damage than it does good. When sliding the cover on and of the display can easily get damaged, and almost all of these Casio's have scratches on the display. In my opinion this is a very stupid design flaw. Users beware!

Picture:  Casio fx-9700GE picture

Peripherals

This calculator can be hooked up to a PC using a PC-link cable and PC-link software (available from Casio, but there are also third-party versions around on the net). The schematics for the link cable can be found on the net as well. I've cached two versions (version 1 and version 2) that are technically practically identical. I've also found one commercial cable, see http://www.pfranc.com/pclink/a.shtml (link valid 2006-10-29).
There's a Casio serial interface and some nice links on the German site http://www.lamepage.de/hardware/casio/ (link valid 2006-10-29).

©2009 Ernst Mulder