March 2006. Welcome to this first edition of fxNews and thank you for your support. The focus of this edition is to get fx9860 users up and running with the new features of this lightening quick graphic calculator from Casio, including using the FA-124 software. There is also a major feature on getting started with spreadsheets in the fx9860.

How to load all the software - programs, eActivities and other files - in this edition of fxNews onto your fx-9860.
Loading the software into the fx-9860 requires three basic steps

  • download fxNews2006Vol1.g1s to the default My Documents/CASIO/FA-124 folder on your computer;
  • load the software into the FA-124; and
  • transfer the software to the fx-9860.

Using the FA-124 Software � Basics
The FA-124 software is supplied on the CD that came with your fx-9860. It must be installed on your computer BEFORE you first use the supplied USB cable to connect up an fx-9860. This tutorial runs through the basics of installation and file transfer.

Introduction To Spreadsheets
This edition carries a ten-page feature on getting started with spreadsheets in the fx9860. Put aside an hour to work through it and begin to develop your proficiency. Then start thinking about the future and the way you teach some of your courses. Now that every student in your class has instant access to a spreadsheet - in class and for assessments - might your teaching change?

This edition of fxNews contains 31 programs including a whole bunch of Year 10 and 11 favourites such as FINDRULE, GP, LINEAR, TRISOLVE, SURDSIMP, QUADSOLV, LATLONG and 2PT LINE together with a stack of simulation programs for lower school such as DICE and DECAY. DICE simulates the throwing of a pair of dice 250 times, displaying a column graph of the results after each throw whilst DECAY simulates radioactive decay by throwing an n-sided dice for each of x atoms that decay with probability 1/n every year.

More can be found on the programs page.

Spreadsheets are one of the two major new features of the fx9860. This edition carries a ten-page Introduction To Spreadsheets which is designed to quickly get users up and running. A total of 5 spreadsheets have been included in this edition of fxNews.

The inclusion of a spreadsheet is quite likely to get many teachers re-thinking how some topics are now approached by their students, particularly with regard to assessments in the later years of high school. With this in mind, two of the example spreadsheets included on the CD illustrate arithmetic and geometric progressions.

More can be found on the spreadsheets page.

What is an eActivity? To quote the Casio world site, 'The innovative eActivity functions of the fx-9860G series allow the students, not to mention teachers, to create their own problems or study materials.'

This edition of fxNews contains 3 new eActivities.

  • DGLINEAR could be seen as an investigative type of problem. The eActivity explores linear functions through a mix of graphing and dynamic graphing.
  • GP would fall into the category of study notes. The eActivity contains notes, solve with general GP formulas, recursion, spreadsheets and run. All present different ways of working with GP's on the fx9860 and give users a choice of methods to explore such sequences.
  • INTEREST would also fall into the category of study notes. It provides a summary of simple interest, compound interest and effective interest rate formulas in solve and a spreadsheet set up for reducible interest.

More can be found on the eActivities page.

Every edition will contain a handful of tips and tricks for getting the most out of your fx9860. In this edition some of the hints offered include
  • Name your calculator
  • Friendly decimals: Norm1 v Norm2
  • Leave a shadow trail when using dynamic graph
  • PHYSIUM - a great resource for science teachers

More can be found on the Tips and Tricks page.