Before smartphones, there was a time when digital diaries and advanced calculators were popular. They could be used to store simple forms of data and to perform calculations that students could use while solving differential equations apart from algebra and calculus capabilities.

While advanced calculators were ‘allowed’ to be taken into exam halls, many tests banned devices if they had QWERTY keyboards, simply because they fitted into the traditional definition of a ‘computer’.

Texas Instruments solved the problem by introducing graphing calculators with keyboards that had an alphabetical layout.

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