I'm a student in the UK who will be starting at cambridge doing natsci in 2008, after a year work experience in engineering/research industry.

I currently have quite a lot of spare money which is a rarity, so I'm thinking of purchasing myself a new uber-calculator which I want to see me through for many happy years of calculations.

I'm currently considering - classpad 300, TI-89, HP-50g. In the UK I can get all of these, from http://www.calculators-online.co.uk.

the CP is the most expensive of the 3, followed by the TI89 then the HP.

I probably won't be doing many basic calculations (arithmetic, basic matrices, linear regression) on this calc, since my trusty FX-991ES is fantastic in this respect.

I am thinking to also try and acquire the classpad OS 3.0, which you can't seem to buy from any dealer in the UK , I'm sure I could get hold of it somehow.

Anyway, the things I want to be able to do on my new calc:

- deal with very big numbers (i.e bigger than the 10^99 you can get on standard scientific calcs)
- draw nice big clear graphs (i.e cp's big screen is an advantage) and plot statistical data like scatter diagram, box plot etc
- do fairly basic statistics stuff like normal distribution, confidence intervals, binomial distribution
- handle quantities with units (I work only in SI not imperial, I don't think I absolutely need something as full as the HP's unit support. I would want some kind of built in convertor and constants table)
- enter lots of data in lists or tables and then transfer to my computer in a usable format - I work only on <{GNULINUX}> with one windows install which I use only for music making.
- do simple programming in a language which even a physicist can understand and learn
- enter things in a friendly style display (I got addicted to the textbook entry on the 991, don't want any of this sqrt(2) nonsense

However, HP and TI seem to be streets ahead with the statistics and computer interfacing, and the units. I know I can interface a TI with my computer, because I do it already. I know I can interface a HP with my computer, because it uses SD cards. The classpad seems to be an unknown quantity. No one seems to have posted much about <{GNULINUX}> support for it.

Given that I'm also a free software fanatic, I find it disgusting that casio is trying to charge for this new OS update. I would be willing to pay for it though, if you could only buy it in the uk. hah.

Thanks for reading my post, ladies and gentlemen. Please could you give me some advice on which calc you'd recommend for my wants?