Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The initial model: TI-83
Released in 1996, it is one of the most used graphing calculators for students (especially those in middle school or higher). In addition to the functions present on normal scientific calculators, the TI-83 includes many features, including function graphing, polar/parametric/sequence graphing modes, statistics, trigonometric, and algebraic functions. Although it does not include as many calculus functions, applications (for the TI-83 Plus -- see below) and/or programs can be downloaded from various websites that allow for them.
The TI-83 was replaced by TI with the TI-83 Plus calculator in 1999, which included Flash ROM, enabling the device's operating system to be updated if needed, or for large new Flash Applications to be stored, accesssible through a new (Apps) key. The flash rom can also be used to store user programs and data. In 2001 the ante was raised with the TI-83 Plus Silver Edition, which featured approximately nine times the available Flash ROM, and over twice the processing speed (15 MHz) of a standard TI-83 Plus, all in a translucent, iridescent grey case.
The original TI-83 is itself an upgraded version of the TI-82.
An interesting historical note: the TI-83 was the first calculator in the TI series to have built in assembly language support. (The TI-85 and TI-82 had ASM support, but only after sending a specially constructed (hacked) memory backup.) The support could be accessed through a hidden feature of the calculator. Users would write their assembly (ASM) program on their computer, compile it to a hexadecimal form, and send it to their calculator as a program. The user would then execute the command "Send(9prgmXXX)", and it would execute the program. Successors of the TI-83 replaced the Send(9) backdoor with a less-hidden Asm() command.
The TI-83 Plus is a graphing calculator made by Texas Instruments, designed in 1999 as an upgrade to the TI-83. The TI-83 Plus is one of TI's most popular calculators. It uses a ZiLOG Z80 microprocessor running at 6 MHz, a 96x64 monochrome LCD screen, and 4 AAA batteries as well as backup CR1616 or CR1920 battery. A link port is also built into the calculator. The main improvement over the TI-83 however was the addition of 160KB of Flash ROM, which allowed for OS bugfix upgrades, program archiving, and support for advanced flash applications (Apps).
Designed for high school, it contains all the features of a scientific calculator as well as function, parametric, polar, and sequential graphing capabilities, an environment for financial calculations, matrix operations, on-calculator programming, and more. Symbolic manipulation (differentiation, algebra) is not built into the TI-83 Plus, but is available as an addon by Detached Solutions. It can be programmed using a language called TI-BASIC, which is similar to the BASIC computer language. Programming may also be done in TI Assembly, made up of Z80 assembly and a collection of TI provided system calls. Assembly programs run much faster, but are more difficult to write.
A small but active community of third-party developers exists and a large archive of programs for the calculator can be found at ticalc.org.
TI-83 Plus Silver Edition
The TI-83 Plus Silver Edition is a newer version of the TI-83 Plus calculator, released in 2001. Its enhancements are 1.5 megabytes of FLASH ROM, a dual-speed 6/15 MHz processor, 96 kilobytes of additional RAM, a translucent silver case, and more applications preinstalled. It also includes a USB link cable in the box. It is almost completely compatible with the TI-83 Plus; the only problems that arise are with games that may run too fast on the silver edition. The key layout is the same.
As of Spring of 2004, the TI-83 Plus Silver Edition has been replaced by the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition. They feature the same processor and the same amount of Flash ROM, but the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition features a built in USB port, clock, and changeable faceplates.
Successor: TI-84 Plus
The TI-84 Plus line was introduced in mid-2004 as a further update to the TI-83 line; the TI-83 is still available for purchase, but support for it is dwindling. Despite its fancy name, the TI-84 plus series is not vastly improved over the TI-83 plus series. The main improvements of the TI-84 Plus and TI-84 Plus Silver Edition are a fancy case with changeable faceplates , more speed and memory over the TI-83 and TI-83 Plus, a built-in clock, and a built-in USB port for easy computer connectivity. The operating system and math functionality remain the same.
- Features of the TI-83, TI-83 Plus, and TI-83 Plus Silver Edition
- The biggest collection of programs and other resources is probably ticalc.org.
- Cemetech.tk: Free programs, support, and forums Cemetech
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