TI-84 Plus Calculator
The TI84 Plus is a graphing calculator made by Texas Instruments which was originally released in early 2004. Although often referred to simply as the TI84 there is in fact no original TI-84, only the TI-84 Plus and TI-84 Plus Silver Edition models. It is an enhanced version of the TI-83 Plus. The key-by-key correspondence is relatively the same, but the TI84 features upgraded hardware. The memory is roughly 3 times larger and the CPU is about 2.5 times as fast (over the TI-83 and TI-83 Plus).
A USB port and built-in clock functionality were also added. The USB port on the TI-84 Plus series is USB On-The-Go compliant, similar to the next generation TI-Nspire calculator, which supports connecting to USB based data collection devices and probes, and supports device to device transfers over USB rather than over the serial link port.
The TI-84 Plus Silver Edition was released in 2004 as an upgrade to the TI-83 Plus Silver Edition. Like the TI-83 Plus Silver Edition, it features a 15 MHz Zilog Z80 processor and 24 kB user available RAM. The chip is 128 kB, but TI has not made an OS that uses all of it. Newer calculators have a RAM chip that is only 48 kB. All calculators with the letter H or later as the last letter in the serial code have fewer ram pages, causing some programs to not run correctly. There is 1.5 MB of user-accessible Flash ROM. Like the standard TI-84 Plus, the Silver Edition includes a built-in USB port, a built-in clock, and assembly support. It uses 4 AAA batteries and a backup button cell battery. The TI-84 Plus Silver Edition comes preloaded with a variety of programs, including App4Math, an interface upgrade that allows students to input math problems exactly as they appear in the textbook. These programs are also available for the TI-84 Plus, but they must be downloaded separately.
TI84 also offer a special yellow version of the TI84 Plus, inscribed with the words “School Property”, for schools to loan out to students. This special design was produced in effort to combat theft. Owners can buy other interchangeable colored face-plates and slide-cases online. A kickstand-style slide case and other accessories are also available.
TI-84 Technical Specifications
- Zilog Z80 15 MHz, with 6 MHz compatibility mode.
- Plus Edition: 480 KB user accessible of 1 MB
- Silver Edition: 1.5 MB user accessible of 2 MB
- Third-party software permits usage of FAT16-formatted USB drives
- 24 KB RAM user accessible of 128KB (48KB on newer models)
- Text: 16×8 characters (normal font)
- Graphics: 96 (0-95) ×64 (0-63) pixels, monochrome (software grayscale can be used)
- Link port, 9.6 kbit/s
- 50 button built-in keypad
- 4 AAA batteries plus 1 SR44SW or 303 silver oxide battery used for backup
Integrated programming languages
- TI-BASIC and machine code. Assembly and C require a computer with a Z80 cross-compiler or an on-calc assembler.
There are three different types of programs which can be downloaded or programmed into TI84 Plus calculators: TI-BASIC, Z80 assembly language, and Flash applications (also written in Z80 assembly). In addition, there are programs available that are able to compile or interpret other programming languages. There are a wide range of applications that this produces, from science classes, to games, to calculus to note taking (when put together with a separately sold keyboard). The TI-84 Plus Series is exactly like its predecessor in that it can be used on the SAT and ACT examinations as well as International Baccalaureate examinations. However in some cases those administering the exam may reset the calculator’s memory beforehand to prevent cheating through the use of built in programs or other data.
When OS 2.30 was initially released, users noticed the speed of graphing was greatly reduced. The explanation was that the update added asymptote checking in graphing.
In January 2006, Texas Instruments released v2.40 of the operating system for the TI84 Plus series. The most noticeable addition to the new OS was the “Press-To-Test” feature that allowed a teacher to disable any programs installed on the calculator, so they cannot be used on tests, etc. As of OS version 2.53MP which was released in February 2010, support was added for prettyprinted expressions. However, some programs stopped working correctly in this OS version, or were running slower. The current OS version is 2.55MP which was released in January 2011.
In July 2009, a community-made patch now allows user-made operating systems to be easily uploaded onto the TI-84 plus series. Shortly after the patch was developed, the RSA keys for the calculator’s operating system were factored via brute force. In response to this, some of the newer hardware revisions only accept other RSA keys, making it harder to load user-made operating systems or old TI operating systems (2.53MP and earlier).
The TI-84 Plus is based heavily on its predecessor, the TI-83 Plus. As with all other calculators in the series, the TI-84 Plus supports native Z80 assembly as well as TI’s interpreted, BASIC-like language for calculators, unofficially dubbed TI-BASIC. Programming for the TI-84 Plus is nearly identical to programming for the TI-83 Plus, with a few new functions in both TI-BASIC and the calculator’s assembly support that do not exist on earlier models and OS versions.
We hope this information about the TI84 plus has been of interest to you, please feel free to contact us with any questions.
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