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-Calculator Help-

           Welcome to my Calculator Help page, where I will attempt to answer all of your questions and help you understand your calculator better, so that you can freely send programs (BASIC, ASSEMBLY, and Flash Applications) to your calculator, all of which I will explain in this FAQ.  If you have any questions that I have failed to answer in this FAQ, please e-mail me here, at Rnelson47@lycos.com. I will try to answer your question as quickly as possible, and I will incorporate this information into my current FAQ, to make your lives as easy as possible.

-Richie Nelson-


Non-Printer Version

Getting Started:
In order to be able to transfer files from your computer to your calculator (and vice versa), you will need the following things:

Different Program Types:
The following is a list of the three different programs that you can upload to your calculator, each with different properties than the other programs.

BASIC-BASIC is the first and and most commonly known programming language of the TI-83+. It is a very powerful and versatile programming language and like the name implies, is very easy to learn. BASIC is usually the first programming language learned for these calculators, and they give the calculator more functionality by creating programs that can do nearly everything (from games, to Math & Science help programs, to animations, to Data sequencing).  However, BASIC does have limitations, and does not have control over core calculator functions (such as shutting the calculator off, deleting or Archiving programs within a program, and many other things). Also, BASIC tends to be slower than Assembly programs or Flash Applications, because it has to take the BASIC code and convert each line into the original machine code (a.k.a. Assembly code) in order to make the program work. This makes the program slower than the other program types, though you most likely will not notice much of a difference.  Also, BASIC programs may be created on your Calculator with your In-Calc program editor (press [prgm]), and can be run from the same menu.  In short, it is very easy to learn the basics (ha ha ha, I made a funny!) of BASIC,and there are many free tutorials online to learn and better understand BASIC.

Assembly (ASM)-Assembly is the lowest form of programming you can learn on your Ti-83+ calculator, and has many advantages over BASIC.  ASM is faster than BASIC because the coding is being directly fed into the main processor, instead of translating and THEN sending the the CPU. Anyway, ASM programs tend to be smaller (with more efficient coding), but also tend to be of higher quality than BASIC games, with better graphics, and smoother animations.  For some reason, for most ASM programs, an ASM Shell is required to run these programs (don't ask me 'why,' because I don't even know myself) such as ION or MirageOS, both of which can be downloaded from my website.  First, you would send the Shell program over to the calc. After it is installed (may not need installation), you would send the ASM program to the calc, run the shell, and then select the ASM game.

Flash Applications-Flash Applications are very similar to ASM programs, but with a few differences in programming.  The are found by pressing the [APPS] button, and are used in much the same way, and you don't need a Shell.  Instead, they run on the ARC memory of your calculator, and they don't take up any of your RAM.

Your Calculator's Memory:
There are two forms of memory on your Ti-83+: RAM (Random Access Memory) and ARC (Archive memory or Flash Memory). RAM is used to store all of the programs (BASIC and ASM), variables, lists, strings, matrices, and just about any other file on your calculator.  In a TI-83+, you get about 22 kilobytes of RAM, which is more than enough to store numbers and letters to all your variables and programs.  ARC memory is a nifty storage system which incorporates Flash technology with the TI-83+ calculator.  You can store as many Applications as you have memory in this section.   also, you can 'archive' almost any program, list, string or whatever into the archive memory, giving you back almost all the RAM used for that particular file (to do so, make sure you're on the main screen and press [2nd], [+], go down to 'Mem mgmt/del...', and press 'All...'. Now, you will be able to see every file stored on your calculator. To Archive, press enter, and a '*' will appear next to that file.  This means that the file is Archived.  To UnArchive, press enter again, and the star will go away.  *note:  When a file is archived, it is impossible to access it.  It must be stored in the RAM to do so*).   ARC memory is great for storing programs that you don't use often so that they don't take up extra space.



Transferring Files:
Now that you know all the basics of these calculator programs, let's get on to actually sending these files to your calculator, and vice versa.  There are two major programs that are out to do just just this.  The two programs that I will talk about is Ti-Graphlink and TI-Connect.  Personally, I like using Ti-Graphlink, because you can actually 'see' and/or alter the program you are sending to your calculator, and it sends files a little quicker.  However, for those of you who are not interested in programming, and couldn't care less if you see the programming code, I'd go for TI-Connect, because the interface is a LOT easier.

Download TI-Connect
Download Ti-Graphlink

Transferring with TI-Connect:
Transferring with TI-Connect is very easily, and pretty much uses a drag-and-drop interface. Here's how:

  1. Get into TI-Connect
  2. With the Graph Link in connected to your calculators, press "Group Explorer" The computer will now run a scan of your computer and will show you all the folders so you can find your file.
  3. Now, find the program(s) you want to send to your calc and click it select it (to select more than one file at a time, press and hold CTRL down while selecting all the programs you want).  now, a button with a calculator and an arrow should have been lit up. Press it, and you it will begin sending the programs to your calculator.
  4. Once it is done transferring, ENJOY!

Transferring with TI-Graphlink:
This is my program of choice, and I find it very easy to use, though in order to install Flash Applications, there is a slightly different course to take.

  1. Get into the TI-Graphlink program.
  2. Under the 'Link' Menu, click on 'Send to'
  3. Now you can send it either to the ARC memory, or the RAM.  I would choose RAM most of the time.
  4. Now, you will find yourself in a pop-up box. Find the file folder under which your program is stored (ex. C:/Unzipped/Starpg)
  5. Once you have found the file(s), click the file to select it, and press 'Add' (for multiple files, you can simply press the 'Add All' button).
  6. Press Ok, and then the files will be sent to your calculator.

To send Flash Applications, do as follows:

  1. Get into the TI-Graphlink program.
  2. Go under the 'Link' menu and click 'Send Flash Software'
  3. Again, you will find a pop-up box to locate your App
  4. Once you have found it, select it, and press 'Add', and press Ok
  5. The files will be sent to your calculator.

Here's how to send programs and variables to your computer:

  1. Have a predetermined spot to place the files that your computer receives
  2. Get into the TI-Graphlink software. Under the 'Link' menu, click on 'Receive.' (your calculator should already be hooked up)
  3. The computer will run a scan and will show you every file on your calc
  4. Double click each file that you want saved to your computer, and press ok
  5. Now, you will be asked to specify which folder the files should be saved to. Designate one and press enter.
  6. The files will be saved on your computer, backing up your calc!



Well, that's about it.  I hope that I have helped you understand your calculator and/or calculator software better.  If there is something I have forgotten, please E-mail me at Rnelson47@lycos.com.