Author Topic: Discovering TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition BASIC programming: New TI-Planet pics!  (Read 14103 times)

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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Tonight, TI-Planet has posted a lot of new pictures of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, as Critor obtained one from TI to try it. He took several pictures as he handled and tested it, allowing more interesting discoveries, particularly on the TI-BASIC programming side!

First of all, however, let's start by showing how this new machine look like from the outside (and what is that light on the calc side in the 3rd pic?)...


...and now the inside!


Hopefully our hardware experts in the community can enlighten us more on what the above contains and if there are any bizzare things in there. However, for now we will focus on the high-level programming portion of this invasion of new images!

The calculator now includes extra commands for the use of colors, while of course requiring some adjustments for ones made for older models due to smaller resolution and lower RAM. The colors appears to offer much more freedom than on the Casio CFX-9850G and FX-cg10/20 series. Since all that was posted at the time of this news post were pictures, we could not discover the speed of Line(), Pixel-On/Off/Change() and Text() commands and thus, were unable to know how they compare with the Casio PRIZM (on which they are atrociously slow), the TI-83 Plus and the TI-84 Plus. We also could not see if Pxl-Test() still exists, if the undocumented Text(-1,X,Y,Str) and Circle(X,Y,R,ComplexList) tricks still worked and if community tricks like Text sprites and dual-layer ASCII will still work.

The great news for TI-BASIC programmers is that colors can finally be used inside programs as well, not just via the DRAW tools on the graph screen!


At first, I was disappointed to see that the calculator has a token per color which were used with the new TextColor() command as argument. On this PRIZM this was the case too and this pose problem in TI-BASIC programming, because it forces you to use spaghetti or overly repetitive code in many cases, due to the inability to store the color inside a real variable. However, as you see below, the variable K is used as the argument in another program, meaning that it is possible to use colors more dynamically in TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition programs!


Basically, it seems that each color got its own ID too, as seen in the image below! The color IDs are as follow: Blue 10, Red 11, Black 12, Magenta 13, Green 14, Orange 15, Brown 16, Navy 17, LtBlue 18, Yellow 19, White 20, LtGray 21, MedGray 22, Gray 23, DarkGray 24


Of course, due to the larger screen, you will need to adapt your graphical programs and games, because everything might be out of place. Lines might be safe, but they'll not be as thick.


There also appears to be some loss in speed. Some people reported that graphing is 1.5 times slower than on a TI-84 Plus, but 1.5 times faster than on a TI-83 Plus. The following home screen program appears to run 4 times slower, but if it's due to screen updating, then it might not be as bad for programs that don't need to draw as often to the LCD:


For the ASM programmers who prefer to program using hexadecimal directly on the calculator, the calculator still includes Asm() and AsmComp(), but the AsmPrgm command was renamed to Asm84CPrgm:


In addition to that, as seen in the previous news, the background pictures, which appears to be 21 KB in size on the calculator, appears to be pixelated and scaled up by 200%. We do not know if this is the case on the calculator or if it's due to SmartView emulation, but this might compromise their use for complex title screens and graphics. On the other hand, we have yet to discover if regular pictures can still be created, if they take the entire graphing resolution instead of being scaled up and if they are much smaller. Also we have to remember that the calculator only has 21.6 KB of RAM, meaning that a port of XCOPY to copy archived programs to RAM will be a must for large games.

While there are some downsides, the new TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition BASIC language definitively offers more freedom than its 84 Plus counterpart and we hope to see new Omnimaga programs using its full potential in the future!

TI-Planet news can be found here:
http://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11266&lang=en
http://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11268&lang=en
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 01:54:29 pm by DJ_O »
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Offline DrDnar

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The flash chip, as I predicted, is simply the 4 MB version of the same series of chips that are used on the TI-84+(SE) and TI-83+(SE). In fact, it's compatible with the TI-89T chip. Like the TI-89T, it features 63 x 64 K main sectors + 8 x 8 K boot sector. (The boot sector arrangement is unlike the TI-83+ series, and is the same as on the TI-89T. Specifically, the TI-83+ series used 1 x 16 K + 2 x 8 K + 1 x 32 K.) It also has 1 x 64 K "security sector", which can be factory-locked, or locked by the end user. Either way, once locked, the data in the security sector is forever fixed. Conversely, if left unlock, the security sector can be used as an extra 64 K generic data sector. The command set for the new flash is the same for basic operation. There are new commands for accessing and using the security sector. (Also, there is no "unlock bypass" feature.)

Calc84 also points out:
(2:06:48 AM) calc84: also there seems to be a 48MHz clock in there, but we don't know how it's divided :P
(2:06:58 AM) calc84: could be the CPU is 16MHz
(2:07:25 AM) calc84: the USB needs a 12MHz, or so I hear
(2:08:25 AM) calc84: I will be thrilled if they managed to clock the CPU to 24MHz
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Offline TIfanx1999

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Wow, cool stuff. I can't wait to get home and view the pictures in better detail. :)

Offline Stefan Bauwens

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But does it run a z80?
Also, are you saying there only fits one picture at a time on the calc?


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Offline DrDnar

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Most likely, the image files can only be stored in the archive, and are streamed directly from the archive for display. (Doing this is relatively easy for assembly programmers; in fact, it's documented in TI's SDK for the original TI-83+.) A full-resolution, uncompressed image would be larger than 64 K; files in the archive cannot exceed 64 K for technical reasons. (Mainly that TI is lazy.)
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Offline critor

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Pictures vars are archived automatically upon creation, yes.



DJ_O, could you please duplicate the 1st TI-Planet news link with in source or reference section at the end of your news?

Could you please add a link to the 2nd TI-Planet news about the TI-84C hardware too?
http://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=11268

Both content are going to be available in english soon.


In this latest news, you got the answer to your questions about the hardware.
Very goog news: TI didn't use a new ASIC, but the old TA3 ASIC from TI-84 Plus hardware revision G and older! :D
Meaning that the 128KB RAM are back at last! :D
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 06:22:30 am by critor »
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Offline Lionel Debroux

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The first TI-Planet news item has been translated to English: http://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11266&lang=en .
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Offline DrDnar

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To out knowledge, the memory mapper on the old "TA3"-type ASICs does not support mapping 4 MB of flash. It used a 7-bit page + 14-bit address scheme. It might be based on the older design, but some modification is definitely required to support the extra flash memory, unless one of those unknown ports enables a heretofore secret 4-MB chip mode. (There is speculation that port 0E and 0F are related to swapping with ports 6 and 7.) Out best guess is they made the page selector 8-bit, removing the ability to map RAM into any area that can map flash, and vice versa. I do hope you're right about the RAM coming back, and hopefully they made CPU speeds 2 and 3 faster. Also, if they were as lazy as we like to think they are, the boot sector unlock feature is still there, which would be great.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 11:35:41 pm by DrDnar »
"No tools will make a man a skilled workman, or master of defense, nor be of any use to him who has not learned how to handle them, and has never bestowed any attention upon them. . . . Yes, [] the tools which would teach men their own use would be beyond price."—Plato's The Republic, circa 380 BC

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Wait, so are the color names tokens, or are multiple-letter variable names supported?
Due to dissatisfaction, I will be inactive on Omnimaga until further notice. (?? THP hasn't been much success and there's also the CE. I might possibly be here for a while.)
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Offline tr1p1ea

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If the 128KB of RAM is back then might that be an indication that they are using some of it as a screen buffer? That would be nice :).
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Like, for storing backups for the graphscreen, basically?
Due to dissatisfaction, I will be inactive on Omnimaga until further notice. (?? THP hasn't been much success and there's also the CE. I might possibly be here for a while.)
If you want to implore me to come back, or otherwise contact me, I can be found on GitHub (bluebear94), Twitter (@melranosF_), Reddit (/u/Fluffy8x), or e-mail (if you know my address). As a last resort, send me a PM on Cemetech (bluebear94) or join Touhou Prono (don't be fooled by the name). I've also enabled notifications for PMs on Omnimaga, but I don't advise using that since I might be banned.
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Pictures vars are archived automatically upon creation, yes.



DJ_O, could you please duplicate the 1st TI-Planet news link with in source or reference section at the end of your news?

Could you please add a link to the 2nd TI-Planet news about the TI-84C hardware too?
http://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=11268

Both content are going to be available in english soon.


In this latest news, you got the answer to your questions about the hardware.
Very goog news: TI didn't use a new ASIC, but the old TA3 ASIC from TI-84 Plus hardware revision G and older! :D
Meaning that the 128KB RAM are back at last! :D
Wouldn't it be better at this point to just copy the news (as soon as available in English) over here and put a link to TI-Planet like usual? (Unless this is what you mean? In such case maybe it might be better if you post it since you wrote all of it yourself). I'M confused about what you mean (since there was already a link to the 1st news)???

But does it run a z80?
Also, are you saying there only fits one picture at a time on the calc?
10 pictures actually. As for images (which are different), you can have 10 too, but I don't know if you can remove the 5 pre-loaded ones.

Wait, so are the color names tokens, or are multiple-letter variable names supported?
They're single letter variables but I think there are all-caps tokens for each color too.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 06:01:00 pm by DJ_O »
In case you are wondering where I went, I left Omni back in 2015 to form CodeWalrus due to various reasons explained back then, but I stopped calc dev in 2016 and am now mostly active on the CW Discord server at https://discord.gg/cuZcfcF



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Offline Sorunome

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Nice pictures, that sure are many.
Maybe i'll get one, depending on the price.....

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