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About 4 days ago, TI released a new OS for both the TI-83 Premium CE and TI-84 Plus CE. But as people at TI-Planet discovered pretty soon, it has 2 main disadvantages:
  • Going into exam mode can now take up 1.5 - 2 minutes, due to the OS checking and validating all the installed apps. Previously this took about 2 seconds.
  • The Asm84CEPrgm is now permanently disabled, which means you can't write assembmly programs on-calc anymore. Luckily asm programs in general aren't blocked. AFAIK, this isn't a mistake:
    Adriweb wrote:
    No it's not a mistake, they confirmed it after all with TI-Dallas. And they say it's only half disabled because they didn't want to block/remove it entirely either, so to use it they say to write and transfer things from TI-Connect CE. But that's also why I (or anybody else, I guess) say it's completely absurd/illogical.

From the community-experience, TI barely listens to our complains, so don't get your hopes up that this will be 'fixed' soon. Personally I've no idea what the future will bring us, but if you have boot code >= 5.1.5 (check with [MODE] [ALPHA] [S]), don't upgrade your OS. If your boot code is from before 5.1.5, you can downgrade the OS to even OS 5.0.0.

Source:
https://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=21187

Crying
Crying
Crying
Texas Instruments wrote:


John35588 at 2017.10.13 22:27:03 UTC wrote:
it is not TI that are the experts

I find myself quoting that more and more... :\

I find this ban completely ridiculous! What does TI think they're doing?
What the frack? I'm guessing they will refuse to disclose the discussion that led to this.

Yeah... You can technically still do hex on-calc though, with ICE's Asm( function (equivalent to ExecHex( ), just differentiating between the on-calc Asm( and the ICE version of it. But still, ASM84CEPrgm has no advantages/ hacks that allow for cheating, iirc, so why disable it? Will that token still work with TI-Connect CE, or is it gone from there too?

edit: PT_ says that it will work in TI-Connect CE
I sent TI an email regarding this issue. I hope I receive a response, and I included a link to both this thread and the one on TI Planet.
What is this cancer Evil or Very Mad
Obviously, TI doesnt pander to the calculator community, because we just don't represent a significant amount of Calculator sales. They have no reason to work with the community. What they are incentivised to do is work with schools, which are a significant source of income, and thats exactly what they do. It feels like a matter of time before they completely prevent asm programming at all, which would essentially let a portion of the community die out slowly (as asm programs along with their creators fade away in some dusty old forum) It is easy for us to criticize TI, but the truth is that we don't have anywhere near the amount of leverage that other communities have.

SM84CE wrote:
Yeah... You can technically still do hex on-calc though, with ICE's Asm( function (equivalent to ExecHex( ), just differentiating between the on-calc Asm( and the ICE version of it. But still, ASM84CEPrgm has no advantages/ hacks that allow for cheating, iirc, so why disable it? Will that token still work with TI-Connect CE, or is it gone from there too?

edit: PT_ says that it will work in TI-Connect CE

Of course, we can 'make our own token'. But its more the fact that TI is so oblivious to the fact that asm programming is incredibly important that they are willing to just chop it right off. Granted, the vast majority of people who use graphing calculators will never have to or want to program it in asm (even the uses for ti-basic are questionnable), but that doesn't mean it should be removed...
I am aware that the token caused a bit of a security breach when in exam mode, since an inline asm program could be written while in exam mode that would read data that wasn't supposed to be available. This could have been fixed by removing the token only in test mode, which would have been doable, understandable, and completely justified. Instead removing it all together is just not a smart thing to do.
If this is their idea of improved security, we're all screwed Laughing
mr womp womp wrote:
I am aware that the token caused a bit of a security breach when in exam mode, since an inline asm program could be written while in exam mode that would read data that wasn't supposed to be available.
That kind of makes sense. But I'd like to know if this has actually happened. I would hope that _ExecutePrgm actually checks run permissions (but this is TI, so I wouldn't bet on it), which would mean that getting access to other programs would require a student to enter a full program for exiting exam mode, which wouldn't be trivial, although still possible.

mr womp womp wrote:
If this is their idea of improved security, we're all screwed
Their poor understanding of security doesn't hurt us, but their amputate-for-a-papercut approach to fixing problems does not bode well for them ever actually making a secure product, and it certainly makes the actualy security experts---us---less willing to help them in the future.
I sent TI-Cares an email:

Quote:
Dear TI,
The removal of the Asm84CEPrgm token is a very unpopular change with the
calculator programming community. This removal is deemed by many assembly programmers as unnecessary and unprovoked. Even though it hasn't entirely been disabled (transfer via TI-Connect), it prevents programmers new to assembly and without a compiler from learning assembly that "hard" way [, among other things].
[...I rant about other topics...]
- _iPhoenix_


Here are the threads in two prominent calculator communities, one in Europe [France] and one in the US.
https://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=21187
https://www.cemetech.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14609


I received a response very rapidly (I sent the email yesterday and received it an hour ago, as I am posting this), but it was not definitive. Huge thanks to TI for trying to answer my question.

Quote:
Hello,

Thank you for contacting Texas Instruments.

I understand that you are inquiring about the removal of the "Asm84CEPgrm" command with the latest update of the TI-84 Plus CE Operating System (OS). I will be glad to provide information on this subject.

I believe that this removal is related to the previous OS update's streamlining of how the TI-84 Plus CE handles assembly programs, such as no longer needing to use the "asm()" command to run an assembly program. I have requested a definitive answer to this, which may take several business days for me to receive. I have also forwarded your feedback to our development team.

Once I receive a response to my inquiry, I will contact you with an update.

Sincerely,

Daryl
Texas Instruments


I'll update this post when I receive more information.
I updated my calculator the day before they released this update, I'm so lucky Surprised
At least while the issue is beig sorted, https://tiplanet.org/forum/archives_voir.php?id=1398736 will allow to downgrade to any OS > 5.1.5 by changing the certificate value.
@_iPhoenix_ : the problem with your email is that apparently, you say (at the beginning, even if you clarify after) that the token has been removed (which is wrong, itís only disabled, in the catalog)
But more importantly, unless itís in the parts you didnít paste here, you didnít mention the only real issue: the fact that itís not available while in non-PTT. Having it disabled in PTT is not a problem at all.
Adriweb wrote:
@_iPhoenix_ : the problem with your email is that apparently, you say (at the beginning, even if you clarify after) that the token has been removed (which is wrong, itís only disabled, in the catalog)
But more importantly, unless itís in the parts you didnít paste here, you didnít mention the only real issue: the fact that itís not available while in non-PTT. Having it disabled in PTT is not a problem at all.


That's a good point. I did not mention that, but I hope they understand what I mean. I mentioned OS 5.1.3 and linked to both this and the TI planet thread, so it should be obvious.
_iPhoenix_ wrote:
Adriweb wrote:
@_iPhoenix_ : the problem with your email is that apparently, you say (at the beginning, even if you clarify after) that the token has been removed (which is wrong, itís only disabled, in the catalog)
But more importantly, unless itís in the parts you didnít paste here, you didnít mention the only real issue: the fact that itís not available while in non-PTT. Having it disabled in PTT is not a problem at all.


That's a good point. I did not mention that, but I hope they understand what I mean. I mentioned OS 5.1.3 and linked to both this and the TI planet thread, so it should be obvious.

I like the fact that they are willing to show some amount of transparency and actually try to give us an answer as to why they chose to do things this way. Hopefully this leads to some constructive discussion, rather than a cold nonanswer.
Iím going to email TI, check why the deletion of the ASM indicator command wa in the first place, since it is so unpopular among anyone who actually uses it, meaning that regular people wouldnít need it, and wouldnít mind it existing. They are doing this to prevent calculator game development in general. SHOTS FIRED!
Edit: So I emailed Ti, will update when they reply:

Quote:
Dear Texas Instruments,

Being a member of the calculator-programming community, I am extremely disappointed in the fact that TI is depriving TI84+CE owners from creating ASM programs.

Speaking (indirectly) for all members of the two main calculator communities: Cemetech and Ti-Planet:
We would like to know why TI removed the ASM program indicator from the catalog, since no bugs were experienced or reported from either of the two main calculator programming communities.
I donít think that deleting this command will cause potential calculator buyers more likely to purchase a CE, which is bad for your stock value.
I, was personally planning on buying a TI-Inspire, but now that I see your true behavior toward your customers and the calculator programming community, I am considering buying from one of the other great companies available.
This is all, of course, unless you guys at TI can explain why the ASM indicator command was removed, preventing people from expressing their creativity in the form of calculator programs.

Does TI Really Care?

Best Regards,
Steven



That's exactly what I did. No need to fill up their inbox. Continuing to say things like that will just make them more and more annoyed.
_iPhoenix_ wrote:
That's exactly what I did. No need to fill up their inbox. Continuing to say things like that will just make them more and more annoyed.

I doubt that they actually told the truth in their email to you, because I honestly doubt that there really was a bug, that TI just needed to solve, and if they did, I am almost 100% sure that they are deleting the ASM prgm indicator as a result of constant pressure from the DOE because students are getting games on their calculator.
It is important to note that TI has not completely thrown away assembly programming, only writing inline assembly on-calc. Also, I hardly think this decision would have any significant impact negative or positive on their stock, because we (the community) really don't buy a lot of calculators. I think being hostile about this is not the way to go, and spamming some help desk lady won't help. The best we can do for now is just to wait for a reply from the development team.
Quote:
They are doing this to prevent calculator game development in general

That's simply not true. We know why they have disabled the token, and it has nothing to do with preventing game development. I would say right about 0% of asm games are coded in hex opcodes. The question really is about the very corporate/messy way TI deals with things.
Take my opinion for a tiny grain of salt, but... this doesn't seem like that big of an issue. Sure, it would be nice if TI didn't deal with certain things the way they do, but giving them a bunch of shallow complaints/arguments will hardly make them think twice. If we really want them to care, we have got to see the problem more from their perspective, and from more than just one angle. Once we have got that, perhaps then we can give a mature and developed argument as to why they should revoke/change anything.

From what I understand, TI's audience is mostly educators and schools, so a big company like that is likely to care less about the smaller programming communities.
The crux of the matter is the fact that they removed access to this sole token from the catalog, even outside PTT mode. This has near-zero protective value for their aims.
But it's easy to read this low-impact move, combined to re-validation of all FlashApp signatures upon startup in PTT mode, as a prelude to deeper, even more unwanted (from our POV) changes...
  
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