In this topic, I (and Shaun) will be more-or-less liveblogging Texas Instruments' T^3 2013 International Conference in Philadelphia, PA during March 8-10, 2013. Please enjoy our coverage.

Thursday night, March 7, 2013
I arrived by bus and SEPTA subway; Shaun arrived by plane and taxi.. We're staying at the Marriott in downtown Philadelphia, and have a great room.

Friday morning, March 8, 2013
The first item of the morning is the keynote address. We're now listening to the keynote, which has a variety of TI functionaries welcoming us to the conference.
- Melendy Lovett welcomed us.
- Gayle Mujica also offered words of welcome.
- Roll call of sorts taken. People who are here for the first time, people who have come for 5, 10, 20, and 25 years. Two people have come all 25 years. 8 people were here at the first T^3 conference 25 years ago.
- Ms. Lovett reiterated TI's mission and focus on education. What will continue to change is our "innovating, updating, and upgrading" their service and support to meet educators' changing needs.



- Ms. Lovett is talking about the new TI offerings: (1) the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition; (2) the TI-Nspire Apps for iPad. She reiterated the price reduction of the Apps for iPad to $5, as we reported recently.
- Ms. Lovett introduces Leland D. Melvin of NASA, who was an astronaut and built NASA's education program.



- Astronaut Melvin discussed his education background, how he became an astronaut, his journey to become an astronaut in space despite health issues and the Columbia disaster. He showed us a slide show/video montage of his mission to space to resupply the ISS.
- Mr. Melvin moves on to US students and science and math. Why are we behind in STEM education? What can we do about it? NASA's education is not just "equality" but "justice", so that students can see their role in STEM.

[Posted after lunch Friday:]
- Mr. Melvin's speech was well-received by the audience, and the keynote ended at 9:45am. Our first session began at 10:15am, so Shaun, Adrien, and I checked in. Thanks to noticing an offer from @TICalculators on Facebook, I got a nifty gift box with a T^3 commemorative watch, pen/flashlight, and miniature TI-Nspire guide.



- We were also greeted by a colonial marching band after the keynote, and a view of the foyer of the Pennsylvania Convention Center as we rode down the escalators:



- Our first session of the day was "Color on the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition Graphing Calculator: Creatively and Effectively Utilize its Power in Your Mathematics Classroom". It was taught by Tom Reardon, a T^3 educator with whom I had previously spoken on the phone about the TI-Nspire Apps for iPad. Although I have already extensively explored math on the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition for Using the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus and for Cemetech articles, I learned a few new things, and Shaun and Adrien got their first hands-on experiences with the new calculator. We played primarily with graphing and plotting, guided by Mr. Reardon, and I learned quite a few new things about the calculator. For one thing, turning off Detect Asymptotes makes graphing a sinusoid drop from 7.5 seconds to 2.7 seconds, nearly a 300% speedup. We discovered that you can change the background of the graph to a solid color, not just photos. I now know which five images will be shipped with the calculator:




- Mr. Reardon also gave away two licenses for the TI-Nspire App for iPad, and showed us the App in action. Also, the latter two pictures here are of the new School Property edition of the TI-84+CSE connected to Vernier sensors/probes at the Vernier booth.



Friday afternoon, March 8, 2013
- Shaun and I enjoyed Philly cheesesteaks with fries at the 13 Lounge in the Marriott. Quite passable indeed, and the perfect (cliched?) meal for a visit to Philadelphia.
- Shaun headed off to see "This Session Contains MSG: Math, Science, and Genetics". We'll have the scoop from him later.
- I updated this liveblog, then met with some of my contacts from TI. I'll be posting an article about everything that I learned this evening, but here's what I can discuss that we talked about:

  • Where is TI going next? We talked about how the market drives the product decisions that TI makes, including the new TI-Nspire Apps for iPad and the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition continuation of the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus family. We discussed how the TI-83+/84+ calculators and the TI-Nspire calculators both have avid fans, and TI hopes to appeal to both. I learned about what drove the creation of the TI-84+CSE, including the dropping prices of the requisite technology (namely the LCD and battery).
  • The current TI strategy for CAS calculators is moving towards the TI-Nspire, and there are no immediate plans to expand the 68k line (TI-89/TI-92). However, there are also no plans to stop manufacturing it, and if the market dictates that a 68k update/upgrade is desired, that is certainly a possibility.
  • We talked about the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, including my experiences with it. It sounds like me taking mine apart to see what made it tick was not universally well-received Wink. I showed them some of the bugs I have discovered that could impact classroom use, and they'll take a look at the TI-BASIC-related bugs I and critor found. I will keep you all updated on that.
  • I asked about the choice of specifications for the TI-84+CSE, including why not a faster z80 and why not an ez80. I may be able to update you guys with answers on that; one preliminary answer is that battery life is always a very important concern for TI's engineers, and they spend a lot of time and effort simulating and testing battery life in real-world scenarios.
  • The TI-Nspire Apps for iPad: again, market-driven. There are no immediate plans for a IT-84 Plus App for iPad or Apps for other Apple devices, and they acknowledged that working with Apple is not always the smoothest sailing. The iPad was the target for the Nspire app because it's the most visible and most-used platform for school-approved electronic classroom learning. I asked about the possibility of an Android port, and we discussed the obstacles introduced by Android fragmentation, as well as the larger non-iDevice markets outside the US. My takeaway is that an Android port is a possibility on the table but by no means a done deal. Again, what the market dictates.
  • On the content side of things, TI is working to make more activities available to help teachers integrating TI technology in classrooms. They have adapted about 100 TI-Nspire activities to work well across the TI-Nspire and the Apps for iPad, rather than making changes that would apply only to the iPad Apps. They're also working to make many of the TI-84 Plus activities applicable to the TI-84+CSE, including the student hand-outs, instructions, teacher lesson plans, assignments, etc.
  • We talked about the new math features on the TI-84+CSE, especially the QuickPlot & FitEQ function, which garnered a whole section in my upcoming book.
  • I asked about the rumored introduction of so-called "Exam Calculators", to which Melendy Lovett alluded in her keynote introduction. TI is indeed exploring possibly online and possibly offline TI-84 Plus emulation for standardized tests that are taken via computer. Different tests work differently, and thus would need different models of serving a calculator. There are no plans to immediately make this into a teacher (or student) tool, although they'll see what happens.
  • When will TI-Connect 4.0 be available? "Soon"! Possibly even before the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition handheld itself. For that matter, the TI-84+CSE will be available at latest by Back to School in retail stores, and probably significantly earlier via school supply resellers. Your best bet is to preorder with them if you want a TI-84+CSE as soon as they get shipped by TI.
  • The legality of emulation, as discussed here on Cemetech and elsewhere. I can't say too much about this, other than to urge everyone to use discretion with emulation, and to strongly frown on people using the BootFree + .8xu method of getting ROMs. I may or may not be able to say more about this depending on how some further discussions go.
  • Just for fun, I asked about the French names for the TI calculator models, such as the TI-76.fr, the TI-83 Plus.fr, and the TI-82 Stats.fr, which are a TI-82, TI-84 Plus, and TI-83 respectively. They didn't have any specific insights into the names, but did mention that France, which is TI's second-largest userbase, tends to be largely driven by students/consumers directly. The US, which is TI's largest userbase, is mostly driven by teacher recommendations. I think we here have always assumed the latter, but the former was interesting to learn.


After a short nap and some blogging, I headed off to a session on the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition with Margo Mankus, in which I learned quite a few math skills for the calculator I didn't know, and reinforced others. Between Margo's and Tom's talk, I filled in quite a few details to my own exploration of my own TI-84+CSE. I especially enjoyed seeing how Images are handled in such a way that using the Horiz split and the G-T split both preserve the relation between the Image in the background and the graphs on top. I even thought of a bunch of extra 84+CSE-specific skills I want to teach in my book.

The evening involved karaoke, hors d'oeuvres, and an appearance by Mayim Bialik. I unfortunately missed "Amy Farrah Fowler's" introduction, as I got a chance to meet and chat with John Powers, one of TI's senior developers. He has worked on emulation, the Nspire, and years of excellent hardware and software for TI. The night wound down with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" from Shaun at karaoke, preparations for my presentation, signing books to give out tomorrow, and of course, blogging! I hope Shaun will add his own content here.

Saturday morning, March 9, 2013
Other than the vital first step of getting coffee and a bagel at Starbucks, our introductory session of the day is with Tom Reardon and Mayim Bialkik (yes, Amy Farrah Fowler). We're learning about the TI-Nspire Apps for iPad, and some of the in-class math examples that they feel the Apps make more understandable. We're discussing examining simultaneous points on several functions at the same x-coordinate, areas of quadrilaterals and trapezoids, infinite series, slopes of lines, and more.

Tom and Mayim discussed an issue Tom touched on yesterday, that students will often get frustrated with the teacher, themselves, and math when they're told they're wrong. Tom advocated the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition's tools and the TI-Nspire App for iPad's tools as a gentler way for students to learn that they're wrong. Another pro of the Apps is that they let students work at their own pace, although I worry that they then lose their engagement with the teacher. After Mayim and Tom showed us many activities, Mayim was spirited away, and Tom continued the demonstration. He showed us the CAS calculator mode on the TI-Nspire Apps, he demonstrated the WiFi-based screen mirroring between SmartView and a handheld TI-Nspire (which I found especially cool), and how to buy lots of copies of the TI-Nspire Apps for iPad for $5 (not just one). Remember, as we previously reported, this expires tomorrow night, when the Apps go back to $30 each.

Saturday morning and afternoon, March 9, 2013
- Shaun and I attended a small session about integrating TI technology into simple algebra and math lessons. We learned about scatter plotting shoe sizes versus heights to estimate someone's height based on their shoe size. We used the CBR device to measure the velocity of a toy car with and without extra weight, in which students could hypothesize about which would go faster and test their hypothesis. Finally, we explored measuring pressure in a vessel with bacteria and sugar.
- I gave my own talk, "Teaching Beginner Programming Concepts with the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator", to a smaller audience than I anticipated. I told them why they should teach programming, why students should use graphing calculators for programming, and how they could introduce graphing calculator programming to their students. I told them about my book, and handed out books to each of the participants.

- Shaun, Adrien, and I attended a panel with Mayim Bialik and two teachers, Ms. Stephanie Ogden and Ms. Sheri Abel. A selection of the Q&A highlights:

Q: How have the Apps changed how you teach math in the classroom?
A: Surprisingly, not much. Helps facilitate the lessons already being taught

Q: How has the technology changed the level of engagement in the classroom?
A: Students have many more of the "aha!" moments when you know that the concept has clicked for the students. Students seemed to have many of the same experiences with the TI-84 Plus series and the TI-Nspire series, where they say, "I get it!". In this case the main advantage is that the learning curve to overcome for the technology itself is much lower.

Q: Can you highlight specific activities or skills the Apps for iPad have helped?
A: "Domain and Range", and "Domain and Range 2", have given the students the ability to drag the functions and see what changes.
A: Presenting all sorts of problems more visually with the Apps give students a more intuitive grasp of the concepts across the board.
A: It forces the students to understand a lot of the algebraic structure behind the problems; they learn about the mat hby putting it into the Apps' templates properly.

Q: Can you talk more about how the integration into the classroom looks?
A: In my class, they pick up an iPad before class and drop it off at the end of class, as well as a handheld. Why both? Because I prefer to use the handheld for Navigator-based evaluations. Plus they'll need the handheld skills for standardized tests, where they can't use the iPad.
A: In my class, they have the textbook as an eBook on a second iPad, looking at the two side-by-side. They are able to use many of the Navigator features on the iPad, so I don't know if they'll need the handheld except for standarized tests in the future. I'm hoping because the handheld and the iPad are similar, they'll be able to make the transition seamlessly.

Q: What challenges did you encounter?
A: Getting files to the iPads via Dropbox proved challenging; they kept forgetting their credentials. As far as the math skills, there were few challenges.

Q: How much benefit do you see if just the teacher uses the iPad for instruction, and not the students?
A: We had something like that experience in our classroom, because we didn't keep the iPads after the pilot ended. I now have my own iPad, while the students have the handheld, and it is still helpful as a teaching tool.
A: My school did something similar; you get many of the same benefits without the additional cost.

Q: You touched on the engagement of the students with the software. How has the engagement between students and teachers changed?
A: They can communicate in different ways and more ways with the students; doesn't seem to distracted them much.

Q: If we have the TI-84 Plus now, should we go to the TI-Nspire handhelds, or the iPads?
A: You can indeed use just a single iPad to drive the instruction, as long as you're willing to let the students occasionally use your iPad to help drive the lesson, as they will have a good deal of intuition into using it. They'll then have a leg up when/if they need to transition to the handhelds.
A: The TI-84 Plus is still a very rich environment, and if you can integrate the two together, you'll continue to make the classroom more interactive and more exciting.

Q: Have you been using the calculator mainly as a player for activities, or as a graphing calculator?
A: In my classroom, we tend to do both. For conceptual understanding, I want them to be able to visualize the problems that they're working with in class.
A: I would say that I have used it in both ways, but that I mainly use it for sending and receiving documents to and from students. I can send out assignments directly through the iPads, then back through email.



Saturday was such a full and fun day, we had practically no time to do any blogging or posting. Among the highlights:
- After the TI-Nspire Apps for iPad panel, Shaun and I decided to take a short lunch break, and enjoyed Philadelphia burgers.
- Upon returning to the conference, we went to an excellent hands-on chemistry session, "Simulating and Building a Stem Instrument for the Science Classroom." We used TI-Nspire CX calculators with lab cradles and voltage probes, together with a simple RGB-LED-and-CdS-cell circuit, to create a colorimeter. We tried out our colorimeters with test tubes of red, green, and blue-tinged water, and learned how we could calibrate our colorimeters to tell the exact color of an unknown liquid. We saw how that could be used as a tool to determine the concentration of an unknown solution.
- I attended a 1.5-hour session entitled "Dynamic Programming with the TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus Silver Edition Graphing Calculators" with Christopher Langhorn. He showed a group of teachers (and myself) how students could be motivated to learn to program formulae on their calculators, and as I did in my own talk, he spoke of how teaching students how to program is a very positive skill, will improve their test-taking abilities, and fsr from giving them a way to cheat, instead provides them with another tool to get more intuition into the course material.
- After a brief break, Shaun, Adrien, and myself attended a two-hour private cocktail party slash reception with Mayim Bialik and various TI VIPs. I was honored to get a chance to talk further to Margo Markus, John Powers, and Dale Philbrick. I met Melendy Lovett and Peter Balyta, and was happy to hear that Mr. Balyta was very aware of Cemetech and some of our recent projects and news items. We also had an opportunity to speak to Pat Milheron, which was a great treat. He told us about various fascinating details of his job, which I sadly cannot repeat here, but I know my colleagues like Brandon Wilson and Michael Vincent would have very much wanted to be there.
- The evening ended with a frank discussion with our contact Marianne Hancock from Golin-Harris, whom I must especially thank for her tireless work throughout the weekend to make the conference smooth, pleasant, and extremely informative. I can't share the details of our conversation, but it was enjoyable.
- Shaun and Adrien and I concluded our evening with pizza.
- As promised, Shaun's karaoke cameo:


Closing Session, Sunday morning, March 10, 2013
- Welcome back, an overview of the conference
- Photo montage of all the photos tweeted with #NspiredAtT3
- Video of TI-Nspire functions overlaid on photos of participants from sessions miming those functions
- Nick Lombardo, the student from Connecticut who won the "Bring Mayim Back to School" contest, introduced Mayim Bialik and spoke about his own enthusiasm for TI calculators. Shaun and I gave each other grins at the fact that he carries his calculator everywhere, as we and so many others of you here on Cemetech did exactly the same. My TI-83 held a place of honor in the left pocket of all of my pants until college, when it sadly was replaced with a cell phone.
- Mayim Bialik gave the closing address. She spoke of her interest in promoting equal access to great education, and especially an inspiration to pursue STEM fields. "Everyone has the opportunity to inspire someone." She's a "certified STEM nerd" (thanks @TICalculators for catching that).
- Mayim opened up a question-and-answer session. She was asked what Sheldon is like, if The Big Bang Theory will address Sheldon's apparent autism-spectrum disorders (short answer: probably not). Where do you see your life going in 20 years? "Of course I'd like to move out of the TV world and become a movie actress, but it's hard to make that change". Plans on hiking a large mountain this summer. How do you get females to take a more proactive role in their math & science education in the classroom? Tough question, hard to answer, the social dynamics of teenage life certainly come into play. "I think this is one of the main wonderful things that we hope comes out of this relationship with TI, and to hopefully put a friendly, familiar face to associate with this sort of technology. I largely speak to the media, blog posts, pictures with the TI-Nspire; these are the sort of things we are trying to get out there." "In terms of what TI has in store for me, and especially for females, we'll see what is in store for me. There's a lot to tackle. There's a lot more we can do."
- End of the closing session. Thanks and here's to next year in Las Vegas!
This is great coverage. Please keep us updated as it happens. It's interesting to see what sort of demographic are at this kind of event and for what purpose they use the technology.
ti83head wrote:
This is great coverage. Please keep us updated as it happens. It's interesting to see what sort of demographic are at this kind of event and for what purpose they use the technology.
Thank you! I hope we'll be able to bring you some great seminars and interesting facts about TI calculators in education.
Keep up the play by plays, Kerm. Awesome stuff, envious of you guys being able to be there Smile
I just read the program, I don't see anything about the 84+c Sad

Adriweb told us that you will make a speech about TI-Basic programing, so there should be some time about z80 ?
I was expecting that yes, but the program shows only CAS and Lua and Nspire...
persalteas wrote:
I just read the program, I don't see anything about the 84+c Sad

Adriweb told us that you will make a speech about TI-Basic programing, so there should be some time about z80 ?
I was expecting that yes, but the program shows only CAS and Lua and Nspire...
Sadly I won't have much time to go into z80 ASM. I'm going to be talking about why teachers should teach students TI-BASIC, and why it's a great gateway to general programming. Adriweb will be talking about Lua programming for the Nspire. I'm surprised you didn't see any TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition seminars; there are tons of them! We will be bringing you full coverage (and I'm sure TI-Planet and Adriweb will have the full scoop as well).
Good stuff - very interesting. Glad you're there Kerm!
Have you harassed them at all about fixing the TI-84+CSE software bugs and making it less horribly slow?

And ask them when the TI-84+CSE starts shipping. SchoolMart says they haven't been given an estimated delivery date.
Woo! Check out them screenshots!

Quote:
For one thing, turning off Detect Asymptotes makes graphing a sinusoid drop from 7.5 seconds to 2.7 seconds, nearly a 300% speedup.


I wonder if that applies to displaying text as well, or just graphing?
Nothing can make displaying text faster, except modifying the hardware. Once again, three great options for making the thing less painfully slow are increasing the maximum clock speed to 25 MHz, switch to the eZ80, and reducing the screen resolution to 160x120, which TI might as well do anyway, given that the pictures are half-resolution anyway.
DrDnar wrote:
Have you harassed them at all about fixing the TI-84+CSE software bugs and making it less horribly slow?
Yes. They have been very receptive about the issue, and I had a meeting today in which my most important issues were jotted down. I'll be hopefully getting answers on the faster z80 / ez80 question. I think critor and I are the only people who can generate bug reports in the community, but I hope critor will report any bugs he finds so I can forward them.

Quote:
And ask them when the TI-84+CSE starts shipping. SchoolMart says they haven't been given an estimated delivery date.
And I did. The official word is now "Back to School" for retail stores for the TI-84+CSE, at latest, and the educational distributors are going to have the handheld before retail stores. Therefore, if you want it the fastest, a pre-order is the way to go. I'm going to be posting up a full article about what I can mention from what I learned in my meeting.
KermMartian wrote:
DrDnar wrote:
Have you harassed them at all about fixing the TI-84+CSE software bugs and making it less horribly slow?
Yes. They have been very receptive about the issue, and I had a meeting today in which my most important issues were jotted down. I'll be hopefully getting answers on the faster z80 / ez80 question.

That's excellent news! Smile
The fact that they hear the issues does not mean that they're going to actually do anything about it Wink
Lionel Debroux wrote:
The fact that they hear the issues does not mean that they're going to actually do anything about it Wink


This was my thoughts as well. If they are listening, though, and actually plan to do something about it, maybe we should get a certain someone else here who has found and fixed OS bugs and pass those off.. :p
I can't guarantee anything, but they seemed very interested in what I had to say, and I think anything that impacts students and teachers (which includes the slow TI-BASIC editor scrolling and the flickery text entry with MathPrint) will be paid particular attention. No guarantees on the more corner-case problems; I would imagine that things like Kevin's 2-bytes-free bug is rare enough to perhaps not be worth the coders' time. We shall see! I remain very optimistic; I was very pleased with how well I felt I was able to communicate the community's (and my personal) concerns, and I appreciated the depth they were willing to go into with me in explaining various things.
KermMartian wrote:
I can't guarantee anything, but they seemed very interested in what I had to say, and I think anything that impacts students and teachers (which includes the slow TI-BASIC editor scrolling and the flickery text entry with MathPrint) will be paid particular attention. No guarantees on the more corner-case problems; I would imagine that things like Kevin's 2-bytes-free bug is rare enough to perhaps not be worth the coders' time. We shall see! I remain very optimistic; I was very pleased with how well I felt I was able to communicate the community's (and my personal) concerns, and I appreciated the depth they were willing to go into with me in explaining various things.

That's really awesome to hear! Hopefully they'll fix the problems in the way they need to be fixed, namely with the faster z80 / ez80. I can tell from what you said that they will probably do something about it, but no one can guarantee exactly what that is.
That sounds about right. Smile It might be as simple as changing the way scrolling works in the TI-BASIC editor and how MathPrint text entry renders, or it might be a later hardware fix. No guarantees either way. I have updated the first post with a full set of bullet points from my meeting today.
It's good to hear that you had a personal meeting. I kind of hope they do address the speed issues with a hardware update. . . . but then I kind of hope they don't, because then I'd have to buy the updated version, too. Something I really, really want them not to screw up is IM 2. The TA3 ASIC always sends the byte FF when an interrupt occurs in IM 0 or 2, so IM 0 is the same as IM 1 and IM 2 doesn't need a 257 byte table; in IM 2, only a single entry is required and it can vector to any address, not just those whose high and low bytes are the same. (I just documented this on WikiTI and on the talk page; discuss it if you have any thoughts.)

There are probably other long-standing existing bugs in the software that need to be corrected. I'm thinking primarily of the archive corruption bugs. When Adobe heard that poorly-formatted files from one particular model of camera could cause database corruption in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, they promptly issued an update for the express issue of correcting that problem, because consider any bug that can cause data loss to be of the maximum-possible severity. TI should treat the archive corruption issues the same way.

Personally, I kind of think that TI is unlikely to switch to a low-resolution screen or even try approaching Zilog about licensing the eZ80. However, upping the Z80 speed to 20 or 25 MHz sounds like a possibly fairly easy change, one which they should seriously consider because it would at least improve the performance significantly. I suspect the memory delay ports were intended to support just such a feature, allowing slower flash memory to operate with a faster CPU. Another awesome change would be upping the RAM to 256 K so they could have a back-buffer and making a more advanced model featuring 8 MB flash; we now know the ASIC was designed with such possible features in mind.

EDIT:
The effect of CPU speed on battery life became a moot point the moment the decided to use a color LCD screen; the LCD backlight consumes far more power than the CPU, and therefore CPU power usage has a small effect on battery lifetime.

Also, TI's decision to ban 3rd-party emulators shows a serious disconnect from reality. Students who want to use emulators to avoid buying a real calculator will not read the EULA on the download page. Just like RIAA refused to adapt to the changing consumer demands the Internet caused and tried to prevent the market from changing via legal action, TI is not well adapting to the new reality. EULAs are somewhere between rarely and never enforced in courts, courts are unlikely to enforce EULAs on minors, and suing students would likely not be a smart PR move. Teachers won't read the EULA either, suing them would be an equally bad PR move, and they're a minority of the total market anyway. Student-pirates' motivation is financial, and TI's best remedy to such piracy is to lower the price. It would be fine if the TI-83+ model itself were dropped, and the TI-84+ became the only model active in the family. We are all well-aware that the TI-84+ has unusually high profit margins. The price of the TI-84+ should have dropped below $70 years ago.
DrDnar wrote:
Something I really, really want them not to screw up is IM 2. The TA3 ASIC always sends the byte FF when an interrupt occurs in IM 0 or 2, so IM 0 is the same as IM 1 and IM 2 doesn't need a 257 byte table
I agree that this makes developers' lives much easier; I'll mention that.

Quote:
I'm thinking primarily of the archive corruption bugs.
Can you give me or point me at more details on this or show me steps to replicate this? I can pass this along, especially if I can replicate it on my own calculator.

Quote:
Another awesome change would be upping the RAM to 256 K so they could have a back-buffer and making a more advanced model featuring 8 MB flash; we now know the ASIC was designed with such possible features in mind.
I can suggest it, but I think anything that would require an ASIC change (for something as "minimal" from the classroom point of view as that) might meet with a lot of resistance.

Quote:
EDIT:
The effect of CPU speed on battery life became a moot point the moment the decided to use a color LCD screen; the LCD backlight consumes far more power than the CPU, and therefore CPU power usage has a small effect on battery lifetime.
I agree, and that is a point I will make.

Quote:
Also, TI's decision to ban 3rd-party emulators shows a serious disconnect from reality.
TI is not banning emulators flat out at all. As I said in the first post, just be discrete and use your head with emulation, and please try to choose as much of a "legitimate" way of getting a ROM as possible. This means no hosting ROMs, no downloading shared ROMs, and dump your own calculator's ROM. Edit: I should clarify that this is my own set of deductions; these are not TI-sanctioned recommendations.
I agree that "ban" is too strong a word, but they're definitely trying to curb emulator usage. Which is within their rights to do. I would accept that a significant portion of the current price of a calculator is the software (intellectual property in business-speak) in it, but that software's value has diminished significantly with the increased availability of math suits online.

thepenguin can tell you more about the corruption bugs. One is caused, IIRC, by an instruction using the carry flag improperly. See http://ourl.ca/7927/141980 and talk to him. The BAD ADDRESS and VERSION error messages are the relevant ones.

Edit: Here's the BAD ADDRESS bug thing. I spent an hour trying to find it. http://ourl.ca/3687/120282
  
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