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Back-To-School Guide 2012 Part 3: Learn to Program
Published by KermMartian on September 12, 2012 at 6:07:57 PM CST | Discuss this article (8)

In Part 1 of this Back-to-School Guide, I helped you decide whether to buy a TI-83+, a TI-84+, a TI-Nspire, a Casio Prizm, or a TI-89. Part 2 of this Back-to-School Guide taught you how to download programs and games for your calculator of choice and load them onto your handheld. This third and final installment will briefly introduce a concept dear to the hearts of many of us here at Cemetech: learning to program, using graphing calculators as a springboard. In the modern work, programming is an increasingly vital skill, to the extent that some schools are even beginning to integrate programming classes into their curricula from an early age. Calculators are a great way to get started with programming:

1) They teach all of the problem-solving and critical thinking skills you need to program in any language.
2) They're portable, and in most cases you can write and test your programs directly on your calculator.
3) With immediately-visible results, like math programs that help you check your work or fun games to entertain you during breaks, calculator programming is rewarding.

Here at Cemetech, we have created, compiled, and curated a thorough collection of tools to learn calculator programming. Every calculator model is slightly different, but there's a great deal of overlap between each. The TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus series are programmable in TI-BASIC or z80 assembly, as well as some third party languages such as Axe. The Casio Prizm is programmable in Casio BASIC, Lua, C/C++, and SH4 ASM. The TI-89 can be programmed with a different TI-BASIC variant, C, and 68k ASM. The TI-Nspire is programmable (mostly) only in Lua. Some of the prime resources:

:: For the TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus, learn TI-BASIC with my just-released book, "Programming the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus". It will be hitting stores in a week or two, and is already available for preorder on Amazon. The book introduces everything from the basics to advanced optimization, graphics, and data manipulation techniques, and provides a gateway to the larger world of programming. For additional advanced optimization tips, read the brief 1337 Guide to TI-BASIC.

:: Learn z80 ASM for the TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus via community member Sean McLaughlin's excellent "Learn TI-83 Plus Assembly in 28 Days" tutorial. However, we strongly recommend that instead of the outdated and hard-to-use TASM/DevPac8x toolchain the tutorial recommends, you try the Doors CS 7 SDK.

:: Casio Prizm BASIC doesn't yet have any complete tutorials, but Casio's electronic Prizm manual has a surprisingly complete command reference. For C and Lua programming, Cemetech's WikiPrizm has a Prizm Programming Portal with tutorials, reference materials, and the PrizmSDK for C programmers.

Other calculators have either more sparse or more obscure toolkits and toolchains for programmers to use and learn from, but even the TI-89, TI-Nspire, and older calculators like the TI-86 and fx-9860g have plenty of tutorials available to help you develop for those devices. If you have any questions, feel free to post in the attached thread, and we'll do our best to help you find what you need.

2012 Articles
January 2012 January 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Happy New Year; Cemetech's 2011 In Review published January 5, 2012 by KermMartian
» Defeat SOPA/PIPA; Contest 8 End Looms published January 18, 2012 by KermMartian
» 900K Downloads; Contest 8 Ends Today published January 22, 2012 by KermMartian
» [InDev] jsTIfied, a Javascript TI-83+ Emulator published January 24, 2012 by KermMartian

February 2012 February 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» [Prizm] Tetrizm v1.0 published February 2, 2012 by KermMartian
» Public jsTIfied Beta: a TI-83+ in Your Browser published February 6, 2012 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Contest #8 Results published February 22, 2012 by KermMartian
» State of the Prizm: February 2012 published February 24, 2012 by KermMartian
» Introducing "Programming the TI-83+/84+" published February 28, 2012 by KermMartian

March 2012 March 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Cemetech to Bring Full-Color Prizm 3D Graphing published March 3, 2012 by KermMartian
» Graph3DP Video Demo; Prizm OS 1.04 published March 15, 2012 by KermMartian

April 2012 April 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Graph3DP v1.0 Beta 1; Prizm Hacking Continues published April 1, 2012 by KermMartian
» Prizm Successfully Overclocked, Underclocked published April 4, 2012 by KermMartian
» United-TI To Merge Into Cemetech published April 15, 2012 by KermMartian
» United-TI Forum Archives Open at Cemetech published April 21, 2012 by KermMartian

May 2012 May 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» More Prizm Gaming: 3D and OverClui published May 2, 2012 by KermMartian
» New Moderators: Tari, Weregoose, Xeda112358 published May 9, 2012 by KermMartian
» Kernel Hacking: Connect an SSD1289 LCD to a Beaglebone published May 17, 2012 by KermMartian
» SourceCoder: A TI-83+ Emulator in your TI-BASIC Editor published May 28, 2012 by KermMartian

June 2012 June 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» First Impressions of the Casio ClassPad 330 published June 19, 2012 by KermMartian
» "Programming the TI-83+/84+" Heads to Production published June 21, 2012 by KermMartian
» Doom, 3D Graphing Advance on Casio Prizm published June 25, 2012 by KermMartian

July 2012 July 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Doors CS 7 Ornament, IRC Stats, Updates published July 12, 2012 by KermMartian
» A Formal Unveiling of WikiPrizm published July 20, 2012 by KermMartian

August 2012 August 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» TI-89 Titanium Disassembly and Backlighting published August 9, 2012 by KermMartian
» [Prizm] Introducing LuaZM published August 17, 2012 by KermMartian
» Back-To-School Guide 2012 Part 1: Buying a Graphing Calc published August 27, 2012 by KermMartian

September 2012 September 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Graph3DP 1.0 Release Candidate 1 published September 2, 2012 by KermMartian
» Back-To-School Guide 2012 Part 2: Put Games on Your Calc published September 4, 2012 by KermMartian
» [Prizm] Graph3DP 1.0 Released published September 6, 2012 by KermMartian
» LuaZM v0.1 Beta: Lua for the Casio Prizm published September 8, 2012 by KermMartian
» Back-To-School Guide 2012 Part 3: Learn to Program published September 12, 2012 by KermMartian
» Calculator Hacking at Maker Faire 2012 published September 13, 2012 by KermMartian
» jsTIfied Online Emulator Adds Beta TI-84+/SE Support published September 18, 2012 by KermMartian
» "Programming the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus" Published published September 28, 2012 by KermMartian
» Maker Faire 12 Day 1: Educators' Choice; Hackaday Interview published September 29, 2012 by KermMartian

October 2012 October 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Cemetech at World Maker Faire 2012 Recap published October 3, 2012 by KermMartian
» Games: Alien Breed 5 and Bloxorz published October 6, 2012 by KermMartian
» jsTIfied 1.0 Release Candidate 1 published October 9, 2012 by KermMartian
» Play @ Cemetech: MC and UT2004 published October 14, 2012 by KermMartian
» "Programming the TI-83+/84+" for Kindle/eBook published October 20, 2012 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Gets a Fresh Look published October 25, 2012 by KermMartian

November 2012 November 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» TI-84 Plus C Color-Screen Calculator Discovered published November 8, 2012 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Founder to Speak at Texas Instruments T3 Conference published November 9, 2012 by KermMartian
» Official Updates About TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition Software published November 12, 2012 by KermMartian
» Cemetech Contest #9 Announced published November 14, 2012 by KermMartian
» Nspire Ribbon Repair And Miscellany published November 18, 2012 by KermMartian
» 200K Posts, Other Stats published November 18, 2012 by KermMartian
» Exploring Options for Expansion published November 19, 2012 by Alex
» Casio Announces ClassPad fx-CP400 Color Touch Calculator published November 29, 2012 by KermMartian

December 2012 December 2012 [Back to News Archives Index]

» Official TI-84+CSE Updates: Specs, FAQs, More published December 12, 2012 by KermMartian
» "Self-Teaching a Love of STEM: A Personal Tale" published December 27, 2012 by KermMartian
» Announcing jsTIfied 1.0, an Online Graphing Calculator published December 31, 2012 by KermMartian