On Wednesday, we revealed that TI was removing ASM/C functionality from the TI-83 Premium CE in OS 5.5, and a TI response documented at TI-Planet subsequently confirmed that the TI-84 Plus CE will also lose ASM/C in OS 5.6. Unsurprisingly, the response here at Cemetech and elsewhere was overwhelmingly negative: although some expressed understanding of the pressures TI is under from exam boards and teachers, and others uncovered sensationalized videos suspected to be part of the impetus for this change, most expressed anger, disappointment, and betrayal.
I later spoke with Peter Balyta, President of EdTech at TI, and he understands that removing ASM functionality is a bitter pill to our community. He reaffirmed that this was a difficult decision, but one that was made out of an abundance of caution to prioritize learning for students and minimize any security risks.
He expressed hope that in lieu of ASM/C support, the community will be vocal in helping guide TI's development of Python support on an increasing breath of TI handhelds. Whether it's what would allow you to make powerful programs and games in Python as you would have done in ASM/C, or control and interface with hardware for physical computing (c.f. the Innovator and Rover), he is keen to hear the community's input. He is even open to hearing other ideas that could balance the needs of students, teachers, exam agencies and the desires of our developer community - please take advantage of this opportunity, and I/we will amplify what we hear.
There has been some brainstorming in the past few days among community members about (for lack of a better name) the TI-84 Plus CE Developer Edition. If we were to float that idea to TI, perhaps a calculator clearly and visibly distinguished from the TI-84 Plus CE that could be used on tests, what would you want from it? Opened up for ASM, C, and Python programming? Having the same specs as the usual TI-84 Plus CE, or something else? Having more features to help you connect hardware to it? And considering that TI is (after all) a business, would you buy one, and how many others do you think would? Beyond the community, who else could it be marketed to? Why would someone choose to buy the Developer Edition over a standard TI-84 Plus CE? Why would TI benefit by having it?(Poor) Artist's Rendering