Glossary

A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V

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Advanced Basic
Quality TI-Basic programming that is not only efficient in terms of size and speed, but is used to make genuinely fun games.
Application
A specialized assembly program that is stored in Flash ROM and is run through the APPS menu. An application is software that is written to be stored and run from Flash memory. A program is software that is written to be stored and run from the calculator's available RAM. The amount of RAM that can be used for a program is limited whereas the amount of FLASH used by an application is dependent on the amount of Flash available. On the TI-83+ there are 10-16KB pages available for Flash Applications and only 8KB of RAM available for programs. On the TI-83+SE there are 94-16KB pages available for Flash Applications and only 8KB of RAM available for programs.
Archive
Moving a variable or program from RAM to Flash ROM (or just ROM).
Argument
One of the values that a command acts on.
Array
A collection of numeric variables arranged in a list or matrix for processing by the calculator. Each element in an array is referenced by its index - position in the array.
ASCII
The American Standard Code of Information Interchange. It uses 1 byte (8 bits) to hold a character, and thus is limited to 256 different characters. The calculator uses a modified version of ASCII internally to store characters, but the TI-Basic interpreter deals with tokens instead.
Assembly
The other programming language built-in to the TI graphing calculators, apart from TI-Basic. It is much more difficult to learn and program in, but at the same time it is much more powerful, and can be used to create very sophisticated games and programs.
Authenticated Application
An application that is signed so that it can only be loaded and executed on the calculator with the appropriate certificate.

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Backup
Copying files from the calculator to a computer, or creating a second copy of the files on the calculator. It is usually done to prevent the person from losing the files through an inadvertent RAM clear.
Benchmark
A reference point or standard against which speed and/or size can be compared. It is useful when optimizing a program.
Binary
The two-digit (bit) number system based on 0 and 1, similar to the way the normal decimal system is based on the numbers 0-9. For example the number 101 in binary represents 1*22+0*2+1, or 5 in decimal.
Bit
A binary digit (0 or 1).
Boolean
A logic system in which conditions evaluate to either true or false.
Branch
A departure from the sequential performance of program statements. An unconditional branch causes the calculator to jump to a specified place in the program each time the branching statement is encountered. A conditional branch transfers program control based on the result of some logical condition.
Breakpoint
A point in a program where program execution can be suspended, used when debugging the program. In TI-Basic, such breakpoints can be created with the Pause command.
Bug
An error in a program (see also Debugging).
Byte
A string of eight binary bits. The calculator uses one byte of information to encode the letter "A", as well as most tokens. Bytes (or kilobytes - one kilobyte is 1024 bytes) are used to measure the amount of memory a program or variable takes up on the calculator.

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CBL (Calculator Based Laboratory)
A device that you connect to the calculator through the link port, and it collects real-time data from various sensors that you can connect to it, and allows you to view and analyze the results.
CBR (Calculator Based Ranger)
A device that you connect to the calculator through the link port, and it collects real-time data from various sensors that you can connect to it, and allows you to view and analyze the results.
Certificate
A certificate is a file that is generated by TI, and when loaded on the calculator provides needed information to Flash applications on the calculator.
Character
A letter, number, punctuation symbol, or special graphics symbol. They are encoded in ASCII format internally, but the TI-Basic interpreter uses tokens instead.
Clock cycle
The unit of time in a CPU. It is so small that even the most primitive assembly instructions take around 10 clock cycles to run; the amount of clock cycles it takes for a single TI-Basic command can be in the millions.
Command
A word or token that tells the calculator to do something. Examples: ClrHome, Output(, While, etc. They are sometimes subdivided into functions and instructions
Complex
Any expression or number which has an imaginary component (see i). For example, 3 + 2i is a complex number, where i=sqrt(−1).
Concatenation
Joining two or more strings together to make a longer string. The "+" is the concatenation operator. For example, "TI-"+"BASIC"="TI-BASIC".
Condition
A logical expression that the calculator can evaluate to be true or false (represented as 1 and 0).
Constant
A specific number, list, matrix, or string that is given as a fixed value in the program (such as 9.024 or "Hello"), rather than contained in a variable.
CPU (Central Processing Unit)
The "brain" of the calculator, where the calculator controls the processing and execution of everything.
Crash
A sudden failure of the calculator that is usually caused by a faulty assembly program. Although TI-Basic programs can crash, the majority of TI-Basic errors are caught by the calculator.
Cursor
A small, flashing square showing where a typed character will appear. A cursor (in the form of a crosshair) is also used on the graph screen to input a point from the user.

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Data
Information, often numerical in form. When data is used by a calculator program, it can be hardcoded or softcoded.
Debugging
Fixing a program to remove bugs, or mistakes. There are many techniques for debugging, some universal, some specific to calculator programming.
Decimal
A base 10 number system using the symbols 0-9. It is the only number system natively supported by the calculator.
Default
A standard characteristic or value which the calculator assumes without specification. For example, the round( command has a default of rounding 9 digits past the first digit, so round(X) will round X to 9 digits. This can be overwritten with a second argument to specify the digits to round to — round(X,3), for example, rounds to 3 digits.
Display
The home screen or graph screen on the calculator.

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Emulator
A computer program that simulates a calculator's hardware, allowing you to run TI-Basic and assembly programs on your computer.
Execute
Another name for running a program or command.
Exponent
A number indicating the power to which a number or expression is to be raised, usually written at the right and above the number. For example, 26 = 2x2x2x2x2x2. In scientific notation, the power of ten which the mantissa is multiplied by to calculate the actual number.
Expression
A combination of numbers, variables, operators, and functions. For example, 5+3, sin(cos(X)), and X are all expressions.

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Flash
The ROM/archive memory on the TI-83+/84+/SE calculators where applications are stored. It is also used to describe the technology employed in the calculator enabling increased storage, upgradability, and expandability.
Floating Point
A method used to represent numbers with non-zero fractional components, where a number is represented as a signed mantissa implicitly multiplied by a signed exponent.
Flow Chart
A diagram of geometric shapes connected by arrows that show the progression of a program. Flow charts are handy for developing complicated programs and illustrating how programs work.
Friendly Window
A configuration of window variables that's most useful for your program — most commonly, because it makes the coordinate value of a pixel come out to a round value, such as an integer, or .1 of an integer.
Function
Although the word has many meanings, in the context of TI-83 series calculator programming, it's a type of command that returns a value - such as gcd( or sin(.

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Garbage Collection
A process that the calculator automatically performs to reorganize the contents of Flash ROM. When you delete a file from Flash ROM, it is not deleted at that time, it is just marked as 'not used'. When the Flash ROM is full, the variables marked as deleted are actually erased.
Graphics
Any sort of visual display on the screen, such as graphs, patters, and drawings, both stationary and animated.
Graph Link
The link cable that is used together with TI Connect or the Graph Link software to send programs, variables, Flash applications, and operating systems.
Graph Screen
The display screen on which graphs and plots are shown.
Group
A collection of files that have been combined into one file, stored in Flash ROM.

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Hardcode
Hardcoded data is information used by the program that results from the logic of its commands. It is very easy for the program to read, but can be impossible to change.
Hardware
The circuit boards and other electronic parts which make up a calculator.
Hexadecimal
A base 16 number system using 16 symbols, 0-9 and A-F. It is used as a convenient shorthand way to express binary code, because every four bits of binary have a corresponding hexadecimal symbol.
Home Screen
The default display screen on which calculations and commands are entered.

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Index
A position in an array. In TI-Basic, arrays are indexed starting with 1 (so that the first element in a list is numbered 1, the second 2, and so on). In some other languages, they are indexed starting with 0.
Input
The means by which data is entered into the calculator by the user, primarily through the calculator's keys (though the link port is also a form of input).
Instruction
In the case of TI-83 series programming, this is often used to indicate a type of command that does not return a value, but stands alone: for example, Line(, or Input. It is also sometimes used to describe commands in general.
Integer
A whole number, either positive, negative, or zero.
Interpreter
The algorithm stored inside the calculator that runs a TI-Basic program by executing the appropriate system routines.
Iteration
One repetition of a loop. For certain commands, the calculator has an internal loop for which the total number of iterations is relevant, and affects accuracy.

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Keypad
The panel of keys used to enter programs and data into the calculator.

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List
A sequence of numerical variables which can be accessed and modified by their position.
Loop
A group of one or more consecutive program lines which are performed repeatedly, either a specific number of times, or until a condition is met.

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Mantissa
The basic numeric portion of a number expressed in scientific notation. In 3.264E + 4, the mantissa is 3.264.
Matrix
A two-dimensional grid of numerical variables which can be accessed and modified by their position.
Memory
The two different places (RAM and ROM) where calculator programs and data are stored. All variables and programs take up part of memory to store, which makes the size of a program or variable very important.
Memory Leak
A type of bug in which the program wastefully uses memory, often culminating with an error. In TI-Basic, this type of bug is often due to exiting a loop or If-Then-End block with a Goto.
MHz
The speed the calculator CPU runs at. For the TI-83, it is 6MHz, while for the TI-83+ it is 8MHz, and for the TI-83+SE and TI-84+/SE calculators it is 15MHz. It's measured in millions of clock cycles per second.

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Number system
A way of writing down a number. Two common systems used by people are the decimal (Arabic) system, and the Roman numeral system. The calculator uses the binary system internally, but the usual decimal system is all that it shows or accepts as input.

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Operator
A symbol used in calculations (numeric operators) or in relationship comparisons (related operations). The math operators are +, -, *, /, ^. The relational operators are >, <, =, ≥, ≤, ≠. The logic operators are and, or, xor, not(.
Optimization
The process of improving the running time, length, or memory usage of a program.
Order of Operations
When evaluating an expression, the operators are calculated in a specific order defined by the OS.
Output
Information sent from the calculator, e.g. graphics on the screen. Also, the means by which data leaves the calculator, through either the link cable, graph link, or USB cable.
OS (Operating System)
The internal program that runs the calculator and includes all the functionality needed to use the calculator.

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Program
The list of instructions that tells the calculator what to do to perform a task.
Programmer
A person who writes programs.
Programming Language
Numeric or alphabetic commands which the calculator can understand, and execute.
Prompt
A command that requests input from the user.

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RAM (Random Access Memory)
A temporary memory, i.e. one in which data is stored so long as electrical power is applied. Data in RAM can be accessed or changed and is lost if the batteries are removed from the calculator.
Recursion
A program that calls itself as a subroutine (or a function that's defined in terms of itself). See recursion.
ROM (Read Only Memory)
Certain instructions for the calculator are permanently stored in ROM and can be accessed but cannot be changed. Data in ROM is not lost if batteries are removed.

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Scientific Notation
A method of expressing very large or very small numbers by using a base number (mantissa) times ten raised to some power (exponent).
Scroll
Shifting part of the screen to give the illusion of seeing only part of an image larger than the screen.
Software Development Kit (SDK)
A Software Development Kit (SDK) enables software developers to write applications (apps) using a variety of the calculator's internal functions: simulator/debugger, freeware private key (gives the ability to digitally sign a Flash Application for use on any TI-83+/SE calculator), and digital signature utilities (all the utilities needed to sign a Flash Application).
Shareware Application
An application that is signed shareware is one that can be loaded and executed on all calculators for which the application was developed.
Shell
A program, typically programmed in assembly, that is used to run other programs. The majority of assembly programs require that they be run from a shell.
Signing
Signing is a process whereby a file (*.hex on the TI-83+ and *.cer on the TI-89/TI-92+/V200) is made into either a shareware or a secured application by TI.
Softcode
Softcoded data is information stored in an array at the beginning of the program, and read from it later. It is usually slower to read than hardcoded data, but the advantage is that the same code can often used for different data stored in the same way.
Spaghetti Code
The unofficial name given to code that heavily relies on Goto/Lbl for its structure and organization.
Sprite
A small image which is moved around the screen using code and/or repeated multiple times on the screen.
Stack
A data structure much like a list but with limited access: only the top element at a given time can be accessed or changed. The OS uses two stacks internally for running TI-Basic programs: one for evaluating expressions, and one for keeping track of Ends and program calls.
Statement
A single line of a program containing a single instruction such as ClrHome, Output(, Stop, etc. Usually synonymous with command.
String
A variable type that stores text as a series of symbols or tokens.
Subprogram
A program segment which can be used more than once during the execution of a program, such as a complex set of calculations or a print routine. You can make subprograms using the prgm command.
Syntax
The rules that the TI calculator follows when typing in a command. You need to type in the command exactly as specified, otherwise you will get a ERR:SYNTAX error.

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TI (Texas Instruments)
The makers of the TI graphing calculators. In addition to graphing calculators, they also make a large assortment of other electronic devices.
TI-Basic
The unofficial name of the programming language found on TI calculators.
TI-OS
The built-in operating system that controls the operation of the calculator.
Token
A single instruction or symbol in TI-Basic. Anything you type into a program is made up of tokens. The more common tokens take up one byte each, but others can take up two. Some tokens are not accessible through menus, and require assembly to gain access to, but can then be used in Basic programs.

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Unarchive
Moving a program from Flash ROM (or just ROM) to RAM.
User
When talking about the effect of a program or command, it is the person running the program or command on his/her calculator.

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Variable
A name given to a value which may vary during program execution. A variable is a memory location where values can be replaced by new values during program execution.