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Handhelds Programming Software

TI-Nspire Hack Enables User Programming 88

An anonymous reader writes "Texas Instruments' most recent, ARM-based series of graphing calculators, the TI-Nspire line, has long resisted users' efforts to run their own software. (Unlike other TI calculator models, which can be programmed either in BASIC, C, or assembly language, the Nspire only supports an extremely limited form of BASIC.) A bug in the Nspire's OS was recently discovered, however, which can be exploited to execute arbitrary machine code. Now the first version of a tool called Ndless has been released, enabling users, for the first time, to write and run their own C and assembly programs on the device. This opens up exciting new possibilities for these devices, which are extremely powerful compared to TI's other calculator offerings, but (thanks to the built-in software's limitations) have hitherto been largely ignored by the calculator programming community."
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TI-Nspire Hack Enables User Programming

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  • Re:WHY? (Score:4, Informative)

    by bacontaco ( 126431 ) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:24PM (#31307532)

    For many courses and standardized tests, only a few kinds of graphing calculators are allowed to be used. By allowing outside code to run on their calculators, TI risks losing their place on this list (and thus, sales) since those that administer these courses/tests might find out that TI's calculators allow outside programs to run that allow problems to be solved more easily.

  • by Dwedit ( 232252 ) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:35PM (#31307632) Homepage

    The TI83 and TI86 had an ASM command for running assembly-language code without requiring a hacked memory backup. (on the original TI83, the ASM command was 'Send(9', but later models used an actual 'Asm(' command.)

  • by allynfolksjr ( 931229 ) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @02:55PM (#31307802) Homepage
    Seems the developers have had some projects stored away until Ndless was released: []

    From the program description: "gbc4nspire is a Game Boy and Game Boy Color emulator for the TI-Nspire and TI-Nspire CAS, written from scratch in ARM assembly"

    Pretty impressive, if you ask me.
  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @04:14PM (#31308408) Homepage Journal

    High schools and colleges need to get together and encourage industry to make a much-cheaper calculator that is "good" through college math courses that non-technical majors typically take AND good through AB/AP/etc. high school courses as well as all common college entrance exams.

    In practice, this would mean 2nd or 3rd semester Calculus.

    Think "one laptop per child" but a calculator. This shouldn't run over $40 in America.

    Of course, the whole idea of a hand-held dedicated student calculator that students have to spend $80+ on will be moot in a few years. Schools and testing centers will provide calculators for on-site use and students will have "calculator apps" on their cell phones for homework.

  • Re:WHY? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Sunday February 28, 2010 @08:29PM (#31310460)

    what will happen is that the smart kids will write the programs and the dumb kids will copy them from the smart kids (or from the Internet) and then just run them and copy the results (including the "working" displayed by the program), thus learning nothing.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama