TI-Basic Starter Kit

The TI-Basic Starter Kit is a tutorial intended to help beginning TI-Basic programmers with little or no programming experience get their feet off the ground. It is tailored for the TI-83 series of calculators, which includes the TI-83, TI-83+, TI-83+ Silver Edition (SE), TI-84+, and TI-84+SE. It is recommended that you have one of those calculators, so that you can actually enter in the code examples and follow along with the tutorial as it progresses.

This tutorial is divided into chapters that each have their own focus and topic, and which each page in the chapter fits within. Although each chapter can be read as a stand-alone tutorial, the chapters are meant to be read in sequential order, with the concepts and code getting increasingly more complex as you get further into it. The last few pages are mainly reference material that might come in handy.

1. Getting Started
  1. Introduction to TI-Basic
  2. Overview of TI-Basic
  3. Your First Program
  4. Using Your Calc
  5. Computer Setup (optional)
  6. Downloading Programs (optional)

2. The Basics of TI-Basic

  1. Variables
  2. Input and Output
  3. Logic and Conditions
  4. Labels
  5. Loops
  6. Ans
  7. Summary
  8. Exercises
  9. Sample Program: Guessing Game

3. Creating Games

  1. More on the Home Screen
  2. Using getKey
  3. Movement
  4. The Game Loop
  5. Data Types (Intro)
  6. Data Types (Lists)
  7. Data Types (Matrices)
  8. Data Types (Strings)
  9. Random Numbers
  10. Summary
  11. Exercises
  12. Sample Program: Chase the Star
4. Advanced Graphics
  1. Introduction to the Graph Screen
  2. Drawing Points and Pixels
  3. Graph Format Settings
  4. Drawing More Shapes
  5. Text and Text Sprites
  6. Using Pictures
  7. Summary
  8. Exercises
  9. Sample Program: Pong

5. Math Functions

  1. Introduction to Math
  2. Operators
  3. Numbers Menu
  4. Powers and Exponentials
  5. Probability
  6. Trigonometry
  7. Complex Numbers
  8. Summary
  9. Exercises
  10. Sample Program: Lunar Lander
6. Optimization
  1. What is Optimization?
  2. Displaying Text
  3. Variables
  4. Math Operations
  5. Logic Operations
  6. Conditionals
  7. Loops
  8. Graph Screen
  9. Summary
  10. Exercises

7. Putting It All Together

  1. Review
  2. What next?
  3. Project Ideas
  4. Command Cheat Sheet
  5. Example Routines
  6. Troubleshooting

8. Miscellaneous

  1. Tips & Tricks
  2. Variable Tips
  3. Productivity Tips
  4. Coding Pitfalls
  5. Programmer Indicators

Tutorial Conventions

Pages can be navigated using the links at the bottom in the footer: the link on the left goes to the previous page, the link on the right goes to the next page, and the center link takes you back to the Table of Contents (the page you are currently on). These links are always available, so if you somehow get lost while reading a page, just click on the Table of Contents link.

When you see a code example, don't hesitate to type it into your calculator and try it out; experimentation is essential to learning TI-Basic. Please note, though, that a command is not made up of individual characters, but is actually a token. This means that you will have to go to the menu where it is located to put it in your code. You will learn about the respective command locations when the commands are covered in the tutorial.

When typing in some code into the program editor, the calculator screen can only show sixteen characters per line before it will start wrapping the characters around on to the next line. This is not very readable, so this tutorial displays each line of code on the same line. If you have any doubts about what some code should look like, just type it into your calculator and see how it looks.

Throughout this tutorial, we have made a concentrated effort to not use any confusing technical terminology that beginning TI-Basic programmers would not know or understand. This is not always possible, however, because some things can only be accurately expressed in a certain way. If you come across a term that you aren't familiar with, we recommend that you look it up in the glossary.


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