Texas Instruments is a first-rate semiconductors firm, however sadly what they are best recognized for amongst the public is dated consumer-grade calculators many thanks to established standard screening. These screening criteria are so established, actually, that TI has actually not needed to upgrade the equipment in these calculators given that the very early 90s. They still run their code on a Z80 microcontroller, however [Ben Heck] located himself in belongings of one which has a modern ARM coprocessor in it and thus can run Python.
While he’s uncertain precisely what application of Python the calculator is running, he did tear it apart to attempt and also find out as high as he might around what this maker is doing. The instantly recognizable distinction is the ARM coprocessor that is absent in various other graphing calculators. After some examination of examination factors, [Ben] located that the Z80 and also ARM chips are interacting with each various other over twin serial lines making use of an extremely “janky” user interface. Jankiness apart, ultimately [Ben] had the ability to wire up a port sideways of the calculator which allows him utilize his computer system to send out Python regulates to the gadget when it remains in its Python programs setting.
While there are most likely restricted usage instances for 1980s calculators to run Python programs, we can a minimum of compliment TI for trying to update within its self-built standard screening jail. Possibly this is the beginning factor for another person to find out something better to place these equipments to deal with past the class as well. We have actually currently seen some TI-84s that have actually been customized to attach to the Net, for instance.
Many Thanks to [Nika] for the pointer!