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TI-74 Basicalc
06-16-2019, 11:52 AM
Post: #1
TI-74 Basicalc
I just managed to grab one of these on TAS.

[Image: ti-74-basicalc.jpg]

No manual, of course, but searching on the 'net I found a Programming Reference Guide and a very interesting Technical data manual that is giving me ideas for a project to hook the calculator up to an Arduino when I get some spare time.

But, still no user manual. Does anyone here have a PDF or some such?
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06-16-2019, 12:04 PM
Post: #2
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
There was a thread about TI 74/95 manuals in this forum section a few days ago Wink
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06-16-2019, 12:15 PM
Post: #3
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
(06-16-2019 12:04 PM)Didier Lachieze Wrote:  There was a thread about TI 74/95 manuals in this forum section a few days ago Wink

I somehow missed that completely and it's probably too recent to show up in search engines. Thanks for the pointer!
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06-17-2019, 04:13 PM
Post: #4
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
I have one of these, but haven't done much with it. I don't think it lets you have multiple programs in memory, like the separate program areas in Casio pocket computers, does it?
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06-18-2019, 10:17 AM
Post: #5
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
(06-17-2019 04:13 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I have one of these, but haven't done much with it. I don't think it lets you have multiple programs in memory, like the separate program areas in Casio pocket computers, does it?
I have one, and I don't believe it does. Even if you have the 8K RAM pack (which I don't have) I think it only lets you copy the entire contents of memory into the RAM pack (or to swap one with the other), rather than store individual programs.

Far superior is the magnificent TI-95: surely the apotheosis of the keystroke-programmable calculator (even if it is perhaps too large for a shirt pocket). The 8K of RAM can be partitioned between registers, program steps, and a file storage area. Both program and data files can be stored, and stored program files can be executed without recalling them to main memory. There are five keys with user-definable LCD text above them which can be used by a program as a custom menu. Programs can be "compiled" by replacing all labels with absolute addresses to make them run faster. It might not be as "friendly" as BASIC, but really, who cares? :-)

Nigel (UK)
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06-18-2019, 11:18 AM
Post: #6
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
(06-18-2019 10:17 AM)Nigel (UK) Wrote:  Far superior is the magnificent TI-95: surely the apotheosis of the keystroke-programmable calculator (even if it is perhaps too large for a shirt pocket). The 8K of RAM can be partitioned between registers, program steps, and a file storage area. Both program and data files can be stored, and stored program files can be executed without recalling them to main memory. There are five keys with user-definable LCD text above them which can be used by a program as a custom menu. Programs can be "compiled" by replacing all labels with absolute addresses to make them run faster. It might not be as "friendly" as BASIC, but really, who cares? :-)

Nigel (UK)

Absolutely, that thing is a beast. It can easily give the 41C and 42S solid competition on features, even if it's a bit overweight, and didn't have nearly the 3rd-party ecosystem that the 41 had.

I always thought Casio had the best designs for BASIC pocket computers, largely because of the ten separate program spaces. It seems like they were the only ones who understood that it's a pocket computer, and you're probably not carrying around accompanying mass storage devices (e.g. tape interface) in your pockets, so being able to have 10 separate programs loaded (within memory limits) was a massive win for usability.
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06-18-2019, 11:23 AM
Post: #7
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
(06-18-2019 11:18 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I always thought Casio had the best designs for BASIC pocket computers, largely because of the ten separate program spaces.

That was undeniably a big "plus".

Sharp got partway there with their concept of "DEF" labels. If you placed a letter (only the bottom 2 rows of the keyboard) in quotes as the first instruction on a line, then pressing the "DEF" key followed by that letter would start execution at that point. E.g.:

Code:
980
990
1000 "S":{more instructions}
1010
1020

Pressing "DEF" then "S" would cause program execution to start at line 1000.
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06-18-2019, 12:07 PM
Post: #8
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
(06-18-2019 11:23 AM)grsbanks Wrote:  
(06-18-2019 11:18 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  I always thought Casio had the best designs for BASIC pocket computers, largely because of the ten separate program spaces.

That was undeniably a big "plus".

Sharp got partway there with their concept of "DEF" labels. If you placed a letter (only the bottom 2 rows of the keyboard) in quotes as the first instruction on a line, then pressing the "DEF" key followed by that letter would start execution at that point. E.g.:

Code:
980
990
1000 "S":{more instructions}
1010
1020

Pressing "DEF" then "S" would cause program execution to start at line 1000.

Yeah, Sharp sort of approached that with the DEF key, but it didn't allow for the same flexibility as Casio. For example, if you were getting your things ready before work/school, and thought to yourself, I need to do some finance work today, so I'll load the TVM/annuities program, and I'm also going to be doing some actuarial work, so I'll load that program, and I've got plenty of memory left, so I'll load blackjack.

On a Sharp, you'd have to carefully segment things within the combined line number address space, and I don't know if any of their computers could reassign line numbers on the fly while loading programs from tape or other devices.

The Sharp PC-1500 may have been a real powerhouse, but I'll take a Casio fx-740P any day. Smile
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06-18-2019, 04:55 PM
Post: #9
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
GRSBANKS - the Link in Didier’s response is awesome and has a large number of really useful manuals. I haven’t got a TI-74 but I recently got a fully working TI-95 Procalc with an 8KB memory module. I’d already got another TI-95 Procalc that nobody has managed to get to show any signs of life; there’s a new repair shop opened up here in Sheffield UK called iStop Repair. The 2 guys who run it (Cal & Jason) are fully fledged ex Apple Engineers and have started up their first business repairing electronics, mostly Apple & PCs, but they’ll have a go at anything. Someone gave me a 2011 MacBook Pro that had the (not) well known “GPU nVidia let’s see if we can get away with using less solder on the graphics card” which caused over a million units having to be recalled to be rectified. I understand one of the first Apple quick fixes was to ‘bake’ the Motherboard in the oven at 375⁰ F. This worked for some but then the GPU failed again after just 3 months. Apple kept this issue well under the radar - I know this all how? I bought a secondhand 2009 MacBook Pro that had exactly the same issues, but being past the 4 year deadline Apple insisted on meant I had to pay (an independent Apple repair guy) £300 to fix it. He baked it and then put a new GPU in 3 months later when it failed again.
Anyway I digress - I gave iStop Repair this old 2011 MBP to use for parts. A couple of weeks after they’d tried to fix my TI-95 they rang me. Completely unsolicited they’d spotted a working TI-95 on TAS and just bought it. When it arrived they GAVE it to me no charge - it’s renewed my faith back in (some of) the Human Race!

Denny
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06-18-2019, 06:07 PM (This post was last modified: 06-18-2019 06:08 PM by Maximilian Hohmann.)
Post: #10
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
Hello!

(06-18-2019 04:55 PM)Leviset Wrote:  ...I know this all how? I bought a secondhand 2009 MacBook Pro that had exactly the same issues, but being past the 4 year deadline Apple insisted on meant I had to pay (an independent Apple repair guy) £300 to fix it. He baked it and then put a new GPU in 3 months later when it failed again.

Totally OT, I know, but this price is outrageous. I had a G4 PowerBook of the last series (which I bought new maybe 2006) and later a Macbook Pro (which I had bought second hand) that both had this graphic chip issue. I got them repaired by a computer repair shop in Germany for 100 Euros shipping included. The PowerBook I sold later on eBay, so I don't know it's fate, and the MacBook pro is still used by my son for playing games and watching DVDs many years after the repair.

And regarding multiple programs on the Ti-74: One can use "RUN" with a line number just as in most other BASIC variants. Start one program at Line 10, the next at 1000 the third at 2000 and so on. Just remember to never renumber your programs...

Regards
Max

NB: I am tying this on my current 2011 MacBook pro unibody. They finally resolved this graphics chip issue with that series. I always found it pathetic that a company like Apple would not repair this kind of fault free of charge for every customer. Like with the Canon camera of my wife, some of which have an issue with the sensor chip become desoldered over time. They repair this free of charge no matter when the camera was purchased. Their mistake, their fix. As it should be.
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06-18-2019, 08:15 PM
Post: #11
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
(06-18-2019 06:07 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  NB: I am tying this on my current 2011 MacBook pro unibody. They finally resolved this graphics chip issue with that series. I always found it pathetic that a company like Apple would not repair this kind of fault free of charge for every customer. Like with the Canon camera of my wife, some of which have an issue with the sensor chip become desoldered over time. They repair this free of charge no matter when the camera was purchased. Their mistake, their fix. As it should be.

The piles of frayed Apple charging/USB cables we all have should be enough to tell you that's not going to happen. Tongue

I sort of regret getting my wife into Macs back when we were in college, because their value has really gone downhill in the past decade or so. I switched to a Windows laptop around 2008, and haven't looked back. But I still opt for an iPhone, because I don't put a lot of trust in a cell phone OS developed by an advertising agency.
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06-18-2019, 08:32 PM
Post: #12
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
Hello!

(06-18-2019 08:15 PM)Dave Britten Wrote:  ... frayed Apple charging/USB cables ... my wife ...

There have been no women on this forum recently so I can write what I am now going to write ;-)

One (frayed chargers) and the other (wife) are somehow related. My 2011 Macbook still has it's original charger. And I am pretty certain that the charger will outlive the computer. Same with my phone. But my wife's Macbook of similar vintage now runs on it's 4th charger and with her phone I have lost count. If I would not have been able to resolder the severed cables several times her charger count would be twice what it is.
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06-18-2019, 09:48 PM
Post: #13
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
Apple does own up to some of its mistakes. We found out that they will replace the keyboard for free on my wife's macbook even after apple care runs out.

I do like Apple design's though, we just had a Time Capsule killed by lightning. Apple does not make them any more. All the new ones look like some sort of alien space ship, not the simple elegant design of the time capsule.
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06-18-2019, 10:04 PM
Post: #14
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
Of course, I sit here griping about current Apple products, when I just bought an old Quadra 660AV at a thrift store last week, and immediately ordered accessories for it from ebay and the like. Big Grin
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06-19-2019, 02:58 PM
Post: #15
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
Another long running job(?) I’ve done, alongside an IT one that has paid the bills, is I’ve done a lot of paid session guitar slots at local recording studios. Fizzling Out now because all the kids Torrent ProTools, Logic Studio & Reason and do it all for free at home with their laptops and release their ‘albums’ via the Internet.
If I had a pound for every conversation I’ve been Party to about the so called reliability of using Macs in the recording studio. Up until about 2009 I would say 95% of the studios I’ve recorded in used ProTools TDM Systems. These run PT on an in-house Mac (usually a top end G5 at that time) BUT these TDM PT Systems came with a bank of external processors/audio interfaces plus hardware modules running both computer plugins (things like auto-pitch (sorry Cher), different amp/Mike software emulators etc) with hardware compression, reverb & delay units. All the recording ‘grunt’ is done on these hardware units and NOT on the Mac, which just ran the pretty GUI PT screens. If you fetched up Task Manager on the G5 it wouldn’t be using more than 5% of System Resources in a typical 24-32 channel live session. Unless you’ve bought a real duff Mac (or PC) it’s never going to fall over or lockup (unlike when you use PT on your home system where it does have to do all of the processing, recording running RTAS plugins etc. and you’ll see it running flat out at 100% a lot of the time).
So every musician (and digital artists) think it’s the G5 Mac that’s doing all the work and bringing stability to the session, leading to the often quoted ‘we use Macs because of the stability it brings and they never let us down!’. You could probably use a Raspberry Pi equivalent (I don’t think AVID/Degidesign would release a version of PT for it though!) with 2 19” monitors from Oxfam for a total spend of about £80 to just run the PT graphics as you’ll have paid thousands for the external PT hardware that’s needed to run AVID systems, although they did make PT ASIÓ compliant a few years back meaning you cold now use other OEM audio interfaces at last (the hardware used to act like dongle as well so PT wouldn’t load if it detected non Digidesign hardware). I’ve never been interested in the Windows/Mac debate/riot flares I’ve seen online - I have a 2007 iMac (still running fine but limited on recent OS upgrades), a 2009 MacBook Pro (the one that had to go in the oven) but my home studio runs on an i7 Windows 10 PC with 32GB memory (that I built myself) and SSD Drives - the bottle necks are/were the amount of memory, cpu and reading/writing to disk on home systems. I don’t really care which manufacturers (nowadays) I use - horses for courses, and if I can build it to my own spec even better. I’ll finish with a little story - I had to buy an iMac in 2007 as a number of clients who wanted their recordings mastered were using Logic Studio (which only ran on Window initially but then Apple bought the software, ditched the stable Windows version and had it rewritten to run only on OSX). I bought my iMac (reduced with a 17.5% discount) from an Apple Store in 2007 for £725. It came with just 1GB memory when it could take up to 4GB. I asked how much it would cost extra to take the 1GB out (for them to keep) and put 2 x 2GB Ram modules instead. After a long conversation at The Genius(?) Bar they came back with ‘an extra £550!’. I took it home with just the 1GB of Ram, went online to Kingston and bought 4GB (2 x 2GB) for just £32 and put them in myself 2 days later in 3 minutes. I thought to myself a lot of Apple Customers, without enough technical knowledge, would have thought ‘Well it’s Apple and I know you have to pay extra for quality and reliability, so an extra £550 sounds reasonable (remember these are 2007 prices!)’.

Denny
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07-14-2019, 12:04 PM
Post: #16
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
Can I use cartridge with library for TI-95 also with TI-74?
Thanks for all answer.
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07-14-2019, 01:13 PM
Post: #17
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
(07-14-2019 12:04 PM)klesl Wrote:  Can I use cartridge with library for TI-95 also with TI-74?
Thanks for all answer.

No, the program code contained within is totally different between the two models. The 8 KB RAM cartridges are interchangeable, however.
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07-14-2019, 04:23 PM
Post: #18
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
Do you know if the cartridges with libraries are write protected except user's inputs?
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07-14-2019, 05:22 PM
Post: #19
RE: TI-74 Basicalc
(07-14-2019 04:23 PM)klesl Wrote:  Do you know if the cartridges with libraries are write protected except user's inputs?

Yes the cartridges are on ROM which can't be changed.

Tom L
I think therefore I am-Descartes
I think therefore you are-Gorgias
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