Texas Instruments has long made graphing calculators beloved by school-goers and programmers alike. The calculators are simple, compact computing systems, and entire communities have formed over the years to celebrate the devices’ broad programming capabilities.
All that’s about to change. Texas Instruments is pulling support for C-based and assembly-based programs on both the TI-84 Plus CE — the most popular calculator for sideloading — and the TI-83 Premium CE, its French sibling. The latest firmware for each completely removes the capability and leaves users with no way to roll back to previous versions of the firmware.
Way back when I was in high school, I used to write my own TI-83 programs to… Well, to cheat on tests. These devices were a brand new addition to the education system at the time, and teachers had no clue what we as students were doing with them. One of my best friends and I also bought a communication cable for them so we could share stuff and play multiplayer games together in the back of class.
Removing stuff like this is a terrible idea.
You cheated on tests with the programmable features of the calculator…. and then say that removing those features is a terrible idea. Hmm… I’ve heard of people cheating on them as well during my college tenure, someone even trasmitted test questions wirelessly with one to someone outside the test for an engineering lisensure exam. Many teachers don’t bother to set the calculators into a test mode before test either meaning people like yourself could cheat with them…. personally I think they should have made them such that there is an explicit test button…. that locks out all programability, but even then that would be uncertain…. certainly eliminating programability should ensure vastly reduced prevalence of cheating with calculators.
Frankly I have no sympathy for cheaters if they are caught… since they do nothing but skew expectations for everyone else, and give bad teachers higher performance ratings.