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Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:48 am UTC
by DeepBlue12
So I looked at my phone today (Nexus One), then looked at my TI-84, and wondered why I couldn't fit something similar to what's in a smartphone into a TI's body.

Anybody know of anything already done regarding this subject? Or have any suggestions?

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:54 am UTC
by Stacy S.
The TI already has a calculator in it, but forgetting that, why would you want to?

Just for fun? I recommend duct tape and and fingernail polish remover.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:07 pm UTC
by SlyReaper
Afaik, TI calculators use decades old technology. The interfaces between components will be funky at best. It seems very unlikely a smartphone CPU would be compatible with a TI calculator without completely retrofitting all the other components and interfaces. Even if you could get it to work, you'd end up with a downgraded smartphone that cost just as much as a regular smartphone.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:06 pm UTC
by DeepBlue12
Yeah just for fun. I was thinking less "can I integrate it into the calculator" and more "can I gut the calculator and put a whole new board in there." The only two things that would need integrating would be the keyboard and the screen.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:17 pm UTC
by userxp
But can't the TI-84 integrate by itself? Most calculators have a key for that.


(Sorry :P )

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:08 am UTC
by The EGE
userxp wrote:But can't the TI-84 integrate by itself? Most calculators have a key for that.


(Sorry :P )


TI-84 can do nifty tile-counting integration, but it cannot actually integrate a function. The TI-89 can.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:12 pm UTC
by mosc
What most people do is take some TI-83 or similarly "allowed" calculator and switch the guts for a TI-89 and then add in some code if they need as well.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:54 am UTC
by hintss
you could use the serial interface (sorry, I use a casio, but you can interface with the serial port with whatever programming language they use, right...) then solder that to a phone hidden inside, maybe with another chip in between. Then, on the calculator, you'd have a program to interface with the phone over serial, and on the phone, you'd have a program to interface with the calculator. (iPhone API lets you do this, but for android, you should probably use ASE).

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:11 am UTC
by Solt
It's fundamentally pointless given that one is a touch-screen and the other contains only a keyboard and low resolution mono-chrome screen. You can't "interface" them in any meaningful way without writing your own hardware drivers and programs that create their own interactive environment. Though I suppose that once you get that far you can use that program to "translate" commands and data from the calculator keyboard to the smartphone then from the smartphone to the calc screen. And you'd have to work hard to write these translation programs. I wouldn't call it an interface so much as it's adding new peripherals. It would be like operating a normal computer, but your only input is an etch-a-sketch and the only output is a dot-matrix printer.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:39 am UTC
by archeleus
Even with the Wolfram|Alpha app I still don't think I can survive without my TI-89.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:45 pm UTC
by alexriehl
Why don't you just write a program in TI-Basic (The language TI uses for '83s and '84s) that does the functions you want it to do? And perhaps replace the processor...

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:56 am UTC
by Halleck
or...or! OR you could by an TI n-spire. It's best feature is a screen with better resolution than an etch-a-sketch. Or an n-spire CAS if you currently use an 89. I love my n-spires. They're so fast and the screen is awesome.

You could do something like this http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/07/diyer-constructs-4-3-inch-open-scical-graphing-calculator-puts/ just in the body of a calculator.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:31 am UTC
by hintss
Halleck wrote:or...or! OR you could by an TI n-spire. It's best feature is a screen with better resolution than an etch-a-sketch. Or an n-spire CAS if you currently use an 89. I love my n-spires. They're so fast and the screen is awesome.

You could do something like this http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/07/diye ... ator-puts/ just in the body of a calculator.

the N-Spire also has a stupidly long boot time!*

*message was not sponsored by Casio, HP, or any other calculator producing corporation

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:44 pm UTC
by Halleck
hintss wrote:the N-Spire also has a stupidly long boot time!*

*message was not sponsored by Casio, HP, or any other calculator producing corporation


Only if you let the calculator go into told shutoff mode. If you set it not to go into that mode for a few days you'll only have to wait the 30 seconds for your calculator first thing on monday morning and you'll make it through the week just fine. It's really not that bad.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:13 pm UTC
by joeframbach
I've been using the Droid48 app, which replicates the HP 48 fairly nicely. Coming from an HP background, it wasn't much of a learning curve. I'd say give it a shot and rtfm (It's a good m).

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:11 am UTC
by hintss
Halleck wrote:
hintss wrote:the N-Spire also has a stupidly long boot time!*

*message was not sponsored by Casio, HP, or any other calculator producing corporation


Only if you let the calculator go into told shutoff mode. If you set it not to go into that mode for a few days you'll only have to wait the 30 seconds for your calculator first thing on monday morning and you'll make it through the week just fine. It's really not that bad.

a whole 30 seconds? for a calculator?

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:15 pm UTC
by Halleck
hintss wrote:
Halleck wrote:
hintss wrote:the N-Spire also has a stupidly long boot time!*

*message was not sponsored by Casio, HP, or any other calculator producing corporation


Only if you let the calculator go into told shutoff mode. If you set it not to go into that mode for a few days you'll only have to wait the 30 seconds for your calculator first thing on monday morning and you'll make it through the week just fine. It's really not that bad.

a whole 30 seconds? for a calculator?


It's about 15-30 seconds. It's worth it though.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:33 pm UTC
by sidek
15-30 seconds? I've seen desktop computers that boot faster. HP50G seems like it would be a much better choice...

As for the question asked by the OP, putting a computer in a calculator's body : I've not heard of it, but if you plan to attempt this your problem would probably be interfacing to the screen. I imagine that they don't use standardized protocols to do so. Actually, a while back, I opened a calculator that was either Casio or TI - I forget- and it had a really odd screen as far as attachments go. That wasn't a graphing calculator, though.

If you don't care about getting screen functionality, then your task is trivial : you have a port to charge or interface through. Might need to give up more space or carve the shell for battery storage, though.

This is, of course, assuming some stuff about the keyboard. Depending on how they put it in, you might need to attach a new one, which is a huge pain.

Re: Put a computer in a TI Calculator's body

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:18 pm UTC
by hintss
sidek wrote:15-30 seconds? I've seen desktop computers that boot faster. HP50G seems like it would be a much better choice...

As for the question asked by the OP, putting a computer in a calculator's body : I've not heard of it, but if you plan to attempt this your problem would probably be interfacing to the screen. I imagine that they don't use standardized protocols to do so. Actually, a while back, I opened a calculator that was either Casio or TI - I forget- and it had a really odd screen as far as attachments go. That wasn't a graphing calculator, though.

If you don't care about getting screen functionality, then your task is trivial : you have a port to charge or interface through. Might need to give up more space or carve the shell for battery storage, though.

This is, of course, assuming some stuff about the keyboard. Depending on how they put it in, you might need to attach a new one, which is a huge pain.

isn't the screen a normal LCD, no controller electronics on the screen, with a ribbon cable, soldered on both ends connecting it to the main board?