In the early 1990s calculators started acting like small computers wherein you could make little programs to find solutions to hard equations. Calculators started evolving to accommodate basic programming language to operate codes and make calculating problems more efficient. These calculators were classified as graphing calculators. Basic programs are now shared by programmers on the Net or through link cables and infrared. Calculator manufacturers like Texas Instruments, Casio and HP all have programming capabilities that are loaded with libraries to support programmers with developing and creating programs. The calculators still feature the same buttons found on older models but they also include special buttons for programming and some may have the QWERTY keyboard functions. Programming a calculator with basic takes a little understanding of the calculator's basic functions and features.
- Disp - The DISP function is actually a command that you can access on the calculator through PRGM>I/O>3 that you can use to display a word or group of words. For example if you wanted to show the word TEST you would simply call on the command DISP and type in the word "TEST" with the quotes.
- Output - The OUTPUT function is a command you can use like the DISP function, to display a word for example, but now you can position it anywhere on the calculator's display. You have to know the calculator's character width and height. It would be like putting in coordinates before the word to display. For example, to place the word TEST at the middle of the screen you call on the command Output(4,8, "TEST".
- ClrHome - This command is usually used at the start of any program to clear the screen. It gives you a clean slate to begin making your basic program.
- Lbl and Goto - The Lbl command makes whatever is in the Output into a designation. So for example in the basic program:
- Lbl A
- Goto A
The Lbl puts TEST as the designation for the next command which is Goto, which tells the program to go, in this case, back to A which is the word TEST. So the word TEST will keep flickering until the next command.
- End and Pause - The command End and Pause tells the program to stop because it has gotten to the end of the program or to pause until the user executes another command.
These are a few basic program commands and functions to get you started programming on a calculator.