Tutorial 13
Using Virtual TI


Again, this really isn't much of a Programming tuorial. But the information in this tutorial could save your calculator from crashes. Virtual TI is a TI calculator emulator made by Rusty Wagner. So far, it is the only emulator available that emulates the TI-83 Plus, not to mention about every TI calculator available. The Virtual TI readme below (included with VTI) describes the functions, keypresses, and general information about Virtual TI:

Virtual TI v2.5 beta 4
Written by Rusty Wagner


* A Pentium or better running Windows 95 or higher,
or Windows NT 4.0 or higher

This emulator will run ROMs from the TI-82, TI-83,TI-83 Plus, TI-85, TI-86, TI-89, TI-92, TI-92 II,and/or TI-92 Plus calculators.

A menu containing the functions of the emulator can be obtained by right clicking on the LCD.

* ROM versions are automatically detected
* Switch between ROM versions without restarting the emulator
* Built-in ROM dumper with automatic error correction
* Archive memory support for TI-89 and TI-92 Plus
* Send files to the calculator
* Receive files from the virtual calculator
* Use a TI Graph-link cable or serial cable to connect to a
    real calculator
* Connect two instances of the emulator with a virtual
* Sound emulation
* Save and load the state of the calculator.  Any
  changes to the Flash ROM (i.e. archived variables)
  will be included in the state.
* 4-level and 7-level grayscale support
* Full skinning system with editor
* Resize emulation window to any size
* Screenshot feature which saves to a BMP or to the clipboard
* Option to emulate at either the true speed of the calculator or the
    fastest the computer can handle.
* The letter keys are aliased to produce their respective letters.  No
    need to press the Alpha key, just type.
* A full-featured graphical debugger
    * Code disassembly pane.  ROM call addresses are replaced by the name
        of the ROM function.  DB92 symbol information is also used when
    * Code breakpoints.  Does not modify memory, so they are completely
    * Data breakpoints can be set on a single byte, word, or dword, or a
        range of addresses.
    * Set a breakpoint on entry to an assembly program automatically.
    * View and change the value of the registers
    * Hexadecimal memory view/edit pane with search capability
    * On the 89/92(+), a handle pane which lists all allocated handles.
      Allows user to jump directly to the start of the handle within either
      the disassembly pane or the memory pane.
    * On the 82-86, a variable pane which lists all variables and their types.
      Allows user to jump directly to the start of the variable within either
      the dissassembly pane or the memory pane.
    * Real time updates to the LCD, even with grayscale
    * Log reads/writes to memory or changes to individual bits

Limitations of this beta 4 version:
* 8-level grayscale on the TI-86 doesn't work properly yet
* Key redefinition is not yet implemented, although the program should now
  work on international keyboards without it
* Receiving of backups from the virtual calculator is not implemented
* Log link port send/receive is not implemented

This emulator requires a ROM image from a real calculator that you own. I will not send you any ROMs. You can use the built-in ROM dumper to obtain an image from your calculator.

If you already have a ROM dump, place it in the same directory as VTI.EXE (this is done automatically if you use the built-in dumper). Make sure it has the extension .rom, .bin, or .dmp. The file name may be anything (the calculator and version number are automatically detected). Any .tib Flash ROM upgrades will also be recognized if placed in the same directory as VTI.EXE. The latest version will be used by default, but you may revert to an earlier version from the emulation mode dialog.

On the TI-92, these are the PC key equivilents that are not obvious:

F9          - Apps
;           - Theta
Tab         - Store
Left ctrl   - Diamond
Left alt    - 2nd
[           - (
]           - )
Caps lock   - Hand/Lock
`           - Mode
\           - Ln
Ins         - Sin
Home        - Cos
PgUp        - Tan
Del         - Clear
Scroll lock - On
Num Pad Enter - Enter below cursor pad

On the TI-89:
F6          - Catalog
F9          - Apps
Tab         - Store
Left ctrl   - Diamond
Left alt    - 2nd
[           - (
]           - )
Caps lock   - Alpha
`           - Mode
\           - |
Ins         - EE
Del         - Clear
Scroll lock - On

On the TI-82 and TI-83:
F1          - Y=
F2          - Window
F3          - Zoom
F4          - Trace
F5          - Graph
Esc         - Mode
Caps lock   - Alpha
`           - X,T,theta
=           - Stat
F6          - Math
F7          - Matrx
F8          - Prgm
F9          - Vars
PgDn        - Clear
End         - x^-1
Insert      - sin
Home        - cos
PgUp        - tan
Num lock    - ^
;           - x^2
[           - (
]           - )
'           - log
\           - ln
Tab         - Store
Scroll lock - On

On the TI-85 and TI-86:
Esc         - Exit
`           - More
Caps lock   - Alpha
Ctrl        - x-var
F6          - Graph
F7          - Table
F8          - Prgm
F9          - Custom
PgDn        - Clear
'           - log
Insert      - sin
Home        - cos
PgUp        - tan
Num lock    - ^
\           - ln
End         - EE
[           - (
]           - )
;           - x^2
Tab         - Store
Scroll lock - On

To send a file to the calculator, press F10 or drag and drop from explorer. To enter the debugger, press F11. To bring up the emulation ROM version screen, press F12.

The debugger is for the most part the same as any other graphical debugger. One thing to note is the color of the lines in the disassembly pane. Red means breakpoint, green means current PC, and blue means currently selected. If a line is in more than one state at the same time, the colors will be combined. For example, a breakpoint that is selected will combine red and blue, making magenta. Also, pressing G in either the disassembly or memory pane will allow you to jump to a specific address. Registers can be changed by clicking on them.

The source code to the emulator can be found on the Virtual TI web page at http://vti.acz.org, and requires C++Builder 3 to compile. You may use the 68K and Z80 emulation core and disassembler as long as you mention its original source, the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, and provide the address where one can obtain the entire distribution (its web address is listed below). The JPEG encoding/decoding code is part of the Colosseum Builders C++ Image Library. Any of the other code can be used as long as you state that it came from this program.

You may not sell the binaries or source to this program. They are free and will always be free. This program cannot be distributed with any copyrighted ROM images (independently developed replacement operating systems are OK).

Questions? Comments? Bugged? E-mail me at rusty@acz.org

For updates, visit the Virtual TI web page at http://rusty.acz.org Visit the Assembly Coders Zenith web page at http://www.acz.org

The 68K and Z80 emulation cores are from the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. The source and binaries of the entire M.A.M.E emulator can be found at http://mame.retrogames.com/

Special thanks to:
Mike Heckenbach for writing and testing the parallel link support
Michael Donn for providing me with a black link cable to test with
Nick Caldwell for his scan of the 83 and 85
Matt Johnson for his info on the 86
Alan Bailey for his info on the 86 ports
Pascal Bouron for his info on the 85 link protocol
Tim Singer for his info on the 86 link protocol
Per Finander for his info on the 82/85 link protocol
David Ellsworth for his info on the 92

November 2, 1999:    
    Released version 2.5 beta 4
    Fixed bugs in parallel link
    Fixed bugs in ROM Wizard
    Changed startup screen and about box
    Included simple version of skin editor
    Fixed window resizing bug (hopefully)
    Fixed load state bug for TI-83(+)
    Fixed list variable saving bug on TI-82/83
    Eliminated pause after sending variable to hard drive
    Fixed screenshot saving bug
October 28, 1999:
    Released version 2.5 beta 3
    Parallel link is now supported, although it is a bit slow
    Organized list of ROMs into separate tabs for each calculator
October 11, 1999:
    Released version 2.5 beta 2
    Added support for black TI-Graph Link cable
    Fixed support for serial link cable
September 26, 1999:
    Released version 2.5 beta
    Fixed TI-89 and TI-92 Plus update bug
    Fixed ROM dumpers for 82-86
    Added ROM dumper for 83+
    Fixed file sending for 83+
August 25, 1999:
    Released version 2.5 alpha 3 (restricted).
    Fixed problems with TI-92 and TI-92 II emulation.
    Program now loads much faster after the first time.
    Set breakpoint on program entry now works on all
    Improved disassembler output for 82-86.
    Added support for TI-83 Plus
July 5, 1999:
    Released version 2.5 alpha 2 (restricted).
    Fixed bug in window resizing.
    When virtual link is enabled, the second calculator
      will pause when the first enters debug mode.  This
      prevents the second calculator from timing out when
      debugging link routines.
    Added "Run to cursor" (F4) in debugger.
    Added LCD update frequency option.
    Added sound support.
July 1, 1999:
    Released version 2.5 alpha 1 (restricted).
    Added skinning system.
    Window can be resized to any size, not just 1x and 2x.
    Added full screen mode.
    Added option to display percentage of actual speed.
    Added "stay on top" option.
    Built-in ROM dumper is now available for the 86.
    Improved timing, especially for the 85 and 86.
    Fixed several bugs.
    Emulation now in a thread separate from message
      handling, allowing for more efficient
    Gigantic improvement in real/virtual link support.
    Added setup wizard and ROM wizard.
    Added support for DB92 symbol information.
    Added ability to drag and drop files.
May 1, 1999:
    Released version 2.0 alpha 4.
    Fixed bug in file sending.
    Added images for the 83 and 85, updated 86 image.
    Fixed bug in 89/92(+) exception handling.
    Fixed bugs in keyboard handling.
April 18, 1999:
    Released version 2.0 alpha 3.
    Faster than previous version.
    Added screen shot support.
    Added the ability to recieve from the virtual
    Added virtual linking.
    Fixed bugs when Windows is set to use "large fonts".
February 19, 1999:
    Released version 2.0 alpha (restricted).
    Added support for TI-82, TI-83, TI-85, and TI-86.
    No longer uses DirectInput (now Windows NT 4
January 10, 1999:
    Released version 1.01 beta.
    Fixed ROM dump problem with COM ports other than 1.
    Added support for multiselection in send dialog box.
    Restriction to actual speed is now an option.
    Added ability to redefine keys for non-US keyboards.
December 24, 1998:
    Initial public release (version 1.0 beta).


Virtual TI is the next best thing to actually owning a TI calculator. You can send your assembled Asm program to the Emulator and test it there. If the progrtam has bugs in it, it will turn off and reset it self which is not half as bad as having your real calculator reset=)

Tutorial 14