Terms and Abbreviations

Address - A number given to a location in memory. The location is accessed by using that number, like accessing a variable by using its name.

ASCII - Without getting too complicated, ASCII is basically a convention for encoding character, numerals in a 7 or 8-bit binary number. ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange.

Asm - Assembly language, lowest level programming on a processor

Assembly language - A low-level language used to program microprocessors directly. Z80 assembly language can be used on the TI-83 to write programs that execute faster than programs written in TI-BASIC. See the Introduction to read about the advantages and disadvantages of ASM.

Assembler - Assembly Language (ASM) or a program that converts source code that the programmer wrote into machine language that the processor can understand. Similar to compilers used with high-level languages.

Binary - A system of counting using 0's and 1's. First 7 digits and the decimal equivalents are:

0       0
1       1
10      2
11      3
100     4
101     5
110     6
111     7

See also: ASCII

Bit - Short for binary digit- either 1 or 0. In computer processing and storage, a bit is the smallest unit of information handled by a computer and is represented physically by an element such as a single pulse sent through a circuit or a small spot on a magnetic disk capable of storing either a 1 or a 0. Considered singly, bits convey little information a human would consider meaningful. In groups of eight, however, bits become the familiar bytes used to represent all types of information, including the letters of the alphabet and the digits 0 through 9. (Microsoft Encarta '97)

Byte - A unit of information consisting of 8 bits, the equivalent of a single character, such as a letter. Notice, 8-bits equals {0-255}, and there are 256 letters in the extended-ASCII character set. Standard ASCII uses a 7-bit value (0-127), thus there are 128 characters.

Compiled Language - A language that has to be compiled by a compiler before the program can be run. Examples include C/C++, Pascal.

Compiler - A compiler translates source code into machine code. Our compiler is TASM.

CPU - Central Processing Unit, basically, if a computer "had" a brain, this would be it.

Cursor - The flashing marker you see on the screen that shows the position of where you are typing.

Character - A single letter, digit, or symbol. 'Q' is a character. '4' is a character. '%' is a character. '123' and 'yo' are not characters

Decimal - Decimal is the standard, base 10, system of counting, as opposed to base 2, binary, or base 16, hexadecimal.

.db - Data Byte

Execute - Run a program or carry out a command.

Flash ROM - Archive memory on TI-83 Plus, write/erase up to about 100,000 times before memory becomes corrupt

Hexadecimal - Base 16 system, often used in computing. Counting is as follows {0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F}.

High-level language - Any programming language that tries to look like plain English so it is easier for humans to understand. Unfortunately, a computer cannot understand it unless it is compiled into machine language. See also low-level language. Examples of High-level languages are: C/C++, Pascal, Fortran, Cobol, Ada etc.

Immediate - An immediate value is one that is given in the program code, instead of being loaded from somewhere else. For example, in LD A, 17, 17 is an immediate value. In LD A, B, the value in B is not immediate, because is is not written into the code.

Interpreted Language - A language that is changed from source code to machine language in real-time. Examples of this are BASIC (the PC version, and the Ti-version), JavaScript, HTML (bad example…but you get the point). The advantages are interpreted languages are often much simpler, good for beginners. Bad points are speed, and no native is generated.

Instruction - A command that tells the processor to do something, like add two numbers or get some data from the memory.

LCD - Liquid Crystal Display, the calculators screen

Low-level language - Any programming language that doesn't look like English but is still able to be understood by people. It uses "words" like "ADD" to replace machine language instructions like "110100" to make it easier for the human. See also high-level language.

Machine language - Any programming language that consists of 1's and 0's (called binary) representing instructions. A typical machine instruction could be 110100, meaning, "add two numbers together". It is the only language understood by the processor and is completely incomprehensible to most people.

Memory - Memory is where data is stored. On the TI-85, the main memory is the built-in 32K of RAM. This memory is composed of one-byte sections, each with a unique address.

MHz - Megahertz, speed at which the processor runs at. Also measured in hertz, gigahertz, etc.

Operating System (OS) - The User interface between the User and calculator

Processor - A large computer chip that does most of the work in a computer or calculator. The processor in the TI-83 is the Zilog Z80 chip.

Program - A program is a list of instructions written in sequential order for the processor to execute.

QBasic - QBasic stands for "Quick Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction code". It's easy to learn and use, but is very much out-dated.

RAM - Random Access Memory

Register - A register is a piece of high-speed memory located directly on the processor. It is used to store data while the processor manipulates it. On the TI-83, there are 14 registers.

ROM - Read Only Memory

TI - Texas Instruments

TI-Basic - TI-83/+ programming Language, mainly compilation of common Basic commands and Calculator commands

Visual Basic - Visual Basic is much like QBasic, only for windows. Visual Basic is kind of Object oriented, the programs use a "window" format.

Z80 - Zilog's z80 CPU introduced more than 25 years ago.

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