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T3 Logo The Internet and Your Calculator
John Hanna
11th Annual T3 International Conference * January 22-24, 1999 * Chicago, IL

0: Get Graph-Link | 1: Backup | 2: Screen Shots | 3: Download a Program | 4: Write Program
5: IVIEW and Images | 6: Flash Downloads

The connections: It is not necessary to have both an Internet connection and a calculator connection simultaneously, but it sure helps!

  • If you have an internal modem and an available serial port on the back of your computer, then you can probably have a simultaneous Internet and calculator connection. If you use an external modem, you might be able to connect the modem to one serial port and the Graph-Link cable to the other serial port. If you use an external modem and have only one serial port (as on most laptops) then you cannot connect the Internet and your calculator simultaneously.
  • Types of files you'll find on the World Wide Web:

    • Internet access and a Web browser.
    • TI calculator with a link port (this leaves out the TI-81).
    • Graph-Link cable. All TI calculators use the same cable. This is a PC to calculator cable with a 1/8" jack on one end and a 25-pin serial connector on the other. You may also need a 25-pin to 9-pin adapter or a 25-pin to MAC cable. These extras are included in the 'full' Graph-Link package.
    • Graph-Link software for your computer. Each TI calculator requires a different Graph-Link program. These programs can be downloaded for free from the TI Website (

    Activity 0: Get the Graph-Link software

    Activity 1: Back up your calculator

    Note: The TI-82 and TI-85 calculators require you to work with both the calculator keyboard and the computer software to transfer files. The other calculators let you do all transfers without touching the calculator ("Live-Link").

    Tip: Know where your files are! For this session all your data files are going into the c:\temp folder or to your own diskette (a:\).

    1. Assuming calculator and computer are connected and ON...
    2. Run the Graph-Link software.
    3. On the Link menu, choose Get Backup or Link/Receive (and select "all files").
    4. Troubleshooting: If you get a "Transmission Error":
      1. Is the Graph-Link cable connected securely at both ends?
        Is the calculator ON and on the HOME screen?
        Is the correct COM port selected in the Link menu?
    5. (82/85) additional step: The Graph-Link program should display "Waiting…". Go to the calculator and perform Link/Backup/Transmit.
    6. The default filename is backup.??b. You can change the filename but do not change the extension. Save it in c:\temp or on your disk (a:\).

    Activity 2: Paste calculator screen shots into your word processor

    1. Run Graph-Link and your word processor.
    2. Display any desired screen on the calculator.
    3. In Graph-Link, select Link/Get Screen and send it to the (important!) clipboard.
    4. Switch to the word processor.
    5. Place the cursor at the point where you want the picture to go.
    6. Select Edit/Paste.
    7. You may be able to do custom editing, but the methods depend on the word processor.

    Activity 3: Download a calculator program from the Internet and send it to the calculator
    Part 1: from Internet to Computer

    1. Aim your browser at
    2. FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol", a way to copy files over the Internet. The 'page' you now see is a directory listing of the TI calculator program archive. Navigate to a directory (/83/math). Each program consists of two files: a TXT file that describes the program and a "P" or "G" file that contains the Program or a Group of calculator stuff. Avoid "UUE" files.
    3. Click on the text file (ALGEBRA.TXT) to load it in the browser, read it, and print it from the browser (File/Print).
    4. Click the BACK button on the browser's toolbar to go back to the directory.
    5. Click on the calculator file (ALGEBRA.83G) and download it to c:\temp.
  • Note: some browsers try to display these files. If that happens, you will see 'garbage' on the screen. Click the BACK button to go back to the directory listing and right-click the ALGEBRA.83G file. On the menu, select "Save Target As…" or "Save Link As…".
  • Part II: from Computer to Calculator

    1. Run Graph-Link. Make sure the Link cable is plugged into the calculator and the calculator is ON.
    2. (82/85) On the 82/85, press Link/Receive. The calculator screen should display "Waiting…". The other calculators should just be on the HOME screen.
    3. In Graph-Link, select Link/Send.
    4. Navigate to c:\temp.
    5. Select the file (ALGEBRA.83G), click the ADD button, then click the OK button. Several files are downloaded to your calculator. A "G" file is a "Group" of calculator files stored in one computer file.
    6. Press the PRGM key on the calculator to see the programs that were downloaded!

    Activity 4: Write and send a program with Graph-Link

    All the Graph-Link programs have a built-in program editor and shortcuts to the programming commands in the calculator. You can edit and send a program quickly to the calculator right from the program editor. You can type in programs 'by hand' or select programming statements from a menu. 
    1. Run Graph-Link.
    2. If there is no program window, select File/New.
    3. Type a program into the program window: (do not type the colons; they will appear each time you press the Enter key) (Where do you get that 'square root' symbol?)
    4. Save the program in c:\temp or on your diskette.
    5. (82/85) be sure the calculator is 'Waiting…"
    6. Click the SEND button in the program editor window to 'quick send' this program to the calculator. 
    7. If you want the program to be 'un-editable' in the calculator, check the 'Protected' or 'Edit Lock' check box before sending.
    8. Press the PRGM; or Var-Link key on the calculator to verify that the program is in the calculator.
    9. Run the program in the calculator, not on the computer.
    10. If there is an error, do not fix it in the calculator: fix it on the computer and re-send it.
    11. You can save this program on the computer (in a "P" file). You can open other programs (and have multiple program windows open simultaneously for copying chunks of code).
    12. In the 92 and 89 Graph-Link you can also edit TEXT files and DATA files.

    Activity 5: Fun with Image files
    Image files are calculator PIC files sent to the computer, not 'Screen Shots'. Using IVIEW for Windows 95, you can open, edit, and print these "I" files on your computer.

    1. Get IVIEW:
      1. On the Internet, go to
      2. Download a "Setup package" for the calculator you use into c:\temp. This is a ZIP file.
      3. If you don't have WinZip or PKZip, get it and install it (see page 1).
      4. Unzip the IVIEW Setup package (if you installed WinZip, just double-click the IVIEW.ZIP file to run WinZip on it and extract the files.
      5. Run SETUP.EXE. This will install the IVIEW program on your computer.
    2. Run IVIEW and Graph-Link simultaneously.
    3. On your calculator…
      1. Get a graph screen that you like.
      2. Save the picture in a PICture variable in the calculator. The calculators differ in the method:
        1. 82/83/73: Use Draw/STO/StorePic, then Vars/Picture, and choose one, then press .
        2. 85/86: Use Draw/StorePic and enter a name for the picture, then press Enter.
        3. 92/89: On the graph screen, press F1: Save copy as. In the dialog box, change the type from GDB to Picture, choose a folder from the second list, and enter a filename in the Variable box. Press Enter to save it. This saves the entire screen.
    4. Use Graph-Link to get the PICture from the calculator to the computer…
      1. Get the picture file from the calculator and save it in c:\temp. The file extension will end in "I" (89I, 92I, 73I, etc.)
    5. In IVIEW…
      1. Open the file, edit it and save it.
    6. Use Graph-Link to send it back to the calculator.
    7. Back on the calculator…
      1. Use RclPic <picvar> to display an image. It helps to first clear the graph screen and turn off all functions, plots, and the axes so they don’t mess up the picture.

    Activity 6: Flash downloads

    The TI-73, TI-89, and TI-92+ have 'Flash' memory. This makes the operating system of the calculator 'upgradeable'. Software is available at

    Flash software comes in EXE files that install the APP or OS. Just…


    The base operating system:
    The CBL/CBR application:


    The base operating system:


    The base operating system:


    All information on this new (11 Jan 1999) is at

    last updated 08/23/1999
    (c) John Hanna, all rights reserved
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