Download TI Connect so you can download programs onto your TI 84 calculator. Watch the video and you’ll see how to download TI Connect (it’s free). Once you have TI connect on your desktop or laptop, you can use a usb to mini-usb to connect your TI 84 calculator to your computer.
The entire process ought to take less than 3 minutes.
Obstacle 1: Wrong Calculator
First, you will need a TI 84 calculator. While the TI 83 Plus can handle programs, it’s not designed to download programs from the internet. While you might be able to jury-rig some cabling to link it to a laptop, it’s really meant to communicate with other calculators. The cable on a TI 83 resembles an audio input cable. Only TI 83 calculators and some TI 84 calculators have the input for these. TI 84 Plus CE models and above have the mini-usb input only.
Obstacle 2: You Don’t Have A USB to Mini-usb Cable.
Ideal solution: buy one. I’d recommend a local retailer, such as Staples or Best Buy. It’s just easier to return electronic goods such as cables. You might prefer to buy online and that’s fine. Just make sure the cable works so you can help your TI 84 calculator communicate with your computer.
Other solution: borrow the cable from a friend or sibling. Obviously, this isn’t the best option. You won’t have the cable forever. And, you’ll need to borrow it in the first place. As you can likely purchase the cable for less than $10, you might opt to buy one. Once you start to realize how programs can help you in your math or science class, you’ll probably want the cable to yourself.
Or, if you’re taking the SAT in the near or distant future, you’ll definitely want your own cable. There are many options for programs to help you on your SAT that it’s a wise investment in a cable.
Before you start telling me calculator programs aren’t legal on the SAT, please check. For section 4 (Math, Calculator), programs on the TI 84 have been legal for about 30 years. Years ago the College Board explicitly stated that programs were legal. Over time, they’ve removed their explicit language allowing programs. But, they’ve not yet banned programs outright.
Why Might You Need To Download Programs More Than Once?
Many teachers, especially younger math and science teachers know the power of the TI 84. And, they realize from their own experience what programs can do. As they want to keep the playing field level, they’ll often clear the RAM of your TI 84 calculator. Since this happens to a large contingent of my students on a monthly basis, they have to constantly download their SAT programs. Or, their programs for their science class if their math teacher clears RAM. Or, vice-versa.
In any case, to be safe, it’s just easier if you keep the TI Connect software on your computer and your cable handy. That way, should anything happen, you can download your programs again.
Oh, and sometimes a student’s calculator will have their calculator battery run down completely. This is another instance when you’d want to download your calculator programs again.
What You Want To Do Next
In the next video I’ll show you how to download a quadratic formula program. This helps if you’re in an algebra 1, algebra 2, precalculus, or college algebra class. The program will provide you with both answers (if there are 2) and show you the quadratic formula in fraction form. This way, even if you know only the output of your program, you should be able to match it with the correct answer on your test.
Let me know if you have any ideas for programs. I can make bespoke programs for a nominal fee. There’s even a chance I already have one you can download for free.
Contact me if you have questions. Good luck!