Porting TI-BASIC programs from Nspire to TI-89 Titanium

The BASIC on Nspire and TI-89 Titanium are highly compatible. Most function calls and control flow structures are almost identical. Some exceptions are

  • Names for variables and programs are limited in length of 8 characters on the Titanium.
  • setMode method required string type on the Titanium, even if they are integers for both version. The parameter sets and the corresponding values are changed in Nspire. For example, setting Radian mode in TI-89 is setMode("3","1"), while in Nspire it is setMode(2,1)
  • count method that return number of elements in a list is missing in the Titanium version of BASIC.

Porting program from Nspire to Titanium should be 99% copy and paste task using the TI Connect Program Editor on PC. This program editor is a must-have tool to free us from the tedious chore of punching code on the limited Titanium keypad. Although the Nspire is equipped with a nice alphabetic keyboard, when doing programming work with it I do still prefer using its PC software. The calculator keyboard does make life easier to program on-situ, as well as recalling variables. Below is a screen showing a program ported from Nspire for running the Nelder-Mead algorithm.


Although the monochrome Titanium screen looks ancient by today’s standard, it was once one of the most advanced calculators on the market when it was introduced 10 years ago, when 3D graph plotting on graphing calculators is a luxury – despite the wait time and low resolution wire frame display. Below is a plot of the Rosenbrock function used to test the program ported from Nspire.


And here are some figures on the performance running a benchmark program of the Nelder-Mead algorithm on the Rosenbrock function.

0:22 Nspire at 246MHz
0:41 Nspire at 132MHz
1:49 TI-89 (on emulator) running at 250%CPU
1:55 TI-89 (on emulator) running at 100%CPU


One thought on “Porting TI-BASIC programs from Nspire to TI-89 Titanium

  1. Pingback: Conversion mode settings from Nspire to TI-89 | gmgolem

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