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TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
Posted by Xavier on 20 May 2020, 21:35 GMT

We're sad to relay news about the fact that in the currently latest OS 5.5.1 version released today for the TI-83 Premium CE & TI-83 Premium CE Edition Python (such a mouthful ^^), TI completely removed access to assembly programs... Support for unsquished ASM programs was already removed earlier in OS 5.3.1 onwards, though it didn't matter much at the time, because squished ASM programs remained unharmed. Yes, TI has retroactively removed an advertised feature, many a user's favorite feature at that.

This slam shuts a golden age of over two decades (!) of native code being officially supported on at least one actively maintained TI graphing calculator model. Unofficial availability of native code started a bit earlier, thanks to arbitrary code execution achievable through specially crafted backup files. Thousands of programmers have published thousands of programs (and produced even more), many of these published programs can be found in the ticalc.org archives, because ticalc.org has been around since 1996, i.e. for the entire period of official native code availability, give or take a few months time :)

As far as we can tell, TI did not make this move out of the blue. The trigger was probably a teacher posting, on his popular video channel, a video about a long-fixed flaw in an earlier version TI's implementation of PTT mode for the TI-eZ80 series. The fix is from 2018, the video was posted in 2020. Shortly thereafter, we can imagine that TI had to give in to pressure from some people who regulate standardized tests (as a matter of fact, they, not end users, are the real customers TI needs to appease). Needless to say, removing user access to native code has extremely little to do with exam security...

In fact, looking at what happened time and again on other platforms, e.g. the Sony PS3, we can confidently predict that this move will worsen exam security. From now on, the French 83 Premium CE, and certainly the international 84+ CE versions thereof in the near future, are in the same situation as the Nspire platform: a cat & mouse game of jailbreaks, fixes, and newer jailbreaks. Both the Nspire series and the TI-eZ80 series are insecure platforms, all the more users have unrestricted physical access to their calculators; more generally, at the time of this writing, no manufacturer produces any secure graphing calculator model, but the people who regulate standardized tests don't know or don't care...

Like all true calculator enthusiasts, we have hard feelings about the matter. The community had always been nice to TI - nothing really damaging for TI's business was ever released over 20+ years! - but a moral barrier has probably been broken today... However, there are so many much worse things in life, so let's focus on the future instead. It's the beginning of a new era - certainly an era of heightened tension. For now, let's only send our warmest thanks to all past, present and future programmers of native code programs for TI graphing calculators... and on to the new, upcoming chapters of a still ongoing story :)

The news wishlist contains a number of TI-eZ80 ASM programs, among other things; even without future POTY votes, we'll keep featuring programs as time permits.

Article written by Lionel Debroux.

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The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.


Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
Nikky Southerland  Account Info
(Web Page)

Friggin TI

Reply to this comment    20 May 2020, 22:40 GMT

Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
xlibman Account Info
(Web Page)

It has nothing to do with exam mode security. If that was the case, then Casio would have blocked ASM/C on the fx-CG50 too.

Reply to this comment    20 May 2020, 23:47 GMT

Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
A_VERY_Good_Sir Account Info

Absolutely OUTRAGEOUS. Nothing but support from homebrewers...and this? I hope we can change their mind.

Reply to this comment    21 May 2020, 20:58 GMT

Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
calcplays  Account Info

How much leverage will the standardized test people continue to have as entities like the University of California stop considering the SAT and ACT? If the tests disappear, will calculators disappear too?

Reply to this comment    22 May 2020, 03:22 GMT

Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
amicek Account Info

I joined ticalc.org in 1999. Assembly programs on the TI-86 and TI-89 taught me SO MUCH, and I still code as a hobby to this day.

If my TI calcs had been locked in this way, I would've learned so much less. This news makes me sad.

Reply to this comment    22 May 2020, 05:30 GMT

Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
Patrick Prendergast  Account Info

It really is the darkest day in the history of this community.

Several generations of coders have enjoyed programming on this platform for decades.

A piece of us all dies with this news unfortunately ... but we must stay positive.

Reply to this comment    22 May 2020, 11:53 GMT

Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
xlibman Account Info
(Web Page)

Looks like we're now stuck doing the same thing as with the PSP, PSVita, Wii, Switch, Nspire CX, etc. I am curious how hard it will be to find new exploits to run native code on the 84+CE compared to the TI-Nspire CX.

Reply to this comment    22 May 2020, 17:23 GMT


Re: Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
Patrick Prendergast  Account Info

aiwbsebai

Reply to this comment    1 June 2020, 04:35 GMT


Re: Re: Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
xlibman Account Info
(Web Page)

Wut?

Reply to this comment    1 June 2020, 16:55 GMT

Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
Jeffitus Account Info

TI has revealed that assembly will also be removed from the TI-84 Plus CE[-T], although not until late summer with the update 5.6.

Reply to this comment    23 May 2020, 02:29 GMT

Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
Michael0x18 Account Info

My calculator (TI 84 plus ce) still has os 5.0.1
Seeing as TI threw this out the window, if anyone wants a rom dump I can make it and put it on github or something.

Reply to this comment    10 June 2020, 23:03 GMT

Re: Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
Jeffitus Account Info

A ROM image won't help anyone who has updated to the latest OS version. Also, sharing ROMs is illegal.

Reply to this comment    11 June 2020, 15:46 GMT


Re: Re: Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
Michael0x18 Account Info

I really don't care. Wasn't it technically illegal to post the factors for the CSE?

Reply to this comment    11 June 2020, 22:06 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
Jeffitus Account Info

If you're referring to the signing key, no, it wasn't illegal. TI sent out DMCA take down requests to the websites, but posting the keys did not actually violate the DMCA at all.

Reply to this comment    11 June 2020, 22:16 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
Michael0x18 Account Info

So that's a rip.

Reply to this comment    12 June 2020, 04:11 GMT


Re: Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
xlibman Account Info
(Web Page)

I'm currently running OS 5.4. Actually I prefer 5.3.1 and 5.4, since they let me run archived programs.

Reply to this comment    12 June 2020, 20:28 GMT

Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
CalcMax Account Info

YUCK! Good thing I bought a used 84+SE last fall when I wanted a color 84+. I'm only a BASIC programmer, but I still like to to run ASM programs/apps. I totally expected this to come at some point given how more locked down things like cell phones have become over the past few years.

I am betting the next TI-84+ iteration will have a non removable battery and force you to disassemble your calc to change it like you have to do on modern phones.

Reply to this comment    12 June 2020, 12:21 GMT


Re: Re: TI removes access to assembly programs on the TI-83 Premium CE
CalcMax Account Info

*edit meant 84+CSE. Already have a monochrome SE

Reply to this comment    12 June 2020, 12:21 GMT

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