# TI-Basic Z80 Programming/Basic Variables

## What are Variables?

**Variables** are the meat of any programming language as they are used to store and work with data. With variables, the outcomes of programs can differ depending on the user's input or the purpose of the program. Variables in the TI calculators can store different types of data, whether it be numbers, lists of numbers, strings, mathematical functions, etc. However, each data type has its own type of variable that it can be stored in and the rules must be followed fairly strictly.

TI-BASIC is unusual among programming languages in that it does not support actual variables. Instead, all data are treated like files; there is no distinction between an ordinary number and an image, for example. TI refers to all files as "variables." Henceforth, "variable" will refer to a file usable by a program.

## Types of Basic Variables

There are many types of variables, but in this chapter, only the most common ones will be dealt with. The Advanced Variables section will deal with the more complex variable types and uses. The following sections will deal with:

*Number*— numbers (e.g.,`1`

,`-0.5`

,`3.14`

,

,*i*`3`

)*i*+2*List*— array of numbers (e.g.,`{1 2 3 4 5}`

)*String*— text (e.g.,`"HELLO, WORLD"`

)

## Storing and Recalling Variables

Variables can be stored and recalled at the home screen, or within a program by simply using that variable's name. The method for recalling variables varies depending on the type of variable:

- To type a
*number*variable, press`ALPHA`, then the corresponding key for that letter. - To type a
*list*variable, press`2ND`**[LIST]** - To type a
*string*variable, press`VARS`**7**

To recall the value of `X`

, press `ALPHA` ` [X]`, then push

`ENTER`:

X 10

or to recall `Str1`

:

Str1 HELLO WORLD

or to recall `L1`

:

L1 {1 2 3 4}

### Numbers

*Numbers* are stored into variables labelled `A`

through `Z`

and `θ`

and can be real or complex numbers (complex numbers can only be used if the calculator is in ` a+bi` or

`modes).`

*re^θi*Number variables store both the integer and decimal part of a number. Examples of number variables are `0`

, `2.1`

, `5`

, `7.212`

, `3`

, or *i*`3.1415926`

. Number variables are accurate up to eight significant digits and can be in the range of `-9ᴇ99`

to `9ᴇ99`

( ). If an attempt is tried to evaluate or store a value outside of the range, the calculator returns an error.

The calculator can update `X`

, `Y`

, `R`

, `θ`

, and `T`

during graphing, so you may want to avoid using these variables to store non-graphing data.

#### Syntax

To store a number to a number variable, the syntax is as follows:

value→variable

- Where
*value*is a literal value, a variable, or an expression - Where
*variable*is the variable to store*value*to

#### Examples

##### Literals

5.32→X

##### Variable

A→X

In this example, only the value of `A`

is stored to `X`

(i.e., changes to `A`

will not be reflected in `X`

after the assignment).

##### Equation

10/2+36+89/A→X

In this example, if `A = 89`

, `X = 42`

, not the actual equation. Only the result of an equation is stored (the equation is `5+36+89/89 = 42`

, so `X = 42`

).

### Lists

Lists are essentially an array: they store an array of numbers. The individual numbers of a list are named elements. The maximum number of elements in a list is `999`

.

#### Syntax

{value1,value2,...,valueN}→listName

- Where
*value1*,*value2*through*valueN*are number elements - Where
*listName*is the name of a list. This can be one of two types:- Calculator defined:
`L1`

,`L2`

,`L3`

,`L4`

,`L5`

,`L6`

- User defined:

(_{L}`2ND`**[LIST]***OPS*B

- Calculator defined:
- The amount of elements in a list may not exceed
`999`

.

To instantiate a list, the following code is used:

:DelVar L1 :n→dim(L1)

*Where the first line deletes `L1`

if it exists, and the second line instantiates `L1`

with a size of * n*.

It is important to first instantiate a list before attempting to access it so that the size is appropriate for usage. The ` dim(` (

`2ND`

`) command stands for`

**[LIST]***OPS*3*dimension*, and in this case, we have set

*n*

as the dimension (or size) of the list.
To access a single element in a list, use the format `L1(N)`

, where *N* is the N-th element in the list. The index is 1-indexed, so to reference the first element in `L1`

, use `L1(1)`

.

If you try to access an element that is out of the bounds of the size of the list (accessing the nth element where the size of the list is less than n or n is less than 1), you will receive an error. |

Lists can only store numbers.

#### Examples

##### Literals

{15,20,30}→L1

##### Custom Named list

{1,2,3,4,5}→_{L}MYLIST

##### List to List

L1→L2

##### Equations

{15,20,30}+5→L1

In this example, `L1`

would consist of `{20 25 35}`

because each element was increased by `5`

then stored to `L1`

.

### Strings

Strings hold text.

#### Syntax

string→strN

- Where
*string*is the string literal, or some other form of string to store to*strN*and - Where
*strN*is one of the predefined strings for the calculator.

#### Examples

##### Literals

"BOB SMITH"→Str1

##### Str to Str

Str1→Str2

##### Concatenation/Combination

"MY NAME IS "+Str1+" AND YOU KNOW IT!"→Str2

## Incompatible Types

It should be noted that variables can only contain their respective data type. For example, trying to store a number to a string object (`0→Str1`

) will result in an error.

## You try it!

Try these examples to practice using the different data types.

### Arithmetic

Use variables to store numbers, then perform simple operations on them. Make variables A and B equal to 3 and 7, respectively. Then output , , and .

Solution |
---|

:ClrHome :3→A :7→B :Disp A/B :Disp (AB)^A :Disp B+(A^(2+4B)) Which outputs: .4285712486 9261 2.058911321ᴇ14 |

### List Operation

Create a simple list using these numbers: `3,6,8`

. Now, using `Disp`, output each value to the screen, then output the average of the values of the list by accessing them from the list. *Remember, to type a list, press 2ND then a number from 1-6.*

Solution |
---|

:{3,6,8}→L1 :ClrHome :Disp L1(1) :Disp L1(2) :Disp L1(3) :Disp (L1(1)+L1(2)+L1(3))/3 Which outputs: 3 6 8 5.666666667 |

### String Concatenation

Set `Str1`

to your first name and set `Str2`

to your last name. Then, using string concatenation, print your first and last names on two lines, with preceding text `FIRST:`

and `LAST:`

. For example, your output would appear as follows:

FIRST: JOHN LAST: DOE

Solution |
---|

:"JOHN"→Str1 :"DOE"→Str2 :ClrHome :Disp "FIRST: "+Str1 :Disp "LAST: "+Str2 |