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Interpreting Program Listings

The Casio calculators are special-purpose pocket computers, optimized for easily performing a variety of interactive calculations. Similarly, the programming environment is optimized for ease of use — not for ease of interaction with the rest of the world. The ability to represent Casio calculator programs in “normal” text was obviously not high on the list of design criteria for the calculator.

The Casio calculators therefore use a variety of characters not available in most character sets. The assignment arrow → is an example. Programs use this operator heavily. However, normal text cannot represent the assignment arrow. Therefore, program listings must somehow indicate the assignment arrow using normal text.

The Casio user community has developed a large number of conventions for representing these special characters in program listings. The assignment arrow, for example, is frequently represented by a hyphen followed by a greater than sign, and the bent arrow representing the end of a line is simply dropped. Thus, the Casio statement

Casio statement assigning A to B

would be presented in a program listing as:

A->B

Similarly, the conditional jump operator Right double arrow is frequently represented by an equal sign followed by a greater than sign. Thus, the Casio statement

Casio statement assigning B to A based on A less than B

would be presented in a program listing as:

A<B=>B->A

The best way to guard against this confusion is simply not to use program listings. You would instead download the program as a file, and then download the file using the appropriate software to the calculator.

However, sometimes you cannot avoid entering a program from a program listing. Program authors therefore usually give a key to the multi-symbol operators they use. For example, a typical program listing in this site would have a section like the following:

; Symbols:
;   -> is assignment arrow
;   => is conditional jump
;   <> is not equal relational
;   = is equal relational

This section lets you know that -> is used to indicate the assignment arrow, => is used to indicate the conditional jump operator, <> is used to indicate the not equals relational operator, and = is used to indicate the equals relational operator.

Any word involving lower case letters is a calculator operator, rather than a series of letters. “Abs,” for example, is the absolute value operator. It takes one operand, which follows the operator. On the FX-7400G-Plus, you enter the Abs operator by pressing OPTN, the arrowhead key next to F4, F1, and finally F1 again. On the CFX-9850G, you enter the Abs operator by pressing OPTN, F6, F4, and F1.

Operators taking multiple operands frequently require these arguments to be in a comma-separated list in parentheses following the operator name, and the name of the operator frequently includes the opening parenthesis. This is the case with, for example, the “Seq(” operator, which creates a list. On the FX-7400G-Plus, you enter the Seq( operator by pressing OPTN, F1, the arrowhead next to F4, and F1 again. On the CFX-9850G, you enter the Seq( operator by pressing OPTN, F1, and finally F5. After entering the five arguments to Seq( separated by commas, you enter a close parenthesis to terminate the expression. When entering this into a program, you would not enter an opening parenthesis (as it is part of the operator), but you would enter a closing parenthesis.

The full set of calculator operators, and the key sequences needed to access those operators, is given in the Key Sequences page.

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Copyright © 2001 Brian Hetrick
Page last updated 5 May 2002.

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