Error Messages on the TI-83 Plus - dummies

By C. C. Edwards

When working on the TI-83 Plus graphing calculator, you are likely to encounter the following common error messages if you make mistakes when entering equations, formulas, or data.


You usually get this message when you are using a function housed in one of the menus on the calculator. This message indicates that you have not properly defined the argument needed to use the function.

Texas Instruments has a really invaluable application called Catalog Help that you can install on your calculator and use to remind you of the appropriate argument required by these functions.


This message indicates that the guess you’ve given to the calculator isn’t within the range of numbers that you specified. This is one of those times when the calculator asks you to guess the solution.

One example is when you’re finding the maximum value or the zero of a function within a specified range. Another is when you’re finding the solution to an equation where that solution in contained in a specified range.

One other time that you can get this message is when the function is undefined at (or near) the value of your guess.


This type of error occurs if, for example, you enter a negative number when the calculator requires a positive number.


You usually get this message when you attempt to add, subtract, or multiply matrices that don’t have compatible dimensions.


You usually get this message when you’re using a function housed on a menu of the calculator. If that function is, for example, expecting you to enter a number in a specified range, you get this error message if that number isn’t in the specified range.


This is the catchall error message. Basically it means that you did something wrong when defining something (for example, you used function Y3 in the definition of function Y2, but forgot to define function Y3).


You get this invalid-dimension message if (for example) you attempt to raise a nonsquare matrix to a power or enter a decimal for an argument of a function when it’s expecting an integer.


When you’re using the Equation Solver you get this message when the equation has no real solutions in your specified range. When using the Finance application (discussed in Part III) you get this message when you don’t use the correct sign for cash flow.


You get this message when you try to find the inverse of a matrix whose determinant is zero.


This is another catchall error message. It usually means you have a typo somewhere.


This, of course, means that the Window in improperly set. This problem is usually (but not always) caused by improperly setting




in the Window editor.