The TI-84+ series is used a lot in college environments. Where I went to school, it was the most powerful calculator allowed for Calc I-III and Linear Algebra. (After that, I got the more powerful TI-89 for use in my engineering classes.)
A comment attached to the story lists two IDEs that preceded VB; can you name others?
Yes, Unix. Unix is an integrated development environment.
If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are real good, you will get out of it.