Nearly 10 years ago, Cemetechian Raylin came up with the idea of Have Calc, Will Program (HCWP), designed first as a curated weekly audio-only webshow (what we'd now call a live podcast) where a special guest would talk about an interesting project or technique, Raylin would discuss news from around the community, and community members could listen in. It quickly evolved to a video-based show, and in its very first few weeks shifted to a democratized format, where anyone could come and discuss their projects, ask for help, and socialize. In the middle of the decade just ended, a core group of members would get together every Wednesday evening to videochat while working on projects, shoot the breeze, and keep in touch. Unfortunately, in the last three years or so, HCWP has largely died out.
But now we have the perfect impetus to get HCWP going again: the vast majority of our membership, if not everyone, is now living in a world where we are largely confined to our houses, attempting to "flatten the curve" of COVID-19 and prevent our hospitals and support systems from being overwhelmed. We've seen toilet paper hoarding, an explosion of video chat, shortages of ventilators and PPE, grocery stores constantly short of supplies, and social distancing. This seems like the perfect opportunity to resurrect the original "Zoom happy hour": Have Calc, Will Program. Join me and Cemetech tonight at the Hangout that has been on my calendar for years at 8pm Eastern (US) Daylight Time, tell us what you've been working on, and feel a sense of community in a world physically isolated. See you there!
Where: Google Hangouts
When: Every Wednesday night at 8pm ET (5pm PT, etc.)
Why: Socialize, share projects, get help.
Like always, there were a ton of great projects worked on last October. Make sure you check out the project topics and show support for them!
Note: Due to the fact that only one project (Google Apps Script (Google Sheets) Chat Program) was completed this month, there will be no poll and that project will win by default.
- Black Jack 84: bdoggamer began working on a calulator version of the popular card game Blackjack, or 21! This game features some nice looking graphics utilizing the monochrome graph screen. It's written in pure TI-Basic, so go check out the thread!
- Calculatormon CE - A pokemon game: KellerWheat continued progress on this excellent looking Pokémon game for the CE calulators. More content and improved animations were added this month, as well as some bug fixes. Feel free to try it out yourself using the GitHub link in the first post!
- CETris, another Tetris game for the TI84CE: Minxrod posted about CETris, a very impressive and highly customizeable Tetris game, written in Assembly for the CE series. This month he showed off a demo of the game, which looks great! Go and check out the source, or build it for yourself using the linked GitHub repository!
- FireHauzer (Shooter RPG): SomeCoolGuy began work on a third-person style shooter/shoot 'em up game. The topic includes a cool opening screen and menu, and this project looks like it could have potential. Go chekc out the thread and show some support for the project!
- Google Apps Script (Google Sheets) Chat Program: CamelCode started and completed a project that uses Google Sheets to let you chat with friends during class. This project makes use of the scripting feature in Google Sheets, and is certainly more effective than using a shared Google Doc. Sheck out the thread for some more details or to check it out for yourself!
- Latest News on TI-Trek: ACagliano continued to work on this multiplayer game based on Star Trek! This month the user interface was improved and a GUI customizer was begun on the website. This is a massive project which would be the first online multiplayer game for the CE, so go check out the website linked in the topic!
- Microtonal chiptune synth: SopaXorzTaker started work on a chiptune synth. This application has some great features so far, and SopaXorzTaker has posted some songs made with this tool as well. Go check out the thread for more details, and show some support!
- Nonsense - An esolang: kg583 posted about this esoteric programming language based around the English language. This language has some unique features that set it apart, including different uses for vowels, consonants, and punctuation. See the topic for more details and the GitHub repo!
- Nuclear Reactor Simulator, Fusion Edition [TI84+ CE C]: SM84CE got started on remaking this simulator program in the C language. The original version had a ton of features, so this one can only get better! Go to the thread to show some support!
- Random Demos: jacobly and MateoConLechuga both posted some cool videos demonstrating what is possible with the USB libraries that are in development. Go check out the thread to see videos playing on calculators, and show some support for these upcoming libraries!
- Scroll Hunter - A Side Scroller: Argus posted about a project originally meant for CC23, a side scrolling ninja game! This game has some really nice graphics, which you can see in the screenshot. Go check out the topic to see more and show your support for the project!
- System/I MICRON Progress Thread: tergav17 continued to work on this OS that will work on monochrome calculators. This month more commands were added to the console, and it looksl like this project is almost complete! Check out the thread to see some video demos of this OS in action!
- TI-Planet's "Project Builder" with online CE C/C++: Adriweb posted an update about the Project Builder, a popular tool for online CE C development and debugging. This update has a bunch of new features and bug fixes, including some updates to WebCEmu. Go check it out for yourself if you haven't already!
- TLoZ: 8-Bit Echoes (TI-84+ CE/CSE) (in development): Coding Enthusiast continued progress on this CE/CSE game based on the Zelda franchise. This month the maps were expanded and improved, as well as a map editor. This project is really starting to take shape, so go check out the topic!
- Zaalane's Various Demos: Zaalane began to post about some cool graphical demos for the CE! These demos look very cool and run smoothly, so they might be of use to a programmer looking for some effects to use. Check out the topic to see screenshots and see the source code at the GitHub repository.
Great job to all the creators of these projects, and stay tuned for the November PotM!
Even with CC23 in full swing, September 2019 saw plenty of progress on a wide array of projects. Be sure to check out the threads and show your support!
- 3D Physics engine from scratch: lennartVH01 and olympus223 have begun work on a stunning physics engine in C++. The two have already completed a large portion of the physics and graphics, with the current build available on their GitHub repo. Though not explicitly designed for calculators, this project is quite an accomplishment already, so do check it out.
- Building a Digital Clock on a Breadboard: commandblockguy has begun work on a designing and building a digital clock on a breadboard. He's developed a basic schematic and parts list, notably ditching a microprocessor for hardware computation. This project is only just beginning, so do check it out and show your support.
- Grammer 2- The App: Xeda112358 has released a major update to Grammer 2, implementing many changes regarding float calculation, memory footprints, and graphical elements. Development of the language continues, so do consider utilizing Grammer 2 for your next grayscale calculator project.
- HD picture viewer [C] [ICE] [TI-84 Plus CE]: TheLastMillennial's program for viewing pictures on TI-84+CE in their full resolution glory is finally complete! The program was written using C, C#, and ICE, and provides a clean picture viewer for the calculator. Download it for yourself from the GitHub repo and give it a try.
- Latest News on TI-Trek: ACagliano has made a lot of behind-the-scenes changes and improvements to TI-Trek, streamlining UI elements, rendering, and some other minor details. The project is already a massive undertaking, with ongoing development and impressive results. Check it out and show your support.
- SC3 Userscripts: _iPhoenix_ has released a rather handy script which improves the UI and functionalities of SourceCoder 3, including automatic code formatting, fullscreen viewing, local saves, and additional import/export capabilities; why I'm even using it right now! Do it give it a try for your next SC3 project.
- System/I MICRON Progress Thread: tergav17 has begun work on his own operating system that can run on the z80, ez80, and plenty of other 8-bit and 16-bit chips. The kernel and cross-compiler already complete, with significant progress on the remainder of the system. Creating an OS from scratch is an astounding undertaking, so do check it out and show your support.
- Terminal CE: commandblockguy has begun work on a VT100 terminal emulator, which connects to a computer to allow the user to input and read output from terminal commands on a TI-84+CE. The current release is already quite polished, with color support and a clean text font. Check out the GitHub repo to download the emulator and try it out.
- TI-Craft CE: Coding Enthusiast has released his 2D Minecraft clone for the TI-84+CE (and CSE, though it's a bit slow), featuring an impressive block palette, world size, and user interface. This is Coding Enthusiast's first project to appear in the Cemetech Archives, so do try it out for yourself and show your support.
- TLoZ: 8-Bit Echoes (TI-84+ CE/CSE) (in development): Coding Enthusiast has begun work on his Legend of Zelda fangame for the color calculators, with the menu design and tilemaps nearing completion. His project utilizes as an astounding amount of BASIC given it's graphical complexity and polish, and progress remains steady. Do check it out and show your support.
It has been a while since we've covered news from Texas Instruments themselves, most recently New TI-84 Plus CE Color, OS 5.4, and TI-83 PCE Edition Python last June, and our postmortem of T3IC 2019 last March. Postmortem is the right word, unfortunately, as this year's T3IC conference has been cancelled due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns. Texas Instruments' Teachers Teaching with Technology (T^3 or T3IC) is an annual event where primarily teachers come together to share success stores, lessons, and techniques from using TI calculators and technology (and in rare cases, other edtech) in their classrooms. Cemetech has had a presence the last seven years, including staff like Christopher "KermMartian" Mitchell, Shaun "Merthsoft" McFall, Thomas "Elfprince13" Dickerson, Jon "TheStorm/Jonimus" Sturm, and other friends, family, and Cemetechians. We have worn the multiple hats of Cemetech leaders spreading the word about how this site can be a resource for calculator programs, guides, and questions, teachers sharing TI-BASIC and the value of calculators as programming education tools, and news editors gathering the latest news about TI's new technology. With the cancellation of T^3 this year, we'll be sad to miss a year, but we hope the conference will be back next year, bigger and better than ever.
On a happier note, perhaps announced now due to the cancellation of T3IC, a Python Edition of the TI-84 Plus CE will be coming to Europe. In June 2019, Texas Instruments released the TI-83 PCE Edition Python, a French version of the TI-84 Plus CE with the ability to run Python programs. Because TI was unable to run Python on the TI-84 Plus CE family's own ez80 CPU and its associated RAM and Flash, they first released an external USB module containing an Atmel SAMD21 ARM System-on-a-Chip (SoC) capable of executing Python programs, then later integrated that SoC into the calculator as the TI-83 PCE Edition Python. Now, that same hardware will be coming to Europe as the TI-84 Plus CE Python Edition, as mentioned by critor on our forum and announced in more depth on TI-Planet (and on TI-Education Netherlands, and elsewhere). Per TI-Planet's article, the new European TI-84 Plus CE will likely use the same SAMD21 SoC soldered onto the mainboard, now communicating with the ez80 chip over SPI to run Python programs. Unfortunately, although Python is coming to the TI-Nspire CX II later this year, the community is not aware of any plans to introduce a Python-capable TI-84 Plus CE in North America.