My user profile here dates to 2014/15, but I have been lurking on this site since around 2011. Back then, I was only 13 years old. (Feel free to calculate my age now). I did not have much of an online presence at that time.

Looking back, I am glad to have found the Cemetech and Omnimega sites. I am glad that I joined this community, and not the myriad of other communities online. As a young adult now, I have obviously seen my fair share of the internet. It's not a very nice place, in general. And I can't imagine what children are being exposed to nowadays with the state of things as they are. And maybe I'm just seeing it from my current perspective, but hindsight is 20/20.

Sometimes the programming community can be a hostile place. I mean, look at some of the comments on StackExchange. But I am especially proud of the calculator programming community here and on other sites. There are times of drama, but never outright fights or slurs or blackmailing or putting people down. Looking back I am very fortunate to have found this community and to have stuck with it. Not only are the staff at Cemetech helpful and friendly, but the members here are equally as pleasing to work with. Maybe it helps that it is a smaller community than, say, the JavaScript community, but I am proud nonetheless.

Chat rooms and Discord servers and, if you're an old schooler like we are, forums, can be pretty toxic. And I can't imagine the fear that parents have these days trying to navigate the internet alongside their children. I just hope that my own future kids are into calculators like I am, so that I know which community to point them towards (here). If they're into something else that has a large online presence, I guess I'll just have to do my research.

Anyway, I wanted to make this small post to share my appreciation of this site and the related sites around calculator programming. Y'all are awesome people, and have helped me along my journey through middle and high school more than you know. Please help keep up the presence and reputation that we have as a friendly and welcoming community for programmers from all backgrounds and skill levels. I have a feeling this is one of the few safe and uncorrupted corners of the internet.

Well said Noah, I agree that this is typically a safe and welcoming community - and we have the entire community to thank for that, so great job everyone!

Cemetech especially have struck the right balance between letting people express themselves openly but in a way that benefits everyone. The mods do a fantastic job of running this site and have developed a set of guidelines that are actioned in a fair and reasonable manner.

The calc programming community, although not as popular as it once was, is still a great place to come and learn. It is also often a gateway to bigger and better things, as is the case for many over the last 20+ years.
Old-timers can testify that historically, in the 1990s, 2000s and to some extent the 2010s, there have definitely been multiple sub-communities of the TI graphing calculators community which were hostile places with outright fights, newcomer-bashing / newbie-smashing, etc. As a matter of fact, I've been one of the long-running perpetrators for fights, even though that was usually a consequence of interacting with some of the most hostile and hated members of the community (a brilliant ***hole, especially) - I'm not known for fighting all the time with the vast majority of other people who behave properly and with the community's best interests in mind.
However, all of the places where significant hostility was routinely displayed have been dead for years (and of course, some places died for reasons other than its members being hostile !), because people voted with their feet, and the network effect is often powerful in communities. You're right, the active pieces of the modern (2010s, 2020s) TI graphing calculators community are quite safe places overall Smile
In general, the respective places' moderators are doing their job of educating and moderating those who fall astray, while not being overly strict (because over the long term, that tends to be bad for maintaining or increasing the level of activity) - put another way, moderators are usually a good job avoiding extreme behaviour (excessive action or excessive inaction) and ideas, which is a good thing to do in general anyway.

This nearly 20-year journey in the TI graphing calculators community has been a valuable life experience to me. I met various occurrences of reactions, ideas and misbehaviour which I had no idea could exist, reacted with more or less efficiency and success. I hope not to meet persons behaving that way IRL, but if I unfortunately do, I'll certainly be better positioned to detect these kinds of misbehaviour, and avoid them if I can.
As such, with my moderator hat on (at other places), I think that it's better to set the cursor slightly on the side of not moderating strongly enough, than on the side of moderating too strongly. I mean, discouraging but nevertheless tolerating a bit of dry, rude language, as long as it's not too frequent, it does not too visibly turn people off, and of course, it's not racist / sexist / homophobic / transphobic / etc. content. Over time, I got moderated once for some perceived hostility, a couple words (one I often use for myself, at that) accompanying an otherwise lengthy, technical post. I had not understood that the threshold was low enough at that place to trigger moderation despite the post being generally helpful.
Clearly, it's important and invaluable for people, especially the younger ones (as you write), to be able to grow and get some safe space when they need it. However, sadly, it's a fact of life that life is far from being all roses, and excessive shielding from the multifaceted hardship of life for too long, during the formative years, makes it even harder to face when it inevitably strikes (possibly more violently)...
Multiple times in my years here I've debated making a post like this for much the same reasons. Sometimes I take for granted that I have a place on the internet where I can go that has people showing genuine compassion. Sadly, I don't think it goes much deeper than the fact that there's just not very many of us. I don't remember the last time I saw a user with more than a few posts that I didn't recognize from other encounters. Whenever I think about it, it makes me both happy that I get to be a part of a place like this but also sad that that isn't a reality for the mainstream lanes of the internet. On Reddit, people are absolutely vile to each other with no remorse, because that's the standard. If you have anything critical to say to someone on Reddit, you will rarely be met with anything other than pure, unhinged hostility. People hide themselves behind the veil of anonymity, desensitize themselves to the fact that all the other anons around them are real humans with real lives, and hold nothing back, short of keeping themselves from being banned.

At Cemetech, people are incentivized not to be awful people not because of the fear of the banhammer, but because we know each other, and want everyone here as individuals to think well of us. On Reddit, you can delete a comment you shouldn't have made, and unless someone's stalking your account, you've basically removed that thing you've said from existence. No one's out cataloging every post that every random Reddit account makes and deletes. On Cemetech, you can delete a post but what you've said has already made an impression. An impression on people you see every day on this site.

I hope everyone on the internet finds their Cemetech.
I too have been lurking here for quite a while. It was only last year that I made an account and got involved in the community.
Heh, glad to hear it's a better place these days. Yeah, sure is a small, tight community, a lot has changed in 15 years....
I'll jump in here and say I'm also glad to have found Cemetech. I don't even remember how long I've been a member of the community, but it's been a really long time. In that time, never once have I seen genuine outright hostility within the community. Yes, from time to time, individual bad actors may stir up trouble, but you'll be hard pressed to find anywhere on the Internet where that isn't the case. Sadly, some people live for that drama, and I'm glad to say Cemetech does a darn good job of not feeding that type of behavior. It also helps that the forums, and the SAX as well as their co-linked IRC and Discord channels are thoroughly moderated and things that need attention are resolved quite rapidly. The worst thing I can recall happening on Cemetech of late is someone trying a bit too hard to sell some pairs of shoes.

If the tech-oriented feel of the website is too much, we have the Minecraft server where members and even friends of members can play, interact even more closely with each other. In fact, I have become closer friends with some people I have met on there than some of my friends in real life. And as someone who has been given the privilege of being on the staff team of the Minecraft server, I can say that even over there, we take fair-play, decency, and the protection of our userbase from bad actors extremely seriously and would suspect it's the same on the website. Cemetech may not be perfect, and from time to time many of us need to be reminded to be a bit more open to critique, suggestion, criticism... or to in the words of a certain person... read the dang documentation (:p), I strongly believe Cemetech is one of the safest, most engaging, most welcoming communities I've encountered. Cemetech is one of those safe places to fall, and my message to any possible parents who may see this board and are unsure if they want to let their children use order to learn the science of standing up, you must learn what causes one to fall down.
I've been around for the last few years and I'm still here largely because of the community. I don't do nearly as much calculator stuff as I once did but I think over the years my reason for logging on has changed somewhat. (now I mostly log on to interact with the community)
Sure there's a bit drama every now and then but I think that's to be expected of any group of people.
The constant good vibes on here (except for that one thread about why your lives suck Laughing ) is one of the main reasons I think people stay on the forums. There are people on here that have been around for 1 or even 2 decades and that's simply unheard of in most communities.

With regards to the mods, I'd say the moderation is excellent, particularly on the discord server Wink
I've been meaning to respond to this topic since it was posted, so I'll stop procrastinating and actually do it.

I agree with the sentiments about the community as a whole, and particularly appreciate the kind words about Cemetech in particular. When I first began teaching myself calculator programming many, many years ago now, I didn't have a community of like-minded friends who were interested in the same thing, and although then as now I stubbornly try to solve my own problems rather than asking questions, I've always derived a great deal of motivation from sharing my project progress with others. So it was immensely helpful to find first and then similar sites (MaxCoderz,, Omnimaga, etc.) and become involved in those communities, including posting some of the most facepalmingly noobish boast-posts that I regret to this day about unfinished projects like "Doors XP". The patience, kindness, and generosity of the old-school TI community was a big factor in me continuing to pursue calculator programming and eventually wanting to create Cemetech as a place to other like-minded folks to hang out and socialize.

I consider it a point of great pride that most of my best friends are from the calculator community, including one that is my business partner and introduced me to an ex I dated for three years, one I see several times a year, and several that I wish I could see more frequently. I see a big difference between relatively small communities like this one, where people see each other day after day and get to know each other as people, not just isolated comments/posts, and today's huge websites like Stack Overflow and Reddit that are far more transactional and paradoxically less of a community despite the much larger userbase. In a few months Cemetech will reach its 20th birthday in its current form (and by my reckoning 24 or 25 years since the first iteration appeared on the internet), and I'm thankful for all the folks here today and the decades of talented, curious, and friendly folks who have sustained our little community up to the present day to make that possible.
I am also glad this community is good because I have had this one time on Reddit where people are just mean. I think this community is better because we see that users are real people and not just a punching bag to yell at. Because there are fewer active members, it is easier to be nice due to seeing them as people. This also makes moderation easier, as the most common times moderation is needed is from spam accounts trying to advertise products.
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