Welcome to Cemetech! Since 2000, Cemetech (pronounced KE'me'tek) has been teaching programming and electronics and developing software and hardware. Among Cemetech's specialties are TI, HP, and Casio graphing calculators like the TI-84 Plus, TI-Nspire, HP Prime, and Casio Prizm, embedded and DIY electronics, and computer and web programming. Cemetech provides a safe, friendly space for people to learn, show off projects, and share knowledge and expertise. Our staff of friendly volunteers hang out on our forum and IRC and SAX chatrooms, and are happy to help.
Projects of the Year: 2021
Published by epsilon5 5 days, 4 hours ago (2023-01-28T19:18:13+00:00) | Discuss this article

Welcome back to another Project of the Year! 2021 saw the continuation of an excellent run of development and community on Cemetech, resulting in the fifteen Project of the Month winners over the year (thanks to a few ties). Here they are for you now:

In January, there was a tie between Tari’s BBCode Library and Captain Calc's HexaEdit CE. BBCode Library is a library developed in Rust as part of a continued and more general effort to improve Cemetech's entire backend. It should make parsing BBCode markup significantly easier and more powerful, as well as being more performant.

The logo for BBCode Library, emphasizing its improvement over regex-heavy BBCode implementations.

HexaEdit CE is a powerful hex editor for the CE calculators. In January's 2.0.0 update, Captain Calc completely reworked the GUI of the program as well as improving the file search and adding a new API that allows the program to be better integrated with other programs. This tool has quickly become a vital one for both developers and calculator power users, as it allows files to be edited on-the-fly for testing and cheating in games more.

Using HexaEdit CE.

February also saw a tie in the PotM results between TheLastMillenial's cleverly named CEyboard and ACagliano's HASHLIB. CEyboard was the result of an effort to document every key in the TI-SmartView software, culminating in a program allowing you to use your calculator as a keyboard for your computer.

Controlling a PC using the calculator as a keypad via CEyboard. Click for original YouTube video.

HASHLIB is a program allowing for cryptography within CE C/assembly programs. It includes many hashing and other cryptographic functions that could prove useful for any program that requires a level of security on the CE--for instance, ACagliano's own Blast and VAPOR programs. Additionally, the library is compatible with LibLoad.

An example SHA-256 hash generated by HASHLIB.

Our first absolute winner! Frederik's on-calc sprite editor (sprite) Designer narrowly won the PotM in March. It includes many useful features, such as a color picker, the ability to open sprites at once, zoom, different drawing tools, and much more. It's a tool that could prove to be very useful for ICE developers or those who don't have easy access to a similar editor on a computer.

Drawing operations and use of tools in (sprite) Designer.

In April, RoccoLox Programs' Tiny Jumper ran away with the poll, taking an incredible 11 of 15 total votes. This is a platformer game for the CE with a focus on speedrunning, that also features very smooth gameplay, customization, and much more. It also stoked the Cemetech competitive spirit in the form of widespread community competition to get the fastest times on each level that is still ongoing.

Playing through one of the levels in Tiny Jumper.

Dmalenke's Calc2KeyCE handily won May's PotM, taking nearly half of the 20 votes submitted. It's a neat utility allowing for many types of calculator <--> PC functionality, including screen mirroring and input.

Calc2KeyCE in operation. Click for original YouTube video.

Frederik took a second win in June with Folders, a program that adds the constantly requested folders feature to shells that do not include them by default--or even the programs menu! It's quite a clever workaround that can improve organization for users with many programs on their calculators, in which the user runs a program that packs/unpacks groups of other programs.

Packing/unpacking of a folder in the programs menu via Folders.

Programmer's Calculator CE, created by DrDnar, narrowly won the July PotM. Despite the clear irony of this program, it's a great way to expand the capabilities of your calculator when it comes to...being a calculator. It includes many features that could be helpful for programmers in particular, including hexadecimal, binary, and bitwise operations. Finally, everything is wrapped up in a very sophisticated and user-friendly interface.

The settings menu for Programmer's Calculator CE on top of various prior operations.

In another hotly contested month, ordelore's AgneCE won the August PotM. It's an NES emulator written in C for the CE calculators, a port of the Agnes emulator for other devices. While it's not particularly fast, it's certainly a commendable technical achievement and quite impressive considering the hardware.

The title screen for Super Mario Bros. running in the AgneCE emulator.

September saw tr1p1ea's TI-81 CE win by a landslide. A patch/port of the TI-81 OS making it able to be run in z80 mode on the much newer CE calculators, this project includes the (almost) full TI-81 experience, even including a neat skin and the classic greenish-colored LCD. It's also much faster than the original.

Creating and running a program within TI-81 CE.

Michael0x18's text editor CEdit took the PotM win in October. This program is a fully-fledged text editor for the CE, including text selection, copying, pasting, searching, and a variety of other useful and intuitive functions. All of this is wrapped in a very nice, customizable UI.

CEdit's save dialog.

Due to some polling issues in the November PotM, we can't be sure exactly who won, so we have another tie! Combined, these two programs earned all of the votes in the poll, so it is clear that they are both deserving of a spot in the PotY. CEleste, commandblockguy's port of the classic PICO-8 platformer Celeste, is our first winner. It's a neat game with many levels to play through that required a significant amount of work to get ported due to hardware differences and issues with the graphics of the game.

The main menu and some gameplay of CEleste.

November also saw the completion of a years-long effort by JamesV in his massive top-down space shooter Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact. Including 3 episodes, many levels, multiplayer (!), smooth animations and gameplay, bossfights, cutscenes, a non-linear campaign in Episode III, high scores, achievements, and much more, it's likely one of the largest calculator games ever released--and it's available for both monochrome and color calculators.

Bossfight gameplay and the start of the countdown sequence in Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact.

A longtime project by Michael2_3B, Fruit Ninja CE was finally released in December. This is a remake of the mobile game for the CE calculators, featuring clever gameplay (just swipe on your calculator's keypad), polished GUI, different fruit types, and all of the slicing fun of the original.

Gameplay and menus from Fruit Ninja CE.

And that's all for 2021! Take a look at all of the projects' threads, give the authors their much-deserved kudos, and vote for your favorite project of the year in the poll above.

New Administrators: commandblockguy and iPhoenix
Published by KermMartian 1 week, 3 days ago (2023-01-22T23:38:18+00:00) | Discuss this article

After over five years each as constructive Cemetech users, moderators, and news editors, John "commandblockguy" Cesarz and Ryan "iPhoenix" Pitasky have both been promoted to Administrators of Cemetech. Although many of our current administrators make some time for Cemetech, notably including Peter "Tari" Marheine's tireless behind-the-scenes effort to not only maintain but actively improve Cemetech's backend, many have a lot less time these days. With commandblockguy's and iPhoenix's promotions, long-time administrators Thomas "elfprince13" Dickerson, Daniel "tifreak8x" Thorneycroft, and Peter "PT_" Tillema have been moved to Administrator Emeritus. We welcome any future time they're able to give to Cemetech, and I'm sure they'll still be around when they're able, but in the meantime, please join me in thanking them for their considerable contributions to the community.

We're pleased to welcome commandblockguy and iPhoenix to the team for their leadership not just in technical projects, but in what really matters to a community like Cemetech: the ability to apply fairness, good judgment, and poise in managing a set of talented folks from many different backgrounds, countries, and ages and maturity levels. Each has gone above and beyond as a Discord moderator and as a news editor, including contributing to our ongoing efforts to catch our Projects of the Month up to the present day. We look forward to their tenures as Administrators, and please help them by making their work as easy as possible!

Projects of the Month: December 2021
Published by TIny_Hacker 1 week, 6 days ago (2023-01-20T14:09:42+00:00) | Discuss this article

Hey everyone! It's that time again, so let's dive into this month's featured projects!
  • A transliterator on the CE: Privacy_Dragon has been working on a program that allows you to convert text between the Roman alphabet and two constructed alphabets. This month, Privacy_Dragon has fixed a number of bugs and even published another beta, so be sure to give it a try (spoiler alert: next month, the final version will come out, as no bugs were reported).
  • Banchor II (TI-84+CE): JamesV has made a lot of progress on his project, adding functional doors, faces for characters, and he's even started work on a party system. This project is very impressive as always, so be sure to check it out if you haven't yet!
  • BOS (OS+ROM) for CEmu: beckadamtheinventor has made a lot of progress on her custom TI-84 Plus CE OS, BOS. This month, she greatly improved the speed of the filesystem, as well as many bug fixes and the return of FAT32 USB drive support!

  • C8SALT: A CHIP-8 emulator in TI-BASIC for the 83+/84+: Oxiti8 has greatly improved his CHIP-8 emulator, adding a ROM importer and some other useful features as well, along with an alpha release this month!

  • Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon: Hot_Dog has been testing and making adjustments to his game, along with fixing a critical bug as well. This month, he has also made an early release so you can try out the game yourself.
  • Fruit Ninja CE [C]: Just in time for the end of the year, Michael2_3B has released Fruit Ninja CE! It's been a long time since he started it, but it certainly was worth the wait as you can see from the thought that has been put into it. Fruit Ninja is certainly tricky to pull off without a touch screen, but Michael2_3B did a great job with his implementation!

  • HASHLIB - Cryptography Library for the CE: ACagliano has continued work on his cryptography library, along with another update this month.
  • Jetpack Joyride for the TI-84 Plus CE: King Dub Dub has made a lot of progress on Jetpack Joyride CE, with a new title screen, bug fixes, and more details added throughout the game. He's also managed to optimize almost 15KB from the total size of the game!

  • TI-BASIC Development Libraries (semi-universal): darkwater4213 has started work on some subroutines to make programming in TI-BASIC more convenient. So far, he's made a menu routine and a routine to wait for the user to press the enter key.
  • TI-Boy CE Progress Thread: calc84maniac has fixed some freezes when running certain games in TI-Boy CE, along with making progress towards emulating Game Boy Color games as well!
  • VYSION 2 CE: the ultimate CE shell: epsilon5 has continued to make progress on his shell. This month he's made improvements to the menu system, worked on a basic filesystem structure, and added a battery indicator as well. Be sure to let him know what you think of the new features.

  • Z80Test: Software Tests for Hardware Components: CVSoft has continued work on his Z80Test program, as he tries to add support for the TI-73.

That wraps up this month's projects. Since the only project completed this month was Fruit Ninja CE, it will automatically move on to PotY and so there will not be any poll. Be sure to check back for the next PotM and for more projects soon!

Projects of the Month: November 2021
Published by epsilon5 2 weeks, 2 days ago (2023-01-17T19:56:39+00:00) | Discuss this article

Welcome back to another month of PotM updates! As usual, there were a lot of great projects this month. Remember that since these were all made a good deal in the past, there's a chance that they will be available for download/have further updates now. Let's get started.
  • A dragon on the CE!: Privacy_Dragon unveiled a new project this month, which will allow you to interact with a virtual dragon. It's sounding like a fun pet simulator-type program, so stay tuned for more updates!
  • A transliterator on the CE: Privacy_Dragon made lots of progress on this transliterator program, which allows for the conversion of text between English and various fictional alphabets. This month, more languages were added, some bug fixes were made, and a beta version was released.

  • Alien Breed 5 Episode III: Impact: JamesV added some slick new boss sprites this month after a brief break from the project. After years of work, the project was released this month as well! It is a hugely impressive and massive top-down space shooter featuring levels, bossfights, cutscenes, high scores, achievements, and much more. And no need to worry about whether you have a monochrome or color calculator, either--it's available for both! Be sure to download it and give JamesV some much-deserved recognition.

  • Banchor II (TI-84+CE): As if releasing Alien Breed 5: Episode III wasn't enough for this month, JamesV also found the time to work on another old project of his, Banchor II. This month, he got the new rendering engine working and added some new graphics, which should increase the visual appeal and consistency of the game.

  • Baseball for the TI-84 Plus CE: darkwater4213 introduced a new project this month, a port of Mattel's handheld baseball game from long ago. Check it out and give darkwater4213 some suggestions and support!
  • BTD Remake: Frederik released a work-in-progress build of a Bloons Tower Defense clone for the CE. As the game is currently incomplete, give it a download to tell Frederik any improvements or additions you'd like to see.
  • C8SALT: A CHIP-8 emulator in TI-BASIC for the 83+/84+: Oxiti8 revealed a CHIP-8 emulator written in pure TI-Basic this month. It will be available for both monochrome and color calculators. Many of the tests are already working, so be sure to stay tuned for more updates.

  • Calc2KeyCE: Dmalenke massively improved the screen mirroring performance of Calc2KeyCE this month, a utility that allows mirroring a computer screen to your color calculator, using the calculator as an input device for the computer, and much more. A few new releases were also published this month, including one that added cross-platform screen mirroring support. Check it out!

  • CEleste: commandblockguy ported the classic PICO-8 platformer to the CE this month. This involved a lot of work to resolve hardware differences between the two platforms and make the graphics look reasonable. It also was released this month, so be sure to download it if you're looking for a fun new platformer for your calculator!

  • Durer's Magic Square: darkwater4213 created and released a Durer's Magic Square program for the CE this month, created in pure TI-Basic. It generates possible sets of four numbers in the square--though they may be duplicates. darkwater4213 is planning a new version that will not count duplicates so be on the lookout for that.
  • Elimination RPG: Early Release Build!! | Elimination: An RPG inspired by Earthbound / Pokemon: Hot_Dog released a test build of the upcoming RPG Elimination for monochrome calculators this month. Check it out if you're looking for a new RPG to play with an expansive map, Pokemon-like battle mechanics, and much more!

  • Janus — A quickstart library for games: slimeenergy added physics to Janus this month, which is a library including many helpful tools for game creation. The engine allows for easy handling of collisions of objects, forces, and much more. Check it out and give slimeenergy some support!

  • NIM for the TI-84 Plus CE: darkwater4213 created and released a new Nim game, where players take turns taking stones from piles and avoid taking the last stone, for the CE this month. An update fixing bugs and improving quality of life was also published, so give the project a look and darkwater4213 some kudos!
  • Slime Hunter: A TI-84+ Roguelike [Axe]: kilo made some great progress on Slime Hunter this month, a new roguelike game with dungeon generation and some very nice graphics! Check it out and give kilo some support.

  • SNAKE++: RedSpacePanda published the first version of a fresh take on the classic Snake game for the CE this month. It includes several different modes, a nice menu, and plans for further customization and deeper gameplay. Give it a download and RedSpacePanda some congratulatory words!

  • [On Hold] VYSION 2 CE: the ultimate CE shell: epsilon5 made some impressive improvements to VYSION 2 this month. Included in the long list of improvements and additions are the ability to close windows, window location previews, and a rewrite of the core GUI update loop. Check it out and give epsilon5 some support, and suggestions!
That's all for now--be sure to vote for your favorite project in the poll above, and see you next month (or in a few weeks, if we're on schedule!).