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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.
Clouttery: Manage All Your Devices' Batteries Effortlessly
Published by KermMartian on August 19, 2016 at 4:09:20 PM CST | Discuss this article (2)

For years, Cemetechian gbl08ma has been a mainstay of the Casio Prizm community here on Cemetech. As a skilled C programmer and systems hacker, he has proven his mettle with widely-used projects like Utilities for the Casio Prizm and the powerful Eigenmath CAS port. He has now shared a new project that he has been working on over the past year, called Clouttery. Clouttery is "the smart, cloud-enabled battery monitor which works with every device", enabling you to see the battery level of all of your internet-connected devices from a unified web console.

gbl08ma kindly explained what motivated him to pursue this project: his own pains points. Some of the best tech we've seen has come out of the innovator's own pains, and that certainly has been the case in this community as well. Not only did he have devices that didn't provide enough current and historical data on battery levels and usage, he also noticed the proliferation of actual and so-called "Internet of Things" devices that people don't remember to recharge. As many of us have no doubt noticed, tech savviness also seems linked to how aware users are of their devices' needs, and gbl08ma wants to make it easy for everyone to have their devices charged and working when they need them. Finally, gbl08ma cites the novelty of a cloud-based battery management system, having previously put superb work into an already-solved problem with his tny.im link-shortening service.

Clouttery currently has clients for Windows and Android, a Chrome extension, and a web management interface. No doubt you're curious about what Clouttery actually lets you do:
  • Lets you know the battery levels and charging status of your devices, from a single place, even if they are miles away.
  • Stores and displays the battery history for all of your devices.
  • Can provide alarms whenever the battery level of a device goes below or above a certain threshold (when discharging/charging, respectively).
  • Calculates statistics for the batteries, such as charge cycles and calibration count.
  • Analyses the battery history and lets you know about potentially damaging usage patterns.

gbl080ma is actively working on this project, and some of the upcoming features seem particularly exciting:
  • Learn about the battery consumption habits of your gadgets and learn/be taught about your needs, so it can plan ahead of you ("If you want to have your phone usable by 6 pm, you need to stop playing games now. Oh, and enable the battery saver")
  • Detect and warn about malfunctioning/dead batteries

gbl08ma has identified potential customers across the swathes of people with many internet-connected, battery-powered devices, people who enjoy statistics and graphs, and people who tend to be forgetful about keeping their many devices charged. Some in our community will no doubt knee-jerk criticize that this project is closed-source and may be a paid service in the future. We, however, applaud gbl08ma's entrepreneurial spirit, wish him the best of luck, and look forward to seeing his progress in the future.

More Information
Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor (Cemetech topic)
Clouttery website

SIGGRAPH 2016 Highlights: Basketball with OptiTrack
Published by elfprince13 on August 16, 2016 at 12:59:47 AM CST | Discuss this article (3)

One of the many joys of SIGGRAPH is getting to explore all of the new visualization technology first-hand. Among the coolest things we saw was OptiTrack's demo, combining advanced real-time motion-capture technology with virtual reality.

For those unfamiliar with the terminology, motion-capture (or "Mo-cap" for short) records the movements of a set of points through a 3d space, usually to translate a human actor's live-action performances into a CGI character in a film, or to produce animations which can be reused for video game characters. What both of these applications have in common is that the motion capture itself can take place long before any audience sees the resulting animations attached to a digital character, allowing any computationally expensive processing stage (or manual fixing of animations due to any hiccups in the capture process) to be hidden by the inherent time delay.

OptiTrack, on the other hand, works in the relatively new field of real-time motion-capture, which delivers highly accurate results with essentially no time delay between the capture process and the visualization it is driving. The demo we played with gave us the opportunity to play virtual-reality basketball with a real basketball, with a partner who appeared as an android in game, but was being animated by the actions of a real human in the same room.

OptiTrack has published an official demo video, but we thought you'd have more fun watching Kerm and I try it for ourselves.

We've highlighted several of the challenges we faced while playing basketball in the VR/motion-capture setting, but it was certainly an amazing technology and we can't wait to see how it develops in the near future.

Win TI-84 Plus CEs with Photos of Math for the Win
Published by KermMartian on August 13, 2016 at 3:48:14 PM CST | Discuss this article (7)

If you recently saw our review of the gold TI-84 Plus CE, you already know that we're suitably impressed with the new gold and white TI-84 Plus CEs. We recently heard that TI is running a month-long contest in which you can win your own gold or white TI-84 Plus CE, as well as a videoconference with mathematician and pro football player John Urschel, plus a $500 Amazon gift card. As with TI's "ilyTI" contest (and unlike the earlier "Calculate Your Color" contest), you enter by posting on Twitter or Instagram. Assuming you have a publicly-viewable account, you take a picture of math at work in your world, post it with #MathFTW and #TIContest, and you're entered for the daily drawing of a TI-84 Plus CE as well as the grand prize. Among our ideas are how we use calculators in our academic and professional lives, showing how math is important to our jobs, and perhaps a creative application or two of math to our recreation. If you come up with some particularly cool ideas, we hope you'll show them to us here in the attached thread!

According to the press release, this contest is part of a partnership with John Urschel, a professional football player who is also pursuing a Ph.D. at MIT in Applied Math. Since we're always interested in how we can inspire students to explore STEM fields, we appreciate TI Education president Dr. Peter Balyta's sentiment that TI is "excited to [...] show students that mathematics is rooted in reality[; ...]math underlies every aspect of life and it can help you solve almost any problem." Good luck to those of you entering the contest!

More Information
TI Education #MathFTW Contest

Projects of the Month: July 2016
Published by tifreak8x on August 12, 2016 at 2:30:49 PM CST | Discuss this article (2)

August is well underway, and in many parts of the northern hemisphere, it's oppressively hot and humid. Summer (including vacations) is the norm for many of our members, which means that this July saw relatively few posts about completed or significantly updated projects. Nevertheless, we're happy to bring you news of what some Cemetechians have been spending their time on this past month.
  • Gameulator Gen 4: The Gameulator project by Botboy3000 that puts the contents of the Gameboy Advance SP into the shell of an 84 Plus. Check out the topic for a video of the project with more information on what modifications were done to make this work.
  • Project Builder: Adriweb and crew have been adding updates to this online IDE and emulator for CE project building, making it a far more useful tool for those writing C programs for their calculators. Check out the linked post for more information on the new functions their online tool now supports!
  • Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth: Iambian posted up an update, showing off a bit of the cutscene editor and some of its function. He's also added/updated a to do list, so check out the topic for more information!
  • Don't Touch the Spikes CE: Unicorn has been working on his port of the Don't touch the spikes mobile game over to the CE, and has posted up some nice looking screenshots showing off progress. Check it out if you need a good time waster between your upcoming classes!
  • Zargul: JamesV has been working this past month to bring his FPS like game up to the CE, and the screenshots posted really show off what the 84 Plus CE is capable of! Check out the topic to see what all he's gotten completed and help encourage this project on to completion!
  • ICE Compiler: PT_'s project has seen some major updates over the last month, adding the ability to handle usermem and many other functions needed for programming. Check out the topic for a very detailed list of changes and screenshots showing off changes and bugs along the way. As a reminder, we recently posted a feature on ICE thanks to news editor Pimathbrainiac. It does a great job at summarizing what ICE is and what it's for.
  • eZ80 Linker: DrDnar is unhappy with the state of Zilog's linker, which is used in the TI-84 Plus CE C SDK from community members including Cemetech moderator and ASM rockstar MateoConLechuga. There are rumors that jacobly is working on an ez80 backend for the LLVM compiler, but even so, a new linker is sorely needed. DrDnar has been working hard to make that happen, and his thread contains his progress reports

We want to remind everyone that there's less than three weeks left to complete your Cemetech Contest #17: On Rails entries! This contest emphasizes getting help from your peers and keeping Cemetech abreast of your progress, so even if you haven't worked on your entry in a while, go post in your topic now what you plan to do to finish your entry in the next three weeks. If you haven't started an entry yet, there's still plenty of time to do so.

See you at the beginning of September with August's roundup!