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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.
Projects of the Month: December 2018
Published by PT_ on April 6, 2019 at 5:25:24 PM CST | Discuss this article (4)

After a few months of absence, we're back again with a shiny new list of projects being worked on, picking up where we left: December 2018. It's quite a nice list, with lots of projects, so be sure to check them out, give feedback to the author (if they're still working on it), or even run the programs and games yourself!

  • Announcing Skyrim CE: kg583 continued developing Skyrim CE, a new RPG written entirely in TI-BASIC. He expanded the character set used for displaying levels, such that slopes are possible. Despite the slowness and difficulties attributed with using BASIC, the game looks promising, so go check it out!
  • BOSshell for the TI-84+CE dev thread: beckadamtheinventor has been working very hard on his own shell, BOSshell, trying to make it able to run BASIC and assembly programs (which is of course the real purpose of any shell). He released a few versions, all with new features implemented and bugs fixed. Take a look at all the possibilities yourself!
  • BounCE - A relaxing bouncy ball 'simulator': A new game written in ICE made its way to the world: BounCE. This new program, made by Legoman314, is a bouncy ball simulator with features like accelerating balls, change the background colors, and having... square balls! The source is right in the topic, which means you can compile it yourself and play with it.
  • Boxman TTL: Botboy3000 has made another step with his hardware Boxman. After many other platforms, he decided to make it for real, designed the logic boards and finally ordered them, after which he can start with soldering it and put everything together. Take a look at the topic to see what he's actually working on!
  • CEmu - A CE Emulator: A new version of CEmu is released! The developers worked hard to fix the remaining bugs, while implementing new requests. This CE-emulator is constantly being updated, fixed and improved, resulting in a very stable program which a lot of features, both for the average user and developers. The new additions are for example importing and exporting RAM, and save screenshots directly to the clipboard. If you haven't updated CEmu yet, do it as soon as possible!
  • Don't Touch The White Tiles CE: BasicTH has released his newly-written game in ICE, the famous Don't Touch The White Tiles! This is a piano-like game where you have to hit the right key to touch the black tiles, faster and faster until you make a mistake. Can you beat his highscore?
  • Dr. Josiah Ryan Winslow - the talking psychology bot: JWinslow23 has created an online robot which you can talk to, called "Javascript Operator Specializing In Automatic Handling of Responses You Are Notating and Writing In Neatly Spaced Lower Output Windows". It might remind you of nikkybot, it might give weird and funny answers, worth hours of fun!
  • Generating electricity from sound.: A necro-update from TheLastMillennial regarding his science project, where he tried to generate electricity from sound. Although this sounds spectacular, there is some skepticism whether this would work. But perhaps it could? TheLastMillennial has done some testings, so check out the topic to see the results yourself!
  • HD picture viewer [ICE] [TI-84 Plus CE]: TheLastMillennial has highly improved his program to show full quality pictures right on your calculator. Using a custom palette autogenerated from the imput images, it now shows the colors much better! Want to impress your friends with a nice picture of your doggo? Use your calculator with this neat program!
  • ICEPad: Calcuon has made significant improvements on his new program, called ICEPad. This is an advanced note-editor for your calculator, including colored text and several more features. Take a look at his eye-candy screenshot which he posted in the topic!
  • Mahjong CE: commandblockguy has been continually improving Mahjong CE, finishing game logic, level generation, tile removing, win condition and several UI updated. The isometric look is simply amazing, so check out the program really quick to discover the possibilities yourself!
  • Snake - TI-84+CE: Yet another snake game is created and released, this time in C by MateoConLechuga. The game is pretty simple, but the snake itself has fancy colors and can go through walls. The source is on Github, so try it out!
  • Text Dungeon Progress [Finished]!: [PixelPerfect] has released the first version of Text Dungeon, a maze-like oubliette with roguelike elements full of adventure. Can you survive until the end? Can you beat all the enemies? Go play this game!
  • Xenon Development thread | ICE Shell: Alvajoy123 keeps working on his newest shell, Xenon. So far, many features have been implemented, like running assembly and BASIC programs, a terminal, a bunch of settings and pinning programs. He still has to fix some bugs, but it's definitely ready for usage!


Welp, that was it again! Be sure to vote in the poll what you think is the best completed program of December 2018, and the winner will participate in the Projects of the Year. Stay tuned!

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Your Future Cemetech Experience
Published by Alex on April 1, 2019 at 10:35:26 AM CST | Discuss this article (34)

Happy April Fools! :)

Hey Guys, we want to give you an update on what the future of Cemetech looks like.

You Are All Amazing


First, we want to say thanks for being amazing. Without all the visitors, the members that have joined, and those that have volunteered to run the community and contests over the last 15 years Cemetech wouldn't be where it is today. We've gone from an InvsionFree board to phpBB community on shared hosting, and eventually moving to a dedicated host. Without you, we wouldn't be where we are right now.


In 2018 we attempted to reach a bigger audience on an established and growing social community by opening up a Discord server. It worked and since July our Discord server has grown to 141 members, quickly out growing IRC. The Discord server has channels for 3d printing, various programming languages, gaming, contest discussion plus idea brainstorming, and more; a single channel of Discord & IRC are linked through a bot so that both communities can collaborate. Everyone is welcome to join in so follow this link for the invite.

Later in 2018, after recognizing the benefits of opening the Discord, the Cemetech Admins started to explore other ways to tap into established communities. We hemmed and we hawed at ideas. It was thrown out there that we could push Reddit a bit harder but it was not very favorable. We continued to deliberate and could never settle on something. Meanwhile, inspired by the Reddit push idea, Alex had started branding the Cemetech Subreddit with colors and style under the (admittedly unpopular) Reddit Redesign. After finishing the other Admins were convinced it was the right thing to pursue.

Now it's 2019 and we're officially announcing that we are going to put the forum in read-only mode on July 1st in favor of our Cemetech Subreddit. It's an extreme move--and not a decision we came to lightly--but with no easy way to bridge the two communities we figured it's best to keep all the discussion on one site. We won't be deleting the forum because we want this wealth of information to be accessible. Even after the forum is put into read-only jsTIfied, SourceCoder, and other Cemetech tools will continue to be available and updated. Your account won't be going anywhere nor will anything else change, you'll still be to create, save, export, and edit projects.

We're going to heavily push reddit threads over the next three months so when the forum is placed into read-only mode, the impact won't be as noticeable. To help make the transition easier Cemetech subreddit topics will be automatically posted into the Discord so IRC and SAX members can see when new topics are posted; we're also including a few other calculator and math related subreddits too but in another Discord channel as to not clog up the main discussion.

How does this help Cemetech grow?


Reddit is home to millions of users and even more visitors. By shifting our community over to Reddit we inherit all those potential members. As mentioned, Discord has been a great inspiration for this. We've had members join the Discord who lurk on the site, but didn't want to create an account. Since they had already signed up for Discord they were able to painlessly join the Cemetech Discord Server and get the help they require by tapping the communities incredible knowledge. Just imagine how many others will join our community now that we have an official presence on one of the largest social forums in the world.

If you guys have any questions about this next big step, please let us know and we'll be happy to answer them.



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Cemetech Contest #22
Published by _iPhoenix_ on March 31, 2019 at 1:01:52 AM CST | Discuss this article (19)



Cemetech Contest #22: Sprite Delight is all about letting users customize their game. You can submit a game in any language, for any platform. Games created for this contest should have some kind of menu or editor where the user/player designs their avatar. The options they make while designing their avatar should impact gameplay.

General
Games can be in any language, for any platform. Your entry must allow players to create their own avatar in some way. Having a list of pre-made avatars to choose from does not count. The result of their design should have an affect on gameplay. This can be as simple as equippable weapons and armor in a combat game or as complex as a game that lets you create and fly a plane. Be creative! You cannot copy or use part of any other program, and no program previously published is eligible; this has to be entirely new. You can choose how exactly you implement this. There must not be any inappropriate content, or any content that discriminates against others. This contest is open to all Cemetech users, whether you’re a contestant or a voter. Voting will be done in a separate thread, and not in this one.

Submitting your program
Submit your entries through email (contest at this website’s domain). Submit it in the same format as you would upload the file to the Cemetech archives. In the readme file, please include a contest specific section that includes the language it’s written in and the platform it was written for. Include any optional screenshot(s) in the submission itself. (If you need help getting screenshots, you should post in this thread). All entries must be in by 11:59 PM EST on the due dates outlined below. You may only submit one entry (if you want to submit an update to your entry, PM either _iPhoenix_ or KermMartian, and re-email your submission).

Development
Please create a thread to document your progress with the title format "CC22: <username>". You are allowed to receive help for this particular contest, provided that it is done publicly on either the forums, or on SAX/IRC. If you receive help from someone, make sure to give them credit!

Timeline
The contest will begin on March 31st and end on May 1st. Assuming no delays or extensions, voting will start on May 2nd, and end on May 12th.

Good luck and happy programming!

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Cemetech at T^3 International Conference 2019
Published by KermMartian on March 26, 2019 at 12:36:44 PM CST | Discuss this article (6)

For the seventh year in a row, Cemetech attended Texas Instruments' annual Teachers Teaching with Technology (T^3) conference. This year, yours truly (Christopher "Kerm Martian" Mitchell) was joined by long-time adminstrator and business partner Thomas "elfprince13" Dickerson and Thomas's wife Courtney (the only one of us who actually teaches in a K-12 classroom). This year, the conference was in Baltimore, Maryland the weekend of March 7-10; in the past, we've gone to Texas, Chicago, Philadelphia, Florida, and even Las Vegas for it. Our goals at the conference are always twofold: to teach teachers programming with graphing calculators, and to see how teachers and TI are introducing coding, electronics, and STEM to today's students. Like many of us Cemetechians, we started down paths towards computer science, engineering, and software engineering from humble beginnings in figuring out how to program our calculators. We want to do everything we can to make sure today's kids are still introduced to these vital subjects as early as possible; attending T^3 helps to keep us in the loop of what's going well with those efforts, and what can be improved.



Two of the highlights of the conference were the opening and closing keynote addresses, both by math educators with inspiring messages. The opening keynote address was given by Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, a material scientist and engineer with degrees from Brown and Stanford. After a successful engineering career, she switched to evangelizing STEM, at Yale, via the TED organization, through books, and now at T^3. One of her most impactful messages was that failure should be embraced, not discouraged, and as startup founders and educators, that resonated with Thomas and I. As Dr. Ramirez encouraged, we hope that you too encounter and embrace failures as a learning opportunity! The closing address was presented by Dr. Valerie Camille Jones, who earned her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education at Columbia (and to our fascination, defended her thesis on "The Effect of Computer Gaming on Student Motivation and Basic Multiplication Fluency". Dr. Jones is also a math teacher in Georgia, an active cosplayer, and a highly awarded speaker. She discussed the importance of getting students to think of themselves as math-fluent and to enjoy math, and some strategies she has used in the classroom to make that possible. We were captivated by her successes to date, her enthusiasm for #MathEsteem, and her self-designed outfits and impressive cosplay.



This year, we saw a bigger-than-ever focus on "coding" and on TI's relatively new TI-Innovator Rover. Thomas and I taught two of about 30 programming sessions available at the conference, and attended a number of those other sessions. We also went to sessions on computational thinking, and a few on the Rover. We spotted very few electronics-specific sessions for the TI-Innovator Hub, but as in previous years, there were a number of session on using sensors with the calculators. We particularly enjoyed one session where we taught a Rover to stay on a table by keeping it inside a box drawn in marker, and another where we measured the Rover's movement error and used ratios to determine how to get it to go exactly the distance and direction we wanted. We were disappointed to not see more sessions with the TI-Innovator Hub and electronics components, but we hope those will expand next year as more teachers become comfortable with the tool.

Another new introduction this year was the TI-Nspire CX II, TI's new version of this now 12-year-old calculator line. Information from the internet and our colleagues at TI-Planet suggests that the calculator may have a faster processor and certainly has an upgraded operating system. It brings graphics command support to the TI-Nspire's flavor of TI-BASIC, many more interactive graphing features to support the calculator as a classroom tool, and several CAS and useability improvements. We're looking forward to taking a hands-on look at the new TI-Nspire CX II in a few weeks, and anticipate reporting on its features then.



Every time I've attended T^3, I've taught a session to teachers on teaching programming in the classroom via TI-BASIC. Over the years, it has become increasingly popular, but I've always dreamed of being able to go into more depth and breadth about programming and TI-BASIC. In the past year or two, Thomas and I have tossed around the idea of back-to-back beginner and advanced TI-BASIC sessions, and this year, we were finally able to make this a reality. We discarded the pedagogical component, instead focusing solely on the programming and computer science education. In TI-84 Plus CE Graphing Calculator Coding for Beginners, I started from the very basics, teaching "Hello, World", reviewing simple TI-BASIC commands, and then delving into a prime number-testing program. Even though I had a full hour and a half instead of a mere hour, I still somehow ended up with insufficient time. Lest I forget by next year, I think an ideal beginner class would teach input, output, conditionals, and simple input-compute-output type programs that you commonly see in math and science classes. It would then ideally be followed by an intermediate class that would delve into loops, labels, menus, and other forms of more complex control flow. This could be capped pretty much as-is by the session Thomas taught this year, Advanced Coding on the TI-84 Plus CE Graphing Calculator. Thomas took the computer science approach, teaching the basics of tree data structures before giving attendees the opportunity to complete a set of programs to maintain a tree data structure in TI-BASIC. We were heartened by the results of this experiment, and look forward to refining and repeating it next year. We'll keep you posted on next year's sessions, and if you want to help us teach programming to teachers next year, let us know!

Even in the midst of working hard on Geopipe, it was a pleasure to keep connected to the teaching community. With efforts like our new Cemetech Tools for Teachers, we look forward to maintaining and expanding our support for teachers, students, DIYers, and everyone else. We hope you also get a chance to explore T^3 some year and see a different side of what teachers and TI do with our beloved calculators.

More Information
Our T^3 2019 photo album



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