Just because it's 6 months past the new year doesn't mean Project of the Year can stop! There were dozens of amazing project this year and it's time to vote on the best of the best!
- Project of the Month, January: There was a tie for this month! Nuclear Reactor Simulator [84+CE BASIC] and TI Number Theory repository:
- Nuclear Reactor Simulator is from SM84CE and written in pure TI-Basic! This is a very feature-rich program (check out a list of features in the thread) and you can currently download the latest version in the Cemetech archives. Check out the thread and screenshots for more details.
- TI Number Theory repository is a group of TI-BASIC programs by kg583 to assist in number analysis! These programs should work on any 83+/84+ calculator, even older monochromes, and they could be very useful to TI-Basic programmers, so be sure to check out the release on the GitHub repo.
- Project of the Month, February: NSPICE - A Circuit Builder and Simulator: M4dasOne posted this very impressive circuit builder for the TI-Nspire. So far it looks like this project has a lot of features, with many more planned for the future. Go and show M4dasOne some support in the thread, where you can find a screen recording, more information, and even download the first version and try it yourself!
- Project of the Month, March: Boxman Arcade Cabinet! [COMPLETE 3-17-2019]: Botboy3000's arcade machine for the game Boxman was recently placed in an actual arcade! The machine and game are both made nearly from scratch, with Botboy3000 putting in countless hours into the construction and design; check out the thread to see where it is now, and congratulate him on his achievement!
- Project of the Month, April: Another tie! 68k Latin to English Translator and LoopOver CE:
- 68k Latin to English Translator is Sam's project which is a Latin translation program for the Voyager 200. It works by searching its database for a translated version of the words you input to it, but it is not quite that simple. The thread contains a detailed explanation of the program and how it works, so I highly recommend checking it out!
- LoopOver CE is from matkeller19, LoopOver CE is a 2d Rubik's cube for the CE. Written in C, it has you rotate rows of numbers to solve a 2d puzzle. This is all very cool stuff, you find a download in the thread!
- Project of the Month, May: FontLibC---C library for fancy fonts on the TI-84 Plus CE: If you’ve ever wanted to spice your program up with a custom, more detailed font then DrDnar’s C library is for you! It supports a wide variety of customizations so go check out the thread for some screenshots and the project download!
- Project of the Month, June: Wow, Cemetechians really can't make up their mind, another tie! Bejeweled CE and Blast File Integrity Software:
- Bejeweled CE is by calclover2514 and it's based on the classic jewel-swapping game of the same name. This game is very complete with tons of features, including multiple game modes, so go give it a download!
- Blast File Integrity Software is from ACagliano who put the finishing touches on this fully rewritten utility for the CE, useful for monitoring whether your files have been tampered with or even contain dangerous code. Check out the thread and documentation included with the download for more info!
- Project of the Month, July: Colossal Cave Adventure CE: DrDnar released his port of this classic text adventure for the CE. While it may not have tons of fancy graphics, it showcases FontLibC with its different fonts and the story is true to the original version from 1977. The game is completed, so go and download it from the archives!
- Project of the Month, August: PineappleCAS - A generic CAS targeted for the TI-84+ CE: Cemetech member squishy created a Computer Algebra System (CAS) for the CE! While it may not be as powerful as the CAS on other calculators, it is still very impressive and can even be accessed through a TI-BASIC program. Make sure to go check out the releases page in the thread and give it a try!
- Project of the Month, September: 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!
- Project of the Month, October: Google Apps Script (Google Sheets) Chat Program: CamelCode has 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. Check out the thread for some more details or to check it out for yourself!
- Project of the Month, November: No completed projects this month.
- Project of the Month, December: Dino Run CE (Chrome dino game clone): Although we still don't have internet on our calculators, that didn't stop commandblockguy from keeping offline gaming fun! With this accurate port of the beloved dino run easter egg from the Chrome browser, commandblockguy has replicated every graphic, hit block, and even day/night cycle! It's quite a fun game so go visit the thread for a download!
That's all for this year! Remember to vote on your favorite project once you've read through all of them! The project with the most votes will be awarded 2019 Project of the Year. Best of luck to all the entries!
December was full of awesome projects and a great way to end off the year! Remember when we didn't know how much we'd miss 2019?
- 'The first GOOD looking' TI Basic CE Snake Game: User 4k has started working on a snake game called Spicy Snake! The features list is pretty complete but go show your support on the thread if you want the author to post some screenshots or download!
- Ace Recon CE: epsilon5 has updated his CC23 entry which was an awesome stealth focused spy game to version 1.0! The game's graphics looks very beautiful and the levels are well made. It even has a level editor so go check it out!
- Calculatormon CE - A Pokémon game: Love Pokémon games? Then KellerWheat has you covered with a fantastic looking Pokémon game! This month they added several new items but are needing some help with map design. If you'd like to help them out or just want to get an awesome game, go visit the thread!
- Dino Run CE (Chrome dino game clone): Although we still don't have internet on our calculators, that didn't stop commandblockguy from keeping offline gaming fun! With this accurate port of the beloved dino run easter egg from the Chrome browser, commandblockguy has replicated every graphic, hit block, and even day/night cycle! It's quite a fun game so go visit the thread for a download!
- Grammer 2- The App: Xeda112358 just doesn't give up on updating their programming language for the TI-84 Plus, Grammer! Only a month after its 8th year of support, much better font support has been added. It's an awesome looking update so go check it out!
- TI-84+CE Mode7 test (previously CSE): tr1p1ea has continued working on his 3D Mario Kart style game, Mode 7! This month he worked on adding multiple sprites to a scene at once and created the star power up! It's quite an awesome project so go visit the thread!
- TI-Planet's "Project Builder" with online CE C/C++: Adriweb just barely squeaked in one more update before 2020 rolled around! For those who don't know, Project Builder is TI Planet's amazing online TI-84 Plus CE emulator and development tool. They've added support for C99, C11, and even C++17 along with other features!
- Zilog Z8671 BASIC/DBG Pocket Computer: Botboy3000 may have took a long break from Cemetech, but that didn't stop them from getting right back into awesome projects! The goal is to create a pocket computer from scratch using a Zilog CPU, similar to the CPU used in the TI-83/84 Plus calculators! Botboy3000 has made some awesome progress with the hardware and it's definitely worth looking at the eye candy!
That's all for this month! Be sure to vote for your favorite completed project in the poll above!
On Wednesday, we revealed that TI was removing ASM/C functionality from the TI-83 Premium CE in OS 5.5, and a TI response documented at TI-Planet subsequently confirmed that the TI-84 Plus CE will also lose ASM/C in OS 5.6. Unsurprisingly, the response here at Cemetech and elsewhere was overwhelmingly negative: although some expressed understanding of the pressures TI is under from exam boards and teachers, and others uncovered sensationalized videos suspected to be part of the impetus for this change, most expressed anger, disappointment, and betrayal.
I later spoke with Peter Balyta, President of EdTech at TI, and he understands that removing ASM functionality is a bitter pill to our community. He reaffirmed that this was a difficult decision, but one that was made out of an abundance of caution to prioritize learning for students and minimize any security risks.
He expressed hope that in lieu of ASM/C support, the community will be vocal in helping guide TI's development of Python support on an increasing breath of TI handhelds. Whether it's what would allow you to make powerful programs and games in Python as you would have done in ASM/C, or control and interface with hardware for physical computing (c.f. the Innovator and Rover), he is keen to hear the community's input. He is even open to hearing other ideas that could balance the needs of students, teachers, exam agencies and the desires of our developer community - please take advantage of this opportunity, and I/we will amplify what we hear.
There has been some brainstorming in the past few days among community members about (for lack of a better name) the TI-84 Plus CE Developer Edition. If we were to float that idea to TI, perhaps a calculator clearly and visibly distinguished from the TI-84 Plus CE that could be used on tests, what would you want from it? Opened up for ASM, C, and Python programming? Having the same specs as the usual TI-84 Plus CE, or something else? Having more features to help you connect hardware to it? And considering that TI is (after all) a business, would you buy one, and how many others do you think would? Beyond the community, who else could it be marketed to? Why would someone choose to buy the Developer Edition over a standard TI-84 Plus CE? Why would TI benefit by having it?(Poor) Artist's Rendering
TI Education has announced that the newest OS for the TI-83 Premium CE, the French version of the TI-84 Plus CE, removes the ability to run native programs - assembly, or ASM, and by extension C programs, which compile into assembly. This new version, OS 5.5.1, both disables assembly support and prevents the OS from being downgraded. BASIC, and where supported, Python, will continue to work as-is. Although no such software update has been announced for the TI-84 Plus CE yet, our observations of the broadly shared featureset between the TI-84 Plus CE and the TI-83 Premium CE makes us strongly suspect that ASM/C support will be removed from the TI-84 Plus CE in a similar OS update in the near future.What does this mean for me?
- Students: TI-BASIC and Python programs and games will still work, but once you have OS 5.5, assembly and C programs and games will no longer run on your calculator. Downgrade protection will prevent you from switching to an older OS to restore that functionality. We suspect that some exams in France will require you to upgrade to this OS version in order to use your calculator on those exams. On the plus side, OS 5.5.1 also introduces exciting new Python features for the TI-83 Premium CE Edition Python that have been extensively outlined by critor on TI-Planet.
- Teachers: Very little will change for teachers.
- Hobbyists: Depends whether this change remains restricted to the French community or will be rolled out to all TI-84 Plus CE calculators. To a smaller or larger extent, the community will no longer have as wide an audience for assembly and C programs. As students continue to buy and upgrade calculators, a smaller and smaller audience of pre-OS 5.5.1 users will exist to use assembly and C programs and games. If this change does indeed affect all TI-84 Plus CE calculators, we anticipate that there will be decreasing motivation in the community to continue to write and maintain new ASM/C programs. Unfortunately, students-turned-hobbyists will no longer be able to progress from TI-BASIC to assembly/C on their calculators, and will instead need to be directed to Python (if they have Edition Python calculators) or to other platforms like smartphones, computers, Arduinos, Raspberry Pi, etc.
According to our contacts at TI, who took the time to share this difficult decision with us ahead of time, pressures from a combination of standardized testing groups and teachers drove this decision. While TI-BASIC programs can be removed by clearing memory, and Apps can now only be signed by TI-approved vendors, ASM/C give programmers significantly more control over the calculator. As we know, the majority of the community has used these powers to make TI's calculators (including the TI-83 Premium CE/TI-84 Plus CE) a more engaging platform, pedagogical concerns remain. More succinctly, an official statement:
I expected that you're as shocked as I was when I first learned of this change. Although optimistically we might hope it won't come to the TI-84 Plus CE as well, we're fairly confident that the established pattern means we will see this before the next school year here in the US. It would be nice if this removal was offset by Python support on non-European TI-84 Plus CE calculators, but we don't know of this being in the current development pipeline. We will keep you posted on new developments, and we will continue doing our best to champion the community as an important part of TI's customer base. We anticipate having further information and commments from TI on this issue as it continues to develop, and we will share that further information with you as we're able.Download