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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.
TI-Nspire CX II, TI-Nspire CX CAS II Confirmed
Published by KermMartian on January 24, 2019 at 4:17:42 PM CST | Discuss this article (18)

A few days ago, we heard that a TI-Nspire CX CAS II was rumored to be released this year, and we now have confirmation. Our friends at TI-Planet linked their discussion; for clean-room principles, we've done our research here solely from primary sources. Specifically, we found that TI-Education France discusses the TI-Nspire CX II and TI-Nspire CX CAS II, and thanks to the wonder of parallel URLs, an unlinked English page about the TI-Nspire CX/CX CAS II also exists. We spot a few key features that appear to be promoted with this new calculator:
  • A Faster Processor: Both the English and French pages mention "faster performance", but only the French version has specifications. Unfortunately, all we can tell is that the calculator has the same amount of memory (~90MB of Flash, 64MB of RAM) as its predecessor.
  • TI-Nspire BASIC Drawing Support: For the first time, it appears that you will be able to manipulate the graphscreen with the TI-Nspire's own flavor of BASIC. The BASIC variant therefore joins the Lua language for these calculators in allowing graphical programs (and perhaps games?) to be written.
  • Interface Improvements: Many Cemetechians prefer the TI-Nspire over its TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus brethren; I am not one of them. In fact, I've been quite outspoken in my criticisms of the Document interface. TI appears to be working to improve this, touting "[n]ew app icons, supported by color-coded screen tabs, improve the user experience."
  • Interactive Graphing Features: Animated graphs, function coefficients that can be adjusted in real time, and dynamic points defined by expressions or sliders all appear to be part of a push to make graphs more interactive and intuitive.
  • CAS-Specific Features: The ability to more accurately solve differential equations and to lock out CAS functionality during tests have been added.

Notably, since most of the above appear to be improvements in the calculators' operating system, and the calculator's memory has not been expanded, it is not clear whether these features will also be available as an OS upgrade for the older TI-Nspire CX models.

Have you discovered anything else interesting about the new TI-Nspire CX II and TI-Nspire CX CAS II? Do you think we'll get to play with it at T^3 this year? Will we manage to get our hands on the nice red European -T version? Will the TI-84 Plus CE be refreshed as well? Let us know your thoughts in the attached thread.


TI-Nspire CX CAS II Coming This Year?
Published by KermMartian on January 21, 2019 at 12:49:10 PM CST | Discuss this article (16)

In 2007, Texas Instruments first introduced the monochrome, oft-nicknamed "aircraft carrier" TI-Nspire graphing calculator, its very first foray out of the well-loved TI-8x product lines. That milestone went utterly unremarked here at Cemetech, rating not even a news article. The TI-Nspire came in two forms, the TI-Nspire (without a CAS, roughly equivalent in mathematical features to the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition, and the TI-Nspire CAS, roughly equivalent to the TI-89 Titanium. In February of 2011, TI refreshed the TI-Nspire line with color screens in the calculators known as the TI-Nspire CX and TI-Nspire CX CAS. At that point, Cemetech did pay heed, speaking out about the programmability of the TI-Nspire CX versus Casio's recently released Prizm calculator, sharing that TI reached out to announce Lua support, and eventually reaching a détente with the calculator and its makers. Since 2011, the TI-Nspire CX has not undergone any major updates. Sure, the hardware has gradually advanced, the OS has gained features, and plenty of community-written software has appeared for the device, but TI has stuck with a formula that appears to work.

Recently, our friends at TI-Planet uncovered eBay listings hinting at a new TI-Nspire CX CAS II, and we were able to find some evidence to support the existence of such a calculator. It remains unclear what is new about this version: the models sold appear to possibly be a new TI-Nspire CX CAS II case wrapped around old TI-Nspire CX CAS hardware, the key layout is the same, and the case appears largely identical aside from those snazzy blue sides. We anticipate that TI may announce the TI-Nspire CX CAS II during the T^3 International Conference 2019, and we'll certainly be there to share the news if they do. In the meantime, good luck with wild speculation!

The TI-Nspire CX CAS II with its predecessor, and a photograph of the screen (believed to show older TI-Nspire CX CAS hardware in a TI-Nspire CX CAS II shell). Click on either image for a larger version.

Projects of the Month: November 2018
Published by PT_ on December 29, 2018 at 10:09:44 AM CST | Discuss this article (2)

First of all, sorry for the long delay in writing this news item; like many people December was filled with events and parties, but eventually here it is! November was quite a busy months, with lots of projects being worked on. Let's not wait you longer, so here's the fascinating list with projects being developed in November!

  • A Forth Interpreter/Compiler for the TI-84+: siraben has been working on a Forth interpreter and compiler for the TI-84+. Forth is a low-level language, easy to type, which will be compiled to assembly, giving the user power to do memory management, drawing pixels or sending sound over the USB port. Check out this nifty program and give siraben some feedback on his program!
  • DIY Smart Mirror: Our admin Alex has started a new DIY project, creating a Smart Mirror. This is a normal mirror but with advanced features, such as showing the weather or telling you the news headlines, while you're busy with tying your tie. Despite some problems setting up a Raspberry Pi, he managed to install the needed software. Check out the topic for some more information, or ask the author about his future plans!
  • Don't Touch The White Tiles CE: BasicTH has ported the popular game Don't Touch The White Tiles to the newest TI calculator, using ICE. He managed to get some basic gameplay working, opening the way to other gameplay styles and more features. Take a look at the topic to see what's done so far!
  • DOOM for the TI-84 CE: andymwat has ported the classical game DooM to the TI-84+CE, this time written in C. The current version includes rendering of the main items (wall, sprite, weapon), basic movement and collisions, and a bunch more. See the topic and his Github for more information, as well as an impressive screenshot, which gives you an impression what the game looks like.
  • EnchWood (RougueLike, TI-84+CE) (paused): beckadamtheinventor started working on a new game, called EnchWood. This is a roguelike game, written in ICE, using a small palette, resulting in highly compressed sprites. Currently there's not much information to tell, so check out the topic and ask the author how the project's going and what other features he wants to implement!
  • Grammer 2- The App: Xeda112358 has released a new version of Grammer 2, a new language for the monochrome calcs. She has been working on fixing a few bugs and implementing new features to this old project, yielding in an update. If you're interested in using a custom language for your monochrome calculator, while you always wanted games with impressive screens or animations, take a look at this new update!
  • HD picture viewer [ICE] [TI-84 Plus CE]: TheLastMillennial has finally released a beta of his newest ICE program, called HD picture viewer! This nifty programs lets you display image in full resolution right on your calculator, using the best palette available. Whether you want to impress your friends with photos you shot at a holiday or viewing your a picture of your crush fullscreen, try out this program and don't hesitate to give the author feedback!
  • ICEPad: Past month, Calcuon has been working on ICEPad, another text editor, but this time written in ICE (as the name suggests). The GUI looks pretty simple and clean, such that you have enough space for actually writing notes. The program is in progress, showing off nifty features, so take a look at the topic for more information and a few screenshots!
  • Mahjong CE: commandblockguy started working on porting the classic game Mahjong to the TI-84+CE, a tile-based game. The author posted the first screenshot, showing off what is currently done, and it already looks promising. See the topic for more information about this project!
  • Poetic - Programming for Poets: JWinslow23 has been working on Poetic, a "brainf*** derivative where commands are decided by the lengths of words". This nifty programs allows you to write poetry in Poetic! Explore this program and try out the examples!
  • Skyrim CE Textures: kg583 was busy with improving the textures of Skyrim CE. Please check out the topic and provide some constructive feedback!
  • Text Dungeon Progress!: [PixelPerfect] has implemented fighting in his game, Text Dungeon. Besides that, he has finished all the other enemies, which you can see in the screenshots he provided. Take a look at the topic to see what's done so far!
  • TI84+CE USB interfacing: Mainly MateoConLechuga and jacobly are together continuing working on USB libraries, which many people are waiting for. These libraries can be used for multiplayer games, or providing external memory for the calculator. Even though it's still in progress, it looks quite promising, and we're looking forward what the result will be!
  • ticesnd: USB Audio library for TI-84+ CE: Meanwhile, JackMacWindows worked very hard to improve his USB Audio library, which is a library used to play songs using your calculator, connected to an Arduino/Raspberry Pi with speakers; currently it supports multi-channel audio support. Go write some songs and impress your friends!
  • Tiny Arcade Modifications: ckosmic bought a few Tiny Arcade machines lately, which he modified it a bit to suit his needs, for example putting more games on it. In his topic he posted a bunch of photos, which all looks really nice, so visit this topic and encourage the author to post more information about this all.
  • Xenon Development thread | ICE Shell: Alvajoy123 continued improving Xenon, another shell written in ICE. He is very close to a beta-release, and the to-do-list looks promising. He stated that he needed help, so go check out the topic and see what you can do to help the author realizing his program!

And that's it, folks! As already said, it's quite a list, which will keep you busy for quite some time. Visit each topic, read more about all projects, ask for more information and look at the fascinating screenshots some members posted! We'd love to see how these projects are being developed in the future! Also vote in the poll what you think is the best completed project of Novemer.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays 2018 from Cemetech
Published by KermMartian on December 26, 2018 at 1:09:11 PM CST | Discuss this article (1)

Best wishes for a happy, peaceful Christmas and holiday season from the Cemetech staff to all of you and your family and friends! No matter what you celebrate (or don't), we hope this is a moment to take a break to enjoy time with your friends and family, think about your successes and learn from your mistakes, and look forward to the next year. As you may have seem from recent news, we want to make sure that even in the midst of your busy lives you're able to do some programming, so even if it has been a while, grab your computer or calculator and create something!

Like last year, we wanted to give you a small TI-BASIC program to inspire your holiday. Here's a simple program for the TI-84 Plus CE and TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition that will draw ornaments on your graphscreen (and politely restore your graphscreen when you press any key). If you want to load this onto your own calculator, you can type it out by hand (see the attached Discuss link for the source code), or if you click the SourceCoder 3 share link below, you can download the .8xp file. Happy holidays!

The Program
ORNAMENT in TI-BASIC in SourceCoder