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Over eight years ago, I got into my head that I wanted to combine my hardware and software skills to create a calculator networking protocol, which I dubbed CALCnet. I even released untested drivers and some documentation, but was never able to move on to the next step of testing and debugging. Fast forward three or four years.

In October 2006, I was working hard on CALCnet2.2, the then-latest incarnation of my long-suffering calculator networking project. After years of effort, I had finally succeeded in sending data over CALCnet2.2, emulated on the PTI debugger. Due to time constraints with schoolwork, I never got a chance to pick up the project again, until the end of this August when I finally finished and released Doors CS 7.0. I decided that in the foreseeable future I'm going to try to pick up and either finish or let hibernate three of my past projects, CALCnet, my N-game pseudo-clone M-Game, and Civilization Simulator II. Over the past week I've been sporadically toying with CALCnet2.2 in the midst of my other projects and work, and I'm happy to say that CALCnet2.2 has sent its first few successful messages over two real networked calculators as of this past Friday. Yesterday I spent my evening writing a two-calculator pong game, which I demonstrated in a video viewable here.

I spent today working on first implementing broadcasting, the mechanism to send a message simultaneously to every calculator on the network without clogging it with checlksum responses and even without knowing the hardware addresses of any of the other calculators. I then tested it, wrote a network probing and enumeration routine, and evolved my 2-calculator pong demo into an N-calculator pong demo! I hooked up three calculators for the video below, and will happily add some goodies like cross-calculator displaying of various messages, plus paddles for the left and right-most calculators. Enjoy the video, tell me what you think and where I should go with this, and tell me what you could do with CALCnet!

FIRST
comicIDIOT wrote:
FIRST
I debated naming this topic "Redux of 'Cemetech Shall Rule the World'", but even though I didn't, your are POSTING IN AN EPIC THREAD.
Hence my troll post Very Happy I planned to edit that post with a real post but it seems I got quoted D:

Anyways. I really liked it. I'd like to see the screens a bit clearer. Do you have any plans for a more professional video? I could make out what was happening but it'd be nice to see the ball move a bit better.

Four and Five Calculator Network can't be far behind!
comicIDIOT wrote:
Hence my troll post Very Happy I planned to edit that post with a real post but it seems I got quoted D:

Anyways. I really liked it. I'd like to see the screens a bit clearer. Do you have any plans for a more professional video? I could make out what was happening but it'd be nice to see the ball move a bit better.

Four and Five Calculator Network can't be far behind!
Actually, this program is literally n-calculator, limited only by the number of calculators and I/O cords that you can scrounge together. I'll try to make a video of just the screens at some point tomorrow if everyone agrees that that's important. Smile
Very important. I recommend you get that camera above the screens via a tripod or a quick jiffy rig with string then some soft side lighting (from a window with shade down?) rather than direct bulb light should help greatly.

If only we were closer, I'd offer to take it for you. Or, if I had more than 0 calculators at the moment Very Happy
comicIDIOT wrote:
Very important. I recommend you get that camera above the screens via a tripod or a quick jiffy rig with string then some soft side lighting (from a window with shade down?) rather than direct bulb light should help greatly.

If only we were closer, I'd offer to take it for you. Or, if I had more than 0 calculators at the moment Very Happy
Sounds like some good advice; I'll be sure to act on it. Smile And thanks for the offer, if we were closer I'd take you up on it. Laughing
Maybe I need to buy some calcs and you can send me beta software to take videos of Very Happy

Is CalcNet an application like Celtic or what? Is there a detailed write up somewhere?
Woah! 3 calculators AND KermM's voice! We got lucky Wink

When can we get a beta of the program? What about source?
comicIDIOT wrote:
Maybe I need to buy some calcs and you can send me beta software to take videos of Very Happy

Is CalcNet an application like Celtic or what? Is there a detailed write up somewhere?
No, it's a library; it's less than 1KB of code, all told, so it would be a waste to make it an App. Plus, far be it from me to make people choose between Doors CS and something else! I'm hoping I'll find a way to jam it into Doors CS.

_player1537 wrote:
Woah! 3 calculators AND KermM's voice! We got lucky Wink

When can we get a beta of the program? What about source?
I'll publish a release later today if people really want it, as well as the source (not of CALCnet2.2 itself, just of the NetPong game).
Awesome KermM! I congratulate you on a job well done. You said "N" number of calcs, so there is no limit! I could get 100 TI-84+SE's linked with various hacked-up wires and have a great moment, right?
xXEpicxXXxFailXx wrote:
Awesome KermM! I congratulate you on a job well done. You said "N" number of calcs, so there is no limit! I could get 100 TI-84+SE's linked with various hacked-up wires and have a great moment, right?
You absolutely could, and with no modifications to the current program or code. Better yet, once gCn is written, we could all connect our calculators in a single virtual network via gCn and play 64-way Mario Laughing
:O I would so be up for that when it is possible!!!
/me dies from epicness.
xXEpicxXXxFailXx wrote:
:O I would so be up for that when it is possible!!!
/me dies from epicness.
So do you guys think it's worth it for me to try to toss a fourth calculator into the mix for today's video? I'm just adding the code now for paddles and pausing.
i dont think it's really necessary, as your current number already proves your point and any more calcs would make it even more difficult for the viewer to tell what's going on
then again... it would be pretty awesome
shmibs wrote:
i dont think it's really necessary, as your current number already proves your point and any more calcs would make it even more difficult for the viewer to tell what's going on
then again... it would be pretty awesome
Alright, I'll keep that pro and con respectively in mind while I'm making the video. Laughing

I finished writing synchronized quitting and pausing; I'm working on testing them out atm.
O_O O leave for 3 days and I see this.


Holy crap, this is awesome, now I really cant wait for a beta to test on the real hardware
qazz42 wrote:
O_O O leave for 3 days and I see this.


Holy crap, this is awesome, now I really cant wait for a beta to test on the real hardware
Haha, awesome. Are the current set of features good enough for now? It's not really a game yet per se, in that there's no way to lose, but it's still an entertaining tech demo in my opinion.
I think it is good as it is now, though I do hope there will be more dev on it in the future Wink
qazz42 wrote:
I think it is good as it is now, though I do hope there will be more dev on it in the future Wink
Of course there will be! After the Pong demo, my next program will probably be an FTP-like client that will scan the network, ask you to choose a calculator to connect to, and allow you to transfer programs to and from the target calculator.

I just took another video of the calculator screens; I'll post it up shortly.
  
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