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Hi Cemetech's community,

Friday at 6:00 PM (Paris GMT +1), begins the 11th edition of 48 hours Casio Programming Contest and the best program win a Fx-CP 400.
This edition is open to Graph 35+ USB/75/85/95 (SD) or fx-9750gII / fx-9860g(SD) / fx-9860gII(SD) in international notation, in Basic Casio.
The theme will be announced at the beginning of the contest. You have 2 days to program and upload your participation (End : December 1, 2013 at 23h59 (GMT +1)). We send the only in Europa, sorry for American and inhabitants of other continents.

http://www.planet-casio.com/Fr/forums/topic10099-1-Remarques-pour-les-48h-Casio-Programming-Contest-%2848h-CPC%29.html (only in french)
You can ask your questions in english on our forum.

Enjoy !
That looks like it would be loads of fun to join in on, sadly my collection of Casio calculators is quite small at this point. :<
Ah, another site holding a two-day contest! If you allowed Prizm BASIC programs and could ship to the US, I would be all over that. Smile Good luck with the contest, and I hope you'll remember to update this thread with the winners once the contest is complete. Where did you get the contest prize calculator? Did you buy it, or did Casio work together with you?
KermMartian wrote:
Ah, another site holding a two-day contest! If you allowed Prizm BASIC programs and could ship to the US, I would be all over that. Smile Good luck with the contest, and I hope you'll remember to update this thread with the winners once the contest is complete. Where did you get the contest prize calculator? Did you buy it, or did Casio work together with you?


Quote:
To win: Fx-400 or CP Graph 75 SH3 (optional) provided by our partner Casio Education


From what I'm seeing on their page, and doesn't appear to allow the Prizm. :< They seem to be worried about a lessened amount of people either being able to enter, or being able to test. The translate bit isn't the greatest in the world, sadly. :<
tifreak8x wrote:
KermMartian wrote:
Ah, another site holding a two-day contest! If you allowed Prizm BASIC programs and could ship to the US, I would be all over that. Smile Good luck with the contest, and I hope you'll remember to update this thread with the winners once the contest is complete. Where did you get the contest prize calculator? Did you buy it, or did Casio work together with you?


Quote:
To win: Fx-400 or CP Graph 75 SH3 (optional) provided by our partner Casio Education


From what I'm seeing on their page, and doesn't appear to allow the Prizm. :< They seem to be worried about a lessened amount of people either being able to enter, or being able to test. The translate bit isn't the greatest in the world, sadly. :<
Apparently I can't read, either. It's unfortunate that they've had success getting partnership with Casio Education, though, since the US arm of the company is given almost no resources to share with the community (or even amongst themselves). And yeah, I figured that the Prizm wasn't an option from that page; I was bemoaning that fact. Wink
Hi KermMartian,

We have stopping contest for Prizm, it was not enough participation (one or two). And the program's quality was not very good.

We have a partnership with Casio since two years, but i think that becomes weak. We have still idea to enhance and we waiting responses from Casio. Maybe if we have more audience and influence, they will give us more attention/interest ^^
Note that prizes are only sent within Europe, if I read correctly.
Cemetech staff guys, please don't complain about the lack of openness for Prizm entries, on this Planet Casio contest: it's not as if Cemetech has been an exemplar community, when it comes to supporting development efforts for the Prizm, in the past months.

The status of 3rd-party development (and general user interest) on what is currently Casio's flagship non-CAS calculator, is disappointing and inglorious, but the user community is not the only guilty of the situation. I would say there is a marketing problem on Casio's side: the Prizm is only appealing to students and teachers that are already used to Casio calculators. Personally, I know that if it weren't for the recommendations of my maths teacher (who is a big proponent of these calculators for their ease of use and similar UX across graphic models), I would have bought a non-CAS Nspire instead, or eventually a black-and-white Casio model.

Despite great initial success (first on Omnimaga and then on Cemetech), the Prizm never really caught on with the developers community and I feel it really never caught on with general students, either. While it is true that the Nspire, and more recently the HP Prime, have more powerful hardware, the first also has a more complex system that actively tries to block 3rd-party binary software, and the second does not have the same target market (the HP Prime doesn't have a non-CAS version). Cemetech seems to have turned more to the TI-84 Plus CSE, but while it doesn't have the software constraints of the Nspire, it has inferior hardware specs that put it on another league (I guess it had some success on this community because it was similar to "what people were used to", i.e. the old TI calculators, unlike the Prizm and the Nspires).
Still, and somehow, the Prizm seems to have a notable market share in Asia, but due to different character sets and more, the western and oriental communities don't communicate much. From what I understand the Prizm seems to be used in China at a higher education level than in the rest of the world.

From my point of view, the marketing done by Casio for the Prizm, was as simple as saying "we were the first to release a full-color graphic calculator, here it is" and running a few contests while the model was new, but without any effort to distinguish themselves from the competition that would come later (and made a much bigger advertising effort in many markets). Even though they were the first to show a calculator with a full-color, high-resolution screen, while simultaneously being allowed on most official exams, I feel they did not fully explore the possibilities of the screen or the OS and hardware behind it, let alone explain them to users.

On the technical side, many aspects of the OS on the Prizm could have been polished (certain things as the Program editor feel really slow at the default clock speed, as do the constant picture decode and redraws when a g3p is shown on the screen, for example in eActivity). Things such as the separation between a "Main Memory" and "Storage Memory", while familiar to existing users of Casio systems, are metaphors unused on other computer systems and while technically sound (and allowing for backwards compatibility), are inadequate for a great user experience - I know of people who don't quite understand why they get memory errors on lists, matrices and Basic programs, even though they have plenty of storage memory, and I also know the problem in understanding different memory sections is common to TI calculators. OS updates never (are yet to?) addressed this, but it's unlikely they'll ever address it because it would require major technical changes, perhaps even hardware changes (more RAM or dynamic RAM allocation, anyone?) and the development of a platform that's not akin to anything built by Casio in terms of calculators, which means users would need to relearn it again - if Casio builds something too much different from previous generations, the results might not be positive (look at how the Nspire went on the TI side).

Then Casio moved on to the new Classpad models (which not everyone can buy, because they are not allowed on all the exams, and not everyone needs a CAS calculator on university), and the Prizm was more or less forgotten. While Casio's offering has some points that stand out from the competition, it has outdated hardware specs when compared to the other CAS calculators.

Casio calculators become "forgotten" not because the manufacturer stops providing support for them (the Prizm just received the 2.00 OS update, and a new official add-in - so things are well on the contrary), but because there is little effort to publicize these updates to their older models. I guess if they don't move more, it's because they are selling and working "good enough" for them. Which isn't a synonym of things being "good enough" for the power user community.

In my opinion, the Casio calculator development community is too spread among many small communities, which have low levels of activity (especially when it comes to the Prizm) and in some ways even alienate from each other, instead of uniting to get things forward. Note that I'm not suggesting the creation of a new community to hold all the 3rd-party Casio development (see xkcd 927), but instead more communication and joint ventures between existing ones, for example in the form of contests. Unfortunately, different ideas and culture seem to make this difficult most of the time, but it would be great if people managed to overcome that in favor of higher goals.
gbl08ma wrote:
Cemetech staff guys, please don't complain about the lack of openness for Prizm entries, on this Planet Casio contest: it's not as if Cemetech has been an exemplar community, when it comes to supporting development efforts for the Prizm, in the past months.


Um, neither one of us complained. I mentioned that all I had in Casio was a Prizm, though I now remember I bought an fx-7000G and a fx-8000G as well, but I've not been able to do much with them. Kerm mentions that if the Prizm were supported, he would be jumping at the chance of entering. We aren't complaining, just sad we don't have the other Casio calcs that are available to participate.

And to note, we were all over developing things. I really don't know what happened to slow it down for other people. Myself, there were certain limitations in BASIC that wasn't easily gotten around, and I ended up on other projects. I do have some ports of stuff, in mind.

And, I'm looking into getting one of those others to maybe start playing with and maybe making something, personally. That 9860GII looks kind of nice and is something I want to add to my collection.

But, to get back on topic; totoyo: Has there been a lot of interest generated in entering this contest? As I stated earlier, the translate feature isn't always the greatest, so some of the comments didn't make much sense. ^^;
@tifreak8x Because it is off-topic?
I might be mistaken, but I think that gbl08ma is complaining about the fact that if you have a look at the latest news and uploads, you'll see much more content about the 84+CSE than the Prizm, despite the 84+CSE being far inferior in hardware.

But he notices that Casio may have their share of responsability.
In my opinion, the Prizm is just too expensive for a non-CAS calculator. The color alone doesn't justify such a price.

We may just wonder if the relative inactivity about the Casio Prizm in the community is the cause or the consequence of its commercial failure.
Yeah, I figured we could shift things back over to the contest at hand, instead of the speculation on the Prizm. Smile

And I agree to an extent, though they have signs out in stores here showing off the Prizm, and they usually are sold out of the things, so I don't really know. TI has education systems with their calculators, so Casio would have a hard time regardless. I enjoy using my Prizm, and it can do fantastic things, but I never got C, and BASIC on it has limitations that the 84+ line doesn't have, so I've sadly continued along with it. I might play with the Prizm some more, once I get the current project done.
Quote:
As I stated earlier, the translate feature isn't always the greatest, so some of the comments didn't make much sense. ^^;

Sorry tifreak8x, i don't understand ^^

Quote:
We may just wonder if the relative inactivity about the Casio Prizm in the community is the cause or the consequence of its commercial failure.

Consequence, because Casio closed the Casio Prizm and community need much energy to try to opened it. Unlike Fx-9860g project's are still active.
totoyo wrote:
Quote:
As I stated earlier, the translate feature isn't always the greatest, so some of the comments didn't make much sense. ^^;

Sorry tifreak8x, i don't understand ^^

Quote:
We may just wonder if the relative inactivity about the Casio Prizm in the community is the cause or the consequence of its commercial failure.

Consequence, because Casio closed the Casio Prizm and community need much energy to try to opened it. Unlike Fx-9860g project's are still active.
The prizm is not closed actually. Casio has yet to block custom add-ins (even their new OS allows them).

I'm pretty sure its lack of success in terms of programming is because of how brutally slow its BASIC language is for drawing complex graphics compared to older models and even the color 84+. Granted, there is C and ASM as well, but this calc is probably not as documented as the Z80 TI models and the TI-Nspire since it's not as popular.
This is a bit of a necrobump, but I just wanted to touch on it again because of the current state of the graphing calculator community.
gbl08ma wrote:
Cemetech staff guys, please don't complain about the lack of openness for Prizm entries, on this Planet Casio contest: it's not as if Cemetech has been an exemplar community, when it comes to supporting development efforts for the Prizm, in the past months.[...]
Well, there's a difference between what the administration tries to do and what the users have tried to do. We have always done our best to support the Prizm as a programming platform, from my editorial on choosing the Prizm over the TI-Nspire to our dedicated Casio programming subforum to our attempts to include Casio calculators as a category in our contest to our Prizm wiki. Especially in the last few months, we have seen a minor flurry of Casio and Prizm activity, including better Casio support in SourceCoder 3, changes and updates to the wiki by you (gbl08ma) and others, and so on. I think Cemetech is pretty much the only remaining English-language forum where there's a concentration of Prizm programmers, and even so, I notice that most of the users searching for Prizm programs and hitting our archives are Portuguese. I'm not sure what else we can do to encourage people and support Prizm development.
The truth is that most/all of the projects that come from "administration" in this community haven't targeted the Prizm for a long time, and even the Prizm-related projects that once were popular and promising, now seem to be abandoned, waiting indefinitely for someone to pick up on them, to finish them or update them to use the now known and more or less "standardized" features and behavior (like sane text input, overclocking behavior, MENU key behavior...). That may never happen, especially in the case of the closed-source projects.
Yes I admit to a being distracted with non calculator stuff but I have not abandoned any of my projects. They are all still in my head and will at some point be acted upon. As for projects that are not mine I cannot say. I have considered fixing up some old open source prizm add-ins.
I recently started looking at the source code for gravity duck and can say that it does need fixing and lots of it. I hope the programmer of gravity duck does not get insulted by this I am sure by now they are writing better code by now. However I do want to discuss some poor choices made by them so that others do not make the same mistake.
First of all they use a function that creates a struct on the heap that contains all that is needed to be known about the graphics such as width height palette and data. What they did wrong is first of all unless there is a need for the heap don't store it on the heap. For small data the stack is better in general and on the prizm not using the heap is especially important. Second of all in their structs they used the smaller variable type possible. The casio prizm contains a 32bit cpu where it would be better to use it's native size an int. Also because the struct is padding anyways they are saving no ram but now they get slower code. It is better to use the smallest size when there is a need to save ram which in this case no ram is saved. Also another issue is that not only is the struct always created on the heap but then the graphics are copied from a const array to ram again on the heap and so it's palette. Now you might say that is fine they will modify the graphics while the programming is running except they do not modify the graphics so there is no reason to waste heap space and do nothing with it other than copy what could be directly accessed. Also there is enough ram that they could decode the palette data to rgb565 upon level start and then get faster drawing but they don't do that as the extra ram is not found on the heap but instead the stack. Also another issue is that instead of scaling the player movements based on time elapsed they instead wait until greater than or equal to t where t = time has passed. Even though they realized that it could take longer they still move the character at a constant rate per frame. Instead they just overclock the calculator without asking. Also gravity duck is not the only game that suffers from some mentioned issues.
Cubefiled also makes too heavy use of the heap and does not scale movements based on time hence the reason it feels slow. It gets fairly good framerate by the way it is just the choice of values for movement. Puzzle Bubble stores a bunch of uncompressed graphics but leaves enough free ram that they could be compressed and decoded before the level starts. Also it does not scale movements to time. Doom uses a hardcoded Save VRAM address and when exiting would crash the calculator. I already fixed this but never released it.
Also KermMartian you mention Casio calculators being a contest category. I must have been late to the party. The education contest was restricted to z80 calculators as you are aware. Will there be a contest that allows for Casio calculators or is it going to be TI only from now on? Also I do agree with you that we have done a lot to encourage prizm development and I am surprised by the lack of activity.
  
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