God I hate this title character limit. Here's the full title:
Anyone ever tried making some sort of universal attachment for TI-8x I/O port?

I'm not sure how to word this, but basically what I'm thinking is an attachment for the 8x series link port. It has some stuff inside, basically along the lines of an additional processor, a programmable microcontroller, and some RAM. Games can use the extra processor for added speed and power (maybe a full-fledged physics sim, or better AI), the microcontroller to do whatever (maybe sound synthesis, or making fancy blinky things), and the RAM for, well, storing things.

It'd be niche, sure, but cool. And useful. Hell, depending on the design, you could even hook up a VGA monitor to get WAAAAY higher-resolution video. And in terms of niche, we are a community founded on programming neat stuff on 90s tech. You can't really complain about niche now can you? niche niche niche how many times can I say niche in a single post niche

I'm currently doing "casual research" on this, like finding what ICs I'd use, how much it'd cost, what microcontroller I'd use, etc.

I'd like to know your thoughts. Have no thoughts? Answer these questions then!
1. Would you buy it?
2. What's your price range?
3. Are you a TI-8x programmer? If so, what languages do you use, in order of how frequently.
4. What would you use it for?
5. What games or concepts would you like to see this used for?
I would buy it, but only if it was under $30. I program in C and BASIC, but I really am not that good at C. I would try to hook it up to an old VHS player I have, maybe for a bigger screen. As for number 5, I'm not sure.
Universal attachment? It would be quite hard to upload the universe as an attachment. It's quite large you see. And for every second that elapses, it gets larger. This means that the remaining size of the download increases faster than the upload.

On a more serious note, this sounds like a cool endeavor. Smile The questions you ask vary greatly on its specific usefulness to a person though.
ACagliano wrote:
Universal attachment? It would be quite hard to upload the universe as an attachment. It's quite large you see. And for every second that elapses, it gets larger. This means that the remaining size of the download increases faster than the upload.


Hahahaha I hate you Razz


As for the rest, yeah I know it varies. That's why I'm asking on the forum and not SAX.
I'm still waiting on the fantasticabulous CALCnet box.
MateoConLechuga wrote:
I'm still waiting on the fantasticabulous CALCnet box.


Well that project kinda turned into this. This was basically the plan for the CALCnet box. I just feel like calling it a "CALCnet box" is a little misleading.
This is cool as a concept for working with existing graphing calculators, but it highlights the real issue: graphing calculators are hilariously underpowered for the modern era. We need a whole calculator that's powerful enough to do things like that, not just an attachment. And not just for math. My math productivity would be so much improved if my CX II-CAS ran a little quicker.
Sam wrote:
This is cool as a concept for working with existing graphing calculators, but it highlights the real issue: graphing calculators are hilariously underpowered for the modern era. We need a whole calculator that's powerful enough to do things like that, not just an attachment. And not just for math. My math productivity would be so much improved if my CX II-CAS ran a little quicker.


Isn't that what Numworks did?
Nomkid wrote:
Sam wrote:
This is cool as a concept for working with existing graphing calculators, but it highlights the real issue: graphing calculators are hilariously underpowered for the modern era. We need a whole calculator that's powerful enough to do things like that, not just an attachment. And not just for math. My math productivity would be so much improved if my CX II-CAS ran a little quicker.


Isn't that what Numworks did?

I suppose. My real pipe-dream is a CAS-enabled calculator, that's optimized not for education, but pure mathematical capability. I want to be able to carry around WolframAlpha in my pocket with a specialized keyboard and without requiring the internet. Basically I want a Nspire with a better processor and higher resolution screen.
and maybe better buttons
I'd rather not quote your quote quote. But maybe/possibly when I'm at least in my 20s I could start a company to take a step to make that pipe dream a real thing. Honestly, I've always had a soft spot for the offline. Most my apps run without the internet, and I still do most development on-calc. But that's a story for another day.
A external co processor isn't a bad idea. The problem is that I believe transfer speeds via the cable would be to slow to be too useful. Although I can imagine an FPGA based GPU where the calc uploads some sprites at the start and then only has to upload a "command list" of drawing commands every frame and the fpga outputs a vga signal. The thing is though, it doesnt make sense for the calc to be there, you can just copy paste a z80 core onto the fpga. Which brings you back to the idea that it doesnt make sense to make an accessory to make the excisting calc more powerful, rather it makes sense to make a new, more powerful, calc.
I am a little bot confused. Is this also the same as the CALCBox?
  
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