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Pat Milheron is a well-known name among the older denizens of the TI graphing calculator community. He was one of the programmers who wrote the original TI-83 operating system, and helped the community understand how to write TI-83 ASM programs. Rumor has it that he also provided examples explaining some of the more cryptic TI-83 Plus hooks, which have historically been among the least-well-documented items among the TI-83+'s OS features. Now, Pat has joined Cemetech as 6i8kjy to share the first real TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition game.

Pat has taken an old TI-86 game of his called Pede, a port of the classic Centipede, and re-coded it to work on the TI-84+CSE. He took a few screenshots of the game in action, which he showed off in a post last night. His screenshots show Pede operating in a 128x256 area of the screen, understandable since the original TI-86 version had a resolution of 64x128. From these screenshots, several of our seasoned z80 programmers have speculated either that ASM programs will only get specific areas of the screen by default or (more likely) that the new calculator allows rectangular areas to be defined and drawn within as if they were a whole screen. If this latter were the case, it would help assuage some of the doubts that our cadre of z80 assembly programmers have expressed about the speed and complexity of real-time games on the new platform.

Please join me in welcoming Pat to Cemetech, and while I'm doubtful he would be able to answer too many technical questions about the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition yet without violating his NDA, you're welcome to try.

One major question:

how difficult will it be to port current asm/basic programs from 83/4/+/SE versions to the 84+ C SE? Will a few lines of code have to be added? Or will each program require a complete overhaul?
From what has been publicly published by TI so far, on purpose or via activities for teachers, we suspect the following:
- TI-BASIC is almost the same, except that the homescreen and graphscreen are smaller
- We don't know anything about color commands in TI-BASIC yet
- The processor seems to be a z80ish CPU, if Pat can port Pede this "easily"

Other than that, we don't know yet.
seems like we just need something to initialize the screen for old programs, if we can set a rectangular area as the screen instead. it sounds like you have a resizable canvas, you just drag where you want to draw to.
would it legal for Pat to pop open the calc and take a look at the IC? I kind of understand how we don't really know anything about the chip, because none of the current ASM programs to run diagnostics/tests won't work yet.

Oh, and what does the self-test tell us? Exactly what is the OS called? Whats the boot code version?
No, he can't tell us any of that, that's what the NDA is for.
GinDiamond wrote:
would it legal for Pat to pop open the calc and take a look at the IC? I kind of understand how we don't really know anything about the chip, because none of the current ASM programs to run diagnostics/tests won't work yet.
He's a Texas Instruments employee; he doesn't need to pop it open to know what's inside. As tifreak8x said, though, his NDA prevents him from telling us. I already have been nagging their PR and tech people to tell me ASAP when we can know things about the hardware specifics.

Quote:
Oh, and what does the self-test tell us? Exactly what is the OS called? Whats the boot code version?
That's a good question.
Who knows, they might have upped the OS version to 4.0, haha. They're jumping TI-Connect from 1.6 to 4.0, so it's certainly possible.
calc84maniac wrote:
Who knows, they might have upped the OS version to 4.0, haha. They're jumping TI-Connect from 1.6 to 4.0, so it's certainly possible.
They are? What is your source on that particular fact? We certainly have seen a fair bit of playing fast-and-loose with version numbers in the past, to be sure. Smile
http://education.ti.com/en/us/products/calculators/graphing-calculators/ti-84-plus-c-silver-edition, Accessories > TI-Connect
Wow, my guess was spot on! Still wondering if you can share any info about how the LCD interface works though Wink
Not yet. Sad
This is very cool, and I think this marks the first time a TI calculator game comes out before the calc it runs out, let alone an ASM one. On the TI-Nspire, it took 3 years after the calc release before an ASM game comes out.

Question, how smooth does this game run on calc? I wonder if the new LCD is faster than the TI-83 one?
This may very well be the first time we've had a TI employee in our midsts! Welcome aboard, and thanks for sharing! We're all quite excited for the launch of the new calculator, as you may have figured out Smile


Also, calc84maniac, nice powers of forecasting Surprised
Yeah, I take pride in my powers of "4" sight.

*rimshot*
calc84maniac wrote:
Yeah, I take pride in my powers of "4" sight.

*rimshot*
I wonder what the logic behind skipping OS 3.x was... (More anti-Nspire conspiracy theories).
Or maybe they're planning to do like the TI-76.Fr in France and introduce a low-end version of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition with fewer OS features and it will be OS 3.0, or they're planning to release a TI-83 Plus C with no clock and a slower processor and they'll call it OS 3.0? Razz
^^^ That'd be a stupid idea, hehe.

If the homescreen is just larger, then does that mean any basic programs (that haven't been converted) that need it are just going to look a little smaller on the CSE?
It means that things that rely on Output() will probably appear only in the first 8 rows and 16 columns, and things that mix Disp and Output() and assume there are 8 rows will be broken. We don't have confirmation on that yet, though.
  
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