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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.
ticalc.org PotY 2016 Voting Begins
Published by KermMartian on December 6, 2016 at 2:48:57 PM CST | Discuss this article (6)

December has arrived, and despite a few small technical difficulties, ticalc.org has opened up the voting for their annual Program of the Year (PotY 2016) competition!

There was only one TI-83+ entry (JWinslow23's "This is the Only Level"), so voting is starting with the four TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition entries:
As in past years, you can vote in the ticalc.org poll on the front page, and a new poll will open every 7 days. After the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition category closes, there will be only a TI-84 Plus CE category and a TI-Nspire category. Good luck to all, and may the best program/man/woman win!

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POTY Contest 2016 Begins: TI-84+CSE Voting Opens

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Unboxing the TI-Innovator Hub and Breadboard Pack
Published by KermMartian on November 25, 2016 at 7:17:42 PM CST | Discuss this article (2)

Two months ago, esteemed Cemetech administrator Shaun "Merthsoft" McFall posted a hands-on review of the TI-Innovator. In his article, Merthsoft explored the TI-Innovator Hub with a TI-84 Plus CE, and put together various projects you can create with the Hub and with the optional Breadboard Pack. Rather tardily, I have finally gotten around to spending some time with my own TI-Innovator Hub and Breadboard Pack, and I have filmed two unboxing videos sharing my first impressions of the Hub system. Unlike Merthsoft's hands-on experiences, I focused on the process of getting started with the TI-Innovator Hub and creating your first projects with the device. The Part 1 video below covers unboxing the Hub itself, connecting it to a TI-84 Plus CE, and testing simple programs with the Hub. Part 2 is about unboxing the Breadboard Pack, looking through the components in the Pack and what you can do with them, and a sample project made with the breadboard, an LED, and a resistor.

I found that getting started with the TI-Innovator Hub was an intuitive process, at least if you have a little bit of experience with programming TI graphing calculators in TI-BASIC already. The TI-Innovator manual contains some sample programs you can type out verbatim if you're inexperienced with TI-BASIC, and it includes tips like where to find the quote and space characters, but I think that the absolute beginner might be slightly confused without some guidance. The sample programs in the manual are a reasonable cross-section of what the Hub can do: blinking an LED inside the Hub, playing a tone from the Hub, and blinking an LED on a breadboard attached to the Hub's Breadboard connector. I also wrote and explained a program that displays a random color on the Hub's RGB LED. I was pleased with the simplicity of creating programs for the device. All commands are issues as strings passed to the Hub via the TI-BASIC Send() command, and with the new toString() and eval() commands, you can even embed variables directly into strings. For example, a music program can play a 1-second note with frequency A by sending "SET SOUND eval(A) TIME 1" to the Hub. Unfortunately, because it takes time for the calculator to create and send the string, there may be some limitations to the applications that you can create for the Hub, though this remains to be seen. For example, you can see the lag between adjusting the brightness of the red, green, and blue elements of the RGB LED in the Part 1 video.

I applaud TI's efforts in making STEM more accessible in the classroom with a device that should be palatable for both teachers and students who are new to embedded programming and basic electronics. If you're an advanced user, I would be remiss if I did not also mention ArTICL, a cheaper (and somewhat more complicated) way to control electronics with graphing calculators. It lets you control an Arduino board with TI graphing calculators from the TI-82 to the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition that include a 2.5mm serial DBUS (I/O) port; unfortunately, that port was removed from the TI-84 Plus CE. As a companion to the TI-Innovator Hub and as an aid to learning to program applications for the device, I also biasedly recommend my book "Programming the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus" as a fun introduction to TI-BASIC programming.

If you have any questions about the TI-Innovator Hub, please feel free to post in the attached topic. I will happily accept suggestions and requests for things to try with my Hub and components. In the future, I plan to create additional videos that walk you through creating specific applications to learn embedded programming with the TI-Innovator Hub, and if there's sufficient demand, I'm also curious to test the speed of the Hub versus ArTICL with an Arduino. Please keep an eye on my YouTube channel for those videos.



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Projects of the Month: October 2016
Published by tifreak8x on November 11, 2016 at 8:37:26 AM CST | Discuss this article (1)

Welcome to another installment of PotM! This past month has seen a slight decline in projects being worked on, but those projects that have seen updates have been made ever more awesome! Check out the list of projects below:

  • TILP: Lionel Debroux has shared an update that was made to TILP, pushing it closer to the long sought after 1.18 release. Check the post for the list of updates, which is quite extensive.
  • Zombie Chase CE: Spenceboy98 has released an update for his Zombie Chase game, adding in a new feature where you take more damage once you are infected by a zombie. Check out the thread for more info, a screenshot, and that download link!
  • PHASM: Epharius has returned and brought quite the list of updates to his shell for the CE, PHASM. Among the updates is the ability to read ROM, edit various parts of memory, and a list of bug fixes. Check out the topic for more information on this impressive project!
  • Zombie Chase Prizm: Spenceboy98 has updated the Prizm version of Zombie Chase to match the features of the CE. So if you have a Prizm, download and check out this game! (Which is great to still see Prizm game development going on!)
  • AspirinCE: Unicorn has started porting over an 83+ game of the same name up to the CE. He has a few features going, as per what his screenshots show, and it looks like it has the potential to be a fun game.
  • TI-Planet's Project Builder: Adriweb has posted up about some updates that have taken place with their Project Builder, an online CE IDE and emulator. Check out the topic for the numerous features that have been posted about for this latest update!
  • Raspberry Pi-Based Graphing Calculator: As has been attempted several times in the past, new Cemetech member Barney Russell is looking to create a homemade graphing calculator around a Raspberry Pi. He's looking to spend no more than $100 on parts to add to the Raspberry Pi to make it a full graphing calculator; if you have suggestions, please stop by his topic and add your $0.02!
  • globalCALCnet with Particle Photon: Two years ago, Cemetech administrator Christopher "Kerm Martian" Mitchell received a Spark Core (from the company later renamed to Particle) at World Maker Faire 2014, and used it to give calculators WiFi. He used the Arduino CALCnet drivers to made the Spark Core speak CALCnet, allowing it to link calculators directly to the internet. Now, Cemetechian theprogrammingcube has succeeded in porting the Spark Core globalCALCnet firmware to Particle's latest development board, the Particle Photon. Take a look at his work, and if you have expertise on the Photon, feel free to chime in.
  • Bounce CE: Something of a screensaver like program, it bounces balls of varying sizes around on your CE's screen. Made by MateoConLechuga to show C programmers how to use interrupts and the keypad in your C programs.
  • StringToList CE: A little utility program by MateoConLechuga that converts string data into a list of tokens. Check out the thread for a screenshot and more information.
  • C SDK Libraries: MateoConLechuga has done some massive updating to the CE C libraries over the last month, many updates offering speed improvements or general optimizations and bug fixes. Check the thread from the link onwards to see all that's been done!
  • ICE Compiler: PT_ has made a superb amount of progress on his compiler setup, adding in a whole list of features and fixes. Check out the topic for a more in depth look at all that's been accomplished!


And that's it for this month! We realize that the next 2 months brings holidays and exams for a lot of you, so we understand if priorities shift away from your projects for a short while. But do make sure to stop by when you can and chat with us in SAX, we love keeping in touch with our userbase! Until next month~

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Projects of the Month: September 2016
Published by tifreak8x on October 17, 2016 at 4:35:02 PM CST | Discuss this article (3)

Hello again, everyone! Another month (and a little more) has passed since our last PotM post, and this past month we've had quite the list of projects that was worked on.

  • Endless RPG: Battlesquid released a new version of his game, fixing bugs and adding improvements to the game. Check the link to the topic for the download link.


  • CalcTalk: Kydapoot has been working on a Siri like program for the 83+ line of calculators, offering up a variety of features to make the program useful. He has plans for some more advanced things, so check out his topic and let him know your thoughts and possible feature requests.


  • Atomas: For those playing with Atomas, you'll want to check out this thread. An update was pushed to remedy some issues regarding the game that affected displaying of certain atoms and the high score feature.


  • Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth: Iambian has done more work on his toolchain and game, changing up the font and doing other work. Check out the topic for some awesome screenshots and a more technical explanation of what was done.


  • Action Battle: Another project by Kydapoot, where you fight an onslaught of enemies. He has a long list of feature and wants, check out the thread if this project interests you!


  • Doodle Jump CE: Unicorn has started working on a Doodle Jump game for the CE and has gotten a nice title screen done. He's currently fighting with school related life, so keep an eye on this project for future updates when he has them.


  • Reuben Quest 3: Sorunome has brought this project back into the spotlight, and boy does he have some awesome progress to show! A lot of his updates now revolve around story and map data entry, which is a bit harder to show screenshots for. Check out the thread for all the awesome that this project is taking on!


  • Text File CE: This is a planned future text editor with a number of options by seanlego23. His first post shows his plan of attack for this project, which looks like this text editor will have a good list of features for students to use. Check out the topic and let him know what you think of his current progress!


  • ConvPNG: If you've missed it, MateoConLechuga has posted up an update for this project, to assist with compression things. Check out the topic for a link to an updated version.


  • Pac-Man CE: MateoConLechuga has cleaned up and optimized his Pac-Man game, and added in a new version where you can access a new map. Check the topic for a link to a screenshot and download link!


  • Chess CE: MateoConLechuga has posted up some updates regarding his Chess game for the CE, stating he has upgraded the engine to something smaller, updated the graphics, and numerous other things. Check out the link for a download and screenshot!


  • CE C SDK and libraries: MateoConLechuga and jacobly have worked on and done some fixing to the C SDK and libraries. There were a lot of updates done, so check out the topic to see all that's been accomplished!


  • ICE Compiler: PT_ has been hard at work on this project, adding in and showing off so many things, it's too numerous to begin to mention here in this section. Start at the link provided and dive into all the features PT_ has provided for this project, I'm sure you'll be impressed!


  • Claw Embedded Development System: Muessigb has completed the assembler for his new development system for embedded devices, and requests help testing it. Claw is essentially a VM with a custom assembly language that aims to run on a variety of platforms, from Atmega devices like the Arduino up to 64-bit PCs. If you're interested in giving it a try, head over to the topic, give Muessigb your feedback, and test out the assembler!


  • CEmu: Since pimathbrainiac is no longer maintaining his CEmu build server, jacobly has put together his own build server for nightly CEmu builds, for those too lazy or inexperienced to build CEmu from source. The CEmu team has also been working on improving the CEmu keypad, fixing bugs, and improving variables transfers.


I apologize to everyone on the delay of this being posted. There were a couple that I didn't feel I could properly write bits for, so Kerm managed to get them written for me when he found a few spare minutes to do so. Make sure to send him some love!

And as always, we thank our contributors for making these projects and keeping us updated! Until next month, keep them projects coming!

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