CALCnet2.2 Demonstrates Calculator Networking
Published by KermMartian 13 years, 7 months ago (2010-09-06T08:13:51+00:00) | Discuss this article

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!