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Topics - Jean-Baptiste Boric

1
I've unearthed one of my old pull requests and now we can (finally!) have proper Python games on the NumWorks calculator. The missing bits were keypad readout and some basic graphics primitives (zardam's time module was already merged some time ago). I've scrambled together a Pong game to showcase this:



Drawing performance is honestly quite terrible because the framebuffer isn't memory-mapped, but it's enough for a smooth Pong and probably other basic games in real time. Redrawing the full screen on each frame would require drawing the entire screen in one go pixel after pixel (like the third-party firmware GESTE did), not unlike racing the beam on the Atari 2600, but doing that from within MicroPython would be challenging.

Sources:
2
I'm baaack ('cause social network login was broken here for a while).

I'm working on an integrated turtle Python module for the NumWorks calculator (https://github.com/numworks/epsilon/pull/748). It's coming along rather nicely:

from turtle import *
for i in range(255):
  gray=255-i
  color(gray,int(gray*0.75),int(gray*0.25))
  forward(i*0.1)
  left(10)


image

I've also done a RPN app for those who are addicted to HP calculators (https://github.com/boricj/numworks-rpn). The basics are here (16-level stack with nearly all operators on the kerboard implemented), but there's a lot of room for improvements. Turns out there are enough people interested that I get pull requests on this project from time to time. The discussion thread for this project, for lack of a better place, is at https://github.com/numworks/epsilon/issues/35#issuecomment-417885356.

4
Well, it's not really an announcement anymore since the news spread to every major calculator website community, but I thought I should create a topic here just for good measure.

From the original Omnimaga thread (https://www.omnimaga.org/hp-prime/announcing-rip%27em-a-third-party-firmware-for-the-hp-prime/) :
Quote
Ran out of presents to rip open? How about ripping open your HP Prime for science?

This is Rip'Em, a third-party firmware for the HP Prime calculator. It is a (rather primitive for now) unofficial bootloader that replaces PRIME_OS.ROM and is currently written by someone who doesn't know what he's doing.

For now, unless you can connect to the 3.3v TTL serial port inside the calculator nothing too exciting will happen.

What you can do with it for now :

  • Launch a homegrown GDB stub over serial (only suitable for poking memory and upload/run code) ;
  • Launch a single ELF file as a payload. Current payloads available are :

    • dummy.elf : A dummy payload that blinks the LEDs so you can hang your HP Prime to your Christmas tree ;
    • PRIME_OS.ROM : The official firmware can be launched using the osrom2elf tool supplied.
  • Write your own application on bare metal using the libraries supplied.

Current plans and what you can do to help :

  • Play around with Rip'Em ;
  • Use the GDB stub to figure out the hardware ;
  • Replace the homegrown GDB stub with the real stuff ;
  • Write a USB serial driver to enable the GDB stub to work over it ;
  • Add the ability to have multiple payloads, to read payloads from the FAT16 partition in PRIME_APP.DAT and to select a payload with a simple graphical user interface.

Non-goals (at least for me) :

  • Reverse-engineering, patching or otherwise tampering with the official firmware. The TODO list is already big enough to keep me busy for a long time ;
  • Bloat within RIp'Em itself. It's an ELF launcher, not a operating system. Even the GDB stub should be demoted as a payload eventually.

Source code available over at https://github.com/boricj/ripem. Kudos to Lionel Debroux for being the first one to run a third-party firmware on the HP Prime.

As always : please void your warranty in a responsible manner. I will decline any responsibility should you turn your HP Prime into the thinnest CAS calculator brick available currently on the market.

Since I wrote this post the dummy payload has been updated to display the current time on the LCD screen. So now even without connecting to the serial port inside the calculator slightly exciting stuff will happen.

Next goal is the keypad.
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