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Messages - Jean-Baptiste Boric

1
I wonder if that could be ported to calculators (specifically the NumWorks calculator, but also Casio). Games like Acelgoyobis don't actually need a full TI calculator keypad, so with some keybindings and enough processing power it should more or less work.
2
Hardware / Re: Commander X16
July 20, 2020, 10:37:19 PM
I'll admit I have some trouble determining what this is for exactly.

It has a ridiculous amount of RAM for a 6502-based system, even in its basic configuration. Commodore BASIC as far as I understand is an extremely old BASIC dialect that hasn't really evolved since the Commodore PET release in 1977, that couldn't handle an eighth of the base RAM configuration anyway (BBC BASIC would appear to be a much better BASIC to use). This has obviously some Commodore DNA in it yet it is explicitly not compatible with any Commodore computer despite having a beefy FPGA onboard...

I do not know how the Commander X16 is architectured, yet I can't help but think it won't go for what'd be obvious to me: bridging every single pin on the 6502 to the FPGA and make this a software-defined computer. Doing so would allow this to be a PET, VIC-20, C64 and a Commander X16 in a single package, just a bitstream upload to the FPGA away. If the motherboard is also separated from the CPU+RAM+FPGA board, other motherboards could be designed for the Atari, Apple and BBC Micro families of 6502 home computers. Stretching this idea even further would include other CPU boards for the z80, 68000 and so on for other computer and console families... Obviously not to be developed all at once, but it could be a concept with almost limitless potential for evolution.

I feel this will be just another 6502 computer, whereas it could be THE 6502 computer. But that's how I'd think about doing that if I were to do such a project.
3
Quote from: Yuki on June 16, 2020, 05:34:18 PMThat is, until there's a way to do file transfers without recompiling and transfering the firmware again.
You can transfer Python scripts without having to flash the firmware since version 1.4.0. That's what the workshop is for.
4
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on June 16, 2020, 05:01:23 PMSo if someone absolutely wants to delete or add files it has to be done via a computer, right?
No, they do it by adding or deleting scripts from the Python app. The three dots next to each script opens a menu for operations. Also, storing "undef" to variables and functions in the Functions app will delete them.

I should've said no central memory management in epsilon. There simply is no dedicated menu for that unlike with TI calculators.
5
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on June 16, 2020, 04:13:35 PMI'm unsure if I'm missing something, but I checked the Numworks manual and the Omega fork via the emulator, as well as Github for documentation and I could not find any way to access a memory management menu. ???
Do not try and manage memory. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no memory.

There is no memory management in epsilon because NumWorks believes an user should not have to worry about that. There is a record system to keep track of variables, functions and scripts, but it is not exposed to the user. That being said, it should be possible to create a memory app for Omega and it will probably be required anyway when storage in Flash gets implemented.
6
Quote from: Yuki on June 12, 2020, 07:35:43 PMFrom what I see, the code is under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, which is kinda weird for code, but eh, it's legit.
It used to be worse, but it got better.
7
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on June 12, 2020, 06:10:44 PMI haven't tried it much yet but I do like the great additions, especially the chemistry/physic apps. This gotta be the most advanced third-party calculator firmware/OS out there.
It's without a doubt the most advanced third-party fork of Epsilon, but I doubt it's the most advanced third-party calculator firmware out there. Projects like newRPL and KnightOS are far more ambitious in both their scope and achievements as alternative firmware built from the ground up.
8
Quote from: Yuki on June 09, 2020, 08:16:29 PMDo it! I don't think I've heard about it yet, how long has it been around?
It was created somewhere around November/December 2019. It builds on previous work though, like my own RPN app and full-screen post-processing accessibility settings as well as the external app support from zardam.

I'll try to have either me or somebody else in the team make a post about Omega this weekend, right now it's nearing bedtime in France. In the meantime, you can check out the website for info. We do include all the features from the official NumWorks firmware too since we're a fork.
9
Quote from: Yuki on June 09, 2020, 07:43:11 PM
Quote from: Jean-Baptiste Boric on June 09, 2020, 07:22:05 PMInstead, boycott Texas Instruments. Do not recommend their calculators to anyone. Buy, use, tinker and develop with platforms from other competitors that actually care: Casio, HP, NumWorks, SwissMicros... Spread the good word. Seriously, TI will never learn unless their bottom line hurts, so make theirs hurt.

Yeah, sounds like a good plan.
I've even come up with a slogan at the Cemetech forums for this:

Remember, friends don't let friends buy TI calculators.

Quote from: Yuki on June 09, 2020, 07:43:11 PM
Quote from: Jean-Baptiste Boric on June 09, 2020, 07:22:05 PMThe main developer community around the NumWorks calculator is the Omega firmware, which is a fork of the official epsilon firmware. The biggest problem right now is the lack of manpower and the fact that unlike TI or Casio there is not a rich legacy to build upon. On the other hand, there's plenty of stuff to invent from the ground up if that's what you're after.

I'd like seeing some more love to NumWorks in here on CW, porting some games and stuff :) That ought to give a message to TI.
Now that I think about it, I'm not even sure that the Omega fork has been properly introduced here with a forum post... Which is too bad, because we have external apps support (including KhiCAS, NES and GameBoy emulators, periodic table), built-in symbolic computation, RPN... Heck, I've even managed to put a clock on the titlebar just a few days ago even though the hardware doesn't have a RTC quartz for time-keeping purposes.
10
Quote from: undefinedI would even propose calling TI's bluff on something. Write TI a letter, signed by a EVERY major calc development community - Cemetech, Omnimaga, Codewalrus (unity is important on this), informing them that if they do not revise their decision on C/asm, and implement exam security in a way that is conducive to teaching, learning, and doing programming, we the community will be designing, releasing and marketing our own calculator to compete with them. And if they do not walk it back.. actually follow through.

There is no action legally they could take to prevent this: it would be our own hardware and programming, no copying of names, symbols, anything. Free market, people can compete with whoever they want.
Unlikely to happen. The closest that comes to what you are describing out there is Symbolibre and they are nowhere near an industrialized product at this time. It's one thing to hand-build a couple of prototypes cobbled together from parts, it's another to have a design ready for mass-production and cost-optimized. Production engineering is an extremely complex topic that is never addressed in calculator forums. Take a look at NumWorks' blog for a tiny peek at what goes behind the scenes.

Instead, boycott Texas Instruments. Do not recommend their calculators to anyone. Buy, use, tinker and develop with platforms from other competitors that actually care: Casio, HP, NumWorks, SwissMicros... Spread the good word. Seriously, TI will never learn unless their bottom line hurts, so make theirs hurt.

To be clear, you can tinker with one of the numerous calculator designs available on the Net or build your own if you want. Just don't expect to upend TI's marketshare that way.

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on June 09, 2020, 06:35:24 PMSomething I wonder is if the TI community could team up with the existing Numworks team to expand that calculator's programming capabilities beyond Python and perhaps even promote the calculator? Of course the price still remains a problem but if eventually it sells more, then perhaps they can reduce the price per unit?
Well, do come in, we don't bite ;)

The main developer community around the NumWorks calculator is the Omega firmware, which is a fork of the official epsilon firmware. The biggest problem right now is the lack of manpower and the fact that unlike TI or Casio there is not a rich legacy to build upon. On the other hand, there's plenty of stuff to invent from the ground up if that's what you're after.

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on June 09, 2020, 06:35:24 PMOr if the Numworks team is afraid of people tampering with the exam mode then they can sign our apps themselves before we release them on our website or an appstore of their own, so that they can review what can go on the calc.
There is no signing whatsoever in the NumWorks calculator, you can flash whatever you want. Should they need to tighten up their security in the future, I've written about it. They will not prevent people from running third-party firmwares, the openness of their platform is a major selling point.
11
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on June 06, 2020, 06:58:51 PMYeah, to be honest what keeps me from buying a Numworks aside from the fact I only did a few calc programming recently for the first time in almost 4 years is the price. Despite being open-source it's even more expensive than a fx-CG50 and not too far from the TI-84 Plus CE (when including shipping fees), but of course since it's a smaller production run than TI calcs then the production cost per calc is most likely much higher than with TI/Casio.

Here in France it's the same price as the TI-83 Premium CE Edition Python (80€). I guess Casio is focused on conquering the North American market, whereas NumWorks is focused on the French market (and recently expanding into the European market).

The fx-CG50 has an edge on hardware specs and the community is both bigger and has a significant head-start. It's probably the better choice if you want to play games but don't want to make them.

I would not draw conclusions without more data about production cost per calc. The NumWorks calculator's hardware is much more bare-bones internally (no USB OTG, no supplying power to USB devices, no RTC...) and it uses an off-the-shelf MCU rather than a custom home-made ASIC. Texas Instruments most likely has an edge due to production numbers, but I would not be surprised if the NumWorks calculator is slightly cheaper to produce per-calc for the same production volume.
12
Apparently, the saga keeps unfolding as Cemetech has Peter Balyta himself providing insight in this f*ckup of biblical proportions (https://www.cemetech.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16652). I couldn't resist answering (https://www.cemetech.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=285853#285853):

Quote[...]

Sincerely,
Not presently a member of your community, but you messed up so bad this time I wrote this.
13
Truly a sad day for calculator communities. Hopefully competitors will not do such a boneheaded decision either.

One thing remains to be seen: where will the refugees go? So far most people think this will benefit Casio since they have decent tooling and lots of programs already existing. NumWorks calculators currently have nowhere near the same level of polish for both developers and users of native programs (nor a community as strong either).
14
I happen to boot my good old Samsung Galaxy SII regularly, even though a Nokia 1 edges it out nowadays. Last time I did it, the battery got uncalibrated in the meantime and the phone only recognized 0% (unplugged) and 100% (plugged) battery levels. I solved it by booting into recovery and letting the battery completely drain out before fully recharging it again. I still find it useful as an occasional secondary tablet for lightweight web browsing, mails and YouTube.

Speaking of it, looks like LineageOS finally stopped officially supporting it in October 2018, but I'm mighty impressed that a flagship phone from 2011 managed to hold out for so long, from Android 2.3 all the way to Android 7.1.2 (while often having a more recent OS than contemporary smartphones). I've yet to find a flagship Android smartphone as pocket-friendly as this, even if my Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact gets very close... Why do all manufacturers think we want our flagships the size of a frikkin' aircraft carrier?!
15
Randomness / Re: TI-86 calculator pr0n (NSFW)
April 11, 2019, 06:38:37 AM
Rule 32: if it's a platform, there's pr0n on it.

Rule 33: if there's no pr0n on a platform, just give it time.
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