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Development => Calculators => Calculator News, Coding, Help & Talk => Topic started by: DJ Omnimaga on August 11, 2015, 04:48:07 am

Title: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 11, 2015, 04:48:07 am
To lighten the mood up and laugh, here is a topic compiling some of TI's notable mishaps during their relations with the TI community or even their customers in the past decades:

1998: "The TI-Files site used the TI-Files name until late 1998 when they were forced to change it to Ti-Files by Texas Instruments. TI claimed that they were cyber-squatting with their TI-Files name and http://www.ti-files.org site URL because people could confuse them with the actual TI website (i.e., http://www.ti.com)." - Source: TI-Story http://tistory.wikidot.com/ti-files

2000: TI-News asked by TI to change their names (granted, they were also distributing ROMs, but the name change request was questionable: http://www.ticalc.org/archives/news/articles/4/40/40306.html

2002: TI blocks distribution of their flash unlocking routine (I guess they had a point since it was copyrighted code from their TI-OS but still... look at how long it took before flash unlocking became common on 83+ calcs afterward) http://www.detachedsolutions.com/forum/index.php/mv/msg/240/0/0/

2007: Nspire release with basically no viable programming capabilities

2009: TI-83+ RSA signing keys controversy (DMCA takedown notices) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Instruments_signing_key_controversy

Early 2010: TI sends C&D to TI-BANK for distributing OS 1.1. While they had a point, the fact they did not ask them to remove other Nspire OSes from their servers and that Ndless only worked on 1.1 at the time made TI's actions look like an attack against Ndless: https://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=5291&sid=1442b18d0b86fed1953fd1e8f2ac4677#p83514

2010: TI adds anti-downgrade protection to TI-Nspire OS 2.1 (the first ever): https://www.omnimaga.org/news/nspire-2-1-out-don't-install-it!/ (this one even made Slashdot) and the OS releases allegedly violates the BSD license: https://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6132

July 2010: TI gets Critor's Facebook account suspended for posting his opinion against the OS 2.1 anti-downgrade protection on TI-France Facebook page. https://www.omnimaga.org/news/nspire-2-1-out-don't-install-it!/msg103858/#msg103858 . Several comments are also censored on their FB page

2011: TI blocks downgrades on TI-84+ and TI-84+SE http://www.omnimaga.org/news/new-ti-84-pocket-adds-anti-downgrade-protection-against-2-53mp-and-lower/

2013: TI goes as far as changing the Nspire CX hardware to block downgrades: https://www.omnimaga.org/news/new-ti-nspire-cx-boot2-antidowngrade-protection-blocks-ndless-nlaunch/

2015: TI blocks third-party flash apps on the 84+CE (thank god we can at least run Asm())

2015: TI blocks ASM entirely on their new TI-82 Advanced (which is based on the 84+SE)

No particular year: The many TI-84+/CSE/CE bugs dating all the way back in 1996 from the 83 OS and some trivial CSE bugs still present in the CE OSes.

No particular year: TI-CARES service (considered so bad that it's often nicknamed TI-DOESN'T-CARE.


I wonder if you remember anything that I might have missed?

EDIT: Satire/parody/April fools news posted in response to the incidents above (or other ones):

April Fools 2010: Omnimaga gets DMCA'ed for using TI fonts in its logo: http://www.omnimaga.org/news/ti-sends-dmca-takedown-notice-to-omnimaga-for-key-font-usage/ (parody of 84+ Signing key controversy)

April Fools 2011: 84+ OS 2.71MP https://www.omnimaga.org/news/84-plus-os-2-71mp-leaked-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-ti-84-programming/ (parody of TI-Nspire anti-downgrade)

August 2011: TI redesigns entire calculator line: http://www.omnimaga.org/news/texas-instruments-redesigns-entire-graphing-calculator-line/ (they totally fscked up their calc comparison chart that Summer.)
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Unicorn on August 11, 2015, 04:53:04 am
Wow, thats quite a list of TI trying to restrict the community. Hopefully they don't contonue on this path.
Title: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: princetonlion.tibd on August 11, 2015, 10:12:41 am
Then TI stops producing calcs, trying to force to community to die :P

Theoretical situation :P


They forgot the V200 in 2011?! O.O
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Streetwalrus on August 11, 2015, 11:37:23 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on August 11, 2015, 04:48:07 am
No particular year: The many TI-84+/CSE/CE bugs dating all the way back in 1996 from the 83 OS and some trivial CSE bugs still present in the CE OSes.

Add to that the bugs in the Nspire cas that remain from the TI-92. :P
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 11, 2015, 03:26:07 pm
Haha yeah the Nspire bugs. Also I forgot to mention their july 2010 attempt at discontinuing the 84+SE which was seen as an indication that the 84+ and 83+ were next. This incident generated public outcry in the community.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: utz on August 11, 2015, 03:41:20 pm
1981: TI releases the 99/4A home computer. Despite being far ahead of its time (it was in fact the first 16-bit home computer), it was discontinued after only 2 years. Why? TI reserved the exclusive right to publish software for the machine, and they released virtually no tech documentation on it whatsoever. Leaving aside a few minor design flaws, this is probably the main reason for the ultimate failure of the machine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TI_99/4A#Lack_of_third-party_development
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Streetwalrus on August 11, 2015, 03:44:56 pm
Wow that sounds really stupid.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Vogtinator on August 11, 2015, 04:08:06 pm
Quote2013: TI goes as far as changing the Nspire CX hardware to block downgrades: https://www.omnimaga.org/news/new-ti-nspire-cx-boot2-antidowngrade-protection-blocks-ndless-nlaunch/

I doubt that that was intentional. Yes, there is no downgrade protection for boot2 (which could in theory result in a brick that is not easy to repair, even for TI),
but it was only several weeks until HW-J was sold. If HW-J was a reaction to nLaunch, it would've taken at least three months, for testing alone. Also, boot1 is the same.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 11, 2015, 05:36:46 pm
It depends. If they decided to devote their entire resources just to block nLaunch for 1 week, couldn't it be possible?
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Adriweb on August 11, 2015, 05:55:01 pm
"1 week" ?

Absolutely not for hardware level things (not even technically possible), and extremely unlikely for software level things (but technically possible).
TI is big, and they have a whole process from dev to release; it takes time.

Removing an update, for instance, could be done quickly. But pushing another [new] one? No, not that quickly.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 14, 2015, 11:36:47 am
Ok, because with everything that TI did in the past, I sometimes get the impression that they would be willing to lose money just to block Ndless.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: utz on August 15, 2015, 07:31:25 pm
Oh and do you guys remember when TI build the first ever microchip, and then failed to bring it to the market (http://www.righto.com/2015/05/the-texas-instruments-tmx-1795-first.html)? :D It wasn't really their fault, but still, epic fail is epic.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 15, 2015, 07:40:04 pm
Oh wow. Also one picture on that page is kinda intriguing:


https://plus.google.com/photos/+KenShirriff/albums/6126664086392223281/6145542424761273970?pid=6145542424761273970&oid=106338564628446721517

Because the gray things are shaped exactly like those North American things O.O

http://i.imgur.com/idn8U00.jpg?1
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Unicorn on August 16, 2015, 04:45:51 am
Wait, Nintendo stole designs? Or ti did? Or that is a faked photo?
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Snektron on August 16, 2015, 10:16:25 am
Maybe they just ordered the cases from the same factory :P
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: c4ooo on August 16, 2015, 05:54:05 pm
I don't understand why someone should take the pain to put modular computer parts into predefined parts : P
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 16, 2015, 06:53:10 pm
Quote from: Cumred_Snektron on August 16, 2015, 10:16:25 am
Maybe they just ordered the cases from the same factory :P
I'm more thinking that the person just sacrified 3 SNES games to do his thing. I hope he didn't use Aero Fighters carts O.O

But we never know:  Maybe Cumred is right too :P
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: c4ooo on August 16, 2015, 08:38:58 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on August 16, 2015, 06:53:10 pm
Quote from: Cumred_Snektron on August 16, 2015, 10:16:25 am
Maybe they just ordered the cases from the same factory :P
I'm more thinking that the person just sacrified 3 SNES games to do his thing. I hope he didn't use Aero Fighters carts O.O

But we never know:  Maybe Cumred is right too :P

I was thinking that was a commercial product, with the user being able to by a different ram/rom if they wished, not a homebrew computer : P
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 17, 2015, 12:55:26 am
From the site utz linked to, it's "The Four-Phase AL1 running as a single-chip processor in a patent litigation demo. From Boysel's EECS presentation."
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: alexgt on August 17, 2015, 02:29:03 pm
I would say that the biggest stab at the ti community is the nSpire being blocked <_<, I have 3.6 with ndless but it took many days to get it it work <_<
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 17, 2015, 03:18:15 pm
I think the lockdown at first was not seen as badly as the subsequent patches against downgrade/Ndless, because some people probably thought that it was just how the new calculator was designed at the time. It's really when TI started to directly block downgrades that it angered the TI community.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: alexgt on August 17, 2015, 03:22:29 pm
Yeah, I feel that you bought the calculator so you can do what you want with it. The Prime is a good example (you can run programs until your teacher disables programs in exam mode so you can't cheat) and that is the best way to do it (I hope someone doesn't make a hack to skip that security measure forcing HP to lock it down <_<)
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 17, 2015, 03:27:56 pm
I actually bought the Nspire CX to complete my collection, but I wished that we could do more with it at one point and permanently. In general it's the calculator that I use the least among the newer models, though.

And yeah that is my concern: I hope that if someone makes an hack that it will have protections against circumventing exam mode. @Streetwalrus idea was to create some sort of bootloader or something that would launch when the calc is turned ON instead of the OS. It would show a list of ASM/C programs, as well as the OS in a list, but if the calculator is in exam mode, then only the OS could be selected. The bootloader license  would disallow anyone from making programs that can circumvent the exam mode, using the source code to create softwares that can do so, as well as forks of said bootloader that can circumvent the exam mode themselves.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: alexgt on August 17, 2015, 03:29:14 pm
Yeah I need to get Street my calc soon <_<
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Unicorn on August 21, 2015, 04:49:10 pm
And I still need to buy one on amazon.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 07, 2015, 09:04:42 am
I have updated the first post with the incident in July 2010 where Critor's Facebook account got suspended by TI after he posted a negative comment about TI-Nspire OS 2.1 anti-downgrade protection in July 2010 on TI-France page. All comments denouncing the anti-downgrade protection were also deleted by TI-France page moderators.

Source: http://tibank.forumactif.com/blabla-f18/ti-fait-desactiver-mon-compte-fb-t5818.htm . Unfortunately, I cannot find this thread on TI-Planet so unless @critor still has a copy, then the source is gone. But here was a post on Omni that brought it up: https://www.omnimaga.org/news/nspire-2-1-out-don't-install-it!/msg103858/#msg103858


Yes, back in 2010 TI was that bad.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Travis on November 18, 2015, 02:17:06 am
I don't remember if I ever told anyone this story, but a tech from TI support once got a customer calc question and emailed us at ticalc.org for help.  ;D
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 18, 2015, 06:44:33 am
Wait, when was this? I know that until September 2001 ticalc.org was affiliated with TI, but not anymore. I wonder if TI ever e-mailed TI-Planet for help?
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Adriweb on November 18, 2015, 06:51:18 am
"Nope", not directly at least ; but they (particularly TI-Europe) do quite often read help/questions topics on TI-Planet, according to Google Analytics. Whether they search for answer regarding customers' questions, that I don't know, but I guess it's not unlikely.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 18, 2015, 06:52:57 am
Didn't TI-Cares normally reply with automated answers or pre-made e-mail answers that often had nothing to do with the original question?
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Adriweb on November 18, 2015, 07:14:42 am
TI-Cares is good for standard questions and requests, but not for very technical things where you're on your own (or, well, with fellow online communities, but not official TI support).
So, us here can be often disappointed with TI-Cares, but the majority (teachers?) is probably quite satisfied with it.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Travis on November 18, 2015, 04:53:31 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on November 18, 2015, 06:44:33 am
Wait, when was this? I know that until September 2001 ticalc.org was affiliated with TI, but not anymore. I wonder if TI ever e-mailed TI-Planet for help?


It was a couple of years ago, about 2012. It just sort of happened in the middle of nowhere.
We've occasionally had people email us with questions saying that TI Cares referred them to us, as well. So it seems that not all of TI pretends that ticalc.org doesn't exist. :P
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 23, 2015, 05:01:09 am
At least they aren't boycotting it or something. For many years, they linked to CalcGames, Detacheds Solutions and some other small sites, but not ticalc.org, because they seemed to have a feud due to the CD fiasco. I wouldn't be surprised if back in the days, they refered people to calcgames.org instead of ticalc.org to get help.
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Adriweb on November 23, 2015, 06:01:33 am
Still linked from some places :)
https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aeducation.ti.com+%22ticalc.org%22

Also fun to try other websites and/or community people's names :)
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on November 23, 2015, 06:03:21 am
I didn't know those pages, but perhaps they aren't that old either. IIRC the student zone was revamped in 2010, right?

Also I agree, although it would be akward to run into some particular stuff from back in the days. >.< Plus imagine if you run into pr0n by searching someone's nick on Google... O.O
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: critor on December 13, 2015, 01:26:23 am
2016

After the huge success in France of the TI-82 Advanced, TI shares the same thing with the rest of the world under a different name.

Ladies and gentlemen, please proudly welcome the latest model in TI-84 Plus line, the TI-84 Plus T :
(https://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17651&p=193334#p193334)

It's running a whole new OS 5.x with many improvements to the previous 2.55MP version :
- exam mode now does flash a LED :)
- no crash - asm programs now won't run anymore :)
- no data loss - preloaded apps now cannot be removed anymore :)
- no memory problem - other apps now cannot be loaded anymore :)

Source : https://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17651&p=193334#p193334
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: c4ooo on December 13, 2015, 01:37:17 am
Quote from: critor on December 13, 2015, 01:26:23 am
It's running a whole new OS 5.x with many improvements to the previous 2.55MP version :
- exam mode now does flash a LED :)
- no crash - asm programs now won't run anymore :)
- no data loss - preloaded apps now cannot be removed anymore :)
- no memory problem - apps now cannot be loaded anymore :)

Huh? Is it april yet?
/me looks at calendar
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Snektron on December 13, 2015, 01:49:16 am
Does it also have that nifty feature where you can't downgrade your OS?
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Adriweb on December 13, 2015, 01:50:05 am
Quote from: Cumred_Snektron on December 13, 2015, 01:49:16 am
Does it also have that nifty feature where you can't downgrade your OS?

Probably, thus preventing risk of people bricking their calcs when not following tutorials
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Legimet on December 13, 2015, 02:25:25 am
These safety features look pretty good. But even better would be a calc that does nothing: ultimate safety! :)
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: calcplays on December 13, 2015, 03:46:38 pm
One incident that might warrant a mention is the ticalc.org CD...

http://www.ticalc.org/archives/news/articles/5/53/53866.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20011109223045/http://education.ti.com/parent/hilight/ticalccd.html
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: c4ooo on December 13, 2015, 04:46:30 pm
Quote from: calcplays on December 13, 2015, 03:46:38 pm
One incident that might warrant a mention is the ticalc.org CD...

http://www.ticalc.org/archives/news/articles/5/53/53866.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20011109223045/http://education.ti.com/parent/hilight/ticalccd.html

Well of course, they dont want to see how inapropreitly good non-TI programming is.
/me runs

The sarcasim in this thread is great :P
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on December 13, 2015, 06:55:31 pm
Yeah the TI CD is more due to TI not screening ticalc archives when they added the files. Back then, ticalc.org hosted Drug Wars and such content and did not scan archives for adult content, so some of it slipped by on the CD.

As for the new 84+ I'm honestly not surprised. It seems they want to make the 84+ T have less features than the CE to make people pay more. But what I fear is that the color calcs are next to lose ASM support and the successor of the 84+CE will most likely block ASM/C
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: critor on December 13, 2015, 08:06:44 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on December 13, 2015, 06:55:31 pmBut what I fear is that the color calcs are next to lose ASM support and the successor of the 84+CE will most likely block ASM/C


I'm not sure.

In my opinion, they did just not consider the old reused TI-84+ PCB secure enough against asm programs in exam mode (remember all the PTT OS patches which were released on Omnimaga).
But with their new TI-84+CE PCB, they directly adressed the security problem at the hardware level. So they think asm is not a problem. :)
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: Adriweb on December 13, 2015, 10:35:56 pm
Quote from: critor on December 13, 2015, 08:06:44 pmBut with their new TI-84+CE PCB, they directely adressed the security problem at the hardware level. So they think asm is not a problem. :)

Which didn't last very long anyway. See here (https://twitter.com/brandonlwilson/status/626312531322253312), here (https://twitter.com/brandonlwilson/status/580563806247653377), and here (https://twitter.com/brandonlwilson/status/579444697472585728).
Title: Re: History of Texas Instruments fails (TI versus community)
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on December 14, 2015, 09:12:01 am
Quote from: critor on December 13, 2015, 08:06:44 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on December 13, 2015, 06:55:31 pmBut what I fear is that the color calcs are next to lose ASM support and the successor of the 84+CE will most likely block ASM/C


I'm not sure.

In my opinion, they did just not consider the old reused TI-84+ PCB secure enough against asm programs in exam mode (remember all the PTT OS patches which were released on Omnimaga).
But with their new TI-84+CE PCB, they directely adressed the security problem at the hardware level. So they think asm is not a problem. :)
That's possible.

I would rather prefer that TI restricts access to the PCB in exam mode, even if it means losing certain ASM commands or Flash APP support, than seeing them remove ASM entirely. I wish they did the same on the 83+/84+, though...