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A New Foe Appears! by Geekboy1011
September 28, 2014, 12:10:28 am

We have decided to promote Hayleia's Super Smash Brother Open project to it's own board under Major Community projects! Be sure to support and encourage him on this amazing project. Congrats Hayleia and keep up the good work!


With this promotion will start a small set of changes to the Major Project boards. Slowly they will be cleaned up and have project owners assigned as moderators and all that fun stuff. Progress is slowly being made!

Cemetech At World Maker Faire 2014 Recap by KermMartian
September 23, 2014, 06:46:08 pm

Quote from: Hacking (Wikipedia)
The act of engaging in activities (such as programming or other media) in a spirit of playfulness and exploration is termed hacking. [...] Hacking entails some form of excellence, for example exploring the limits of what is possible, thereby doing something exciting and meaningful.
September 20 and 21, 2014, Cemetech made its third trek to World Maker Faire in New York City to show off Learn Hacking and Coding with Graphing Calculators. As in 2012 and 2013, the focus of our booth this year was to spread the word about graphing calculators as a tool for learning programming and electronics, or "hacking". We showed off the different things you could make graphing calculators do, from networking, to connecting to the internet, to playing music, to running educational programs and games. We also showcased resources for learning to use calculators for math and science as well as for programming. Our displays (click any photo for the full size), from left: the east side of the tent, with networking, internet-connected calculators, and books; calculators networked together; internet-connected calculators; interactive calculators with math and science programs and games; calculators playing music with speakers and a floppy drive.

This year, we had our largest crew of participating Cemetech staff and members yet. I (Christopher Mitchell) was joined once again by Cemetech administrator Thomas Dickerson, Cemetech member Alec Szigeti, and Cemetech and Omnimaga administrator Tim Keller. Cemetech member and Omnimaga owner Nathaniel van Diepen trekked down from Canada to join us in showing off our work as well, bringing along his wooden TI-82 created by Caleb Hansberry as well. We gave out over eight hundred bookmarks with Cemetech's URL and an invitation to join us for calculator, computer, and DIY hardware hacking and programming. We chatted with thousands of people of all ages, some new to calculator hacking, some old veterans with great stories of the early hobbyist community. We found that the students, parents, engineers, and teachers visiting our booth were even more tech-savvy than in previous years, and many were receptive to the arguments for graphing calculators as a platform for teaching programming. Among the interactions that particularly stand out in our minds:
  • A teacher who works with at-risk teens in the Washington, DC area who has no budget for computers, but has graphing calculators and wants her students to explore programming and robotics.
  • A science teacher in the NYC area who has CBL devices and told us that she wants to show her students programming, including interfacing with the CBL.
  • A professional programmer who didn't get started coding with graphing calculators, but who "honed his ability to translate an idea into a program" with his calculator.
  • A professional programmer who writes Objective C and Swift now, but started programming with his trusty TI-83 Plus.
  • Students who have been writing TI-BASIC programs on their own in school, and who were excited to learn that there is an online community of enthusiasts to learn from and work with.
  • Younger students excited by the prospect of what they will be able to do once they get graphing calculators for school.
  • A familiar friendly face from TI stopped by, as well as Cemetech member and community legend Patrick Davidson, and members ACagliano, pyrot3chnic, docbill, and balrog. Docbill told us about his classroom lessons on using TI calculators as coprocessors for microcontrollers, and inspired us to try to build our own lesson plan for teachers around similar projects.
We were thrilled to win two Editor's Choice awards from Maker Faire for our efforts, joining two Educator's Choice awards and one Editor's Choice award that we earned in the preceding two years. We look forward to continuing to spread our message about teaching programming with graphing calculators and to working directly with teachers, parents, and enthusiastic students alike. Special thanks to Tim Keller for spending time, money, and effort to make us very professional-looking displays, and to the whole Cemetech team who helped out this weekend. Thank you also to Peter Balyta and Gayle Mujica for their personal enthusiasm on Twitter and LinkedIn about our participation in the Faire. You can check out our full album of photos from Maker Faire 2014 and an informal video showing our displays.

Next-to-last calc program round-up news article by DJ Omnimaga
September 22, 2014, 01:49:28 am

During the last two years, you might have remembered how I sometimes post news articles featuring recent calculator program releases in batch, usually during Summer or at the start of school year. Unfortunately, this particular news article and the next one afterward will be my last dedicated coverage of TI/Casio/HP community releases. This news will cover utilities, while the next one will cover games. With a non-game feature pending queue spanning two years, I don't think I need to explain why I won't be doing such news afterward (unless of course I feel like writing a news but that won't be regular community coverage).

So now, here is part 1: Utilities and programming tools!

TI-z80 calculators

-UOSRECV (a little program for the 84+, 84+SE, and (yes) 84+CSE to receive unsigned OSes)

-Calc2Key (Control your computer with your TI-83+/84+. REQUIRES TILP)

-USBpad8x (Control your comp with 84+. No TILP install required)

-PixelScape (online Sprite/Map editor for Axe coders. Let's hope that this one, unlike Aichi's map editor, stays online for more than 1 year)

-TileIt (an on-calc one)

-Pageswap Axiom (the one that lets you use up to 40 KB of executable code)

-GPS for graphing calcs (another rocking hardware mod from Kerm)

-Since my program feature articles normally requires an actual executable download, the next program doesn't qualify, but since this is the last time I will ever cover community releases, I will let this one in anyway: Graph3DC! When this ASM 3D grapher comes out it will be amazing.

-KnightOS is worth mentionning since it progressed a lot in the past few months, although we still hope it gets finished, unlike the many other TI-OS projects in the last decade.


-Lua Cellular Automata (Self-explanatory. For the TI-Nspire)

-WP 34s emu for the Nspire (Emulator of the popular community calculator WP 34s based on HP's models. So now you can use this awesomeness on your TI-Nspire!)

-KuroRPG (not finished yet but if it comes out it's an RPG Maker XP port for the Nspire. Basically, you will be able to create RPGs without learning how to code)

-Back in 2012 and 2013, TI-Nspire window libraries were mainstream projects in the community. Three got released within a few months span at the time and they are all good: WZGUILib (the oldest one), Winbox and TI-Masterbox!

-MicroPython for the Nspire  (Vogtinator, the author, told me to wait before making a news about it since it's far from complete, but since I won't be doing news coverage after this set of two articles, I am mentionning it now. But yes, now you can program in Python on your TI-Nspire!)


-OS 2.04 for FX-9860 Slim (9860 Slim now upgradeable to OS 2.04, and we know this is something people have wanted for a long time, since Casio stopped supporting that model half a decade ago.)

-OS 2.00.1000 for ClassPad II (Minor update for the fx-CP400 model that mainly fixes e-Activity)

HP Prime

-Conway's Game of Life (New version of HP Prime Conway's Game of Life, that runs at 1.5 FPS instead of 0.2.)

For the next and last feature round-up, calculator games will be covered, after which news requests will have to be sent at http://ourl.ca/request/

Net Neutrality by Juju
September 10, 2014, 04:12:05 pm

We at Omnimaga are for a free and open Internet. So it is natural for us to support the Net Neutrality movement fighting against the American FCC, big ISPs and their concept of fast lanes which would make big companies' websites go fast while slowing down everyone else, including our beloved Omnimaga.

We enabled the appropriate script for the day, it's a popup that lets you sign the petition and gives you more info on this. We encourage you to sign the petition, call your representative and spread the word!

Also a note for you non-Americans, you might think you are not concerned, but many of you have a website or a blog, and fast lanes would affect your American visitors... Omnimaga may be Canadian, but we still have this at heart.

Here's a few links fore more info:

Thank you and may Omnimaga live forever free!

Supersonic Ball now up on Google Play by Juju
September 04, 2014, 10:20:11 pm

For you Android users, I finally got around getting a credit card and paying the necessary fees, so the Android version of DJ Omnimaga's critically acclaimed Axe Parser game Supersonic Ball is now up for download on the Google Play Store for only $2!

But I'm hearing you, wait what it's now paid? Well, yes, sort of. The paid version is exactly the same as the one that was released a few months ago (but I had to recompile it with a release key instead of the debug one, and it's still up on GitHub) and will likely remain that way when a new version goes up. That is, if you feel it's worth $2, feel free to buy it on Google Play, otherwise, if you don't or you can't afford it for some reason, you can always grab it on GitHub.

Get it on Google Play
Or here if you can't afford it, it's the exact same thing

(P.S.: There is a way for you faithful Omnimaga members to get it for free on Google Play... Please contact me!)
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