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Omnimaga moves 1 generation up by DJ Omnimaga
Yesterday at 08:54:02 pm

In this new age of tablets, smartphones and causal gaming such as Minecraft, calculator programmers have become increasingly sparse. The few that still ventures into calculator programming now usually stick to Github, Facebook, their personal blogs or IRC to showcase their projects instead of forums. As a result, the days of the calculator community have been counted for well over 8 years now, despite a few waves of newcomers resulting from calculator-related novelties every now and then, and the day when smartphones will no longer be banned from any class nor exam in the world, calculators could possibly either become a thing of the past or be adopted by vintage computer programmers and the like.

No matter what, Omnimaga still get new members from any school age, some who were not even born when it originally started. Because yes: Today it has now been 13 years since Omnimaga as a group was founded (the site itself started two and an half years later)!

Hundreds of calculator games and programs have been released by its staff over the years, as well as many PC programs and several electronic songs. It went through ups and downs, including a 6 months shutdown in 2008, reaching record TI community activity levels during its glory days and today the forums is slowly approaching 400,000 posts!

So basically, thanks to everyone who have allowed Omnimaga to last this long and let's hope it lasts even longer in one form or another! There is no 13th anniversary Youtube video available to celebrate Omnimaga's birthday (maybe for the 15th?), but for people who have missed some of the past Omnimaga releases, here are the 6th through 10th anniversary videos, as well as the HP Prime, TI-Nspire and Axe tribute videos below:

6th anniversary (2007)
6th anniversary (unused)
The Resurrection (2008)
8th anniversary (2009)
9th anniversary (2010)
10th anniversary (2011)
Axe Parser Tribute (2010)
Ndless: Nothing's Gonna Stop us Now (2010)
The first ever TI-Nspire Lua games (2011)
HP Prime Tribute (2014)

Cemetech Contest #12 Results and Winners by Geekboy1011
Yesterday at 12:57:19 am

Last Wednesday, Cemetech Contest #12 drew to a close. For this contest, entries were restricted to TI-83 Plus, TI-84 Plus, and TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition programs, yet we still had close to a dozen community members come up with creative projects. We received seven entries by the Contest #12 deadline: four assembly programs and three TI-BASIC programs; three TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition-compatible programs, and five TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus-compatible programs. All seven showed the ingenuity and inventiveness we expect from Cemetech members, and all seven met the requirement of teaching users or students something concrete in their program. Many of the entries included some form of quiz or game to test students' knowledge, and many also included reference information or tutorials for students to learn from. I'll first introduce the non-winning but still admirable entries, and conclude with the winners.
  • Basic Handbook: This z80 ASM program makes use of the Doors CS GUI routines to present lessons on the fundamentals of TI-BASIC. At present, it teaches a simple "Hello, World" example plus a few additional commands.
  • Bit Manipulation: A much-needed tutorial on bitmath by pyrotechnic, written in z80 ASM for z80 ASM programmers. It's a work-in-progress that currently teaches boolean logic commands and z80 ASM bitmath operators, and has extensive documentation on its plans for a quiz mode.
  • Survival: Newcomer APotato submitted this TI-84+CSE TI-BASIC game inspired by Darwinian evolution and the principle of "survival of the fittest". It includes several minigames of chance and skill that determine if the player's hypothetical species thrives or perishes.
  • CBCRTR: An electronic circuit builder and simulator by 16aroth6 that also teaches the basics of electronics. The main missing piece is the simulator component, which should bring this already capable learning tool to the next level.
We'd also like to tip a judicial hat to ordelore for his unfinished, unsubmitted entry "Earth Impact", a port of the STEM Behind Hollywood activity of the same name. Although ordelore will be unable to work further on the entry, he has sent his code to a few community members to hopefully complete.

And now, our third, second, and first place winners, in that order. Our prizes include three calculators: a TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, a TI-Nspire CX, and an overclocked TI-83 Plus Silver Edition. We again thank our anonymous donor for the two new color-screen calculators.
  • In third place, Element Teacher by CalcGuy123 teaches information like name, symbol, atomic mass, and more for elements on the periodic table, then quizzes students on what they learned. It earned high marks for including a wealth of useful information, and with a small bit of additional polishing should be ready for Chemistry students everywhere.
  • Second place went to geekboy1011 for Resistor Calculator, a color z80 ASM program for the TI-84+CSE that translates resistor color codes to resistance values and also offers reference materials for electrical engineers. Geekboy1011 earned particular recognition from the judges for showing consistent effort and progress on his project in his contest topic throughout the competition.
  • Matrefeytontias wins first place for A Whole New Perspective, a sprawling z80 ASM project that teaches 3D programming. Matrefeytontias has produced a number of impressive 3D projects in Axe and assembly in the past, and has shared his experiences in an easy-to-understand format with this interactive tutorial.
To all our contestants and winners, congratulations! Please PM me your mailing address, and we'll get your prizes to you soon. If you feel like eventually posting up photos of your prizes and/or what you plan to do with them, we certainly won't complain. Since all contestants have uploaded their entries to the Cemetech Archives, we ask that you notify us if you don't want us to accept the upload. Most importantly, if your entry is unfinished, please finish it as soon as possible and publish it to help underscore the value of programming for creating educational calculator programs! If you didn't win, then keep your eyes open for Cemetech Contest #13 starting this fall, which will have more TI-84+CSEs and TI-Nspire CXs as prizes and for which we have a few extra surprises in store.

Left to right: "A Whole New Perspective", "Resistor Calculator", and "Element Teacher"
[source: http://cemete.ch/p223089#223089]

Updates and planned downtime by Eeems
August 18, 2014, 06:37:44 pm

Omninet has had a large amount of the official channels renamed. Use the IRC page to see what the current standard is for naming channels (ourl.ca/p/irc).

To continue on this, there will be some downtime tonight, possibly up to two hours while Eeems runs some updates to the servers. After the updates are done, there may be some interruption to services as configuration files are updated to work with the new version. Keep an eye on Twitter or IRC to see what the current status on the upgrade is.

PrimeCaster3D, Quest CX & SimCitx by DJ Omnimaga
August 07, 2014, 08:43:20 pm

A few days ago, Critor has released a raycaster engine for the HP Prime called PrimeCaster3D. Unlike raycasting engines for other calculator models, this one even features shading and variable wall height!

Have you ever wished that you could have a raycaster run at 2 FPS in pure TI-83 Plus or Casio BASIC? Well, unfortunately that will never be possible, but if you have an HP Prime and thought it would be the case on that calc too, then get ready: Critor has just released PrimeCaster 3D, a variable wall height raycasting engine for the HP Prime!

Because guess what? You read it and see it right: This raycaster even supports variable wall height, and as if it wasn't enough, it supports shading too! You can jump, climb stairs and from what I can see while moving around, it seems that some floors show reflection of walls.

The frame rate is very slow, though, but given the fact this is written in HP PPL rather than C and ASM, it's ridiculously impressive. You can adjust the frame rate to whatever you like and the raycasting quality will automatically adjust itself to match the frame rate you want, but above 3 FPS on-calc it starts being hard to see anything. This is why the maze game will look nicer on the simulator than the calculator at the same FPS (the screenshot above has been altered to show approximately how fast the quality shown in it runs on a real calculator. You can also change the weather or lightning effect by switching between darkness, fog and light (the latter which turns off all shading)

In order to allow a game to use this engine, level design would have to be made so that wide-open areas are obstructed by walls, cutting the view down, as it runs faster in smaller rooms. Also, some elements such as shading support and variable wall height would probably have to be eliminated or toned down. Regardless, this awesome program shows once again what the HP PPL language of the HP Prime is capable of and gives an idea of what kind of game could be achieved in it!

Download link: http://tiplanet.org/forum/archives_voir.php?id=87246
Source: http://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=15033

In addition to that, LinkWebmaster has released an arcade strategy game for the TI-Nspire calculators called Quest CX, featuring amazing graphics, where you defeat hordes of monsters to advance in your quest to save the world from evil:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BIedZ3gAyE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BIedZ3gAyE</a>

The readme states that it was created under OS 3.9, so it is possible that this OS is required to play the game. If that is the case, if you still want to use Ndless, it might be better that you use an emulator or a second calculator hardware to play it since it is impossible to downgrade from OS 3.9 (Ndless only runs on OS 3.1 and 3.6).

Download link: http://tiplanet.org/forum/archives_voir.php?id=87078
Source: http://tiplanet.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15024

He also released a nice-looking Sim City clone for that calculator called SimCitx, also featuring amazing graphics and many features. You need to read the readme and be familiar with Sim City in order to play, so it might be challenging or hard to figure out at the beginning.

Download links:
Since for the past 6 weeks, ticalc.org has been incredibly slow to access for most people in Quebec, Atlantic Canada and Northeast USA, they might have to use the following link instead:

AKoO now on iTunes/Spotify! by DJ Omnimaga
August 02, 2014, 12:37:20 am

There have been some requests for the addition of my music album Ancient Kingdom of Omnimaga to iTunes, Spotify and other paid music retailers, since some people either were unable to buy it from Bandcamp or wanted to add it to their Spotify/Pandora streaming library.

Until today, AKoO was a Bandcamp-exclusive album, unlike Tales of the Knight of the Moon and my two dance music compilations, the reason being that TotKotM was the poorest seller outside Bandcamp and that publishing my music on other services costed money. Afterward, I released a new music single called Unfinished, which included a new track, as well as three unused versions of AKoO songs and a medley of scrapped material.

As a compromise, in order to allow Ancient Kingdom of Omnimaga and Unfinished on non-Bandcamp commercial music services, I have finally decided to combine them together and the new result is finally available since earlier this morning on big stores and streaming services: Ancient Kingdom of Omnimaga Special Edition!
Basically, the regular tracklist from my 2nd full-lenght album will start normally, then the Unfinished single tracklist will follow. However, the bonus track has been replaced with Merry Metal Time, which was a Bandcamp-only bonus track for Tales of the Knight of the Moon.



In other news, something seems to have caused my Reverbnation profile to get much more traffic than usual in the last few days. I don't know if it's because of the hip-hop remix of Grooving to the Melody by HarZoiD released last week, but Since July 28th, I have gotten 30 new fans on Revernbation-proper, half of which were in the last 12 hours or so. While I sometimes made it to the top 10 metal artists in Quebec City metropolitan area in the past, I have never reached the 2nd position before, let alone two (EDIT) five days in a row, and I believe it's the first time I make it to the top 100 metal artists in Canada as a whole there. In addition to that, on August 5th, after this news was written, I made it to the 2nd spot in Quebec City overall, behind only Celtic Punk band Irish Moutarde:

I also made a new song, but don't expect a new album anytime soon, because my music motivation only seem to occur during Summer. :P
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