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Messages - TravisE

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Site Feedback and Questions / Re: Omnimaga Wikipedia page
« on: April 01, 2012, 08:04:24 pm »
Yeah, something similar happened to a page. So don't feel bad. :)

Other Calculators / Re: History of the TI community
« on: March 17, 2012, 05:00:01 pm »
Google has begun indexing the archives, so I've added a search box to the page. Note that it may still take some days or weeks for searches to return everything since it has to crawl some 121,000+ or so individual HTML pages. :)

Other Calculators / Re: History of the TI community
« on: March 13, 2012, 07:54:14 am »
Hey guys, I thought I'd give you an (early) Pi Day present—here are the old mailing list archives from's earlier days that had been taken down since 2004. There ought to be plenty of interesting, historical content in there.

Unfortunately, there isn't a search tool for it right now, but maybe I could put up a Google search box or something sometime if Google indexes it.

News / Re: Revival of the TI-81
« on: February 20, 2012, 09:38:54 am »
Vertical lines might be a problem. I can't remember whether or not it makes each line overlap bytes in ROM. I think that it encodes the starting address on each line, so it probably wouldn't be difficult to modify the dumper to give some sort of less-than-one-screen-line offset if it doesn't already, so that each byte would be shown at multiple vertical positions. Unless the lines are close to the left side where the address is encoded; then that could be a problem.

With all my calculators, my missing lines always seem to go away after some use for some reason. Maybe just playing around with the calc for an hour or two might make one or more lines come back long enough to try a ROM dump.

Miscellaneous / Re: Bitcoin - the currency of the internet.
« on: February 10, 2012, 01:58:27 pm »
<Necropost warning>
Yes, I'm waaay behind the latest fads here. Sorry about that. Wish I had found this thread sooner.
I independently discovered bitcoin a few months back, found the idea fascinating, and started experimenting just for fun. It would certainly be nice to be able to send money digitally without having to have stuff like credit cards, etc., which has been a difficulty in my position.

The previous posters raise some good points, I think, but here's my take on things. I'm also kind of disappointed that I joined in too late for things like mining to be as profitable as the really early adopters. However, it's still not too late to be an “early adopter”. Of course, you won't be as well off as people before you, but if this takes off, you'll have a head start over those joining in after you.

I certainly don't advise anyone to invest more than you're willing to lose into it. I personally won't be putting any physical money into this for now (other than what I pay indirectly in electricity usage, etc., which I'd probably just end up using on something else if I weren't doing this, anyway :P). So if Bitcoin takes on, I'll have a small head start, and if not, well, at least it was a fun experiment. :)

There are still some ways to accumulate a small amount of Bitcoins over time, though, if you don't mind spending some time and effort on it. You can still do pooled mining (p2pool looks the most inviting to me at the moment)—don't expect huge payouts, but you can gain some especially if you happen to have a decent graphics card. There are also sites like dailybitcoins and Bitcoin Faucet and others. You just have to look around.

Finally, there are a number of competing experimental currencies—LiteCoins, NameCoins, and more. These are younger than Bitcoin and claim to fix some preceived disadvantages, so you can be an even early adopter of these right now. Of course, they may fail, but they may overtake BitCoin eventually. It's a bit of a gamble, sort of like investing, I guess.

Anyway, if anyone here is still playing around with these cryptocurrencies, hopefully the above info may be helpful.

(By the way, just in case anyone is feeling generous and wants to donate to me: 12tLJDcw2TmgcHfyVWsJyYnYajjkgVxdxW  ;D)

Other Calculators / Re: TI-81 Screen Types?
« on: January 27, 2012, 04:14:47 am »
Perhaps they switched back and forth once or twice, since yours (1.1K or something, IIRC?) and mine (2.0V) have gray LCDs, but I think Randy said his 1.8K model had the blue one.

As for Disp speed, the models with memory-mapped displays would certainly appear faster (or at least, less choppy). I'm not sure if this alone could account for actual speed in terms of lines printed per second, unless the slow copy-to-driver interrupt routine consumes enough time to noticeably slow down everything else (which it may or may not, I don't know).

Other Calculators / Re: TI-81 Screen Types?
« on: January 26, 2012, 10:32:29 pm »
My understanding from talking with people like Ben Moody, Randy Compton, and Michael Vincent is that some TI-81 units did indeed have a different LCD. I think some of the earliest ones had the high-contrast bluish ones like the 82 and 85, but most of them (like my ROM 2.0V one) had the grayish, poor-contrast version with only ten contrast settings instead of 32. Not sure why they would switch to a worse version unless it was due to cost.

Interestingly, the interface with the LCD changed on some models, too. Apparently early TI-81s had a memory-mapped display like the TI-85 and 86, while the later ones (2.0V and above?) reverted to an 82-style display driver and hacked in an interrupt routine to periodically copy the entire display to the driver. This often results in an odd, slow, flickery effect when running programs that rapidly clear and display text on the screen on these units.

Other Calculators / Re: The inside of a cheap calc
« on: December 24, 2011, 07:41:30 pm »
Wow, the way this calc software works is like if they ripped one of Casio's oldest graphing calc models. My FX-7000G operated in a similar way and you even had the MODE legend on the case like on this one.

It may indeed be a rebranded Casio, given the similarity. It's not uncommon for the manufacturer to be totally different from the brand name printed on the case. Often manufacturers will make products and sell them to other companies just so that they can put their own name on them and resell them.

Miscellaneous / Re: What was your first Omnimaga post?
« on: November 15, 2011, 11:45:34 pm »

Other Calculators / Re: Anti-Axe/BASIC mentality/debates
« on: November 14, 2011, 11:29:55 pm »
Without speaking for anyone else, I think it is entirely possible that people could have honestly misunderstood the intention of linking to the Cemetech thread.  Even I wasn't totally clear on whether you were referring to the thread as a whole, posts in the thread, or just the comments from IRC in the first post, and this was when I read the post before anyone had replied yet. It seems several people have misunderstood, and not all of them may be attempting to purposely falsely accuse; they could have simply misunderstood, especially given past incidents where there were misunderstandings.

Site Feedback and Questions / Re: How we can improve Omnimaga?
« on: September 20, 2011, 12:34:42 pm »
My opinion is that the rating system might be causing a fair amount of problems, but I think a larger amount of it has to do with the frequent misunderstandings and jumping to conclusions that someone is always trying to do something wrong on purpose that I see happen all too often. The practice of assuming good faith is absolutely essential if you want to maintain an environment that is to be “free of hostility” as it's put. That doesn't mean that nothing should be done to willing or repeat offenders, just that the full story needs to be known first without simply assuming things.

There is a fine line between keeping things friendly and trying so hard to do so that it backfires and ends up doing the exact opposite. JosJuice has an good point—bans should be used as sparingly as possible; potential offenders should be made sure they know that they are doing something that is disallowed without feeling like they are automatically being treated as a troublemaker even from the very first offense.

If you go too far, though, this is what happens: sensitive people like me stop using the rating system altogether after seeing more than one incident where people apparently got banned simply for rating posts up or down that a staff member disagrees with, get tempted to leave completely right now while we still can after seeing people threatened for leaving because it's seen as “drama” (though banning would seem to have little effect since the person is leaving anyway), stop participating or posting much because we feel like anything we say (including this post ;)) feels like somewhat of a risk of being misunderstood and blown up at, etc.

In other words, the spirit of the principles Omnimaga is founded on are reasonably sound, I think; the problem I see is that so much effort is put into attempting to reduce drama and problems that it backfires and only causes more.

There might be other things necessary, but I think that finding just the right balance between one extreme and the other could make a significant positive difference overall.

Miscellaneous / Re: Rating TiCalc files
« on: September 16, 2011, 07:54:29 pm »
Statistics update (including ratings) starts at roughly 04:00 CEST each day. Files need at least 4 ratings before the rating shows up.

TI 68K / Re: PyMite 68k
« on: September 10, 2011, 05:40:48 pm »
In my tests, p14p and Lua89 have proved to be fairly slow:
* p14p: recursive Fibonacci with parameter 12 takes hundreds of milliseconds;

That's still a lot faster than TI-BASIC, which takes up to tens of thousands of milliseconds. ;)

Calculator C / Re: Nspire: Keypad Input
« on: September 06, 2011, 09:41:56 pm »
My new method uses a counter to see how many iterations it has gone through the while loop since the previous key press, and uses idle() instead of sleep(). A key will only register if it has been at least x iterations.

Yep, I believe that method is essentially a form of key “debouncing”. I have no experience with Nspire, but in my experience, this actually applies to some extent to the TI-89/89t as well when reading the keyboard hardware directly in C or ASM. Many programs I've found that do this on that platform either tend to have spurious key repeats or have key responses that are much too slow—sometimes even both, as if there is no solution. But the real solution (which is what the OS does) is to wait for a key to be pressed or released for a certain minimum interval before accepting it. This makes a big difference in the quality of key response in programs.

Site Feedback and Questions / Re: Our current problem II
« on: September 06, 2011, 11:27:47 am »
I agree with that, DJ. However, in the future, we need to respond to incidents like these without more flames and spamming. I also believe that we are all entitled to our own opinions and beliefs, however we should refrain from sharing them if they will offend people. Threatening to ban people if they don't change their beliefs is also not the way to go, warning people they will be banned if they keep on making offensive remarks is.

I agree. And while it makes sense to warn repeat offenders about the eventual consequences, I would be concerned about doing this to newcomers due to the risk of chasing more sensitive people away from a site or even the whole community.  I definitely consider myself pretty sensitive in this regard, and if I were threatened with, say, a permaban the very first time I accidentally did something wrong even when I weren't trying to, I think there's a chance I would conclude the place is too hostile and simply leave.

I also agree with DJ_O that ideally, just the offender should be stopped, but I wonder if this is actually possible 100% of the time. It's a good policy in clear-cut cases whenever possible, but otherwise, where every person could have a different opinion on who was offensive and who wasn't, it seems that the only option other than allow the fight/flame war to break out is to stop everyone—I think this is why admins of various places often tell everyone involved to take it elsewhere or (in the case of forums) lock threads, which has the same effect.

Just a reminder: I don't claim to be right all the time. I'm open to other viewpoints, and I understand that the admins here are free to do whatever they want. I really hope I won't be misinterpreted.

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