Author Topic: UberGraphX - Ubercalculator  (Read 60148 times)

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Offline jnesselr

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2011, 07:27:59 am »
How open will this be? Will you document EVERYTHING?  Also, how does the flash chip and such work? Do you have to erase entire sectors of stuff to get it to flip a 1 bit to a 0 bit?

Also, I'm most interested in the USB.  Will this be a OTG port to support host mode?  Or, can you do a standard A-female plug in there?

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2011, 09:47:48 am »
Very promising. Thanks for clarifying things up :)

Offline JustCause

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2011, 10:03:07 am »
I will buy one of these for up to $250. This could be the device I've been searching for all my life. Looks epic so far. We're all behind you. Keep being awesome.
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Offline z80man

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2011, 10:25:10 am »
Wow I would really love to program this. For about how much will we have to pay to pre-order one.

List of stuff I need to do before September:
1. Finish the Emulator of the Casio Prizm (in active development)
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5. Develop a large set of C and asm libraries for the Prizm (some progress)
6. Create an emulator of the 83+ for the Prizm (not started)
7. Create a well polished game that showcases the ability of the Casio Prizm (not started)

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2011, 03:01:07 pm »
Awesome! This kinda reminds me of the pandora.

Offline alberthrocks

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2011, 04:03:46 pm »
Will the final product be fully touchscreen? If so, you should make it iPod Touch like, sans restrictions and only for educational purposes.
(Teachers hate everything, typically.)
I was thinking of making two different versions of Project Paradise, one that's compatible with College Board testing standards, then one hardcore version for the ultra nerds (WiFi, touchscreen).
Ahh, so educational edition and hacker edition. Nice! :D But make sure to hide the hacker version somewhere in a "Dev/Hacker" section - you don't want teachers or testers to think that it's evil. :P

EDIT: AND clearly mark the dev device as one.

I suggest getting familiar with Clutter (http://www.clutter-project.org/). It's a very decent UI framework (note I say UI, not GUI/toolkits).
Key to having success in this field is a good GUI, and Clutter can do that for you. :)
I'll take note of that. When I finish the hardware, we can decide to put whatever software we want onto it.
Good plan. :) Also, I'm pretty sure you'll make it pretty and not use the standard GTK theme.... right? ;)

- Same or even better battery life compared to a TI-83/84 is a must!
Eh... that's gonna be really hard (maybe impossible) to accomplish. :-[ My prototype currently runs on 4AAA rechargeable batteries rated at 850mAh and it's getting about 20 hours before needing recharge. However, my final design will utilize a newer processor manufactured on a smaller die, thus it's more energy efficient. I had a couple of extra stuff on my prototype, so factoring in new faster hardware and removing the extra stuff, you might at best get 40 hours. Hopefully that's good enough. The hardware in Project Paradise is just way too powerful compared to a TI-84 to have the same amount of battery life.
Would it be possible for it to downclock itself when not in use, and maybe sleep/hibernate (transparently, of course) after a certain amount of time? (Screen dimming too would really help, or using a screen that can work off natural light?)

- Pricing should be under $160 due to competition prices.
Well, my best estimate I gave above should be some good news.
Hehe, indeed. :)

- Do not merely toss software onto the device (I'm sure you won't, but just as a reminder). You will need to find a way to wrap around the libraries with some seriously productive (and pretty) GUI.
- Desktop clicking != touchscreen tapping. Be careful! :)
I just plan to make sure I can get the hardware working. I was hoping that when enough people have the calculator, we can develop all the software and beef it up together.
Ahh, so your plan is to basically make prototypes, get that finalized, and then with the power of FOSS create decent calculator software. Sounds like a plan to me! :)

- It should be AA/AAA battery powered to keep with current standards (and habits, per say)
It can run on AAA batteries. However, I was thinking of placing a Lithium Ion battery pack (with a high energy capacity rating) inside the calculator. That way, it'll have a longer battery life than typical batteries (thus lessening the battery life problem above) and can allow the calculator to be recharged over USB.
Maybe a AAA/internal batter pack fusion? :P It depends. My suggestions above may or may not decide this.

One negative about the battery pack is that if it runs out, and you forget to charge it, there's no way to get it on. (Hence my "fusion" idea)

This is a very decent idea and hardware! :D If this becomes successful, we will back it up (and maybe make it OTARM?)!
And speaking of that... you must be an expert at this stuff, as you've developed hardware all by yourself! :D
Could you please assist us in the summer for OTZ80 and OTARM? (Obviously, 2 calculators - one powered by Z80s, another by ARMs!)
If my project takes off, I can use the resources to fund your projects. If I have the time, I can help you build prototypes, and manage the testing and production if you want.
We would be grateful for your support! :D Pending community decisions, we could just back your project in replacement of OTARM. (It all depends - my only reason for doing that is because I don't think 2 indie competitors against each other and the big guys would work too well! :P) If OTARM does go on, we'll probably use the software developed, remove all the touch-screeny stuff, and modify it to be for buttons only.

Just curious though - you're obviously in college, but what level? (Freshman-Senior, maybe even beyond? Or professor? :P) And I'm guessing you're in the U.S. as well?

Just noticed the comments below and realized you answered that question... :P

Finally - is this project for educational purposes (a project a school?) or just for fun?
Both: for the community (fun) and an engineering project. I've been in the calc community for years and haven't really seen much progress on how calcs evolved. I thought it would be cool to build an ubercalculator and maybe other people would want one too. I'm also college student majoring in computer engineering, so even if the market doesn't have a place for this calculator, it make an awesome senior project (a requirement here at my university to get your degree).  It works both ways, so I don't really have anything to lose working on this project.
Ahh, that means it really should get a decent GUI! ;) The key to a device's success isn't just power - it's ease of use too! :)

Another idea I had, if I can make some prototypes of the final design and make sure they work, would anyone feel safe pre-ordering with a 2-3 week waiting time (for manufacturing)? I was thinking that if at least 50 people preorder, it'll be considerably cheaper than having each one built one by one. Would you guys just want the board (with LCD and keypad of course) or would also like an enclosure with it? I'm confident I can at least get some prototypes of the final hardware working by June.
Hmm, I'm really getting confused - keypad AND touchscreen? or is this touchscreen only?
Pre-ordering is actually a key way to getting boards and prototypes out, so this is a must.
An enclosure is a must - it doesn't have to be the final product, but it should stay in a box. Electronic care outside of one tends to be destructive at times. ;)

Also, we might set up a "trust" fund (if you call it that way). Basically, any serious dedicated testers can get one for free if they commit to reporting bugs, keeping the prototype alive and well, and help out with the development.

Finally, to add more suggestions....
- SECURE the device. Not brutally lock it like Apple though.
What I mean is to have a special "testing mode" (much like TI's), but make sure it's uncrackable.
This could include a non-writable chip with the proper data to set one up.
You might also wish to have a "testing mode indicator", but DON'T copy TI-Nspire's one. Make it interesting too - nothing boring, maybe even accessible by developers! ;)
Finally, if the device supports OS replacement/upgrade, make sure there's something in the OS that indicates it's authenticity. Remember, acceptance into schools and testing environments is a must for this kind of stuff.

- "School mode"
Just a random idea - maybe a "school mode" to disable access to games and internet? Not sure how that would work out though, and when to unlock.

- Audio?
Probably not a good idea, but I'd like to see your opinion on it. This is also leaning towards a I/O port suggestion, but that may seem like a step backwards.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 04:05:24 pm by alberthrocks »
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Offline ruler501

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2011, 05:57:57 pm »
Will the final product be fully touchscreen? If so, you should make it iPod Touch like, sans restrictions and only for educational purposes.
(Teachers hate everything, typically.)
I was thinking of making two different versions of Project Paradise, one that's compatible with College Board testing standards, then one hardcore version for the ultra nerds (WiFi, touchscreen).
Ahh, so educational edition and hacker edition. Nice! :D But make sure to hide the hacker version somewhere in a "Dev/Hacker" section - you don't want teachers or testers to think that it's evil. :P

EDIT: AND clearly mark the dev device as one.
Don't call it a hacker one. That could be an informal name but it would definitely freak out teachers. I agree with the clear marking of the two versions. It would be like the Ti-Nspire CAS and non-CAS. You would call the hacker version professional or something like that. I just think this would make people/teachers more accepting of it that way.

I suggest getting familiar with Clutter (http://www.clutter-project.org/). It's a very decent UI framework (note I say UI, not GUI/toolkits).
Key to having success in this field is a good GUI, and Clutter can do that for you. :)
I'll take note of that. When I finish the hardware, we can decide to put whatever software we want onto it.
Good plan. :) Also, I'm pretty sure you'll make it pretty and not use the standard GTK theme.... right? ;)
A custom GUI for this is a must it would not be nearly as good if it was default.(this would definately be something I'd like to help with). Your UI would definitely need to be easy use and custom. more of a good brand recognition thing You know

- Same or even better battery life compared to a TI-83/84 is a must!
Eh... that's gonna be really hard (maybe impossible) to accomplish. :-[ My prototype currently runs on 4AAA rechargeable batteries rated at 850mAh and it's getting about 20 hours before needing recharge. However, my final design will utilize a newer processor manufactured on a smaller die, thus it's more energy efficient. I had a couple of extra stuff on my prototype, so factoring in new faster hardware and removing the extra stuff, you might at best get 40 hours. Hopefully that's good enough. The hardware in Project Paradise is just way too powerful compared to a TI-84 to have the same amount of battery life.
Would it be possible for it to downclock itself when not in use, and maybe sleep/hibernate (transparently, of course) after a certain amount of time? (Screen dimming too would really help, or using a screen that can work off natural light?)
If you look at phones, PDAs, and portable music players they all have a screen dim function a hibernate function and usually a few other optional functions that work to conserve energy. These are musts if you don't have a good battery life it reduces the market value by a lot.

- Pricing should be under $160 due to competition prices.
Well, my best estimate I gave above should be some good news.
Hehe, indeed. :)
I do like this idea :D

- Do not merely toss software onto the device (I'm sure you won't, but just as a reminder). You will need to find a way to wrap around the libraries with some seriously productive (and pretty) GUI.
- Desktop clicking != touchscreen tapping. Be careful! :)
I just plan to make sure I can get the hardware working. I was hoping that when enough people have the calculator, we can develop all the software and beef it up together.
Ahh, so your plan is to basically make prototypes, get that finalized, and then with the power of FOSS create decent calculator software. Sounds like a plan to me! :)
You should definitely set it up so that The Community can improve and make apps for it. Much like what has happened with the TI-84 and 83. this is definately a good plan :)

- It should be AA/AAA battery powered to keep with current standards (and habits, per say)
It can run on AAA batteries. However, I was thinking of placing a Lithium Ion battery pack (with a high energy capacity rating) inside the calculator. That way, it'll have a longer battery life than typical batteries (thus lessening the battery life problem above) and can allow the calculator to be recharged over USB.
Maybe a AAA/internal batter pack fusion? :P It depends. My suggestions above may or may not decide this.

One negative about the battery pack is that if it runs out, and you forget to charge it, there's no way to get it on. (Hence my "fusion" idea)
Do much like what they have with the Ti-Nspire have it regularly powered by AAA batteries and have an optional(possible extra cost) battery pack. this should let everybody win.

Just one suggestion don't make the battery pack be overpriced like TI does with theirs

This is a very decent idea and hardware! :D If this becomes successful, we will back it up (and maybe make it OTARM?)!
And speaking of that... you must be an expert at this stuff, as you've developed hardware all by yourself! :D
Could you please assist us in the summer for OTZ80 and OTARM? (Obviously, 2 calculators - one powered by Z80s, another by ARMs!)
If my project takes off, I can use the resources to fund your projects. If I have the time, I can help you build prototypes, and manage the testing and production if you want.
We would be grateful for your support! :D Pending community decisions, we could just back your project in replacement of OTARM. (It all depends - my only reason for doing that is because I don't think 2 indie competitors against each other and the big guys would work too well! :P) If OTARM does go on, we'll probably use the software developed, remove all the touch-screeny stuff, and modify it to be for buttons only.

Just curious though - you're obviously in college, but what level? (Freshman-Senior, maybe even beyond? Or professor? :P) And I'm guessing you're in the U.S. as well?

Just noticed the comments below and realized you answered that question... :P
I don't have much to say here. I think it would be good for you to help others ;)

Finally - is this project for educational purposes (a project a school?) or just for fun?
Both: for the community (fun) and an engineering project. I've been in the calc community for years and haven't really seen much progress on how calcs evolved. I thought it would be cool to build an ubercalculator and maybe other people would want one too. I'm also college student majoring in computer engineering, so even if the market doesn't have a place for this calculator, it make an awesome senior project (a requirement here at my university to get your degree).  It works both ways, so I don't really have anything to lose working on this project.
Ahh, that means it really should get a decent GUI! ;) The key to a device's success isn't just power - it's ease of use too! :)
this is definitely a good thing. see my comments above for more of my opinions 

Another idea I had, if I can make some prototypes of the final design and make sure they work, would anyone feel safe pre-ordering with a 2-3 week waiting time (for manufacturing)? I was thinking that if at least 50 people preorder, it'll be considerably cheaper than having each one built one by one. Would you guys just want the board (with LCD and keypad of course) or would also like an enclosure with it? I'm confident I can at least get some prototypes of the final hardware working by June.
Hmm, I'm really getting confused - keypad AND touchscreen? or is this touchscreen only?
Pre-ordering is actually a key way to getting boards and prototypes out, so this is a must.
An enclosure is a must - it doesn't have to be the final product, but it should stay in a box. Electronic care outside of one tends to be destructive at times. ;)
Definite enclosure it would be fragile otherwise. Me and many other people would end up killing too quickly.  ;D Is the touchscreen for the pro version and the keypad for the regular? Because to me that is what makes sense. It would comply with standards that way wouldn't it. the keypad might be useful on the touchscreen version. I don't really like touchscreen keyboards they are never as good.

Also, we  might set up a "trust" fund (if you call it that way). Basically, any serious dedicated testers can get one for free if they commit to reporting bugs, keeping the prototype alive and well, and help out with the development.
I would absolutely love this i do not have the money to pay for one now but i would love to help program and test. If you needed/wanted me to I could slowly pay for it, but please let me help with this.(I would even promise to keep it in one piece ;D )

Finally, to add more suggestions....
- SECURE the device. Not brutally lock it like Apple though.
What I mean is to have a special "testing mode" (much like TI's), but make sure it's uncrackable.
This could include a non-writable chip with the proper data to set one up.
You might also wish to have a "testing mode indicator", but DON'T copy TI-Nspire's one. Make it interesting too - nothing boring, maybe even accessible by developers! ;)
Finally, if the device supports OS replacement/upgrade, make sure there's something in the OS that indicates it's authenticity. Remember, acceptance into schools and testing environments is a must for this kind of stuff.
definitely some kind of press to test mode that is safe and cannot be hacked. It would be a big problem for it being accepted on standardized tests. I don't like those versions but they are a must on any version that should be accepted on standardized tests

- "School mode"
Just a random idea - maybe a "school mode" to disable access to games and internet? Not sure how that would work out though, and when to unlock.
this is the only thing I have a problem with on the standard version you might want to make it possible to disable internet but is an accepted fact of calculators that they have games. I don't believe they should be disabled except in some kind of press to test mode

- Audio?
Probably not a good idea, but I'd like to see your opinion on it. This is also leaning towards a I/O port suggestion, but that may seem like a step backwards.
Audio should only be on the pro version I don't think it would be accepted on any standardized test otherwise.
Well there is my two cents on how it should be made and developed. Feel free to disregard any comments I have and rule my a raving maniac. Lots of people do that anyways.
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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2011, 02:48:42 am »
A teacher mode is a must, IMHO, otherwise no one would be able to use this at school.

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2011, 05:19:32 am »
Here's the features for the different versions of the Project Paradise: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ak__vzlDSwNadHBQN25xSThlbklTMXhRcUphaEdyRkE&hl=en&authkey=CM2a3fEK

The development version is most likely what the first preorders are gonna be and is the version which the developers in the community will use to develop the software for this calculator. The development version is basically the same as the Professional version, except it lacks WiFi and the integrated battery pack. This will keep the costs under $200 which is what you guys seem to want. The WiFi module and integrated battery is just too expensive I believe for most of us now anyway. I need to think about it more and look around if I could make it any cheaper. If you decide to preorder a development version and you really want WiFi though, you may be able to add in WiFi later on using the expansion port built into the calculator.

I'm thinking of making the Professional version have a portrait display (240x320), with a smaller and simplified keypad to compensate for the cost of the WiFi module. However, programs and software that are dependent on how the screen is rotated would be affected. I suppose you could rotate the Professional version by 90 degrees if you need the landscape orientation.

@ruler501, I'm not gonna be doing preorders anytime soon (maybe months). I was just wandering if anyone would be ok pre-ordering this calculator, when it's proven that the final design works. I need to have some prototypes of the final design made and then checked to see if it's working great. Then I need to design a enclosure (casing) that will fit the board, LCD and keypad. All of this will require some funding to have these made, which I'm trying to find right now. When I get the final prototype working of the development version, it'll be shown to you guys and then you can decide if you want to preorder it then.

How open will this be? Will you document EVERYTHING?  Also, how does the flash chip and such work? Do you have to erase entire sectors of stuff to get it to flip a 1 bit to a 0 bit?
All the hardware is taken care of by the Linux kernel. You can look at the kernel sources and the drivers I've written when I get around to uploading them into a repository. Pretty much, programming this thing feels just like how you would program your computer. You can write your programs in Java, Python, C/C++, whatever. You don't need to depend on any SDK or hack it to get some code running. It's that open. If you have questions, I'm here and will be glad to answer them. That being said, you don't really need the schematics as they are not necessary to do programming for this calculator. You guys have been able to program your calculators, computers and laptops without any schematics as an example. Also, I don't want clones or cheap ripoffs being made. It would make all the effort, time and all the money I fed into the project a waste.

@alberthrocks: This calculator will downclock itself since CPU frequency scaling is supported in the Linux kernel. The new processor which I plan to use will even go a couple of steps forward and disable and power down certain blocks of the CPU when the hardware is not in use further using less power. Plus, it's also manufactured on a smaller die. You will also have the option to turn off the backlight and dim the brightness of the LCD.

As for a testing mode, I have to think more about that. The problem with this calculator is that it's just too open and flexible, software wise. I'm pretty sure whatever "lock" I can place on this calculator, someone will find a way to circumnavigate it. What I could do probably is place in a hardware switch that shuts off power to SD slot and expansion port, disables the USB and disable access to some regions of Flash memory with an LED indicator that the switch has been flipped.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 05:43:34 am by uberspire »

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2011, 09:48:08 am »
Seems cool, but for the standard version would the audio jack always remain disabled with no way to enable it? If so, then it might be best to just not put any audio jack at all in that version. :P

As for the different screen on the pro version I think it should remain compatible, although I guess the screen could be rotated, assuming it's not too hard to play games and use software with the calc sideways. X.x

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2011, 09:53:21 am »
I'm assuming that you will go over how to create a cross-compiler for C?  Java might be a little much, unless the ARM processor supports it natively.

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #41 on: February 04, 2011, 10:29:37 am »
I hope that the "ultimate" version will have compatibility with programs for the less powerful calc versions that use the keypad/screen in unique ways.

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2011, 01:41:43 pm »
But what's the point of having Java if it's only on one real platform?

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2011, 01:00:38 am »
Well java would be cool since some people like it. Ashbad do you mean it's only available on one of the 3 Project Paradise calcs? I am confused ???

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Re: Project Paradise - Ubercalculator
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2011, 05:04:55 pm »
I'm assuming that you will go over how to create a cross-compiler for C?  Java might be a little much, unless the ARM processor supports it natively.
Yes, I plan to have a wiki by the time preorders are ready. As for Java, I've been using OpenJDK and all the Java programs I ran seem to run fine on the first prototype. The final design has a faster processor and more RAM, so everything should be ok. Plus the processor has Jazelle. I'm not sure though if OpenJDK supports Jazelle.

@DJ_Omnimaga, I think Ashbad was referring to graphmastur's post. All three versions will be software compatible with each other.

Some good news, I might be able to get funding to build a prototype of the final hardware design soon. This should be exciting as it will be a good indicator of when preorders can start. I will keep you guys updated.