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Online Multiplayer Games On TI Calculators?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the where-were-you-when-i-was-in-sixth-grade dept.

The Internet 75

An anonymous reader writes "A calculator enthusiast has managed to allow TI-83 Plus and TI-84 Plus graphing calculators to connect to the Internet with the help of an Arduino board. It is called Global CALCnet 2.2 and there is already a chat program demonstrating it. Multi-player games for gCn such as a Scorched-Earth clone are currently in the works. Maybe in the near future we will be playing some variant of Ztetris against our friends on the other side of the world?" Somebody also took the time to port Doom to a TI-Nspire calculator. A YouTube video demonstration is available.

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Cool trick? (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35276722)

I get the hacking thing but...

well, I guess there isn't a but. Cool trick.

-AI

Re:Cool trick? (1)

KermMartian (707470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282584)

Thanks! Yesterday I played the latest beta of Obliterate on my calculator with a user in Massachusetts and another in California. If you're going to ask "why", you don't understand the motivations behind calculator coders such as myself.

Cool trick... (-1, Redundant)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35276724)

I get the hacking thing but...

well I guess there isn't a but. Cool trick

-AI

A good hack... (-1, Redundant)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35276740)

I like a good hack as much as anyone but...

well I guess there really isn't a but, it's a hack, nice job.

-AI

Re:A good hack... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35286000)

Bleh, thanks /. for increasing my lame points, lol

-@|

Arduino board... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35276786)

This board keeps popping up and each time I think "it's a completely different thing at this point" might as well have articles with "dirt porno! all done by adding a house, two people and a camera, all filmed inside"

An don't forget the reverse (2)

caywen (942955) | more than 3 years ago | (#35276882)

People are building CPU's in Minecraft, so it's just a matter of time before we see calculators arising inside multiplayer games. And thus the cycle will be complete and we'll all be left wondering: why??

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/11/17/get-the-minecraft-cpu-map/ [rockpapershotgun.com]

Re:An don't forget the reverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278026)

people made calculators in Little Big Planet 1

Re:An don't forget the reverse (1)

souravzzz (2001514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35279208)

Someone made a lookalike (with start menu, explorer and other stuff) of windows XP in little bug planet 2.

Re:An don't forget the reverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278192)

for the best reason ever.... because we can

Re:An don't forget the reverse (1)

caywen (942955) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283380)

Some philosophers might say that's the reason this universe exists.

Re:An don't forget the reverse (1)

shar303 (944843) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278450)

Nope, for me the question is why not. projects like this don't have to have a practical benefit but in this case there's a good chance you will expand your knowledge of electronics and low level coding quite a bit.

I mean, when i was young i used to put certain numbers into a calculator that spelled something rude upside down. e.g. 28008 918.

A bit crude in comparison to full 3d graphics maybe, but we were happy.

Re:An don't forget the reverse (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35280450)

That's nothing, someone implemented a Turing Machine [rendell-attic.org] in Conway's Game of Life.

Re:An don't forget the reverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35281494)

That's nothing, I implemented Conway's Game of Life on his Turing Machine in Conway's Game of Life.

Re:An don't forget the reverse (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35280980)

And then we'll run chat programs on calculators we've built in Minecraft!

Re:An don't forget the reverse (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282702)

One day I will stick an Arduino in my head and then post an article saying that I can connect to the internet with my brain.

Of course I can connect to the internet with my brain today; my brain controls my fingers, which connect to my keyboard, etc. This whole series of "I stuck an Arduino in something odd" stories are stupid. You could have wires come out from the calculators and have those connect to a desktop computer and you'd have accomplished the same thing that the headline says. The headline I want to see is "hacker finally does something useful with Arduino without misleading anyone."

Re:An don't forget the reverse (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286886)

You missed the point of this project. He's *not* connecting to the Internet with his calculator, he's using the internet to retransmit his serial-line networking protocol to other clusters of locally networked calculators. This is really Cn2.2 over TCP.

Lawsuit? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35276884)

How long until the creators of Angry Birds sues this guy for putting Scorched Earth on the TI-84? :P

Re:Lawsuit? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278888)

I like how you're implying that people would incorrectly think Angry Birds is the original game in this genre, and then mention Scorched Earth, which was also just one more game in a long line of tank ballistics games going back to the Commodore 64, and probably even earlier.

Re:Lawsuit? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35280550)

That's why it's funny. :)

And accurate . . . : (

Excellent (1)

definate (876684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35276972)

Hopefully this will help me get through my next exam. I don't quite understand how, or why, but hopefully it does.

Seriously odd platform to develop for, though I do see the nerd attraction to it.

Are there applications which help you cheat out on the NSpire yet? Like, one that runs CAS on a non-CAS NSpire? That would be handy as fuck, as opposed to running Doom.

Re:Excellent (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277954)

I got a C for higher maths because of those things. Spent most of my time programming it to play games. Admittedly the games were crap, and involved nothing more sophisticated than Candyfloss, or random pokemon style fighting game involving penguins, and that was 7 years ago now. The BASIC interpreter that came built in was terribly slow (more recent versions might have improved), and drawing each static scene took a few seconds. I'm assuming they've gone for assembly language over that if they're getting an FPS to run at a decent frame rate.

The SQA refused to let us take them into our exam though, for fear we'd programme it with the entire syllabus :(

High School Precal (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35276984)

"Quit playing games on your calculator."
"I'm not playing games..."
"Then what are you doing?"
"Writing games..."

Anyone know of a Calculator in Adobe FLASH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285386)

I realy need a graphics calculator written in Adobe Flash (lite version) because my platform is locked in such a way that a native compile is not possible.

Thanks everyone.

Obligatory (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277002)

http://xkcd.com/768/ [xkcd.com]

Despite being around computers since I was very young,
I first became interested in programming when I got a TI-82 and discovered I could write a program to solve math problems.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278230)

best xkcd ever!

College Board (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35279334)

It's the standardized test publishers such as College Board that encourage TI to keep calculators dumb.

Re:College Board (1)

shmibs (2002702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35297280)

have you heard of the upcoming TI-Nspire CX? when Casio released the PRIZM, TI realised that they could no longer keep their sway on the market while selling twenty-year-old hardware. this new model includes: "a full-color, backlit screen, thin sleek design and includes TI-Nspire rechargeable battery. Use images including your own photos. Explore real-world concepts using the handheld's Notes, Graphs, Geometry, Data & Statistics and questions apps. TI-Nspire Teacher Sofware or TI-Nspire student software is required to add images into TI-Nspire documents. Graph and rotate 3D functions. Change the wire or surface color of your 3D graph. Clam shell. " additionally, there will supposedly be an attachable accessory to allow WiFi connection. http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/01/texas-instruments-brings-wifi-to-ti-nspire-calculators/ [ubergizmo.com]

I don't know what is sadder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35280058)

That I don't even have to check to see what xkcd you're linking to, or that I didn't think of it myself.

Answer.... (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277180)

Yes?

Must be fun (1)

WaroDaBeast (1211048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277258)

I wonder how anyone can chat with a keyboard like that of the 83+. :-/

frosty piss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277298)

It's more likely than you think.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35277310)

I guess it's a little cool to have an old calculator that can play online games, but whats the point when most people that have one of these also has a cell phone that's 100x+ more powerful and is always connected to the internet?

Re:Why? (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286862)

Because you can use a calculator in class without it being confiscated.

Although once you start adding extra hardware that;s visible from the outside, its a different matter :)

1st... (0)

SimonTS (1984074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277326)

...post

Re:1st... (0)

SimonTS (1984074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277440)

Well, it might have been. It showed up as such to me coz this damn /. upgrade kept refusing to acknowledge that anyone else had posted. Come on guys, sort it out please - yet another annoyance.

Re:1st... (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 3 years ago | (#35279180)

Why would they do anything to reward muppets who post moronic "1st post" messages? Any UI that discourages it is a good UI.

So apart from requiring special hardware and a PC (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277338)

it is actually the calculator connecting to the internet right?

Come on , the calculator is just acting as a PC peripheral - I could say my mouse is connected to the internet using that logic! I thought they'd found a way of making it connect directly.

Re:So apart from requiring special hardware and a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35283110)

In the same way that your PC is really just acting as a router peripheral?

It is my understanding that all actual game logic is running on the calculator, and the PC is just sending network stuff around. Not in any way similar to how your mouse is connected to your computer.

Re:So apart from requiring special hardware and a (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286898)

Reposting my from above: http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2006222&cid=35286886 [slashdot.org]

He's *not* connecting to the Internet with his calculator, he's using the internet to retransmit his serial-line networking protocol to other clusters of locally networked calculators. This is really Cn2.2 over TCP.

xkcd (0)

bdkraem (1141653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277356)

Obligatory [xkcd.com]

Re:xkcd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278296)

see above: best xkcd ever!

MMORPG Drug Wars? (1)

schwarma (2001310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277650)

MMORPG of Drug Wars? Or was that the basis of GTA? Gotta have those classics...

Droid Does (0)

Nailer235 (1822054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277750)

There's a TI-83 App available for Droid phones in the marketplace, and it's free. It's called Andy-83. And since this is on your phone, you can go download whatever multiplayer games you want (games that are in color, better graphics, and better controls). Don't get me wrong, this is a cool pet project here. But there are far better options already available.

Re:Droid Does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35285532)

uh, what? That is irrelevant `-` go away troll

done properly (3, Interesting)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278050)

Alternatively, usinagaz [hpcalc.org] , being a real TCP/IP stack for a real engineer's calculator. IRC, web server, mail client, etc. [hpcalc.org]

Not sure why you'd need an Arduino board. What simple interface did TI manage to break?

Re:done properly (1)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278724)

The TI-83+ and TI-84+ have a proprietary connector that allows for a USB adapter to be attached but isn't actually built into the calculator.

Re:done properly (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286924)

WTF are you talking about with "proprietary connector"? The 84+ has USB and serial communication. The 83+ just has serial.

Re:done properly (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35286916)

For the third time, this isn't a TCP/IP stack, it's CN2.2 over TCP. The Arduino is monitoring the local CN2.2 network and broadcasting the packets over the Internet to other CN2.2 networks. TI didn't have to break anything, you can't just bit bang serial protocols on any modern PC, so you need an intermediary device to have proper drivers for.

Re:done properly (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#35288604)

For the third time, this isn't a TCP/IP stack...

Thanks for repeating my criticism. Note the evidence that real calculators support real networking protocols.

you can't just bit bang serial protocols on any modern PC, so you need an intermediary device to have proper drivers for.

What does that mean? Is that marketing speak for "modern computers don't have an RS232 port"? Do you not have serial to USB converters there? If it's not-quite-RS232, can't you just level shift rather than using a whole embedded computer?

Re:done properly (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35291464)

Thanks for repeating my criticism. Note the evidence that real calculators support real networking protocols.

Real engineers design and implement and a protocol that handles OSI layers 1-4. ;)

What does that mean? Is that marketing speak for "modern computers don't have an RS232 port"? Do you not have serial to USB converters there? If it's not-quite-RS232, can't you just level shift rather than using a whole embedded computer?

It means that even modern computers with RS-232 ports no longer grant permissions to user level processes to access the port at the low level needed to set individual lines high or low. Serial to USB converters usually do a pretty good job of causing the same problem. Both microcontroller implementations of the gCn bridge package the protocol at the frame level. The Arduino provides an FTDI serial USB interface, and the non-Arduino version identifies as a USB HID device. An on-calculator bridge implementation is underway for the 84+ line which have their own USB controller.

Incoming in 3... 2... 1... (1)

deadhammer (576762) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278150)

Cue Texas Instruments firing off a lawsuit for unauthorized usage of their hardware.

WHY!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278212)

Just why... There are so many better handheld gaming devices.. Why on earth would you want to use TI to do such a thing..

Re:WHY!? (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35279360)

TI calculators are better for K-12 students because the faculty and staff won't confiscate it from you if you carry it onto school property and bring it out after you have finished your classwork.

I thought of two more (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35279408)

I apologize for the double post, but I thought of two more reasons:
  • You can't officially make your own games on a DS. Nintendo has been suing makers of R4 style microSD adapters.
  • Using Android costs $70 per month because stores carry only phones with bundled service plans, not PDAs like the Archos 43.

Re:I thought of two more (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282206)

The Nook Color is running Android, and has no monthly fees, only a $250 up front cost. Of course, it's WiFi-only.

APKs on Nook Color? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282508)

You can't officially make your own games on a DS.

The Nook Color is running Android, and has no monthly fees, only a $250 up front cost.

I thought Nook Color was missing the switch to allow APK installation from "Unknown sources" like the AT&T phones. Can one still use ADB instead [nookdevs.com] ?

Of course, it's WiFi-only.

One problem is that Wi-Fi-only Android devices, such as the $250 Archos 43, tend not to have official support for Android Market. Instead, they're restricted to the far smaller selection of AppsLib unless the application publisher makes an APK available.

Re:WHY!? (1)

KermMartian (707470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282758)

Asking "why" is the wrong question. We do this kind of stuff because we can. I enjoy the challenge of pushing calculator hardware as far as it can go, then a bit further, because it's hard, and therefore rewarding.

Chat program (1)

Firemouth (1360899) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278410)

I totally had a chat program back in high school. Only a few problems...

1. You had to be tethered by that link cable you used to transfer programs.
2. You had to type in what you were sending your buddy, then tell them to hit the button to pull the data from your calculator
3. Then they could type a reply, and you would have to hit the button.
4. If you hit the button before they typed something in, the program crashed.....


BUT IT TOTALLY WORKED!

Re:Chat program (1)

Ghidorah (667084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35278458)

I remember this chat program! It was awesome.

Re:Chat program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278938)

Man, TIs must suck.

I wrote a chat program for my 48SX in 8th grade with none of your out-of-channel flow control requirements, using the cable or the built-in IR (about 24" range), and after a resistor swap for more IR output, you could do 4-way chat by ceiling-bounce. (It was kinda sucky -- if messages collide, you have to manually retransmit; I thought about adding collision detection and random-wait retransmit, but it worked well enough I never bothered).

Of course, everyone else at school had TIs, not HPs, so... really limited utility.
But it was great when I had occasion to use it with my siblings, e.g. on road trips.

Also, wrt TFA, HP calculators have been able to connect to the internet with a modem for years, and dialup to a shell account (and use lynx or such) practically forever -- no Arduino strap-on required.

this isn't new... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278432)

I had an internet-capable terminal on my TI-83+ back in the day. Add a modem and a null modem cable, and you could dial out to a shell.

It was totally pointless, but that was why it was fun.

Nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35278966)

NEEEEERRRRRDDDSSSSS!!!

Re:Nerds! (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 3 years ago | (#35279234)

Welcome to /.

More academic integrity headaches... (4, Insightful)

siwelwerd (869956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35281384)

It's bad enough that my students want to use the calculator on their phones during an exam. Now they can network their calculators?

Re:More academic integrity headaches... (1)

KermMartian (707470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282626)

Siwelwerd, notice that at this point the hardware I've designed requires a wired connection to a computer with an internet. If I were to make it wireless, or remove the need for a computer, then you might have more of a headache, but I don't think you'll have that much of a problem at this point.

Re:More academic integrity headaches... (1)

siwelwerd (869956) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283228)

I clicked through the first couple links and didn't see a picture of the hardware. I assumed that Arduino meant small.

Actually though, it doesn't seem to be too much of a stretch to use an Android phone as your internet-facing computer. Probably mostly an academic (hah!) concern though, as you point out.

Tools (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282184)

There is nothing like the right tool for the job. And a TI calculator is nothing like the right tool for the job of playing games on the internet!

CEMETECH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35282526)

Be sure to say kudos to Kerm Martian, the man to make this all happen and his site, cemetech.net :D

Re:CEMETECH (1)

KermMartian (707470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35282616)

Thanks, Anonymous Coward, although I fear Slashdot users might frown on that sort of shout-out. :)

qazqaz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35283484)

ok, anyone who reads this and only sees CALCULATOR INTERNET please do realize that this was created with months/years of work with just a calculator and a arduino to create (with alot of help from shaun "merthsoft" client-wise) so do cut him some slack ;)

speaking of which, soon gCn will be easier to use by people not wanting to use an arduino. a USB counterpart of gCn is being made, so it should be easier for those of you not wanting to / cannot peice it all together :D

Re:qazqaz (1)

KermMartian (707470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35283588)

Capitalization failures aside, Qazz is correct. I'm working on a direct USB counterpart for the TI-84+ and the TI-84+SE, both of which have a miniUSB port, to enable globalCALCnet with no extra hardware.

TI calculators are a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35287728)

You know what's sad? TI calculators use 15MHz Z80 processors. THE SAME PROCESSORS THAT ARE FOUND IN ORIGINAL, MONOCHROME GAMEBOYS.

Christ. TI has the market completely cornered and they're making money hand over fist with shitty 20 year old technology.

I'm waiting for Wolfram to make a "Mathematica Pad". All touch screen, ARM processor, Android-based. I want to rotate me some 3D plots in Calculus class. And sell it for $20 cheaper than TI.

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