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The Internet Games Technology

Online Multiplayer Games On TI Calculators? 75

Posted by Soulskill
from the where-were-you-when-i-was-in-sixth-grade dept.
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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Online Multiplayer Games On TI Calculators?

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  • I get the hacking thing but...

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


    • 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.
  • by caywen (942955) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @04:03AM (#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]

    • by shar303 (944843)

      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.

    • by Hatta (162192)

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

    • by Reilaos (1544173)

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

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      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 w

      • 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.
  • by Seumas (6865)

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

    • by Goaway (82658)

      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.

  • 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.

    • by Canazza (1428553)

      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 a

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • 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.

    • It's the standardized test publishers such as College Board that encourage TI to keep calculators dumb.
      • by shmibs (2002702)
        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
  • Yes?
  • I wonder how anyone can chat with a keyboard like that of the 83+. :-/
  • 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.

  • MMORPG of Drug Wars? Or was that the basis of GTA? Gotta have those classics...
  • done properly (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @07:43AM (#35278050) Journal

    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?

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

        • 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

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

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

  • by siwelwerd (869956) on Tuesday February 22, 2011 @12:54PM (#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?
    • 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.
      • by siwelwerd (869956)
        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.

  • 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!

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?