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USB Peripherals for the 84+
Posted by Michael on 16 August 2005, 17:07 GMT

A few weeks ago, the ever-famous Dan Englender released a revolutionary new flash application called usb8x. Usb8x is a driver that interfaces with the On-the-Go USB port in the TI-84 Plus and TI-84 Plus Silver Edition. It is designed to be used by other programmers to create drivers for a variety of USB peripherals. Dan has included demos for a USB mouse, keyboard, and a loopback test for the USB Silverlink. Theoretically this means that drivers can be written to support nearly any USB device (so long as it consumes 100 mA or less of bus power). Usb8x will open up an entirely new world of possibilities for graphing calculators. Congratulations to Dan on an extremely impressive achievement!

You may be thinking that ticalc.org is awfully slow in reporting this news, but due to the recent news drought, I thought I would hold off on this article until it could be as amazing as possible: I have been working on a driver that runs on top of Dan's to allow USB flash drives to connect to the calculator. Yesterday I finished FAT16 reading support and so I now present a demo video (4.4 MB), exclusively available on ticalc.org, of a movie playing off my 1 GB Lexar JumpDrive. You may recognize the clip as part of The Matrix's infamous lobby scene. There is no dithering or grayscale, although both are probably possible. There is still much more work to be done before we have utilities and file explorer-type programs at a level where general users can use their USB drives.

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The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.


Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
elfprince13 Account Info
(Web Page)

I have been waiting so long for something like this. I got my 84+SE im January and Im getting to put in my third set of batteries, something of a calc-a-hoic, so this is awesome.

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 17:09 GMT


Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Snave2000  Account Info

While I agree this is momentous, I was distressed by one part of your post:

<Im getting to put in my third set of batteries>

You ought to consider rechargable AAAs; not only is it eco-friendly, but you'll end up saving money on batteries. And they last a comparable length of time, in my experience.

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 23:38 GMT


Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Mr.Z  Account Info
(Web Page)

I am not sure about in calculators, but at least in my GBA rechargeable AA's last only about 8 hours or so, while non-rechargeables last a few hours longer. That said, I use rechargeables anyway because I do not play games for more than 8 hours a day. :)

Reply to this comment    22 August 2005, 18:38 GMT

Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
MafiaMan Account Info

Maybe TI should just start making computers. :)

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 19:04 GMT

Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Andy Janata  Account Info
(Web Page)

Don't you mean go back to making computers? :)

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 20:50 GMT


Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
qbman  Account Info

Yay, the TI-99+SE 4a Home Computer, lol...

(yes, the +SE was intentional...)

Yeah, TI used to make computers.

Oh, I remember the TI-99. It was a good computer. It was the one that got me started into programming in the first place. Though, talk about limitations... small amount of ram and no persistant internal storage.

Reply to this comment    23 August 2005, 15:33 GMT


Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Stan Janssen  Account Info

So could one theoratically write a driver for a wireless USB adapter to communicate with other calcs?

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 20:59 GMT

Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Snave2000  Account Info

Sure, why not? Isn't that what everyone has been waiting for since graphing calcs were invented?

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 23:40 GMT


Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Jason Malinowski  Account Info

Dan said on WikiTI that at least one 802.11b adapter of his requires too much power to initialize...but I'm not giving my hopes up. :-)

Reply to this comment    18 August 2005, 01:12 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Michael Vincent  Account Info
(Web Page)

You don't want 802.11b anyway. Bluetooth would work just fine and would be short range. Bluetooth USB adapters aren't that expensive either.

Reply to this comment    18 August 2005, 02:26 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
aquanight  Account Info

I would prefer to use my existing 802.11b network if that were possible ;) . So it would be nice to find a 802.11b adapter that can run in the 100mA limit.

(Or we find something like an adapter that can provide additional power dedicated to the USB port... kinda like a microhub that only has two points (one in and out) and has a rechargable battery or something to provide an extra 300mA or so... ...... Does such a thing exist?)

Reply to this comment    31 August 2005, 02:48 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
jesse frey  Account Info

couldn't you have some external usb power?

Reply to this comment    20 August 2005, 16:10 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Meonlyme  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yes, by sticking a hub in there. That would open two options: a battery powered hub (rechargable D's?) or the 'ol wall socket version.

Reply to this comment    23 August 2005, 05:49 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Alex Forencich  Account Info
(Web Page)

You could get a wall socket version and run it from a battery box, or you could build some sort of "power injector" to inject power into the USB line. That would not be too dificult, actually. Just a few diodes and a voltage regulator connected to two usb plugs. I can work on a design if anybody is interested.

Reply to this comment    31 August 2005, 22:16 GMT

Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Bob Ebophalus  Account Info

So how fast is the keypress response time with a keyboard? Fast enough for playing games/typing?

PS: Excellent job Dan and ExtendeD!

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 22:26 GMT


Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Dan Englender Account Info
(Web Page)

Yup, it's plenty fast! It's about a million times better than using the TI-Keyboard. OK, maybe not a million, but the annoying rollover problems that plague anyone typing faster than 10 wpm on the TI-Keyboard are absent when using a USB keyboard.

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 22:54 GMT


Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Jason Malinowski  Account Info

Could it take 100WPM?

Reply to this comment    18 August 2005, 01:14 GMT

Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
burntfuse  Account Info
(Web Page)

Wow... JUST AMAZING work, guys!!! Even just being able to dig through however many pages of the USB 2.0 official specs and understand it all is great in itself! (believe me, I've tried) This is exactly the kind of thing I wish I'd done myself. :-D Now if I just had an 84+...

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 22:34 GMT

Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Snave2000  Account Info

I must say, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I know I've been waiting for something like this since I got my first calc (no USB)

Supposing that a driver can be written to control a wireless network adapter, we should be able to set up a wireless calc network. And, with the right conversion programs, we could even surf the Web!

Once again, CONGRATULATIONS!!

<bowing down to Michael and Dan, repeatedly>

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 23:45 GMT

Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
redsoxfan Account Info

OMG! This is amazing! I have always wanted to be able to plug a USB FlashDrive into a calculator - just think how many files you could have access to on your calculator. Too bad I only have a 83+SE. I hope there's something similar for the 89.

Reply to this comment    17 August 2005, 23:48 GMT

Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Drew Mast  Account Info

Is there such a prog for the 89 titanium? That video would look a lot better on a 89 screen!

Reply to this comment    18 August 2005, 01:31 GMT

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