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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+
Andrew Caton  Account Info

Does anyone have any info on the adapter used in the video? It looks like it was created for the calculator, but I can't seem to find it or anything like it anywhere...

Reply to this comment    2 September 2005, 05:52 GMT

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

For US residents:
(above URL)

Hope this helps :)

Stan

Reply to this comment    5 September 2005, 21:14 GMT

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

For European residents:
(URL above)

Hope this helps :)
Stan.

Reply to this comment    5 September 2005, 21:15 GMT


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

Sorry for the dodgy URL of the US comment, you should correct the URL by yourself, can't get it to work right...

Reply to this comment    5 September 2005, 21:16 GMT

Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
lecks Account Info

-hey, can we use the usb thing for any usb device, like the jump drive?
-also if we can, can we put images in the jump drive and plug it into the calculator and look at images, as well as movies?
-also, does it work with grayscale?
-also can we put a full color movie into the jump drive and play it on the calculator automatically in grayscale, or do we have to convert it to grayscale/b&w first (if grayscale is possible)?
-does it matter how big the file is in the jump drive?
-does it have to be in a certain file type?

(alot of questions)

Reply to this comment    5 September 2005, 22:56 GMT


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

I'm sure that it all depends on the software that you use to play the video, which Michael has already said wasn't made to be pretty, just to demonstrate what they had done.

Reply to this comment    6 September 2005, 02:48 GMT

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

Okay, so where are we now (I don't like the fact this news has gone off the home page)

- We can draw 100mA of bus power from the 84+
- But we can add an USB active HUB. Do we need drivers for that or will it just work without drivers?

- We have a demo app (usb8x) which demos mouse, keyboard, flash drive and some others. Who is capable and willing to write drivers, or to explain how to write drivers? I think it's very important to create some good documentation so that as many people as possible can go out and write drivers, so this feature can grow.

My requests for drivers would be:
- Something like MirageOS manager for your flash drive;
- Bluetooth drivers
- Keyboard drivers for use within the command prompt / program editor

Of course I'd most of all like some good documentation or explanations of how this works. I've only just started out learing ASM, so a long way to go for me, but I'm sure many people are ASM-capable enough to write drivers.

Anyway, congrats on the achievement, but please DO keep it going, and follow it up with a storm of drivers and great shit ;)

Stan.

Reply to this comment    7 September 2005, 11:52 GMT

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

Oh, and can Michael and Dan realease ALL the drivers they have, like the Flash drive support, video stuff

[Quote] I have been working on a driver that runs on top of Dan's to allow USB flash drives to connect to the calculator. [/Quote]

Please? :-)

Reply to this comment    7 September 2005, 12:37 GMT

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

can anybody explain to me what 100ma of bus power is? i understand everything except that, and im sure i can
try to wright a driver but i dont know how long it will take, since this is sorta new for me.

Reply to this comment    8 September 2005, 00:35 GMT


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

Okay:

(you can skip averything but the last paragraph if you're not interested in the phisycal shit)
every electrical device consumes power; your computer, your television, your hifi, your ipod, you name it.

Electrical energy consists of voltage (volts) and current (amps) (now I know this is not completely correct, but the idea is the same).

Now take a battery for instance: 1.5 volts, 1000mAh.
This means it supplies 1.5 volts, and it can power a device that CONSUMES 1000mA of power for one hour. It can supply a device that consumes 500mA of power for two hours, and so on.
So it supplies the current the device requires.
Now there is a maximum amount of current a battery (or any other power source) can apply before there are complications.

The USB connector on the TI84+ can supply 100mA of bus power. This means the device you connect may not require more than 100mA of power in order to run. Check your device, it should read the voltage and current requirment on a sticker somewhere...

Stan.

Reply to this comment    8 September 2005, 14:46 GMT

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

ok ok.. sorry to be a bother but i need to know as much as possible about this before i start writing. can someone tell me exactly what it does (not that i dont know), what its limitations are, and some suggestions? please be as detailed as possible. this will be my guide...

Reply to this comment    9 September 2005, 01:34 GMT


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

hey i just got a great idea!!! go to the above URL.

i have a dream... since a usb jump drive has already been connected to a calculator by usb8x, maybe now, somehow, we can make games, with music as mp3s, and download those along with the games, then connect the jump drive into the calculator and put ear phones in the calculator and have syncronized gaming& music. it could work... and if it does there is a new future of calculator gaming.

i cant wait to see how this turns out, if it ever becomes possible.

Reply to this comment    9 September 2005, 01:49 GMT

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

*EDIT.

put earphones in the usb mp3, not in the calculator.

Reply to this comment    9 September 2005, 01:50 GMT


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

That would be amazing!!!!

Imagine yourself playing phoenix along with a nice soudtrack with sounds for shots, enemies, bosses,etc..

Awsome!

Reply to this comment    12 September 2005, 01:16 GMT


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

My idea would be to write universal USB drivers, starting with things like flash drives and working up to things like USB Bluetooth dongles. You'd plug in your USB device and the calculator would automatically detect what is was, allowing you to choose the appropriate app to interface with the device.

Like you said, a Mirage OS-like file browser, one that would recognize and keep intact your FATx folders, would be the new hotness. You could use the flash drive as storage for extra games, other programs, etc, play back your QT or WMV movies (after you convert them using the easy-to-use drag-and-drop Windows/Mac utility), even use it to share large files with other calc users much faster than the built-in link port allows.

Bluetooth capabilities would be awesome - use your Organize app (and the USB extension written for it, I hope) to sync conctacts with your cellphone or computer. Send files wirelessly, or wireless head-to-head gaming. Possibly connect to the internet through a Lynx-like text-based browser or a very watered-down version of Firefox.

You could use screen-capture utilities to take calc screen pictures, and save them to a flash drive as jpg's and pic variables.

You could hook up your iPod or other mp3 player, and use it as a flash drive, or play the music off the player using an iTunes-like program, which would convert the audio to something the calc could read.

Imagine the possibilities! Hell, you could run Linux on the thing if you wanted to!

Reply to this comment    1 December 2005, 02:35 GMT


Re: Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Nathan Ladwig  Account Info

Yeah, SilverHat Linux... For the 84 P SE... :)

Reply to this comment    30 March 2006, 19:14 GMT

Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Chaomerl Account Info

You know, this is exactly the sort of project I have been thinking, "Wouldn't it be cool if someone did this," for at least a month or two about.

Reply to this comment    15 December 2005, 14:52 GMT

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

well, im convinced. this is officially one of the most amazing things ive ever seen on a calculator. how about a tutorial?

Reply to this comment    16 December 2005, 03:26 GMT


Re: Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Nathan Ladwig  Account Info

This does look VERY cool. Someone should write a driver for a webcam. That would be cool. Also, could someone make it so the programs on the jumpdrive appear in the apps menu??? That would be easy.

Reply to this comment    30 March 2006, 19:08 GMT

Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
Nathan Ladwig  Account Info

Can someone send me a cable??? E-mail me at Netham45@Gmail.com if you can. I can't really buy much besides food. I'm perty poor.

Reply to this comment    30 March 2006, 19:12 GMT

Re: USB Peripherals for the 84+
TheyCallMeCubanPete  Account Info

i am an amateur programmer, and i would like to know how you/whoever programmed a video clip like that, or if it is just a bunch of stored pictures set up to display and go away to make a "movie"

Reply to this comment    21 May 2006, 05:40 GMT

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