ticalc.org
Basics Archives Community Services Programming
Hardware Help About Search Your Account
   Home :: Archives :: News :: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher

Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Posted by Travis on 25 October 2010, 13:41 GMT

Lionel Debroux has been working on a utility that makes it possible for developers to create sets of patches that users can apply to their copies of the OS on 68K calculators (and possibly Z80-based models as well in the future). This opens up a vast realm of possibilities—optimizing routines to speed up aspects of calculator operation, fixing bugs that TI has failed to correct, and adding customizations to the OS, to name a few.

The current software consists of two parts: “tiosmod,” meant to provide generic TI-OS patching functions, and “amspatch,” a set of patches for several versions of Advanced Mathematics Software. Currently the patchset includes shrinking AMS 2.08 and 2.09 to provide an extra 64 KB of archive memory, removal of execution protections and the restriction on ASM program size, some optimizations and bug fixes, and more.

TIOSMOD is still in an active state of evolution and is intended to open the door to a new beginning where the community itself is able to make continued improvements to TI-OS where TI left off and abandoned development. Contributions are welcome!

  Reply to this article


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: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Lionel Debroux Account Info
(Web Page)

Thanks tev, I definitely didn't expect a feature right now :)

It would seem that I'm the first person to release a somewhat generic and extensible patcher program for TI-68k OS (and hopefully TI-Z80 OS in the future, if it makes sense to support both TI-68k OS and TI-Z80 OS in the same program)... and frankly, I still wonder why.
It's not that it's a very time-consuming coding or design task: I spent less than 10 man-days on it, and there are currently less than 1500 lines of raw source code.
It's not that it was hard to run non-default OS on TI-68k calculators: it has been possible for about ten years, with TIB-Receiver and later FSign+FreeFlash.
It's not that the number of patches is so low that it's not worth the trouble: the current version of amspatch contains 15 patches of five different kinds (6 for unlocking, 4 for optimizing, 3 for fixing, 1 for shrinking and 1 for expanding).

Final note: I probably won't be the one adding TI-Z80 OS support, because, as everybody knows, I'm no experienced TI-Z80 programmer :)

Reply to this comment    25 October 2010, 14:36 GMT

Re: Re: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Kevin Kofler Account Info
(Web Page)

I guess most of us are scared of legal threats.

Reply to this comment    25 October 2010, 16:33 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Brandon Wilson  Account Info
(Web Page)

Speak for yourself on that one. Personally, it's because of lack of time.

Reply to this comment    26 October 2010, 03:51 GMT


Re: Re: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

Well right now there are already various z80 patches available, mostly for OS 2.53 MP but also 2.43. They mostly fix some glitches. At one point maybe someone will put all of them into one then release them.

That said it is still a great release you got there. Congrats for the feature. :)

Reply to this comment    25 October 2010, 16:42 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Lionel Debroux Account Info
(Web Page)

Thanks DJ ;)

Yeah, patching TI's OS to fix their bugs (as you say, that's what most existing TI-Z80 OS patches do) or kill their artificial limitations (that's what most existing TI-68k OS patches do) has been done by multiple persons for a long time, long before the signing keys' factorization, which eases the job from the _user_'s POV.

IMO, the TI-Z80 community should do more in the way of optimizing TI's OS. TI's programmers are notorious for stupid, slow (and insecure) code, so there _has_ to be something to do on TI-Z80 as well, e.g. in the graphics stack :)

Reply to this comment    25 October 2010, 17:54 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Kevin Ouellet Account Info
(Web Page)

Now I wish patches for the TI-84+ mode on the TI-Nspire were permanent. Hence why we need the TI-Nspire keys. X.x

Reply to this comment    25 October 2010, 18:59 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Kevin Kofler Account Info
(Web Page)

Good luck factoring those 1024-bit integers...

Reply to this comment    25 October 2010, 19:13 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Andy Janata  Account Info
(Web Page)

That's what they said about 512-bit integers just a handful of years ago. It'll happen sometime, it'll just take several years.

Reply to this comment    18 November 2010, 03:31 GMT

Re: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Galandros Account Info

I ever wondered what we could do to about the TI-OSes and this seems the best solution. Making a 3rd party OS is too difficult and students should keep the TI-OS for not having trouble in exams.

In my opinion this is one of the best calculator program idea ever.
I hope a z80 version is done to patch some bugs already corrected by Brandon Wilson, optimize the space usage, make use of all RAM Pages in older models (hint hint) and who knows the interface (do a simple shell like for ASM programs) and optimize TI-BASIC interpreter itself with CelticIII included. (ok asking too much already, but is maybe easier than a full blow 3rd party OS)

I hope this gets enough exposure and attention to many "advanced" calculators' users and even others.

Reply to this comment    25 October 2010, 18:50 GMT


Re: Re: Lionel Debroux Releases AMS Patcher
Brandon Wilson  Account Info
(Web Page)

The best, long term, and least legally ambiguous solution is to create a third party operating system with full backwards compatibility with the TI-OS and containing the other things we want to see out of the OS (such as full use of all the RAM pages for variable storage that you alluded to, which is something that can't be easily patched into the TI-OS), and that remains the goal for at least myself and possibly others.

A shorter term solution, though, is exactly this: a generic patching application that allows users to pick and choose what they want to do to their OS, and the legal ambiguity and responsibility is shifted to them instead (and the writers of the patches themselves).

I've had a very specific idea on how this would be done for the Z80 series for quite some time, so if I were to find the time to work on it, I'm not sure I would put it in this same application.

Hopefully somebody else will do it so I don't have to worry about it. :)

Reply to this comment    26 October 2010, 03:57 GMT

  Copyright © 1996-2011, the ticalc.org project. All rights reserved. | Contact Us | Disclaimer