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TI Calculator Support on Linux

Posted on 22 July 1998

The following text was written by Nick Davis:

One thing I've recently come to regard as a hindrance to the proliferation of TI calculator linkage (the ability to transfer files from calc to PC and from PC to calc) is the apparent Windows-centric attitude adopted by many developers, as well as the users themselves. Don't get me wrong, I realize that ~85% of all ticalc.org users run some form of windows, but there are many of us who use Linux as a primary OS. According to the general user survey in the Surveys section, Linux/Unix ranks third among the most widely used OSes. That being said, it is a bit presumptuous to think all TI calc users are of one breed, using the same OS and platform for TI calculator programs, utilities, etc.

I've been a member of the TI calc community for several years now, and an observation I've made is the community (vis-a-vis PC-calc programs) is mostly DOS or Windows oriented. While it was of little concern a few years ago, today that has changed, as more and more people are switching from windows (and other OSes) to Linux (and other free Unix-like OSes). It is not surprising most Windows users don't consider this an issue, for why use another OS when everything runs on windows? Well, there are those of us who've come to realize the importance and validity of an open source OS, as well as the sheer power and flexibility provided by a Unix operating system. Before this article becomes an OS debate, allow me present my primary argument: there should exist Linux ports of the TI-Graph Link software in addition to the win/mac versions from TI. Furthermore, the source can and should be released to foster development and the porting of the linking software to other platforms. I'm sure many of you in the TI calculator community would be interested in porting, or at least providing some assistance, the TI-Graph Link software to an unsupported platform. If the source was released, the software could also be expanded to include support for homemade parallel and serial cables, as well as enhanced with new features (screenshot capturing utility, a real-time calculator display on the PC, and other innovative concepts). I recently emailed TI with this idea. Here is the response (along with my original message):

Subject: Re: TI-Graph Link software
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 10:04:02 -0500
From: cpalomino@ti.com

Nick,

Thank you for your recent email. We appreciate your
support of our products. While we have no announced
plans to support these OS's, I will forward your comments
to our software development team for further review.

I regret to inform you that Texas Instruments does not
release information on the pin-outs, protocols, or API of
its calculator link products. This is proprietary information,
so I will not be able to release it to you.

If you have any further questions or comments please feel
free to contact us at your convenience. Please copy this
message in your response and send directly to ti-cares@ti.com
for faster service on replies.

Kind regards,

Christopher Palomino

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Educational & Productivity Solutions
Customer Support Center Email: ti-cares@ti.com
Texas Instruments
PO Box 650311 M/S 3962
Dallas, TX 75265 (972)917-8324 (Technical Help)
(800) 842-2737 (General Info)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

www.ti.com/calc

========================= ORIGINAL MESSAGE ==========================
I have a request regarding the Graph Link
software. Would it be possible for TI to
release the source of the software? This
would be a tremendous benefit to the TI
calculator community, enabling further
platform support for the graph link
software, thus increasing the market for
potential customers. The primary reason I
personally would like to see this is I use
Linux as my primary OS, and as such, a
port of the graph link software doesn't
exist for my OS. If the source were
released, a competent programmer could
relatively easily port the software to
X11/Linux, or any OS, with a bit of
effort. In this manner, TI would not
*officially* support such ported software,
as it isn't an "in house" product or
service, but it would remain a very useful
alternative to those such as myself,
seeking a port of the graph link software
for their particular OS. The only other
solution, should source code release be
undesirable for some reason, is for TI
employed programmers to port the software
to the requested OS themselves. This is a
major undertaking in itself, for there
exist many OS/platform combinations, and
it would be cumbersome to provide support
for the new platforms, in addition to the
existing win/mac offerings. Open source
successes such as Linux, Perl, the Apache
webserver, and most recently Netscape
Communicator, have demonstrated the open
source development model, utilizing
potentially millions of software
developers around the world, is a valid
means of software development, in many
cases superior to proprietary methods.
Thus, I ask that you seriously consider
releasing the source code to the graph
link software, so ports can be made to
other OSes and platforms, for I would
venture to say many TI calculator
customers use an altenative OS. Thank you
for your time and consideration regarding
this matter.

(Sorry for the length of the message, I tried to cut as much as possible.)

Apparently it is the "official policy" of Texas Instruments to contain the source of their products, in this case the TI-Graph Link software. While it appears we've reached a barrier, I believe we can influence this decision, and ultimately revoke it. I propose the maintainers of ticalc.org create a new survey entitled "Should TI release the source of their TI-Graph Link software?" We can prove there is adequate demand (and therefore valid reason) to release the source if many of you vote. C'mon, people...show your support for this significant issue and vote yes. In this manner, everyone would benefit by having more extensive platform support, as well as an improved transfer utility.

  Reply to this item

Microsoft Windows ''95 rulz da computer mundo!
Bill Gates

Im rich!

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Reply to this comment    3 April 1999, 00:26 GMT


Re: Microsoft Windows ''95 rulz da computer mundo!
Steve Jobs
(Web Page)

No No Noooooooooooooooooooooo money boy...Apple does!

my $0.02 worth...your 50 billion!

Reply to this comment    8 May 1999, 23:42 GMT


Re: Re: Microsoft Windows ''95 rulz da computer mundo!
Bill Gates
(Web Page)

Y'know, i oughtta stuff some o' dem dollah bills with Ben Franklin on 'em up yo hole boi!

Im Rich

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Microsft rules da computer mundo

Reply to this comment    21 June 1999, 21:35 GMT

Re: Article: "TI Calculator Support on Linux"
Jens Kristian Søgaard
(Web Page)

Hi All,

I just wanted to say, that I during 1998 developed
a somewhat complete Graphlink program for especially Linux.

It's 95% Java-code - thus quite portable. It currently runs on Linux, various types of Unices and ofcourse Windows95.

An Amiga port is very possible.

It supports sending/receiving programs, screendumps, StatData => Spreadsheet (for plotting on the computer), etc.

More information is available on my homepage.
Please email me, if you want a copy of this piece of software.

Thanks.

Reply to this comment    29 May 1999, 00:46 GMT

PProtocols ?
Sami DALOUCHE

If there isn't any linux program to transfert data to-from calc-pc, is there a protocol supported by TI & Linux : i.f.n for the ** Calculator (I do not say the brand), there is Kermit & Xmodem and this allow to transfert data.
What is the protocol used by TI calc ?

Reply to this comment    21 September 1998, 20:18 GMT

PProtocols ?
Sami DALOUCHE

If there isn't any linux program to transfert data to-from calc-pc, is there a protocol supported by TI & Linux : i.f.n for the ** Calculator (I do not say the brand), there is Kermit & Xmodem and this allow to transfert data.
What is the protocol used by TI calc ?

Reply to this comment    21 September 1998, 20:19 GMT

Re: TI Calculator Support on Linux
TechBunny

gtktilink by rom seems to cover most calculators out there!!!
gtktilink.ticalc.org
but it does lack some support for certain calculators, if anyone knows any simple ways to figure out calculator protocol's let me know please!

Reply to this comment    9 February 2000, 08:16 GMT


TI support for the VAX
Calten  Account Info

Think the last one (VAX) was dug out of a dark closet at MIT. Anyhow, needed to be cheaply entertained, so me and my roomate constructed a link from the VAX to the TI85. Currently runs under OpenVMS 6.2. It hasn't been tested under ALPHA architecture. Does just as much as the Windows based one (and for an extra 2 dollars we can make the thing belch).

Reply to this comment    23 February 2000, 04:15 GMT

Re: Article: "TI Calculator Support on Linux"
Dan
(Web Page)

I´m a Amiga-user, same problem there. Maybe a Java-port would be the fastest way to reach a maximum of platforms within a minimum of time.
I mean write the programs in Java and the release both a bytecodeversion and versions compiled to binary for specific platforms as WIN, MAC,Linux etc for better speed

Reply to this comment    31 July 1998, 13:11 GMT

Re: Article: "TI Calculator Support on Linux"
Steve Herrin

Although I've never tested this (other people in my house use the computer and would die under linux), I think that Cal, a dos program, under dosemu might work. This program suupots all calcs and can be found in the dos/linking archive. Tell me if it works.

Reply to this comment    27 September 1998, 19:55 GMT

Re: Article: "TI Calculator Support on Linux"
Josh Rothenberg

Are they afraid that someone else will make a link cable that will work with their software or that someone will adjust their software to work with other link cables or something? They're crazy.

Reply to this comment    6 August 1998, 03:22 GMT


Re: Re: Article: "TI Calculator Support on Linux"
Bryan Rabeler
(Web Page)

Yup, probably. If people did that, they would lose a lot of money from the sale of Graph Link cables.

Reply to this comment    7 August 1998, 11:33 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Article: "TI Calculator Support on Linux"
Peter Martijn Kuipers  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yeah, but the strange thing is that sice they released their blck link cable, you can use the Graph-Link software in "Balck Link" mode with the $4 Serial Cable, so I think they lost that excuse...

Reply to this comment    10 March 2000, 12:02 GMT

Re: TI Calculator Support on Linux
LinuxUser
(Web Page)

I support the linux system as much as I can. Owning a TI83 plus has become a burden to me because of my exploration of the linux operating system. There are ways to get through this barrier: Wine (the windows emulator) and Basilisk II (Mac Emulator). If you are reading this and use linux, I would reccomend using these two tools to "port" TI Graph Link to Linux. But, as you know, Linux is a member of the UNIX family. Therefore, it can run UNIX programs. If there is a TI Program for UNIX or configuration of wine/Basilisk II that could end this feud, please email me @ hanerrusty@yahoo.com. And if TI would make a program for linux for a TI83+, please let me know. If I find any configurations of wine (www.winehq.com) I will post them on my website, http://hanerrusty.homelinux.net

Thanks,
LinuxUser

Reply to this comment    9 August 2002, 03:55 GMT


Re: Re: TI Calculator Support on Linux
Axalon  Account Info

I did a thorough search of winehq.org's application database adn found little of interest.

Reply to this comment    1 March 2006, 02:46 GMT

Re: TI Calculator Support on Linux
zzo38 Account Info
(Web Page)


I think it shud be a free program, but you hav to bi the link cable to conect it to the computer, or if you no how to make it yorself do it (and pay for the parts to make it).

I think ther shud be 1 device file for the files on it, and you can mount it and acses the files that way.

I also think ther shud be anuther device file for sending direct comands to the calculater.

Also ther shud be a (comand) program for makeing screen shots in XBM file and uther kinds, and uther stuf conecting to the calculater. Ther shud also be a program for the same thing in X-window.

Reply to this comment    1 September 2002, 03:38 GMT

Re: Article: "TI Calculator Support on Linux"
L.G.

The TI winlink software appears to run when executed using the Wine emulator (version 990110-1). I haven't had time to configure the serial port under Wine, however, so I still do not know whether one could actually transmit programs to/from one's calculator...

Reply to this comment    11 February 1999, 18:22 GMT


Re: Re: Article: "TI Calculator Support on Linux"
Josh Mathis

Unfortunately, GraphLink under Wine just complains that it can't open the port. Yes, the ports are configured under Wine. I would definitely prefer having a nice Linux version of GL rather than trying to hack the windows one :-(

Reply to this comment    15 March 1999, 15:12 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Article: "TI Calculator Support on Linux"
DrDebian  Account Info

Luckily, there now is a very attractive alternative to GraphLink: it's called GtkTiLink and it really works very well!

Reply to this comment    24 June 2001, 18:50 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: TI Calculator Support on Linux
BluShock  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yes, but it still doesn't recognizw the USB link very well. I would like to help on this soon... :)

Reply to this comment    28 April 2004, 21:12 GMT

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