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Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Posted by Nick on 19 October 1999, 23:02 GMT

I got this email in my box today and I figured I would share it with everyone. It's from Sam Heald, creator of more assembly programs than you can shake a TI-89 at (I know, lamest comparison ever). I won't say anything to this because it pretty much speaks for itself. Enjoy.

As the instigator of the 83+ "boycott", I wish that you would please post my response as you have posted Ahmed's. I'm typing it now, so if there are any gross gramatical errors, please fix them. [I changed a few spelling/grammatical errors, but otherwise the original intent of the article was not changed in any way. -ed.]

The "Boycott" is over

Okay, as you all have now heard, I was planning to boycott the 83+ community. TCPA got themselves involved (rather complicatedly), and now the whole thing seems rather pointless. Ahmed, fed up with the TI scene as a whole, is taking a vacation, so to speak. Therefore, I'm dissolving the 83+ boycott before it starts. It has become obvious that the whole process will be more effort than the 83+ community is worth (in my opinion). I apologize to all those infuriated and all those sympathetic with my cause whom I have disappointed. I never did give a public account of my reasonings. Here is a small summary:

Why [were we] upset with [the] 83+ community?

The flames had gotten out of control after the Ztetris mishap. Admittedly, Ahmed made a huge mistake, but that is no excuse. I hadn't been mailbombed since my AOL days over 4 years ago! The magnitude of hatemail increased sharply. Then, as if the Ztetris release was some indication that I had entered the 83+ realm, I start receiving many many port requests.

Usually, they are complimentary. People like your game and want to play it, yes? Not these, these requests were more like demands as if my free time is their god-given right. Sorry - no. The newbie 83+ questions were also getting ridiculous. "What's ION? Where's ION? How do I use ION? How do I send XXXX to my calculator? I sent the .83p version and it doesn't work." These weren't as courteous, either. "I downloaded your program. You're a *censored* liar, because it doesn't work."

Frequently in the past, I received newbie email, requests, and criticisms, and never before has it bothered me. But the sheer magnitude and attitude of the 83+ community caused me to make an exception to my tolerance.

Why boycott?

My "boycott" was just a silly means to an end. I want merely to raise awareness in the TI community about the problem of programmer respect. I understand that the TI community is made mostly of "immature teenagers", so I don't expect much. But keeping that in mind, I realized that if I simply wrote a TI-Files editorial or a ticalc.org news article, nothing good would happen. The same morons who send me hatemail would reply to the articles and laugh (see the ticalc.org article about Mario 83). [You can find that here. -ed.]

By holding a temporary boycott (probably lasting 4-8 weeks from D-Day), the issue would be forced to the forefront. Many people appreciate my work, but they act not quite as vocally as the disrespectful ones, so they do not stand out. Those that do appreciate surely prefer my time and efforts to be placed elsewhere (Zelda), not wasting literally hours responding to the vocal garbage of idiots. Many people would dislike the policy, but with anger and tension comes the need for resolution. That's essentially the purpose of any boycott. Agitate the violators until the point of collapse. My intentions were not that sinister. If I was not going to end the boycott, why would I bother making the 83+ port work? I could have simply altered the header and recompile it. Ahmed liked the idea (he, too, suffered 83+ indecency, perhaps more than I), and he signed on.

Why I did choose this method?

  • People can't request ports if they've already been made.
  • 1/2 of 83+ owners send the wrong file anyway.
  • If the 83+ versions don't work, don't release them. Don't call it a boycott, call it "extended beta-testing."
  • The presence of exclusion is more emphatic and effective than mere absence. Out of sight, out of mind; so to speak.

I had some other reasons for this method (instead of a boycott), The fourth reason was the primary one. 1 through 3 were meant to agitate the 83+ [users]. With agitation comes awareness, then comes resolution.

My plan was simple:

  • Release 15-30 Void Productions to 83 ION on one day. The sheer magnitude will bring the topic to the surface. Never before had Ahmed or I ever used our "mini-monopoly" on 82/83 games for our own cause.
  • Exclude the source codes and .8xp versions (and tell why).
  • Include a screenshot of the 83+ version to prove that it works.
  • Post an article regarding respect in the TI community on a major TI site.
  • Wait. How long depended on the TI scene's reaction to the article. I would have been forced to wait at least a month just to show the severity of the problem and my own dedication to the cause (if I folded early, nothing would be resolved).
  • Once the time has come (depends on reaction to article/boycott), I release 20-30 ION games with the 83+ version and source code. I'm happy because my issue has been somewhat addressed, and the 83+ community is happy because they just tripled their game selection in one day. Ideally, everybody would win.

So, that's that. I hope the limited exposure that my "plan" received will have some effect on the respect given to authors. It seemed most "gamers" were extremely agitated with me, and most "programmers" were very sympathetic to the cause. So I guess for a "boycott" that wasn't, it was fairly successful.

Whether I'm going to release any ION versions of Void games to the public is, as of yet, undecided. I haven't made any of the conversions, yet, so it depends on whether or not I feel the effort to be worth the time. I would rather (as I'm sure most would agree) work on Zelda TI-8X. I might be releasing a new demo of that soon.

Sam Heald


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: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Scott Uhl  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yea! First comment! Anyway, it's for the +, so it doesn't really matter to me. But people with one might care. I just wanted the first comment!

     19 October 1999, 23:09 GMT

Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Absinthe  Account Info

I do have an 83+. I suppose people have already made it clear that there is a shortage of quality games for the 83+. That is probably the subliminal cause of many of the flames. I guess it's people pissed off because there aren't enough games and they want to take it out on someone. For those who own 83+'s give it time, more will come.
I don't write flames. If I have a game on my calc that crashes, it's ok, it's not like I payed for it. I respect those programmers who port games to the + and apologize for the flames they've received.


     19 October 1999, 23:27 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Gockies  Account Info
(Web Page)

Thank you. Everybody seems to think that because there is a bug in a program, they lost a fortune. Actually, they probably just lost a few games that were free in the first place.
I agree with the thing about the shortage of games. I mean, as soon as a new calculator comes out doesn't mean ticalc.org and stuff will be flooded with games on the first day of release. Look how long it took for the archives to fill up in any calc's menu! They can't program millions of games overnight, and the thing most people don't understand is that Assembly is not an easy programming language. And nobody better reply to this saying Assembly is easy, cuz I'm gonna kick you in the ass and tell you to stop complaining and program your own phucking games. Damn I'm angry.

     20 October 1999, 00:11 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Will Dempster  Account Info
(Web Page)

Ok, I think this point needs to be addressed. A programmers life is not to cater to everyone's needs and wants. I know from experience that many programmers do it for fun. Instead of bitching to them that they are not releasing enough programs, we should show our gratitude to them for releasing these programs. Ways to do this would be to send constructive criticism to the programmer regarding different bugs in his or her own programming. This would show the programmer that you respect their work, but think that a specific aspect of the program could be better.

With regards to the newbie emails, I think there is only one way to go on this subject. That is compiling a massive FAQ page on one or all of the major TI-Sites. I knowthat most sites have somewhat of an FAQ page, but not to the extent that is made blatantly obvious by the masses of emails that should be documented on an FAQ page somewhere.

I think it really sucks that Sam and Ahmed finally go pushed over the edge by this whole ordeal. They have been around the TI community much longer than I have (I have been around for about 2.5 years). I think we seriously need to reconsider programmers for what they do, and our appreciation for them. It seems that many people are taking programmers' services for granted. Allright i'll stop my rant now, email me if you want to flame me.


     20 October 1999, 02:20 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Etec Account Info
(Web Page)

I know if you are worried about loosing something on your calc, back it up with a graphlink.

     20 October 1999, 22:22 GMT

Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Noah Greene  Account Info
(Web Page)

I have one of every type of calculator (except the TI-73 and below). I am actually trying to program some of my own games for the TI-83+. I think that your idea of a boycott was a good idea (to get the TI community to shape up). I can do some conversions for you if you tell me what to do. I will not be able to do them as fast, but I can do some for you if you want.

     19 October 1999, 23:32 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Gockies  Account Info
(Web Page)

Finally, someone not complaining and being original. That's right, program your own games! Be original and stop complaining and expecting the impossible from people! We need more people like you.

     20 October 1999, 00:13 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Etec Account Info
(Web Page)

I agree. Once I learn asm I'm doing the same thing. I already do that with BASIC.

     20 October 1999, 22:30 GMT

Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Gockies  Account Info
(Web Page)

What is the problem here?!
Another programmer went on vacation???! What the hell is everyone's grudge against Ahmed and Sam?! Why can't you all just shut the hell up and let them do their thing?! I mean, all you idiots (sorry, but now I'm pissed) with ti83+s who don't know sh|t about using files and sending and all that crap- appearently 99.9% of you have not read the damn instruction manual that came with the calc, have not visited ti.com to see how the graph-links work, and have not pestered anyone else about how they work. But NOOOOOO, you have to go and annoy the SH|T out of the better assembly programmers about "how do you send stuff to the calculator?" GET A BRAIN, and do something called RESEARCH. FIND OUT FROM OTHERS about how to do that crap. And another thing- why is everyone getting all mad because they are porting games?! What the hell is your problem?!! Just stop pestering them about "can you do this?" or "can you do that?" How do you think they became who they are? Practice. Learn Basic, master it, and move on to assembly. Make games yourself for Christ's sake! Why do you expect everything from these two people? Just look at any comment regarding a game at ticalc.org or calc.org. "Wow! Mario for the ti-83! Can they make this for 83+?" or "Wow! Tetris multiplayer super alpha beta with cheat mode! When is someone going to make this for 83+?" DO IT YOURSELF! Maybe there's a message here: they are not listening to you relentless demands. Put that in your head. Just had to throw my two cents in, because some dumbasses are pissing Ahmed and Sam off, and they have made most of the better games on the 83.

     20 October 1999, 00:06 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Adam Palmer  Account Info

Nice touch. I think you're right on, but a little too mad about all this. In theory -- or so I've recently learned -- a crashed calculator means absolutely nothing. All you have to do to fix it is remove the AAAs and the lithium ion, let it sit overnight and presto your memory is erased, fixing the problem. It really isn't a hassle though to put the files you should have backed up to your computer via the graph link back onto your calculator now is it?

     20 October 1999, 00:29 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
godopey  Account Info
(Web Page)

yeah! good call... I think you are waiting too long on the batts tho... mine resets the moment i pop out a AAA. I think im gunna nail the issue here... like everyone else. The problem is that people with the 83+ didnt know what they had b4 they got it... they saw their friends with an 83 and all the neat-o games and they said "HEY I WANT ONE!" so then go to the store with mom see the 83+ and think that its better... and beg em to get it for them... they take it to school the next day to get the neat-o leet games and find that none of them work! what do they do? they get mad... they ask their buddy where to get the games and the pal tells them ticalc.org. so they pop on here find a name on a lot of the ASM games for the 83/83+ and start asking them stupid questions that they dont know... I myself do not have an 83 but I am lucky enough to load games on calcs for people over weekends so i have some time to play. I was a little shocked and bummed to find that the games for the 83 didnt work on the + but it took maybe a minute to figure out why... its kinda pointless to tell the newbie anything on here cuz why would they read this? but if we all wait a bit there will be games... the only thing i ever want for every calc is Ztetris... the best tetris of all time.

     20 October 1999, 09:16 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Etec Account Info
(Web Page)

I am pissed to at what those bums did. I know, I get anoyed like that all the time with stupid questons. PEOPLE READ THE INSTRUCTION BOOK.

     20 October 1999, 22:26 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Eli Block  Account Info
(Web Page)

SHUT UP! All TI83+ owners are not idiots. GO TO HELL. I for one, have learned Z80 asm 2 weeks after getting my TI-83+ and have began work porting games to Ion. Which I would gladly release both .83p and .8xp formats.

     20 October 1999, 23:34 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
(Web Page)

HAH! Wow, you guys are touchy.


     21 October 1999, 09:57 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Andy P Account Info

I agree

     21 October 1999, 20:48 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Nathan Smith  Account Info

Actually, I never learned much basic before asm. I found basic was too slow and not powerful enough. Not to mention it was terrible to write (I like typing a keyboard.)

I do think people shouldn't pester others to do things that are voluntary. If someone wants to do something they will. Otherwise, they won't.

     21 October 1999, 02:59 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
ikecam  Account Info

I just thought I'd mention that you can type BASIC on a keyboard... and anyway, what language you should program in has more to do with what your trying to make than which one is actually better (ASM is better for games, BASIC is better for math).

     21 October 1999, 21:26 GMT

Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
DWedit  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yes! Finally Zelda is in development again! Didn't a computer crash wipe out the include file?

Also, please everybody, stop the threads about 83+ lamers. We don't need 1000 posts that say "83+ sucks" or "port this dammit". Let's stop these posts first of all by not replying to this one about the TI83+ topic.

It's amazing how a bunch of lamers can almost stop a project until the author wakes up.
Great games, Sam. Great until my TI82 was stolen.

     19 October 1999, 23:15 GMT

Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
DOZIEDO  Account Info
(Web Page)

I think what went wrong is that the 83+ is basically in every one of my highschool friend's hands...everyone has them, 'cept for me and my 86 (awe yea baby!). Since they know you can put games on them, they're like raving idiots without any courtesy or respect towards the people who actually make the games. Oh well, 'tis sad because the 83+ is a fine calculator.

     19 October 1999, 23:24 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Gockies  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yes! I totally agree!

     20 October 1999, 00:15 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Kaxman  Account Info

they''re mandatory in my school for classes Geometry and up.

I've had an 86 since 6th, and an 89 since last summer

These idiots are always asking how to do this or that, and i totally agree with you

It f***ing pisses me off.

     20 October 1999, 18:40 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems

I know I know!
I used an 85 up until last year when it croaked, I then switched t the god of all calculators...the 89. But, the teachers won't allow it because everything in the book is for the 83. They also say that the 89 isn't allowed on standardized tests...uh..HELLO??!!!! DO your research folks...it is. I am no idiot, I can figure out how to do things on an 89 that the book says the 83 can do, and MUCH MUCH better in all ways. Anyway, anyone else feel the same?

     22 October 1999, 03:08 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems

hey there Clarke? How ya doin'?


     22 October 1999, 03:20 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Kaxman  Account Info

don't see you here often.

     22 October 1999, 21:33 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sam Heald Responds to 83+ Problems
Ernie Dodds  Account Info

I agree there. Nothing wrong w/ the TI83p except that some people just don't get the way thingsa are. If you want the game and can't get it...make it. Hell, I'm tackling checkers, chess (2 player) and Tetris, with nothing to guide me. I write BASIC 'cause I can do it in class. A few people I simply won't give anything to, because they are those raving idiots. Most of the people are fine though, even if it doesn't work. In fact, several of them are writing stuff without even the manual (OK, nothing big--until the for( and similar). If you want your every whim catered to, you have to do it yourself. Also, I've noticed the 'raving idiots' tend to be the ones assuming you're always playing a game, too.

     21 October 1999, 05:16 GMT

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