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Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Posted by Nick on 13 June 2000, 03:47 GMT

Alright... many (many) people have presented this idea on our comment boards, on our email lists, on IRC, in emails to me, as news items on here, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Now, it looks as if a group of people are going to make a serious, gung-ho attempt at it.

François Goldgewicht, Jean Canazzi (the author of Bigdyna), and Niklas Brunlid (former staff and the author of Prosit) are looking for assistance in the development of a new TI-OS for the 89 and possibly even the 92 Plus. Below, you will find an ICQ chat I had with François today - it addresses some initial questions I had. My only concern is TI adapting their hardware to not accept such a ROM, but ... yeah. Email François if you're a skilled 68K ASM programmer and you'd like to join the project.

Trollou 6/12/200 1:44 PM hi

i have something to ask u :)

BlueCalx 6/12/200 1:44 PM shoot

Trollou 6/12/200 1:46 PM i have a project : i would like to make a rom.
i already studied this and i am sure that's
possible. this would be in open source, etc.

i would like to create a programers group,
international coders so i just would like u to
post a news in order to help me :)

BlueCalx 6/12/200 1:47 PM hrm.. impressive :-)

Trollou 6/12/200 1:50 PM it's simple... every coder of the ti-fr group
is ready (almost :) )

the project is xplained on ti-fr home page
(use babelfish to transalte :) )

the mail is : webmaster@ti-fr.org
(name : François Goldgewicht)


Trollou 6/12/200 1:52 PM u can put the name "jean canazzi" (author of

BlueCalx 6/12/200 1:53 PM ok

Trollou 6/12/200 1:58 PM other name : niklas brunlid

BlueCalx 6/12/200 1:58 PM wow... is this intended for math and stuff
too, or just gaming compatibility?

Trollou 6/12/200 2:05 PM everything : it will replace the tios :)

BlueCalx 6/12/200 2:08 PM okay....
if you make it so the math functions are just
as madly elite, then i'll definitely post :)
(me being the math geek that i am)

Trollou 6/12/200 2:09 PM :)

Trollou 6/12/200 2:13 PM at a fisrt time it would be just a big program
who stands with the tios...
in oder to have maths functions etc.

but after we could make uour own types

BlueCalx 6/12/200 2:14 PM yeah....
i'll be back later, i'm going to take a

Trollou 6/12/200 3:06 PM look at ti-fr and go to the comments : u'll
see the enthousiasm of the frenchies :)

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: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Sebastian Reichelt  Account Info
(Web Page)

WOW!!!! Sounds awesome.

It seems I am the only one here who doesn't make requests (other that I can program for it, of course). Just a question: How are you going to solve the ROM checksum problem? Or is it solved already? Or is it just going to be a system on top of the present one, using no TIOS functions at all?

     13 June 2000, 04:40 GMT

Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
SigmaPhi  Account Info

Ha! Just crack the flash apps and decompile the TIOS. Then, you could see where they messed up and try to salvage as much as you could (as the OS goes). As far as the apps....$30 for geometry! Not that much, but GG, someone is making a TON of money.

     13 June 2000, 07:05 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Mercury  Account Info

what about the DMCA? that *does* qualify for copyright violations... Jus somebody whip up about 30 or so Crays, and by the time everybody gets around to actually making it (about 30 years) the checksum will be cracked, and no one will even bother with it

     13 June 2000, 22:18 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
SigmaPhi  Account Info

Of course it does....Warez is also illegal but it still exists.....How many bit is their encryption actually/how would one go about cracking/decompiling thier stuff?

     14 June 2000, 00:21 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
James!  Account Info

Their encryption is 512-bit RSA, and as I understand it, you don't go about breaking that kind of encryption. (I believe that each bit makes it much harder to crack, and most strong Internet encryption uses 128 bits)

     15 June 2000, 02:06 GMT

Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Jeff Meister  Account Info

Requests are okay, just as long as they're reasonable. The type of:


Those suck.

- Jeff

     14 June 2000, 13:05 GMT

Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
~Dan_C  Account Info
(Web Page)

I guess just programming in 68k for games isn't enough anymore. . .now we (as if I'm trying to include myself or something, geez) have to go around porting Linux and writing up whole new operating systems. Anyone remember Doom programmed in 82 BASIC by that company Acme Software? Heh, well, good luck on this colossal project, it seems that you will need it.


     13 June 2000, 04:41 GMT

Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
WhySanity  Account Info
(Web Page)

now, now.. who said anyhting about porting linux? surely not me.. i was taking linux as an example of an OS... (i know it sounds stupid with all the hype surrounding linux lately)... i suppose i could have used win32 as an example.. but then again who wants to be associated with that? :^ )

     13 June 2000, 04:55 GMT

Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Ryan Ritterson

I think that a new TI-OS would be cool, but there are a couple of points that I think should be added:

1) Would it be legal to box and sell the new OS, not only to provide compensation for the programmers, but to stir up TI to keep their OS "better" than the new one.

2) (Ok, so i'm off on a pipedream) Are there any good Comp Eng's out there who could build their own calulator anywhere near the capacity of TI's. If yes, we should develop the OS and Calc in tandem. If we could port the TIOS to the new Calc we could have even more fun. Besides, although optimizing the code on the TIOS would speed it up, a nice WinCE style processor running at 100+MHZ would really be nice, and a smart memory slot would be even better. (Can you imagine a 192MB card in your calculator now? and a 100mhz processor? Can you say DOOM born again? What about one of those new Transmeta processors that run Linux? They are power scalable, and they already run Linux, not to mension it would be easy to update the soft-firmware to allow it to code-morph the 68k instructions to allow the TIOS to run.

3) Who is going to absorb the almost certain lawsuits by TI? :-)

Any responses are welcome:
Ryan AKA Evilsnowman

     13 June 2000, 05:05 GMT

Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Xavier de Boysson  Account Info

well...first, you could abandon question number 2 :o
That a bit too much...I believe the best you can do to really make your calc better is change the 68000 by a slightly stronger CPU that is in the 68k class. Overclocking ?


     13 June 2000, 05:16 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
James!  Account Info

Yeah, if you want 100+ MHZ processor and other stuff, buy a laptop! The TI-89 is already about twice as powerful as any calculator has a right to be. If only the AMS was up to the hardware standards - I guess that's what this project is all about!

     13 June 2000, 05:39 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Aaron Peterson  Account Info
(Web Page)


Make a completely new hand held computer platform... seems to be more of what he said.

We would make our own computer from scratch, post the plans, develop the OS... have an open source hand held computer and OS.

Take on WinCE and Palm.

Use a current proc (strong arm?) and choose nice supporting hardware.

Anyway i think that is what he said.

It is dreamy... i'd like to see it happen too... but I don't plan on commiting resources to that project.

     14 June 2000, 13:31 GMT

Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
compman32386  Account Info
(Web Page)

TI couldn't actually file a lawsuit against the people makeing a new operating system for the calculator. I mean that's like saying that IBM will file a lawsuit against Linus for making the Linux operating system for theis DOS/Windows system. TI would just then start to compete with us and *try* to make their OS better then the TI Communities.

TI should get is gear and start making a good OS for the calculator so they could gain their respect back from the TI community so they would actually be able to get us to upgrade to the new AMS.

     13 June 2000, 05:19 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
MathJMendl  Account Info
(Web Page)

Any ideas on compensation for TI's OS after buying it out of the box? I mean, TI has a monopoly..they are forcing us to buy their OS...if people got compensation for pre-installed Windows, maybe we can for this...only problem is that TI is the only place constructing their calcs and so it might not be considered monopolistic by some, since it is one product.

     13 June 2000, 05:28 GMT

Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Amalfi Marini  Account Info

let's do it the Nick's way
short answer(s):
thing 1) yes, that's true.
thing 2) You are off on a pipedream
thing 3) eh..

long answers:
thing 1)competition was the only thing in the history that made Texas Instruments to move. When the HP49 apeared, then everybody though TI would make something to compete...
It seems TI lost the agresivity against HP... or they sold too many TI89/92 and they think they're done.

thing 2) I don't want a supercalc...It would be too expensive, inapropiate. I just want a TI89 with 1MB of ram only, and a flash rom cartridge slot(user avaible flash archive memory cards). Then 2(two) independent cursors keyboards one for tracing a graph, the other for scrolling it. the same M68k, the same LCD screen,etc

     13 June 2000, 05:33 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Nick Disabato  Account Info
(Web Page)

1) Huh?
2) Okay.
3) I'm going to do more work now.



     13 June 2000, 18:15 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
cosme costa  Account Info

TI now have the best calculators. Most of the people that have and HP49 calc and see my TI89 be decepcionated with their HP.

     21 June 2000, 13:44 GMT

Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?

how about a color screen to with it...:P

     13 June 2000, 20:16 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?

to go with it i should say...

     13 June 2000, 20:40 GMT

Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
MathJMendl  Account Info
(Web Page)

Anyone have any ideas on the possibilities of crashes with this? Would it be possible to easily go back to TI's OS? If so good...otherwise I don't know...I'm not risking my $150 calculator by putting on new software if I can't go back.

And how about an on-calc, non-asm programming language? Would we use something like TI BASIC or create a new, possibly more optimized one? What are the possibilities of taking parts of TI's OS..or would we just start from scratch (as it seems)?

     13 June 2000, 05:25 GMT

Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Juan Corral  Account Info
(Web Page)

If it was tested and stable, I would say the crashes would be as frequent as AMS 1.00 (or 1.01 for TI-92+ users) had crashes. However, I'm sure those guys would program half decent error handlers :)

It would be quite simple to go back to a TIOS. The protocalls for recieving and sending a product code are available (I just don't remember where I saw them...). That or the programmers could just have the ROM clear it self, and TI's 64k of real ROM would prompt the user to "Install Product Code."

I don't think we should have any of those crappy languages. I think we should have scripts, like a shell script in Linux :) Either that or manual Hex code entry of assembly opcodes :)

     13 June 2000, 05:54 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
Xavier de Boysson  Account Info

ya but the ti-community wants something simple to use.
linux or dos interface would make it easy to use.

     13 June 2000, 05:59 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?
MathJMendl  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yeah, I agree that assembly is better than BASIC much of the time (i.e. for games), but how about little math programs and on-calc written programs? It takes much longer to code in asm and currently it isn't very pratical to program it on-calc, because it wipes the calculator when it crashes (maybe that could be fixed). Maybe if we got some better asm documentation it should be ok...

     13 June 2000, 09:03 GMT

Re: Re: Sock It To 'Em: New TI-OS?

As far as crashing the calculator, I think TI installed a safeguard against permanately crashing the calculator with a bad ROM. Specifically, I know, from experience (oops :)), that if you interrupt the ROM installation process, you just pop a battery, press I, and reinstall a ROM.

As far as a language, I have an HP49 emu, and I like their version of Lisp...

     13 June 2000, 21:46 GMT

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