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Newsletter - February 1999

The ticalc.org Newsletter
February 1999 - Volume 2, Issue 2


Letter from the Editor
Letter to the Editor
Calculator News
Did You Know?
Interview with Tim Buckingham


Thank you for reading the ticalc.org newsletter! If you have anything that you would like to have published in this newsletter, please send it to newsletter@ticalc.org. Each month I will print one letter that I choose in the "Letter to the Editor" section. You can send letters regarding just about anything as long as they are constructive. Send your letters to the editor to newsletter@ticalc.org.

The Program of the Month award has started! To see the programs which have been nominated and/or cast your vote for the best program in each category, go to http://www.ticalc.org/survey/potm/1.html. In order to vote you must be registered in our voting system. If you are not yet a registered voter on ticalc.org, please go to http://www.ticalc.org/survey/request.html before voting for the Program of the Month. The polls will remain open for one week, at which time the winners will be announced in an addendum to this newsletter.

Kirk Meyer


As many of you know, TI BASIC is becoming less and less used as Assembly programs have taken over as the premier way to program for the TI's, but some of us think that the TI BASIC still has some life left in it.

It is for this reason that we have created the TBPA (TI BASIC Programming Alliance). We are looking for BASIC programmers of any type of calculator. Our hope is to create quality programming through BASIC that will show some doubtfuls that BASIC really is still kickin'. We are looking for 83, 85, 86, and 92 programmers right now. If you're interested, go to http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Chip/1616/ and click on the Apply link. This will give you the information that you need. Long live BASIC!



In calculator news, there were some new programs of note. Kirk Meyer released Anaconda, a shell for the TI-86. Anaconda is actually a newer and better version of Byronic Shell. Anaconda is unique in that if you don't want all of the shell's features, you can use an earlier version to save space. Version 0.4 will be the next major release, as it will allow emulation of TI-85 programs that are larger than 12KB.

Furthermore, Aaron Curtis released Yet Another Shell (YAS) v0.79, also for the TI-86. The primary feature of YAS is that it is the first TI-86 shell to emulate TI-85 programs that are bigger than 12KB. In other news, Sam Heald released Legend of Zelda Demo v0.52.6 for the TI-82 (Ash), TI-83 (AShell83), and TI-86. The final release of the game should be sometime around mid-April.

In the news of calculator sites, two important things have happened. First of all, Dimension-TI acquired a domain name (http://www.dimension-ti.org/) and upgraded their connection. Both Dimension-TI and ticalc.org have announced that they will offer free web hosting for TI-related web sites. For more information about ticalc.org hosting services, look at http://www.ticalc.org/news/articles/7599.html.


Many people have emailed me wondering what certain TI graphing calculators do when it takes so long to run a program. I hope this brief explanation will answer the majority of their questions. This pause is most obvious on the TI-85 and TI-86, but also exists to some extent on the TI-89 and TI-92. The calculators just listed will be refered to as "the calculators".

Unlike the TI-82 and TI-83, the calculators allow you to type commands in without having to select them from a menu. The calculators, however, do not understand what you type in directly; if they did then programs would run more slowly. Instead, they consolidate that process to the start of a program. What happens is that the calculators go through a program, instruction by instruction, and turn the words we know into its own special language. This process only has to be done once until the program is edited again. A special bonus of this process is that, since usually the calculator's internal BASIC language is shorter than ours, programs comeout of this process as smaller.


Email: zoneti@home.com
ICQ UIN: 28299913

Interview Log
Kirk How old are you and what level of education do you have?
InFuZeD I'm 14, and in the 8th Grade.
Kirk What do you plan to do after you graduate?
InFuZeD Program a [computer] OS independently or with my friends... but first I'll go to college.
Kirk What calculators do you own?
InFuZeD 82, 86, and 89
Kirk Do you plan to buy any other calculators soon?
InFuZeD I'll buy a 92+ or an 83+ probably by December.
Kirk What do you use your calculator for most?
InFuZeD I program mostly, because I like programming.
Kirk When and how did you find out about the "TI Community" and when did you first visit ticalc.org?
InFuZeD It was in August of '97 I think when I started typing BASIC games into my 82 and found ticalc.org.
Kirk What was the first program you ever wrote?
InFuZeD It was a demo of a sprite game where you just moved around in a maze...
Kirk How did you learn to program in assembly language?
InFuZeD It was mainly from CyberOptic's tutorials, the Ash School, and the Assembly Lists on ticalc.org.
Kirk Do you have an idol TI programmer?
InFuZeD Gosh, everybody knows I love SCaBBy :) But you're a more devoted programmer then him ;)
Kirk What projects are you working on now?
InFuZeD I'm working on an RPG for the 89, and an include file for the 86.
Kirk What advice would you give to people wanting to learn to program in assembly?
InFuZeD I'd tell people that want to learn ASM to ask a lot of questions but wait patiently to get answers.


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