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Calcalca rises again Jun 23
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
On an otherwise insignificant day last year, I was searching through the Google help files (for no particular reason) when I came upon the documentation for Google Calculator. What it showed me was that the Google search bar, which I, and most other Internet users around the globe, have used countless times, actually supported a built-in calculator function. In other words, if you type "50 slugs*mi^2/hr^3/(A*ohm) in milliamps," it actually shows you the answer as 40.5071535 milliamperes.

Amazed, I decided that someone had to make something like that for the calculator. If the calculator couldn't support Internet searches, at least I could code an automatic unit converter in TI-BASIC. Thus, I went on a coding rage, and managed in a month to make a 5 KB program that could take input such as "3 N*M INTO FT*LB" and display the answer as 3.68781075. Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to integrate division, parentheses, or other operations no matter how hard I tried, so I put it in "indefinite hold" mode, as I have done to so many other projects. And just like those other projects, I ended up deleting the whole thing to make room for something more practical.

For no apparent reason, I decided to bring it up again, first by posting on a couple of calculator-related forums. I was originally asking for help, since with all the other programs in development (which was why I decided to hold CyanIDE), I didn't have much more time to devote to another major project, which I would have to start from scratch again. After realizing that this would probably be one of my more successful projects, I decided to go full-speed on the development of this program, now called Calcalca (because I was too lazy to come up with a more creative name).

The results amazed me. In one hour I had coded all that I worked on for a month last year, and two days later, all the functions that had stumped me a year ago were integrated. It's still a bit slow (taking 5 seconds for an average expression and ten for something a bit more complex), but overall, I'm satisfied with it.
It happens again... May 26
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
My worst fears came true: I am pausing development of CyanIDE indefinitely, which means that's one more failure at perseverance. Already, I've given up on Calcalca (Google Calculator for the TI-83 Plus), Sirtet (reverse Tetris), and many other programs, many of which were very close to being done (or in the case of Sirtet, already done). At least this time, I'm pulling out early—by the best estimates, CyanIDE was 0.1% completed.

The reason I'm giving up on this is not because I don't have the skills necessary to make an IDE (I'm sure I'd figure it out in a few more months), or because I'm too lazy. I've simply decided I'm taking on too many programs at once—Crates, Millionaire, Anyform, Classic and Drunken Snake, Insanity II, and the dozen or so programs in the proposed All About series. Add to that the fact that I'm somewhat behind on things I actually should be doing, and there's a sufficient number of reasons why quit the programming early.

Who knows—I might start it up someday in the future, or ask someone on some random forum to help me.
Cheater v3.0 a success May 8
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
This may sound pointless to a casual observer, but it makes me very proud to be a TI-BASIC developer. One of my programs, Cheater v3.0, has been online on ticalc.org for a whole month now, and it is still ranked #9 in the top downloads list for the past seven days. This has never before happened to any of my programs, not even Cheater v2.0, though that was relatively successful as well. Apparently, all the world loves to cheat.

Although each succeeding program that I've released in the Cheater series has been more popular than all previous programs, I have decided that I will not be working on a Cheater v4.0. There is a sufficient number of functions included in the three programs I have made thus far, and future helpful programs will be released separately.
Final AbsIns released May 8
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Two weeks ago, I released to the world (or at least to the portion of it that visits ticalc.org regularly) what I thought would be the final version of my most ambitious game, Absolute Insanity. Unfortunately, the linking program I used, TI Connect, screwed something up and deleted two tokens that were crucial to gameplay. (Actually, not exactly crucial. The game it self still worked fine, but the menus didn't display anything.)

Since I have the disadvantage of not owning my own direct cable, I have finally found the time (and the cable) to fix the bug today. Due to the surprisingly high but slightly disappointing popularity of the program, 145 copies have already gone out with the bug. Hopefully, it'll work out.

Thanks to the members of UnitedTI for pointing this out.
Mars gets a pcTLD Apr 19
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
This year, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) received numerous complaints from native and immigrant Martians that over nine years after their planet started receiving Internet service, they still do not have their own top-level domain. In response, the ISO finally decided to assign .rp as the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for Mars. This decision, reported world-wide (on both worlds) this morning at 3:14 GMT, was met with spontaneous celebrations all over the Red Planet.

"I'm really glad they did this for us," said a native Martian blogger when we interviewed web users there. "Now I don't have to upload everything to some registry on the next planet over, waiting 20 minutes, or more, just to get some message at all."

Of course, not everyone was satisfied with the change. In particular, citizens of the Philippines were unhappy with the fact that this denied them the country code RP. According to one Filipino: "RP was our code, and they never should have given it away! Give it back, you ——— Martians!" A considerably less vehement Filipino citizen put it this way: "I don't see why Mars needs a domain in the first place. In any case, RP is supposed to stand for the 'Republic of the Philippines.' What'll they need it for?" The ISO spokesperson responded that they had the right to change the identity of codes. "Besides, the country code RP was already 'indeterminately reserved,' meaning it should have been removed eventually. We couldn't give the Martians any other codes, since .ma, .mr, and .ms were all taken. You could imagine .rp to stand for Red Planet, if you really need an acronym."

In the few hours since the decision was made public, dozens of foreign and domestic organizations have already begun switching to the new domain. Most conspicuously, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have already registered domain names at google.rp, yahoo.rp, and bing.rp, respectively, hoping to take advantage of the over 100 million Internet users on Mars.

Read more:
CyanIDE development begins Apr 19
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
After printing out over 200 pages of a tutorial for assembly programming, I think I know enough to make something of my own. I still can't make a whole program out of ASM, but it could be useful in some hybrid program—like a TI-BASIC IDE.

Eventually, I'm hoping to make it something that will assemble ASM as well, but I think I'll stick to TI-BASIC for now. I might never even get around to adding assembling. In fact, I might never even finish the BASIC portion, since I have a nasty habit of giving stuff up after one tiny glitch I can't figure out.

Pessimism aside, I have already chosen a name for the project (as you can tell by the title) and started on the BASIC shell part. Conveniently, I already had a DoorsCS icon maker and sprite compiler lying around. They should come in handy.
Welcome to ClrHome! Apr 19
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Yes, I know, there's a lot to be done before I can call this blog officially open. That is why I the title of this post says "viewable," not "open." Anyway, this is my blog, as you may have guessed. It has two main foci, about which almost every future post will revolve:

  • TI-BASIC. Yes, I am enough of a nerd to be interested in such a language to actually create a blog (or at least half a blog) about it.
  • Fake news. (Fake news? What are you talking about? All that stuff is genuine!)

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Welcome! ClrHome is a site and programming group with a variety of upcoming projects and finished products for the Texas Instruments line of graphing calculators, as well as an extensive collection of popular resources to help you make your own programs.

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