Welcome to ClrHome
Google's new look Jun 29
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
If you belong in that half of the Internet that visits Google every day, you'll probably have noticed by now that the search engine (really? just a search engine?) got a makeover today. Yet again.

This time, Google's changed their color theme, and not just to make the blue lighter or the shadows more subtle. No, they seem to have turned completely around. Instead of the light blue-on-white we've been so used to for so long, the new colors are deep orange and dark gray—exact opposites of what had been there for months!

And remember back when Google tested those horrible blue buttons? They've brought it back, for good. But now, instead of a massive, glaringly blue bar with bright white text, it's a plain blue button overlaid with a magnifying glass: the centuries-old symbol of searching and finding answers. Put that with the sharply opposing colors of blue and orange, white and dark gray, and it looks ... surprisingly beautiful.

Somehow Google's managed to do it right, again. With all these new changes, after adding all sorts of blatantly contrasting tweaks that would surely have spelled disaster for anyone less capable of making a UI, they've turned out something brilliant. Just like they've done since forever. Heck, if you think about it, even their logo—that universally recognized banner that dominates the home page—is asking for trouble. It spans the entire spectrum, using four colors with lights and shadows on each. And yet for twelve years it's been there, perfectly appropriate on a page that's otherwise nearly blank.

So what's changed now? Besides the new toolbar colors and the blue search button, there are also some subtler changes in how the results page is laid out. The logo and search bar are now clearly separated from the actual results section, for example, and the top section now has a faint gradient (which actually isn't a gradient at all but a light gray background that looks progressive because of the other things around it). The results page isn't the only part that's changed, either; the Google home page seems to have shrunk, and the company links that once appeared right below the search bar (the links that didn't matter) have been moved to the bottom of the page, padded with whitespace and out of the way. Turns out Google didn't turn in the other direction. They're going the same way they've always gone, toward simplicity. That's what I love about this search engine, especially when some wicked twist of fate forces me to use Yahoo! search.
FP Animation Studio Jun 27
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
It's been a long time since I've posted an update about any of my projects, so here's something: FP Animation Studio, an animation studio.
we needs ur bugz Jun 19
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
The bug report system just got revamped again, adding more admin controls (for us) and options for website bugs (for you). It's probably got a bunch of bugs on its own, and there are probably quite a few more still floating around the site since the last redesign, so if you find any, please report them to us!

Individual project homepages (such as the Star Trek and TI Point sites) in particular have some new experimental designs we're still testing out, so keep an eye on those. Thanks to anybody who can help us squish some web bugs!

And don't forget bug reports aren't just for bugs—suggestions are always welcome too.
Omnimaga Nspire contest! Jun 15
by ephan ClrHome Staff
Omnimaga announced today the second part of their annual programming contest. The contest consists on creating a game for the Nspire. Such game can be coded in Lua (OS 3.0), C and ARM (Ndless). TI-Nspire BASIC is not allowed.

Who's participating? I think I (Dgdsmaster) will by writing a Lua game.

The original announcement is here.
Gossamer by Cemetech Jun 10
by ACagliano ClrHome Staff
The calculator world has evolved quickly since the release of globalCALCnet, the first ever calculator networking program. With the use of a client program, calculators were able to connect to chat and gaming hubs, and engage in limited internet activity.

Kerm Martian at Cemetech has just revolutionized calculator networking again. His Gossamer project is a fledgling web browser that allows your TI calculator to load and display plain-text webpages on the screen through gCn. Pre-parsed into a format your calculator can read, Gossamer even turns anchor links into numbered hotkeys that let you click straight to new pages.

Now imagine where that could go! No word yet on Macromedia Flash support, though.
Dynamic Views ... amazing Jun 9
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Just found something amazing about Blogger: Dynamic View seems to be a new feature that lets you view a blog in all sorts of layouts. And they all look amazing.

My favorite one so far is the mosaic, which lets you view short snippets of as many posts as you want, tiled in seamless clumps. The size of each box seems pretty random, but it still looks really cool. It also switches around dynamically when you resize your window, so I'm thinking of making this the default view for people on iPhones and other cell phone browsers. I'm loving Web 2.0 already.

And yes, that is a recursive post.
Facebook Chat part ii May 30
by ACagliano ClrHome Staff
Unfortunately, the Facebook developers have not responded to my email about this project. And I am convinced that they will not respond to only a few emails. I urge any of you who would like to see this project come to fruition to please shoot an email to the Facebook staff, pestering them about the "Facebook Chat, Calc Edition." Cite ClrHome Productions in the email, link them to our website, and encourage them to contact acagliano.blast@gmail.com, as I am the one currently organizing info for this project. Thank you all for your support.
Logos May 27
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Ever notice how logos are getting more "modern"—flatter, more symmetrical, and lighter? In some cases it really is an improvement, like with the Firefox 4 logo. In most other cases, though, I think their owners should have stuck with the old ones. Take Internet Explorer as an example (since we can always laugh at IE):


Sure, the second one looks shiny and all, but it just doesn't look— Not sure how to say it, but the old one just plain looked better. To me, at least.

Maybe it's because the old one looks more solid. True, but the second one's realistic too, especially in the new angle of the faint shadow caused by the golden ring. Yet the first one just looks right for some reason.

And Micro$oft isn't the only one doing these redesigning "improvements." Even Google Chrome's logo has been updated, as I'm sure all Chrome users have noticed by now:


I know Google cares a lot about simplicity; its homepage is a testament to that, a perfect example of the way a webpage should be limited to exactly what needs to be there. That's what I love about the company, and Apple too: they got the design right. Still, the Chrome team's come up with a new logo that just doesn't look as good. It's not as realistic, certainly, but I don't think that's the problem. Maybe, like with the IE logo, it's not as solid and tangible anymore. Maybe it's too plain. Or maybe it's just that it doesn't look as much like a Pokéball anymore.

There's another problem I've noticed with the new Chrome logo. It now seems to be lighted exclusively from the top, without that nice reflective shine at the bottom of the old one. That change, plus the fact that the human eye has an affinity for reddish hues, means the top looks larger than the bottom. Not much of a problem there, but when the logo is scaled down to fit on the Vista Quick Launch bar (and yes, I use Vista), it looks like it's looking downward. It's depressing.

Luckily, it seems like Google's switching back to the old logo with the next release of Chrome, version 12. That means this downward-facing plate's only here for Chrome version 11, which I really think is a relief. I miss that old logo a lot.

What do you think?

(All images are from Wikipedia uploads.)
Redesign! May 25
by ephan ClrHome Staff
If you're reading this you've probably noticed there's a new design at ClrHome made by Deep Thought.

We hope you all like it and would like to receive any comments you have on it. I personally really like the new design!
The bigger picture May 25
by ACagliano ClrHome Staff
I saw a bit of the Oprah show today, and it inspired me to write this. On the show, she said two very important things. Her message is clear. We all have talents and gifts. It is up to us how to use them. We may have different strengths and weaknesses, but each of us have one thing in common—we all give off energy. The energy we give off has a direct effect on the lives of others. Whatever you give will be given back to you.

What will you give? The forums of this and the many other calculator sites are your platform. You have your calling and you have your gifts. It is up to you to take charge of your life. Only once you realize that your life is yours, and your gifts are yours, can you achieve your full potential. In doing so, you inspire others to find themselves.

This is my plea to all of you who read this post: Use this blog, and this website, to broadcast your own identity. If you are a programmer, let your creations broadcast yourself to your users. Be unique. And most importantly, be you. Every time you sign your name to something you have done or made or helped with, do it with pride, for it becomes part of your legacy in the world. Never let anyone tell you that you are not worth it or that you or your skills are not good enough. You are worth it, simply because you exist.

Let this message be my legacy in this world.

~ ACagliano
Contests, contests... May 21
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
I seriously doubt anyone reading this blog isn't well-acquainted with TI community news, but just to have this in even more places, there are two big TI calculator contests going on right now. The first one's the massive trading-card game (TCG) competition sponsored by Revsoft, UnitedTI, and MaxCoderz. All 83/84+ languages welcome! TI-BASIC, Axe, ASM, whatever. It's been going on since March 7th, but you have until June 6th to submit an entry, so go on and join!

The other contest is Omnimaga's annual programming competition. This time it's actually the first of three, possible thanks to the brisk activity there. Like last year, it's an Axe contest, but some things have changed. First off, there's a theme. You can choose between making a puzzle game or a platformer (or both), but you need to get it done by the middle of July! Another change this year is that you're allowed to have ASM code in your program provided it doesn't exceed 10% of your source program's size.

So join! The prizes are pretty awesome this year: a brand-new TI-Nspire CX (color, crap, and all) for the RS/UTI/MC contest, and a $100 gift card for the Omnimaga one. Even if you don't think you have a chance, you should still join. They're a great way to get some motivation to make something awesome!

And yes, for once this isn't fake news. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Facebook Chat part i May 11
by ACagliano ClrHome Staff
I am hoping this may be a possibility in the future. I have been interested in this ever since CALCnet 2.2 enabled limited internet functionality on the z80 line of calculators. I know that CALCnet has a very strict way in which it handles its data packets during transmissions, and I am relatively certain that Facebook Chat does as well. This morning, I sent an email to the developers of Facebook, inquiring about this. Hopefully they will be of assistance and that this dream may soon become a reality.

Full speed ahead to the future.
Z80 instruction set May 10
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff

Pretty, eh? Post your comments and suggestions below. It's our first real webapp that works perfectly in every browser, so no need for voices there!

It also marks the opening of the new Resources section (main page not yet finished), where all our tutorials have already been moved. This section will hold all our future online tools and guides.

Much of the table structure was taken straight from David's Z80 Tables. Thanks for letting me use it!
Omnimaga blocked May 4
by yunhua98 ClrHome Staff
Don't worry, it's just for me.... And that's bad. About 95% of the time I get on Omni is at school, and now they've gone and blocked it. So, help? I've tried using Google translate as a "proxy" but I can't log in....
Getting stuff done May 1
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Finally got around to all these updates.

First off, we moved (again). We're now using yet another host, which isn't as stable overall but is a lot more stable in some important areas, such as in databases. (You may have noticed the Projects and Membership sections going down pretty much once a day.)

Just because we can, we also added more domains to our site. The blog (as you've noticed) is now hosted at http://blog.clrhome.co.cc/ and the Contra project at http://contra.clrhome.co.cc/, and more project subdomains are coming along. Just for the fun of it, we also added clrhome.tk to the site, so you can now access ClrHome Productions with three fewer characters to type. And if for some reason you want to type more, you can also get here at clrhome.heliohost.org.

And remember that checkbox on the signup form? It finally does something. I finally got around to setting up email notifications for blog posts, so anyone who checked that box should be able to see this post in an email soon. Since it's never been used before, the first email (sent today) contained 24 posts from the last four months; sorry about that. Future emails should be weekly digests of one or two posts at a time.

To wrap things up, ACag's set up a Twitter for us @ClrHome, so join if you have an account. We'll be looking into incorporating that into our news feed, too.

Update your bookmarks!
Feel the Power: a tribute Apr 30
by ACagliano ClrHome Staff
To many people, especially those at TI, the use of a calculator beyond math is simply absurd. But, what is not understood is that the calculator is rapidly evolving into a lot more than a math tool. Within the past year alone, TI graphing calculators became compilers, word processors, organizers, and gaming handhelds. How, you might wonder? With the release of Axe Parser, by Quigibo, users can now write programs and compile them into assembly files directly on the calculator. Before this program, this was only possible on a computer. Many users would not go through the trouble of writing on a computer and then transferring to a calculator. Not only did Axe Parser make the syntax simpler, but preserve the concepts of assembly programming, but he also made it far more convenient to code on your calculator. As a result, larger and better games began to be produced.

On a completely different level, stuff that many people associate with a computer is now possible on your calculator. First, let me give props to the man. Christopher Mitchell, programming alias Kerm Martian, and his god-like creation, DoorsCS7. Remove your sandals and cast your staff on the ground, readers, for you are standing on holy ground. He introduced a myriad of features to the calculator. You can now organize your programs into folders, in a Windows-like desktop. Furthermore, DoorsCS7 has a mouse, operated by the arrow keys. Just like your computer, your calculator can write DOCUMENT files, courtesy of Document DE7 and play music (in 8-bit sound), courtesy of MobileTunes3.0, both of which were designed by Kerm Martian (with help from benryves on the latter). What's more, you can play a .MT3 (calculator sound) or DOC (calculator text) file by simply clicking on the file with the mouse. The calculator will automatically figure out what program is needed to open the file and will open it. Kerm Martian dubbed this the "Associated Program" feature.

Just, when you thought things couldn't get any more awesome, Kerm Martian, with help from a few other designers, released functional internet drivers for the calculator, allowing it to connect to and chat over IRC (the predecessor of IM). While still buggy, the implications of this are undeniable.

Let that be the push the skeptics need to jump on the bandwagon and embrace the full power of their graphing calculator. You will not regret it.

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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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