Welcome to ClrHome
Legend of Zelda progress Sep 25
by ACagliano ClrHome Staff

Hello and thank you for your interest in the Legend of Zelda project. I hope you will enjoy this project when it is finished. Please visit out project page here. Feel free to post any suggestions, comments, or questions.

Currently, the game will be a TI Flash Application, compatible with the TI-83+, TI-84+, and TI-84+ Silver Edition. It may require up to two flash pages (32 kb). You will be able to visit most areas of a typical Legend of Zelda game, including the Lost Woods, Gerudo Desert, Lake Hylia, ect. There are seven dungeons, each with separate enemy classes, traps, and abilities. You will be able to collect many of the same items that you can in any other Legend of Zelda game. I did leave out a few, namely the boomerang, and a few others that I deemed unnecessary, or that would be too migraine-inducing to attempt to program. For a full list of what you can expect in this game, see our project page by clicking the link or the banner above.

Please follow this blog or the project page for updates, screenshots, and releases.
Wikipad Sep 18
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Here's another webapp for you calculator enthusiasts out there: Wikipad, "the online calculator keypad anyone can edit."

This one's been lurking for a while (mostly as a test to see just how much of a problem vandalism may be), but I've finally decided to throw the doors open completely. Wikipad is a wiki based off of the keys of a TI-83 Plus keypad—just click on any key on the page to display information about it! Unfortunately, this requires JavaScript, but unless you're trapped in the early 90s, that should definitely not be a problem.

To edit, it's really simple (perhaps too simple): just double-click any section you want to change, and that section will turn into a textbox. Do whatever you want with it. When you're finished, click anywhere else and it's saved immediately. This also means Wikipad will be very easy to vandalize, so please don't do that. I have logs.

So what's the difference between Wikipad and any other keyvalue table? If you just want to look up the key code of a particular key, Wikipad isn't the fastest way to do so; I've found Juju's getKeyr table a lot more suited to that task. Instead, I planned Wikipad as a user interface guideline—a tool that game and program developers could use to help decide on the best key for a certain purpose. Each key on Wikipad (every one on a TI-83 Plus except for the arrow keys, which are obvious) has a brief description of how the calculator's OS uses it, and a second for how games and programs generally use it. And again, it's all freely editable.
Back to work Sep 9
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Now that school's started, I can start working on Contra again. (I don't completely understand this either.)

I've already cut the size down by nearly two kilobytes (from a high point of over 8 KB), and more rewriting is already underway. I won't decide on a next release date yet, because when I do make the next release, I want it to be something actually worth downloading.

And while I got absolutely nothing done on the actual Contra project over the summer, I did make quite a few updates to the Contra homepage, so follow it and check it out (if you're not there already)! Motivation is such a motivating force.
Zelda updates Sep 2
by ACagliano ClrHome Staff
My Legend of Zelda project has been given a complete overhaul. First off, it is being done in Z80, not Axe. Second, I have redone the mapping system. Instead of having one large main world map, it will be divided into smaller areas, with a separate map for each area. This will make the design and coding of the maps so much easier for me. Also, I have revised the enemy handling. While the enemy initial position will be on the tilemap, when a screen is loaded the positions of enemies will be loaded into an array and handled from there. There will be different enemy types, each with different health and weaknesses.
Political issues Sep 1
by ACagliano ClrHome Staff
While having my eye on the calculator community, and on the impending doom of the world in 2012, I have also been watching the political situation unfold in Washington D.C. with increasing concern. Our leaders, who we trust with the power to make important decisions for us, are no longer concerned with representing us. Rather, they are more concerned with defending their own interests. I mean this against all major political parties. Right now, the Republican Party are the major perpetrators, because ultimate control of the government is in their sight (I will explain), but whenever another party is in control, it is the others that are similarly guilty.

Let's discuss the financial crisis and the lack of a resolution. Recently, the US credit rating was downgraded for the first time. The stock market has taken massive losses, and the job market remains grim. Also, the economy is stagnating because people refuse to spend money. Those who have money are hoarding it, and those who can't afford it...well, you know. Currently, according to a recent study, 1% of this country owns 40% of the nation's wealth. Year after year, we see companies report tremendous sales. The humane thing to do is to give your workers a cut of the profit, because, after all, without them you have no workforce. But, this is not what occurs. Instead, workers are given ever-decreasing wages, and nickeled and dimed for taking a day off because of illness or family issues. Meanwhile, the CEO's of these companies are showing billions of dollars in profits. Ask yourself, as a human being...is that fair?

Education is also an issue. It may be surprising to note that our population is not entirely well educated, at least politically. Does anyone really know, or, if we're being honest, really care what "foreign policy" is? Yet, we blindly listen to arguments about what the best foreign policy strategy is. Then, do we vote on the basis of what we know to be true? No. We simply choose the best candidate from a multiple choice of epically wrong answers. This debacle is known as an election. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all about choices. But, for God sake, if you are making a choice that is going to have this profound an impact, get the damn facts right and decide on that, not because some power-hungry aristocrat tells you to. On a side note, our education system in America is so broken. Here, if you can afford to pay for higher education, you're in and if you can't, oh well, even if you have grades up in the stars. Ask yourself...is that fair, that only the wealthy can get an education, so that only they know how to manipulate the system. In Europe, there is a merit-based education system, where you get into higher education because you deserve it on the basis of the effort you put into your schooling. But, if money will always be a block, what incentive do those who can't afford higher education have to even try?

Now, let's talk about the political climate. This post will use the Republicans as an example, but, as I said, every party is guilty of it. President Obama has been trying to appoint people into government posts. This includes Supreme Court justices and cabinet advisors. Alan B. Krueger is one such advisor, according to the NY Times. He was Obama's pick to lead the Council of Economic Advisors. He is an economist who is well-studied on labor markets. He attributes our current economic condition to a lack of spending on the part of the lower and middle class. He proposed that businesses be given a temporary tax credit for hiring workers. Think of how many jobs that could create. He also proposed that the minimum wage be raised again. After calculating inflation and the cost of living, he arrived at roughly $18.00 per hour. Republicans in Congress blocked this nomination, as well as most of Obama's other appointments, and continue to pursue a spending-cuts-only approach to a problem that is clearly being caused by a lack of spending. Meanwhile, they refuse to consider removing the Bush tax cuts or raising taxes. In addition, Republicans now in control of both houses of Congress have redrawn the district maps. They have redistricted in such a way that two districts with Democratic candidates now have to fight over one seat and one district with a Republican candidate gets split into two districts, both of which choose a Republican candidate. Does this seem fair to you? Republicans are essentially rigging the game. They are banking on Obama's losing the presidential election in 2012, so that a Republican candidate gets in. Between the majority Republicans already have in Congress and the new Republicans that will finagle in because of redistricting, they will be able to fill the posts they have been blocking Obama from filling. Thus, Republicans will have absolute control of Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court. All parties are guilty of this sort of politics. They spend more time pushing their own interests than they do actually fighting for the people. We need to become aware of this and to get these people OUT. We need representatives who will fight for us. I don't care what party they are from...as soon as they start playing party politics, vote them out. We have the power here, at least until we give it away.

Note to readers: I am not anti-Republican. Nor am I anti-Democratic. I am, however, anti-personal agenda. I am about the truth, and I will hold everyone accountable to the truth.
BBify your Axe! Aug 29
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
That's right, I finally got around to making a set of rules for Axe programmers to use the BBify'r. (Turns out it's even more complicated than Z80 assembly, or at least in regex.) It's a lot heavier than the Z80 engine, both because it actually recognizes every command present in Axe 0.5.3b, and because it does some pretty useful replacements for you, such as from "->" to "."

Syntax for the new engine should be in TokenIDE Axe format (I may work on a SourceCoder version later). Rough instructions are as follows:

  • Download TokenIDE from http://myserverathome.com/Tokens.zip and extract.
  • Drag your Axe source program onto the TokenIDE.exe icon to open, or double-click it and open your program from the File menu.
  • Under the File menu, click Change Token File and choose the AxeTokens.xml packaged with Tokens.zip.
  • Copy and paste the code into the BBify'r's text box, or save it and upload into the upload box.
  • Choose "Axe (Tokens)" under Step 2.

On the other hand, the BBify'r isn't just for Z80 and Axe programs anymore. Now that it's XML-driven (thanks to ephan for his suggestion in this post), you can upload your own rule sheets (under Custom) to BBify whatever language you want! I still have yet to write a description of how it works, but take a look at this post for more information.

Another change is that the BBify'r now accepts pastebin code as input! Put the URL to the pastebin page in the appropriate box, and the script will attempt to read your code from there. Virtually any pastebin site will work (any page with a textarea, really).

Finally, another extremely important update was to make the whole thing W3C-compliant XHTML. Those of you who are standards-obsessive can now rejoice.
Apple iRene unveiled Aug 28
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
It's been a while, hasn't it?

Bursting with power and bearing the tech giant's signature gray interface, Apple's newest product line is expected to hit stores on the East Coast this weekend.

Shortly after former CEO Steve Jobs's resignation was announced, Apple Computer issued another press release unveiling what will be his final contribution as chief executive: iRene, a category 3 storm and Apple's first step into the hurricane market. Already, Mac fans are responding with a flood of enthusiasm. According to estimates, cars in traffic lines in anticipation of iRene already number in the hundreds, stretching farther than even the longest lines of eager customers when the iPad was released. There's been activity on the other side of the spectrum as well—NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York evacuated parts of the city for the first time in history, in the "interest of public safety," while several Apple Stores in the area were closed, including the flagship store on Fifth Avenue which is normally open 24/7.

In spite of all the hype, our chief technology analyst sees some problems ahead for everyday users of the device. "One thing that comes to mind is power consumption," he says. It makes sense: having to recharge a device again and again is both costly and annoying to users. Unfortunately, iRene may consume up to 1014 watts of power, much more than the most energy-hogging of today's devices. According to his calculations, this would go through millions of rechargeable Mac batteries a second, draining even faster than the standard MacBook. "Unless Apple has also developed a brilliant new battery pack, users can expect to need the charger pretty often." And it's costly even before you take it home. According to some estimates, iRene may cost billions of dollars, following the footsteps of Apple's current line of already very overpriced hardware.

But there's been another trend that is even more alarming, one that our correspondent calls Apple's "fear of stable, solid storage." "With the iPad and MacBook Air we saw Apple reject traditional hard drives entirely in favor of all-flash memory," he says. "This time, they've gone even further. Not even flash. All your data is up in the cloud." In other words, trusting your information with iRene may not be the best idea.

Even ordinary Mac fans have found something to complain about. "Something I don't like is the size of this thing," responded one person we interviewed. He explained that along much of Apple's path to success, the company had subscribed to an ideal of simplicity and lightness. "Look at this," he said, pulling out his iPhone 4. "It's clean, it's shiny, it's beautiful. Why go with four buttons when you can make do with one?" Indeed, the iPhone, like all the devices Apple has released over the past few years, is light, fast, and small (once marketed as the thinnest smartphone in existence). The iPad and MacBook Air followed a similar path, enticing millions by embodying the devices of the future.

Yet Apple seems to have done something of an about-face with their new product. "It's huge!" exclaimed our interviewee. At 180 miles in diameter and a hundred million pounds in weight, iRene may be the "single worst design Apple has ever created," according to another Mac fan. "It's ridiculous!" He throws his hands up in exasperation. "How do they expect me to put this in my pocket? Even the iPad was an iffy fit."

Others were more optimistic. "I think we're jumping to conclusions here," one said. "Those Microsoft fanboys are always going to say that Apple's stuff is too big, too expensive, whatever. But the fact is, they're always awesome."

Wait and see, he says. "I think iRene is going to be epic." One thing's for sure: Apple's newest gadget, as always, will take the country by storm.

Seriously, though, Steve Jobs is simply a brilliant man, and we wish him the best of luck!

(Credit to ACagliano, Kerm Martian, and Matthew Fricano for the original idea of an Apple iRene. Nice one.)
Is the end near? Aug 24
by ACagliano ClrHome Staff
A lot of recent events have gotten people worried about the "end of time", the apocalypse, the Rapture, or any other way to refer to the end of the world. A lot of people have speculated and developed theories about how the end will occur. Well, I intend to discuss that here, and to open the floor to debate. I will attempt to back up what I say with fact and references, but where I can't I will say so.

First off, let us talk about 2012. There is one scientific basis for 2012, called "Galactic Alignment". Basically, Galactic Alignment theory suggests that there is a central plane within the Milky Way, in which there are a great deal of energy and abnormalities produced by the super massive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The theory states that, as the earth moves through this plane, ominously dubbed the "Dark Rift", it will be subjected to electromagnetic instability. Although the implications of this are not certain, it is believed that the effects could include (but not be limited to) severe weather, seismic activity, and polar instability. In addition, it is believed that this will occur in alignment with most major galaxies, producing additional instability. Alignment is said to occur on the winter solstice of the year 2012. An alignment of this precision occurs only every couple hundred thousand years. Search this on google to verify its validity.

On to lucky number two: a pole shift. There is evidence that, every so often, the earth's magnetic fields reverse orientation (north becomes south, south becomes north). The weakening of the earth's magnetic fields over recent years suggests that one such event may be about to occur. However, let's be clear on what we are talking about. The magnetic reversal of the poles will only affect your compasses and other magnetically-based equipment. It will not cause widespread destruction, earthquakes, or the like. Not to say that its side effects won't. I'm getting there. There is another, more extreme reversal, in which the reversal of the poles causes the earth itself to flip completely on its axis. While the occurrence of this type of event would be catastrophic, there is very little likelihood of this actually occurring.

Number three: magnetosphere failing. The earth is surrounded by a magnetic field, called the magnetosphere. This field protects earth from bombardment by all sorts of radiation from space, including that of our own sun. You can get a visual readout of this field by clicking on this link. If you know how to read this data, and compare it against older readings, then I need not explain further. If you do not, then here it is, in plain English: the magnetosphere is weakening...quickly. The culprit? Increasing bombardment of the magnetosphere by plasma, solar radiation, and weakening that standardly precedes a polar reversal. Just on solar output alone, you can see it at this website (image source: scienceblogs.com). The weakening of the magnetosphere means that increasing levels of radiation can now reach earth's surface. So, let's end on the magnetosphere and head over to the grand finale, the Sun.

The Sun. Increased levels of solar radiation on earth's surface are bad for a number of reasons. First off, it can cause cancer and other health issues. But, on a more global scale, there seems to be a correlation between solar events and major earthquakes. About a week or two before each major earthquake: Haiti, Chile, Japan, and Virginia, NASA reported an X-class solar event. This is the highest possible magnitude, indicating a multiplication factor of 100. While these solar events have not been proved to have anything to do with the earthquakes, the evidence suggests a correlation, and so it would be unwise to rule out the possibility. In addition to causing earthquakes, this is definitely affecting earth's climate. Global warming is interfering with the climate of most temperate zones. This cannot be disputed by anyone who has watched weather over the past few years. Tornadoes growing stronger and occurring closer to areas where they were once ruled out. Last winter, NYC was hit by a blizzard that, strangely enough, also happened to classify as a category 2 hurricane (wind speeds and a fully formed eye). And, over the past couple years, hurricanes have increasingly trended north, into waters that were once too cold to support them, but are now showing a warming trend.

Now, let me discuss another issue, global warming. I mistakenly lumped a statement implying global warming into my 2012 argument. But it is a separate issue.

What evidence do we have for global warming? See my data page. To sum it up, we have the shrinking of the polar ice caps, and the rise of ocean temperatures. I placed global warming into the paragraph about the sun because it is a chief cause, but the increasing levels of greenhouse gases are also a cause.

What will the impacts of this be? Arguments have been made for coastal flooding due to rising sea levels as a chief outcome of global warming. But this will not be the issue of concern. Let's think about deep-sea currents. The North Atlantic Current is just one example. It is a deep-sea current that is responsible for carrying warm water from the tropics north and thus giving us our mild climate. This current depends on a balance of salt and fresh water. The melting of polar ice caps is offsetting this balance, weakening the current. If it shuts down, there goes our warm climate. Polar air will take control over once mild areas and lead to a new ice age. This will reseal water into the ice caps, restoring the deep-sea currents and the ice will begin to thaw again. What we are talking about is a dynamic cycle that is completely natural. The issue here is that some human activities are speeding up the process.

That's the end of my speech for the day. But don't take my word for it. Do the research and decide for yourself. Are all of these things inter-related? And, if so, what does that mean for us and the future of our planet?
East Coast quake Aug 24
by ACagliano ClrHome Staff
At approximately one-o'clock on the afternoon of August 23rd, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck in Mineral, Virginia. The epicenter was located 3.7 miles below the surface, and thus the shock waves impacted a considerable swath of land, from North Carolina to Canada.

New York City was impacted at roughly 2:12, the time at which the city's alert system indicated that the incident was an actual seismic event. Little to no damage was reported to buildings in this area, save for the chimney of a building in Brooklyn, that collapsed onto the roof. Fear was more of a factor in disrupting city life than the quake was itself.

Things were different, however, in Virginia, near the epicenter, where government buildings were evacuated. A water pipe even broke in the Pentagon, and sections of buildings collapsed. Nuclear reactors in the area were automatically shut down.

This is the most powerful quake to hit this area in history, with the second most powerful occurring as early as 1875. This area, known as the Central Virginia Seismic Zone, was involved in the creation of the Appalachian Mountains and the shaping of the Atlantic Coastline, and though minor earthquakes are common in this area, a quake of this magnitude has ignited concern that this seismic zone has been reactivated.
It's out! Aug 16
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Now that the Nspire contest is into the voting/judging phase, the links are public. Play it online on TI's Document Player, or download it here!

And I made my first YouTube video:

Yet another redesign? Aug 14
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Yeah, I'm doing it again. Reasons are as follows:

  • The current theme sucks. Sure, it was once my greatest design ever, but looking back at it, it looks like someone (probably me) threw a whole bunch of random CSS3 and green backgrounds together in slipshod fashion.
  • It's remarkably slow. Refresh this page to see for yourself.
  • In IE, it's horrible. Normally I wouldn't care so much (and I still hate the browser as much as ever), but this is our homepage, and I just found out that apparently, some people do see our site through Internet Explorer's astigmatic eyes.
  • I made something awesome. Well, I think.

The new theme I'm working on is at http://clrhome.tk/b/test/—it's far from complete, but I personally like it so far.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I need to be sure about this before I start because it's going to take a lot of work to convert every page on this site to match it, and especially on the blog.
Circular pieces! Aug 8
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Never thought that would take an entire day, but it did. I spent just as much time making the game engine as I spent making the pieces circles again.

Oh yeah, there's now a title screen too. I hope I can get this one done on time.
More online tools Aug 2
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Along with our Z80 tables and the BBify'r, ClrHome is now proud to host its first Lua utility at http://clrhome.tk/resources/lua/!. (Okay, it's not my script. alberthrocks made it, over at withg.us.to, but here's a nice little front-end. And yes, I've tried making my own PHP script to do the converting, but that failed.)

And for ClrHome authors, there's now an online tutorial builder at http://clrhome.tk/b/edit/ (URL subject to change)! It doesn't actually save anywhere yet, but if you have rights you can use the HTML it outputs. (You can use it even if you don't, but the theme is pretty site-specific.)

Finally, there are more sub-sites here in the works, possible now that we no longer have a restriction on subdomains hosted. So far, there's startrek.clrhome.tk, tipoint.clrhome.tk, and zelda.clrhome.tk for ACag's projects, the redesigned Contra page, and my personal site. More are coming soon.

And yes, that is Papyrus on the Zelda page. I'm sorry.
Reversi! Aug 2
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Well, my Axe contest entry ended up in a less-than-satisfying placement in the contest results, but then I already expected as much. It wasn't much of a game at all, and what was there was buggy and almost unplayable. I still enjoyed making it, though, especially since the project ended up teaching me so much about physics.

This morning, as I browsed Omnimaga as a part of my morning routine, I suddenly remembered something: Aren't they holding three contests this year, not just one? Why not try again? Sure, I might not own an Nspire, and I might not know any Lua at all, but joining again can only give me at least as much more experience as that last contest did. So here it is—Reversi (or Othello, as some of you may know it), a classic, ported to Nspire Lua!

I can't put up the download link until the contest ends, but here's a rundown of what I have done and planned:

  • Graphics (it's an Nspire, after all)
  • Usability with both mouse and keypad controls
  • An AI (making this my first game with a real AI opponent)

As I said, I don't actually own an Nspire. I'm using TI's awesome scripting tools at the moment, and I'm testing and debugging on both their student software and Goplat's TI-Nspire emulator. (Thanks to Levak for helping me get that working!) Hopefully it'll work on real-hardware calculator, but I really have no idea. Fingers crossed.

Any tips or suggestions? Post below!
Moving, again Aug 1
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
Well, we've moved again. This time we've moved out of 000webhost altogether, onto Juju's VPS (thanks for the webspace Juju!). We're also taking the opportunity to switch our domain name to clrhome.tk. Not only does that mean we're now three characters shorter, but it also means Google probably won't be banning us for a long time yet. (If they did decide to ban .tk, they'd be taking out their revenge on the entire territory of Tokelau.)

It's gonna be even harder to change the domains around this time than when we merged with Blast or moved from Webs, but in the spirit of search engine optimization, we still have to try. Although clrhome.co.cc does redirect now to clrhome.tk, we'd really appreciate it if you (our visitors) could change the links you're allowed to change (such as your bookmarks, if anybody's bookmarking us). Thanks, and sorry about the new mess!
Inception IRL part ii Jul 28
by Deep Thought ClrHome Staff
But last night was even worse. I'd been dreaming all those aimless dreams we have when I decided to try that Inception trick again. This time around, I cut out the toilet part. I dreamed instead of the instant I started dreaming that dream.

What happened then was insane. Dreaming recursively, each dream took only a fraction of a second before it dove into the next iteration. It felt like an evil script, but in real life, and that scared me. Worse, I could feel my body trembling from the effort.

And just like with that evil script, I had to stop it somehow, so I dreamed of waking up. That was fine, but I knew very well that I was still asleep, and asleep in that sleep for that matter. I was stuck in dreams a couple dozen layers deep and had no idea how to get out.

Somehow, I did, then vowed never to do that again.

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