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Newsletter - September/October 2004


Hello, and thank you for subscribing to the ticalc.org community newsletter! Welcome to the second issue in the bimonthly newsletter since it has been restarted, and is there a lot in store this month. Read on!

Last issue, I discussed how I wanted to step up the involvement of the community in the newsletter. After all, I want to make the newsletter as enjoyable to read as possible. I introduced a new section called "Food for Thought" hoping to encourage people to send in ideas to the newsletter. I did receive a few responses in response to the question I asked, but it wasn't as many as I hoped. However, I do want to continue a section like that, similar to "Letters" sections you often find in magazines. Even if it's a short one or two sentence response, it might be enough to get into the newsletter. I'm interested in reading and publishing ideas, so please, just send them in.

I also encourage people to submit articles to the newsletter. I get tired of having to read what I write after awhile and I need to see a fresh voice. Even if you don't have an article submit, you could send me an article for an idea you would like to see discussed or explored, and hopefully I or someone else would be willing to write it!

I would like to point out that the regular ticalc.org newsletter is coming out every two months now. Though my goal is to get it out sometime in the middle, such as in between September and October, that might not always happen, due to my schedule. However, the newsletter will always come out before the end of the second month, so some issues might take just a little more time than others.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy this edition of the ticalc.org community newsletter. If you have any questions, comments, criticisms, article submissions, ideas, or just want to say hi, don't hesitate to E-mail newsletter@ticalc.org and tell me how you feel. Enough said, enjoy!

Jonathan Katz


As many of you know, an extraordinary amount of screenshots has just been added to the file archives, over 20,000, as part of a great summer Screenshot Project! Some members who contributed to this project received free @ss.ticalc.org e-mail forwarding addresses. This was never made public and was created in such a way that it would reward those people who initially volunteered their time, of course not knowing of the possible rewards. While this sounded like the fair thing to do, I thought it would be good to give everyone one last opportunity! We're going to have a small contest that everyone can partake in. The contest is simple: you send an email to morgan@ticalc.org with your guess of the total number of screenshots added to ticalc.org outside of the file upload form since Joey and I started working here at ticalc.org. If you need a time frame, Joey and I started February of 2003. The person who comes closest will get the @ss.ticalc.org address of their choice. I will give you two big hints right away: It's bigger than 20,000, and as of this writing, there are 59,788 screenshots on ticalc.org. Deadline is November 15th.

Morgan Davies


Last Month's Question: The newest models of TI calculators use either the 12MHz MC68000 processor or the 15MHz ZiLOG Z80 processor. Do you think that the next line of TI calculator to come out should use faster processors?

"I agree with the fact that the newer TIs should have faster processors, whether they're ZiLog80s or 68k. Computers are getting faster and faster these days, so why shouldn't calculators have faster processors? It would be the perfect solution for faster calculations and better gaming." - Chuck Slezak

This Month's Question: How much do you think the role of the standard TI Operating Systems play in the development of your programs? Do you think they help developers or hurt them?

E-mail your thoughts to newsletter@ticalc.org, and your response may appear in the next newsletter!

Jonathan Katz


Question:Why did the TI-82 fall off the cliff during the Annual TI Calculator Mountain Climbing Contest??
Answer:It had no hooks (For you TI-83+ ASM programmers)

Jonathan Katz


Question: What did the TI-92 say to the TI-89 when she refused to go out with him?

Answer: "Sorry, I don't date anyone under 90"

Question: What do you get when you cross two orthogonal vectors on your TI-83+?

Answer: Nothing, your TI-83+ can't do vector math. You ought to upgrade to a TI-89.

Michael Vincent


Email: fisch0920@yahoo.com

Interview Log
JonAs you may know, it's hard enough to get a program featured at ticalc.org, and you already have two featured, which is quite a feat. What got you interested in programming and programming for the TI calculators?
TravisI remember one day about three years ago, one of my friends was playing a classic race-type game in TI-BASIC for his 83+. I thought it was pretty cool and that's when I started fiddling around with TI-BASIC. TI-BASIC was my first experience with programming and I learned the old-fashioned way, straight out of the manual. I made my first program (a random number thingy) at the start of 10th grade. Later that year, I got a TI-89 and immediately started learning to program in C with TIGCC.
JonSo what projects are currently in development? Are there any that you are updating, or any new ones that you are working on?
Travis My main project right now is a full-featured "Sumo Wrestling" game for the 68k calcs. It includes everything from customized pre-match smack talk to actual Sumo rituals to tossing your opponent hundreds of feet in the air! It's nearing the beta-testing stage and looking very nice. For any "Ice Hockey 68k" or "ExciteBike 68k" fans, I am still working on both of them and will be releasing new versions sometime in the short future. Ice Hockey 68k especially has been optimized by more than 15 kilobytes. The project which I will work on after "Sumo Wrestling" will likely be a sidescroller/RPG (different levels have different formats) and is currently named "Dark Citadel."
JonSumo Wrestling? Are you a fan of it, or are you just showing off the power of the 68K calcs?
TravisActually, my favorite sport is Wrestling (folkstyle/freestyle). I thought creating a wrestling game of this type would be very awkward, and that's where I came to the Sumo style. Something about fat guys wearing diapers makes me laugh. It won't really show off much power, but the graphics are awesome. I love making games and seeing how people react to them! It's a great feeling to have someone say that your game was fun.
JonDo you know any other languages besides BASIC and C?
TravisI know Visual Basic and the basics of 68k assembly (I'm still working on it). I have really only made a handful of computer programs.
JonWhat calculators do you own, and which one is your favorite (since we all know that the 89 is the best :P)?
TravisI own a TI-83 plus, a TI-89, and my sister has a TI-86. The TI-89 is my favorite calculator to program for, but I still write 83+ BASIC programs quite often. Usually, I switch off between the two in math class since all of my teachers use the 83+ to show examples on.
JonSo what year are you in school?
TravisI am entering my senior year of high school.
JonDo you have any plans for college or major choices?
TravisWow, that question seems to be coming up a lot lately. Well, I know I'm going to go to college, but I'm not sure where or for what. I would like to do something in a computer science related field, though. Those decisions are going to be very hard!
JonSo, outside the computer/calculator world, what do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?
TravisWell, my favorite sports are wrestling and soccer. Wrestling is really my specialty and I wrestler pretty much all-year-round. I also enjoy being lazy quite often. As for hobbies, well, programming takes up quite a bit of time. I really like speaking German and will be traveling to Germany this spring break.
JonTo end this interview, what is your favorite part of ticalc.org?
TravisMy favorite part of ticalc.org is definitely the large archives. I also like the recently added program rating system.

Jonathan Katz


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