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Newsletter - January 2000

The ticalc.org Newsletter
January 2000 - Volume 3, Issue 1


Letter from the Editor
Calculator News
Ask ticalc.org
Interview with Joe Wingbermuehle
ticalc.org: The Next 100 Years


Thanks for reading the ticalc.org newsletter! As the first newsletter of the new year, we have included some new features in our newsletter, which we hope you'll enjoy.

Today we have unveiled the TI Millenium Awards, a joint venture between ticalc.org and Dimension-TI. This is a forum where users can celebrate the great achievements in the field of TI Graphing Calculators by nominating and voting for programs. Check it out at http://www.ticalc.org/mil/!

In addition to the Millenium Awards, the new Program of the Month system will start up again with a 1 week delay so it coincides with the Millenium voting. Programs will be selected in four categories: TI-82/TI-83/TI-83+, TI-85/TI-86, TI-89/TI-92/TI-92+, and Computer Utilities/Miscellaneous Programs. All programs released this month that are designated as Featured Programs will be eligible.

For this month's interview we have selected Joe Wingbermuehle, the now-famous programmer of many notable programs such as Ion and SOS, in addition to many games and other programs.

Eric Sun


December proved to be quite exciting, especially for TI-89 users, since TI released many new FLASH programs. The long-awaited AMS 2.03 for the TI-89 was finally released early in the month, and calculator developers have already taken steps to welcome the new software. A new version of the popular DoorsOS shell, which now works on AMS 2.03, has been released, and AMS 2.03-compatible programs continue to trickle in. Also for the TI-89, TI has released a Statistics FLASH application for free. More information about TI's flash applications can be found at http://www.ti.com/calc/flash/. As for TI-83+ FLASH software, the TCPA has released PuzzPack and a new version of CalcSys.

A plethora of interesting non-FLASH programs and updates have also been released this month, including The Next Dimension v1.5 (Matt Teiken), Rogue Runner (Harper Maddox), Baseball '99 (Sam Heald), Prosit (Niklas Brunlid), and Ion (Joe Wingbermuehle). In addition, a new shell, Ice, has been released for the TI-83 and TI-83+. This shell is compatible with Ion, so give it a try!


At ticalc.org, we often receive many of the same questions. In this column, we hope to address some of these questions for a broader audience. If you'd like to submit a question, please email it to ask@ticalc.org.

Q: Please explain what FLASH upgrades are and what they can do.

A: FLASH is an important technology that allows your calculator's internal product code to be electronically upgraded through your TI-Graph Link cable. The official TI FLASH page, at http://www.ti.com/calc/flash/, has many resources and programs available for download. Some FLASH applications are free, while others cost money. To install a FLASH program or upgrade, you need to have the official TI-Graph Link cable; homemade cables will not work. --Eric Sun


Email: joewing@calc.org
Web URL: http://joewing.calc.org/

Interview Log
Eric How old are you and what level of education do you have?
Joe I am 18 years old and a senior in high school.
Eric What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Joe I plan to get a degree in computer science, probably at University of Missouri-Rolla. Then I plan to do some type of systems programming. I like big computers (mainframes) and I like assembly language. Neither is obsolete and if someone wants to argue I dare them to send me an email!
Eric What calculators do you own?
Joe I own a TI-83, TI-83 Plus, TI-89, and a HP49G. I sold my TI-86 and TI-92.
Eric Do you plan to get any new calculators soon?
Joe Probably not. I already have too many.
Eric What do you use your calculator for most?
Joe Math. I rarely, if ever, play games... Ironic isn't it?
Eric How did you find out about the TI Community, and when did you first visit ticalc.org?
Joe I first found out about both the TI Community and ticalc.org somewhere around September 1995 after getting a TI-92 for my birthday and doing some searching for info. I remember vividly my first Fargo experience...amazing!
Eric What was the first program you ever wrote?
Joe For the computer.... well, we won't get into that (long time ago!). For the TI-92, I think Pong in TI-Basic. I consider Diamonds for the TI-83 (asm) to be my first real calculator program.
Eric How did you learn to program in assembly language?
Joe Now this is a long story, but I guess I learned the basics from reading a System/360 book then I picked up x86, then a little m68k, then z80.
Eric Do you have an idol TI programmer?
Joe Probably Jimmy Mardell, Sqrxz is just awesome, not to mention all his other great games!
Eric What do you think about the recent rise of programming groups?
Joe I never have been a big fan of programming groups, but I am very impressed with TCPA.
Eric What projects are you working on now?
Joe I've kind of slowed down a little, Linux is my life now (my main computer only runs Linux). Writing calculator programs in Linux is a little difficult, but gtktilink is turning out very nice. If only I could get a version of TASM to work in Linux. However, I am still actively working on Ion and Ion related stuff...
Eric What are your opinions about the new TI-89 AMS v2.03?
Joe To tell you the truth I haven't tried it yet... I know it's heresy to say this, but I use my HP49G more than my TI-89. Both nice calculators though.


2001: ticalc.org releases v4.0 of its layout. Features include an elabo rate JavaScript emulator.
2005: ticalc.org releases v5.0 of its layout. Feat ures include calculator purchasing out of Nick Disabato's basement. Missy, Nick' s dog, tinkles on the stash of TI-89's. Thousands of dollars lost.
2006: tic alc.org falls back on annoying banner advertisements to generate revenue. approx imately $0.82 per month generated.
2010: Magnus Hagander snaps after having run ticalc.org for fourteen years, joins staff of ti-files.org.
2011: Chris D becomes CEO of Industrial Light and Magic. CMU overjoyed.
2020: tic alc.org hires its 40th staff member, seven-year-old Andy Selle, Jr.
2021: TI open-sources its calculators. Assembly programmers have the chance of a lifetim e. Programs churned out like never before.
2032: ticalc.org releases v6.0 of its layout. Banner ads eliminated after an angry mob storms Park Ridge, IL and burns Nick's house to the ground, taking his formerly for-sale calculators.
2039: Phil Genera grows three heads and approximately eighteen arms after he re- enacts the fake news item "7th Grade Student Overclocks His TI-89 A Bit Too Much ." File adding speed increased tenfold. Backlogs are a thing of the past.
20 45: Andy Selle retires ticalc.org after fifty years of service, cites not having purchased a calculator for forty-six years as one of the reasons.
2053: Nick finally, after amassing enough money, purchases every available linkable calculator. Nobody seems to care.
2060: Nick refers to the number of news items he has posted in scientific notation.
2062: ticalc.org releases v7.0 of its layout. Nothing's changed except for the minor technicality that http://www.ti.com/calc/ happens to be an exact mirror of ticalc.org and the copyright information is changed.
2065: TI releases the TI-2^34, completely open-sourced. Really, really good programs made. Again.
2071: Sweden swallowed into earth following gout of flame. ticalc.org automated mirror system springs into action, cracking whitehouse.gov and mirroring itself there.
2072: President is irked. Phil Genera, coder of the mirror system, flees to a cave in the Adironacks.
2080: ticalc.org releases v8.0 of its layout in honor of its archives surpassing 100,000 files, 93% of which contain the letters "quad" somewhere in the filename.
2082: TI decides to document the ROM calls on the TI-89. Within twenty-eight seconds, thousands of 8-grayscale assembly programs are submitted to ticalc.org. File archives double in size within the year. All quadform and otherwise redundant programs purged. Nick Disabato celebrates his 100th birthday.
2087: Nick celebrates his 105th birthday by attending his 5,000th rock/techno concert featuring the reunited frozen body of Michael Paradinas of u-Ziq. Total hearing loss achieved.
2091: ticalc.org releases v9.0 of its layout after Microsoft buys out TI (which has owned ticalc.org since 2062). ticalc.org converts to Windows 2090. Daily crashes.
2092: Nick Disabato retires ticalc.org and dotcomma.org. Receives no pension because working at ticalc.org doesn't count as a job you get paid for.
2100: ticalc.org releases v10.0 of its layout. Strapped for material, invents new dating system in which 2100 is really the year 10,000; announces The TI Eon Awards.

Nick Disabato


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