Ndless for China

A port of Ndless to the TI-Nspire Chinese model CM-C has been available for a few months through Levak‘s fork.

Support for the CM-C and CM-C CAS has now been officially integrated, and opens the emulators, extensionsplayersUSB drivers and a hundred other programs to the Chinese community: get Ndless 3.1 r786 or higher!

(Thanks to Adriweb for the tests and video)

Introducing HIDn – USB HID drivers

Since both the keyboard and mouse drivers have now reached the minimal stability and OS integration for a public release, here is the first alpha version!

Please keep it mind this is an early version with basic support and several limitations.

Get Ndless r765. This update is required for the drivers to work.

Get HIDn, the USB HID drivers.

Get the Ndless SDK r765 if you want to write your own USB drivers. Note that only basic interrupt transfer support has been tested.

Discuss about it on Omnimaga.

(many thanks to Rhombicuboctahedron for the video)

Better USB mouse integration into TI-Nspire OS

Personal events left me nearly no time to make any progress on my ongoing projects, but I hopefully recently got the opportunity to improve the early experiments of USB mouse support to integrate it with the standard OS events.

The USB driver stills has major glitches and my old blue brick doesn’t let me know how it would look like on TI-Nspire CX, but here is a preview of this new way to interact with the UI parts of the OS:

A new milestone for openness: Linux!

In case you missed it, tangrs has been working hard for the past few months to get Linux ported to the TI-Nspire calculator.

The port is not yet fully stabilized nor quite ready for broad consumption and requires some user-level knowledge of Linux systems, but is definitely worth a try. It basically looks like a Ndless-based TI-Nspire specific loader configured to run a Linux kernel image with a RAM disk .

Experimental support for root filesystem installed on USB mass storage is being worked on, so that Datalight’s proprietary Flash FX/Reliance filesystem used by TI’s OS isn’t a limit anymore. This also means that the native TI-Nspire OS image is not replaced by the Linux system, and Linux can been booted on demand.

Support for USB keyboardX server, directFB, Wi-Fi (with the help of a powered USB hub) and text-based Internet browsing  is progressively being added and tested (thanks to Vogtinator for the build and demo).

Linux for the TI-Nspire also means instant compatibility with hundreds programs (although cross-compilation to ARM is necessary),  including command line tools, script engines, mathematical and scientific utilities and games, as long as the constrained RAM size and CPU speed are not an issue for them.

The project is under active development, tangrs is looking for contributors to make Linux become a strong alternative to the stock OS.

USB keyboard driver demo

I have received several requests about the current status of the support for USB host transfers with Ndless.

With too many ongoing projects the work was suspended, but I have been recently able to integrate the *BSD USBI API to the Ndless trunk and clean up and improve the USB keyboard driver. This may remind you of the TI-Keyboard that Texas Instruments released a few years ago for the previous calculator series and discontinued… but it’s now compatible with any USB keyboard and an $1 USB adapter :)

Here is a quick preview, I hope to make it public with the whole API within a month (YouTube seems to hate my camera’s video format and destroyed much of it, sorry for the poor quality :()

Introducing the new Ndless SDK

Ever wanted to build the next killing hack for the TI-Nspire, write another amazing emulator or port one of the hundred SDL-based games and applications with nSDL?

Ndless now has a fully fledged Software Development Kit which makes development of Ndless-compatible native programs easier than ever. The SDK features:

  • Development tools provided as a single installation-less package, to edit, build and test your own programs
  • A SciTE-based editor tuned for C development for the TI-Nspire
  • 1-click project creation and build
  • TI-Nspire emulator integration, with automatic program transfer
  • nspireio and nSDL libraries integration

Get the Ndless SDK and follow the new 10 minute step-by-step tutorial!

OS Patching

Levak and tangrs hit again with two interesting TI-Nspire OS patchers.

tangrs’s nspire-version-patcher (and Levak’s enhanced version vPatch) let us assign an arbitrary OS version name/number, useful to dismiss Student Software’s annoying v3.2 OS update notification.

Levak’s cx2cxc makes the TI-Nspire CX OS behave like a the chinese flavor CX-C… and makes the english-chinese dictionary installation possible :)

Both patches are compatible with Ndless’s startup feature.

More nice TI-Nspire native stuff

Ndless was built to give advanced users and hackers full control over the TI-Nspire for extension, customization and experiment. Ndless would obviously be useless without users’ native (C or ARM assembly) programs authored with its SDK. Interesting ones were lately released that you shouldn’t miss.

Levak’s ThemeEditor gives access to the hidden built-in colors customization features of the TI-Nspire OS. The latest version supports community themes importation/exportation.

AlexRider38’s bloody theme would for example make your home screen looks like this:

lkj submitted a classic but sweet Pacman for Omnimaga.org‘s programming contest which 2012 theme was Artificial Intelligence. Math, Science and Computer Science are actually not far from each other, and Pacman on the TI-Nspire should prove it. Curious ones should have a look at its source code.

critor’s original author of TNOC, the computer-side memory saving utility and downgrade protection breaker for the TI-Nspire has released an on-calc Ndless-based version of it called nTNOC. Try it if you want to optimize your memory space without having to reinstall the OS as required by the original TNOC.

Finally the famous author of the GB/GBC emulator for TI-Nspire calc84maniac will hopefully hit again with the GBA emulator he’s working on, a rather difficult challenge for such a constrained device the TI-Nspire is.

(credits to tiplanet.org for the preview).

An update of the Ndless SDK should soon be released to make the set up easier and provide a pre-configured editor for C development with built-in options for project creation, build and program emulation.

If you are learning C or are already a C developer, pushing the limit further is just a few clicks (and lines of code) away…