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:
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 keyboard, X 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 compatibilitywith 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.
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 :()
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…