Global CALCnet: your TI-83 just acquired Internet

Global CALCnet lets you connect your TI graphic calculator to the Internet and use your favorite services like instant messaging and Internet relay chat. It also provides the option of worldwide multiplayer functionality for games ported to the device such as Scorched Earth and Tetris. We looked in on [Christopher Mitchell's] CALCnet in December when it was being used to create local area networks with the adding machines. He’s taken that up a notch with a helping hand from Arduino. An Arduino board is used to connect the serial communications from the calculator to an Internet connected PC via the Arduino’s USB capabilities.

Think this will waste a lot of time in schools? Unlikely since an Internet connected computer is integral for this system to work. If you have a computer in front of you why waste time on the calculator network? Still, how hard would it be to build a WiFi module that can directly connect them to an access point? That may be a moot point as the Slashdot article that pointed us to global CALCnet also links to a calculator port of DOOM. It runs quite well, as you can see in the video after the break. This is a must-have for anyone owning a TI Nspire that can run it.

[Thanks Rlyeh_Drifter]

Comments

  1. andrew says:

    I was about to say that they need to make Doom 4 but, it looks like Carmack is already on it (wikipedia doom 4).

  2. For the people who are about to start the usual Arduino flame wars (and trust me, I’m usually on the anti-Arduino side), this actually puts a fair load on the Arduino, which is essentially responsible for emulating all of the remote calculators. And if you hate the Arduino on principle, I used V-USB’s AVR/USB libraries to create a version based on a bare AVR, which is described in the whitepaper about globalCALCnet: http://www.cemetech.net/projects/item.php?id=35

  3. Stevie says:

    Pretty cool (the doom bit)

  4. Yossarian says:

    So basically you’re saying we can deathmatch on TI Nspires?

    …Where has this been all my life? Especially the mid-90s. I’m guessing a MC68000 or Z80 doesn’t quite cut the cheese. Especially since at that period we were getting “3d accelerators” for Quake II on our desktops.

  5. Zack says:

    Why must EVERYTHING require an Arduino?!

  6. DC says:

    If I recall, the new nSpire CX will have a Wi-Fi version of TI Navigator.

  7. Matt says:

    Better get a TI84 and then use the host USB to add bluetooth… Then you don’t need the Arduino. Also, it would be possible to use it in school as the computer can be hidden in your bag ;)

  8. Souvik says:

    Great job Christopher!

  9. Brokenkeyboard says:

    I do have a internet connected computer in school. Its my smartphone. But I could imagine my teachers displeasure if I whipped that out.

  10. bobdole says:

    I did this ten years ago using a homemade serial cable I made with a handful of transistors. There was a terminal app with PPP support. Plugged into an external 9600baud modem, I dialed up to my home PC, as there weren’t any ISP’s offering PPP at the time. From there I ran BitchX and some text based ICQ client. A few years ago I thought about repurposing one of those old nokia phones with serial input to see if I could hook up 2G internet to a calculator. Never got around to that, but I’m sure it’d be pretty easy.

  11. mittagessen says:

    Actually, there is a wireless module for the Voyage 200, one of TIs m68k based calculators. It’s a small PCB with an Atmega644 with a wireless module and SD card. You can find pictures and some pre-alpha software at bttec.org.

  12. Andynonymous says:

    What I’ve been thinking would be cool is a device that would be a cross between an Arduino and a wireless internet enabled graphing calculator that could run something close to Processing in terms of visualization. We’re talking a device straight out of the box; no Electrical Engineering degree required to set it up.

    It would be a device that could be programmed on the fly without any other external devices and could be hooked up like an Arduino. It would supply its own power through batteries.

    Mind you, most engineers/ubërnerds would probably hate it, as you could do the same thing with a computer and a microcontroller but cheaper and with more wires, but hey, the Arduino gets that flack already.

    Whether or not it would actually be useful is another question altogether. I just thought it would be neat.

  13. HPGuy says:

    My HP was on dialup years ago, nice to see TI finally catching up!

  14. Andynonymous says:

    Meh, nevermind. What I found was nothing new.

  15. cns949 says:

    Great idea for those people who spend half their lives on MSN.

  16. Emily Taylor says:

    This is awesome. I was wondering if u could cuz it had similar hardware to an old computer like my commodore 128 but with crappier display

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