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Submitted by Palsy Palooka, posted on February 24, 2002

Image Description, by Palsy Palooka

OK, I know you're all busy with lots of 3D stuff and you're expecting very impressive multi-color images of super-high quality. Well, today you'll have to do it with my super-impressive 2 color pictures (back to the basics!). I'm coding some games for my calculator "ti-83" in ASM and because you have only 32kb memory, you have to do your very best to get some graphics out of that machine (yeah, machine sounds heavy...).

The first screenshot (Race) is from my racing game in which you have to shoot eachother (2 players). But because it works with a link between 2 calcs, the game isn't allready bugfree, I'm working on it but you can't download it. Another thing: you might have noticed: the game is still called "race". Someone has a suggestion for something that sounds better?

The second screenshot (The Matrix) is just a picture, not screenshot from a game. I took it from a poster of the film and resized it with Paint Shop Pro, then I drew it on my calculator. Because I think it's pretty cool, I put it here...

I took the third screenshot from my second game finished in ASM: PipeMania. I made it earlier in Basic but it worked too slow. The idea came from a fantastic arcadegame in which you have to make a pipe before the water leaks out of it. If there is someone who has a ti-83 (with ION (downloadable from ticalc)) and if you want the game: it will be available on soon(=next week) (be sure to get version 2.1 and not 1.2, it's bugged ;-( ). Or you can always mail me at (Off course you need a ti-83 )

The last screenshot comes from my program StarWars. It should be a very simple game (fly forward and avoid the blocks) but because I can't get the stones big enough (not on that calc :( ) and you haven't got the feeling you fly forward..., but on the other hand, I think the screenshot looks nice.

For someone who is interested: ???
Technical aspect of the calculator:
  • ti-83 graphical calculator
  • by Texas Instruments
  • z80 processor, 6 MHz
  • 32kb RAM
  • screen 96*64 pixels
  • link-port
  • This was Palsy Palooka speeking, member of the TexAmeije programming team (BASIC&z80ASM for ti-83 and C++)

    Image of the Day Gallery


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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

    February 24, 2002, 04:55 PM


    I have one of these calculators, but no cable.... :(


    February 24, 2002, 04:56 PM

    COOOOL!!!!!! I've gotta get a cable ASAP.


    February 24, 2002, 05:00 PM

    Where to get such a device? And what's its price?
    I guess it shouldn't be *that* expensive, with all those colorful Palms out there! :-)

    Orangy Tang

    February 24, 2002, 05:22 PM

    nice fx :), i made a Stardodge clone for my graphical calculator (CASIO fx9750G) a year or so ago (mostly while supposed to be using it for my A levels and getting any kind of speed out of it graphically was nigh on impossible.. i even managed to get 20 randomly created levels and 5 hand crafted levels on it (although it took up a quater of the memory of the calculator when finished - a whole 7000 bytes!).

    Biggest problem i found was memory avalible at run-time, only variables from A to Z and a few lists... If i could figure out a way to get some pics from it i would post an IOTD.

    Pipemania looks good, what kind of speed do you get out of it?


    February 24, 2002, 05:29 PM

    Since others are probably wondering too.. I have a TI-85 and a TI-89, will they work on either of those or any other models?

    Also I remember back in high school (5+ years ago) classmates had something that would flicker a few different pics as fast as the calculator would go, so you'd get a pseudo-grayscale effect.


    February 24, 2002, 06:10 PM

    Ahh the TIs this is where all my programming started!


    February 24, 2002, 07:12 PM

    Someone upgrade this guy to a Vic-20 or something! Just kidding - very unique, good job!

    Jeff Olson

    February 24, 2002, 07:34 PM

    hehe, i can remember long ago writing games for my ti85('94) during my freshman year in high school... god that was fun :)

    nice job and keep it up :)


    February 24, 2002, 08:06 PM

    Finally a use for that thing! :) Nice work!


    February 25, 2002, 12:14 AM

    The one game i created on that thing takes up 18k, and runs out of memory after playing for 10 minutes =(.



    February 25, 2002, 12:50 AM

    i wish i had the computer link for my ti-83 :(
    for some reason your ti-83 looks elongated :
    also wasn't there a version of pipemania called pipedream as part of the windows entertainment pack for windows 2.0? ah back in the day :)


    February 25, 2002, 03:35 AM

    I got a Casio CFX-9850GB PLUS through school. >:(
    TI is the bomb!

    Arne Rosenfeldt

    February 25, 2002, 03:36 AM

    The StarWars picture looks like more than two colors


    February 25, 2002, 04:37 AM

    pretty cool.. but this: is MUCH cooler (if you have the bandwidth to download a 20mb movie of a TI-82 demo)


    February 25, 2002, 05:10 AM

    There is actually a sequel to pipemania. Its out on PS1 and is called 'Pipedreams 3d' in the USA and 'Pipemania 3d' elsewhere.

    James Matthews

    February 25, 2002, 07:00 AM

    Pretty cool. Good to see someone coding for the original 83. The TI-83 Plus has additional features such as Flash ROM to allow you to program "applications"...the TI-83 Plus Silver Edition has a quicker processor (although still the Z80), D-Bus Assist and 2Mbs of Flash ROM!! It really kicks ass...

    To answer a previous question, no it won't run on the 82 or the 85. All the ROM call equates are different, although it probably wouldn't be too hard to port.

    About the Matrix picture: have you heard of the Texas Instruments utility convbmp? It takes a monochrome bitmap and turns it into an 8xi picture so you don't need to mess around. I wrote the utility for TI a while back to help with some other work I was doing and its quite a useful little program. I'm planning on releasing an updated version sometime later that allows any (correctly sized) picture to be used...the program will apply Floyd-Steinberg dithering to turn it into a 1-bit image.

    If you guys REALLY wanna see what can be achieved check out what "Detached Solutions" do with the calculator...absolutely incredible! They've added symbolic manipulation, pretty print (equations are displayed nicely, not all on one line)...and they've managed to integrate a lot of it into the system itself using system hooks. Pretty crazy stuff, but it shows what you can do when the company supports development.




    February 25, 2002, 10:51 AM

    Congratulations my friend! We welcome you to the magic world of flipCode...

    You see, there are a lot of ti freaks around here :) It doesn't always have to be hyper realistic 32bit images to be cool. If you browse the IOTD gallery, you'll notice some more black/white images (along some very very photorealistic images and heave renderings of smillies :) I remember me stuff by Jacco Bikker on his PocketPC ... Wasn't there also something about fakings graylevels on black/white displays?

    But anyway, keep up the good work. Hoegaarden rules!

    Dr. Bramz


    February 25, 2002, 12:49 PM

    me too, you thought colors would be cool, didnt ya. i dont think ive ever used the colors for anything and the 32kb mem really limits all programs.


    Palsy Palooka

    February 25, 2002, 05:42 PM

    Instructions on how to make your own parallel-link cable is available on
    Get it and enjoy my games!
    Palsy Palooka

    Palsy Palooka

    February 25, 2002, 05:45 PM

    You only have a few variables because you program in Basic on your calculator, you should learn ASM on the PC.
    That also makes your program run thousands of times faster...
    So for Pipemania, I had to add delays to make sure it wouldn't run too fast!!
    Palsy Pal

    Mikko Siren

    February 26, 2002, 01:53 PM

    Really nice. Who would have tought back in the days when you had your 086 and coded some demos with asm that those skills would be usefull today ten years later =) In time when you don't have to optimize almost at all....

    Palsy Palooka

    February 26, 2002, 04:16 PM

    The StarWars screenshot is in fact in two colors (black and white off course). But because the game goes so fast, you should think it's in greyscale. And in fact, that's what MagPulse has seen on those other calcs, only those programs were meant to show greyscale pics

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