[tug-summer-of-code] Some Idea - TeX and Texas instruments

Jonathan Fine jfine at pytex.org
Sat Feb 28 09:04:39 CET 2009

Hello Zachary

You wrote:

>      In the past, Texas Instruments has released four very heavily used 
> graphing calculator models: the TI-83 Plus 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TI-83_series>, the TI-84 Plus, and silver 
> editions of both, all of which use the Z80 processor to run slight 
> variations of the same operating system.  Because of its large user base 
> (millions), the 83+ has been a desirable platform for all kinds of 
> applications, especially math-related ones.

Very interesting.  The wikipedia page gives the technical specs:
CPU: Zilog Z80 - 6 to 15Mhz
ROM: 24Kb
Flash ROM: 164Kb - 2Mb
RAM: 32  - 128Kb
Display: 16x8 text, 96x64 pixels (character is 12x8 cell)

This is challenging environment for TeX.  I started TeX (in 1987) on
CPU: 80286 - 10Mhz
RAM: 1Mb, later extended to 2Mb
Hard Disk: 40Mb

>      While PDF files outputted by some implementations of TeX allow many 
> people to witness its beauty, this filetype goes completely unsupported 
> on graphing calculators.  If given the opportunity, I would write an 
> application to render source manuscripts on the TI-83+ and similar 
> calculators.  I have yet to work out all of the specifics, but I have 
> determined that the project is very feasible despite time and hardware 
> constraints.  

I doubt that the calculator has enough memory to run a port of TeX, but 
would be delighted to be proved wrong.

Please would you provide some links to some open source programs for 
these calculators, that might be similar to what in mind?

> I'd love to discuss this more between now and March 17 and 
> I look forward to seeing TUG on the list of mentoring organizations this 
> spring.

Yes.  I also hope we're accepted, and look forward to discussing with 
you further.

Jonathan (mentor for MathTran JavaScript last year)

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