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and now for something completely different...
03-19-2015, 01:00 AM (This post was last modified: 03-19-2015 01:04 AM by matthiaspaul.)
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RE: and now for something completely different...
(03-18-2015 10:55 PM)MarkHaysHarris777 Wrote:  And, not to put too fine a point on it, when the hardware platform is gone it will be gone.
I don't agree. Even when the supply of new 20b/30b calculators will have come to an end (and it definitely will as the CPU is EOL), this was a product for a mass-market. The few hundred or - optimistically - thousand users who bought it to repurpose it as 34S or 31S are only a minuscle fraction of the target audience, and we will be able to find new-old-stock or used units in good condition and for reasonable prices for years. So, there's no need to "panic" right now.

Further, even if we would run out of hardware, we still have the PC emulator and ports as smartphone apps. With minor changes to the virtual calculator architecture, we could even continue to develop the calculator far beyond the capabilities of the original hardware platform. While a "software"-only calculator isn't the ultimative goal for most of us, the existance of the emulator ensures that the efforts put into this project won't get lost.

Finally, the firmware is written in a high-level language, and therefore it can be ported to other platforms. One such platform is the potentially future 43S, but the hardware of the Prime would be more than capable as well (actually, it would be overkill, but it is readily available and not too expensive - so, why not unless we'd find a better hardware platform). I understand, that the Prime would be too large to be an attractive target platform for some users, but on the other hand, its keyboard layout (not the assignments and the labelling) would be almost ideal for a port and it also has a crisp multi-line display. Of course, all the low level drivers would have to be rewritten and since the code is optimized for size, not portability, this would even affect alot of the mid-level code as well. Considerable effort would be necessary, but still much less than redoing it from scratch, so the existing code base is not at risk of being of no purpose in the future.

In my opinion, it makes alot of sense to continue to maintain and further develop the 34S-based code within the limits of the currently existing hardware and beyond.



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RE: and now for something completely different... - matthiaspaul - 03-19-2015 01:00 AM

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