Remember Android 1.6 Donut? This hacker got it running on an old calculator

Texas Instruments may be an afterthought in the smartphone world, but it’s still a juggernaut when it comes to graphing calculators. Since TI is the king of calculators, Josh Max probably felt it was his duty to install a relatively ancient version of Android on one of the company’s graphing calculators, and that’s exactly what he did, reports Android Police.

As one of his pet projects, Max managed to get Android 1.6 Donut running on his TI-nSpire CX, which is the cream of the crop in the graphing calculator market. This beast packs 64MB of RAM, 100MB of storage, and a 3.5-inch 320 x 240 color screen. By comparison, the T-Mobile G1, the original gangster of Android smartphones, included 256MB of internal storage and a mere 192MB of RAM.

Amazingly enough, not only does the operating system seem to be pretty responsive on the calculator, but Max was even able to play Lunar Lander — a game that tasks the player with avoiding a crash landing on the surface of the Moon — on it.

The paltry specifications of the TI-nSpire CX make it even more impressive that Max was able to install Donut on it. Even though he’s managed to get Android running on his calculator, he isn’t sitting on his laurels. Max has made quite a bit of progress with the project, such as enabling keyboard support and Wi-Fi functionality on the calculator through an add-on USB dongle.

Max isn’t keeping his project all to himself, however. He posted the open source files on GitHub, in the event that you wanted to tinker with your own calculator. He isn’t the first person to choose an obscure device on which to install outdated software — 16-year-old Corbin Davenport managed to install and run both Windows 95 and Doom on his Samsung Gear Live smartwatch.


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