Hello World

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It's time that you get a feel for how addins are created for the Casio Prizm. Addins are not created the same way that programs are made for PCs or other devices.

Creating the Project

The easiest way to create projects using the PrizmSDK is to copy an existing project directory. If this is indeed your first project with the PrizmSDK, then you should already have a project folder named 'example' in the projects folder. Make a copy of this folder and name it something simple (such as tut1).

This folder houses all source code, resources, and the build system for your addin. The first thing that you need to do before starting on your project is to set up the build system. Open up the Makefile file. You will see that it is already set up to compile all sources in the src folder and make an addin. Find the line starting with


This line is important when you start a new project. This line determines the name of your addin and what icons it uses (will be touched on later). Please see the mkg3a usage section for the an explanation for the parameters. For now, you need to modify the name of the addin. Change the -n basic:example and change the example with the name of your addin.

Test Building

Now, you have the build system set up. In order to test, we need to add some code to your src folder. First, delete any files already in your src folder and make a new .c or .cpp file. I will use the name main.cpp for the source file. Open up your source file and put the following into it:

int main()
  return 0;

This doesn't do anything and shouldn't be run on the Prizm, but we need something to test building of your addin. In a terminal (Unix) or cmd.exe (Windows), cd into the project folder and run make. For example, if your project is named tut1, you would do

$ cd [PrizmSDK Path]/projects/tut1
$ make

The above example is for unix, Windows users should modify the above commands
If all goes well, you should have no build errors and will have a .g3a in your tut1 folder. If you have problems, you should post on the [Cemetech Prizm subforum]. This is basically the method of producing a .g3a.

Making Your First Addin

Now that you have a project folder setup up, you can learn the ropes on how addins are coded. First, you should understand certain things before trying to code:

  • The Prizm doesn't have libc or libstdc++ built in. This means that you cannot use functions available when programming on other platforms, like printf, file IO, std namespace, etc.. Edit: PrizmSDK 0.4 will have these features!
  • The Prizm has its own functions that aren't completely documented. This means that you have to either read other addins' source code, look for community documentation, or by using this wiki. Please help us continue to expand this wiki!
  • The main function shouldn't return. The addin cannot close itself, you have to have the OS close it from user key input. If you do return inside of the main function, your addin cannot be resumed again until the OS closes it.
  • Headers are still being reorganized and functions may be missing or in odd headers. (See below)
  • The current PrizmSDK (0.3) is outdated and has incorrect functions and headers. The best option is to grab libfxcg directly from github.

Now then, lets start adding in your code to print Hello World to the screen.

#include <fxcg/display.h>
#include <fxcg/keyboard.h>

As I noted above, headers are a bit spread out. These headers include a few important functions, such as PrintXY and GetKey. Now, we can start by adding in a normal main function

int main() {
  return 0; // Needed if you have main returning int, but will never be reached.

Now, if you read the documentation of PrintXY, you will see that you can print out colored text in letter coordinates. You should also note that the string must start with 2 garbage letters. It is thought that the string starts with an actual 16 bit number then the string. Also, unexpectedly, X and Y start at 1, not 0. We can add in a simple example to your main function, such as

PrintXY(3,8,"--Hello World!", TEXT_MODE_NORMAL, TEXT_COLOR_RED); // Place it somewhere on the screen

TEXT_* are defined in color.h. You can look in the header to see your options.

Now, because running this code will hit a return after printing text, we need a better way to have the addin run. The GeyKey function will wait for a key to be pressed and will handle the [MENU] key, so users can exit your addin. This is done by the OS and the [MENU] key isn't known to your addin. Lets add in the code to read the key forever so users can quit your addin:

int key;
  GetKey(&key); // Loop forever

This is all of the code needed to run your addin! You can build and run your addin.

Finished Code

This is the resulting code from this tutorial:

#include <fxcg/display.h>
#include <fxcg/keyboard.h>

int main() {
  PrintXY(3,8,"--Hello World!", TEXT_MODE_NORMAL, TEXT_COLOR_RED); // Place it somewhere on the screen.  Note that x,y are 1-indexed.

  int key;
    GetKey(&key); // Loop forever
  return 0; // Needed if you have main returning int, but will never be reached.

Putting Addins on Your Prizm

.g3a files are added to your Prizm by simply copying them to the root folder of your Prizm. Connect your Prizm to your PC, copy the .g3a to the drive (not in a folder), then eject the drive. Your addin should show up in the Main Menu of your Prizm.