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The full book Getting Started with the Texas Instruments TI99/4A by Stephen Shaw online.
This site has a number of articles about the TI99/4A (some quite long)- this link will take you to a descriptive menu.
Jump to description of a menu system for PC99.
Request - Has anyone in the UK succeeded in connecting the video output of a TI99/4a to a modern monitor with component video (YUV) input? I suspect a direct connection could be harmful as the TI was not manufactured for this usage. Analog tv sets are quite difficult to buy these days... thanks. - Partial response: Many consoles have been fitted with a replacement video chip which has the required output available, however it is not 100% compatible with the original and some programs don't like it.
Now on the internet, details of the many programs that were sold in the UK in the Stainless Software catalogue starting with the programs still on sale in 1985 and then towards the end adding the programs that had been dropped by then. With links to the commercially published reviews and where possible new screen shots.
An official photograph (32k) - taken for publicity purposes showing the console (keyboard) and (not connected) behind it the Expansion Box (for 32k ram, disk controller and 90k 5.25" disk drive). To the left a pair of joysticks. To the right a speech synthesiser and an acoustic modem (modem never sold in the UK). Photo by Jim Childress of Lubbock, Texas. This image has not been taken from another web site but is a scan of an original print I own.
A very early module for the TI99/4a, used in stores, was the Demonstration Module. A short tune was written for this by Hank (Henry C) Mishkoff (in his own time) and Hank has supplied two Midi arrangements of the tune, TI1.MID and TI2.MID - under 3k each. If you do not have .MID files associated with a .MID player, save the files and play them later. Hank left TI before the computer was marketed. Hank has a web site too. One reader wrote to tell me these two files were identical- nope, I've printed out the music. The TUNE is the same but the instruments differ, the odd note is slightly different and one has an added counter-melody. Perhaps you need a musical ear to detect the changes Hank made!
There is a huge variety of TI99/4A related material- documents and software- at Western Horizon ftp site which should probably be your first port of call for historic TI items, including emulators and programs for them.
Tunnels of Doom was an early graphic rpg, and was very popular indeed. It was written over some 18 months by Kevin Kenney, a TI employee, but not paid to write TI99/4 software - who did it in his own time, including the original music. You can still play Tunnels of Doom with the original hardware, a remarkable amount of which is still functional (except there are problems hitching a 99/4a to a none-analogue tv these days). Or you can use one of the fine emulators such as pc99, v9t9 or MESS. Or, someone has written an excellent cross platform version of Java 1.6 Tunnels of Doom which will run on almost any platform supporting java version 1.6 - that is, Windows, Linux and so on. The music has been rescored symphonically, and game play has been subject to a few adjustments. On our version of java there were problems with music playing and with leakage- we had to remove a java heap limit and we find memory usage is generally over 200 meg after an hour or so.
Jim Muller began working with LOGO while public relations manager for Texas Instruments in 1979. After introducing TI LOGO, the first commercial Logo package, in April 1981, Muller organised the first Logo users group, The Young Peoples Logo Association. TI Logo is available for the TI emulators. In 1997 Jim had a book published The Great Logo Adventure(here as a 3.6 megabyte zipped download), complete with CD Rom for PC and Mac, supporting MSW Logo.
One of the educational modules for the TI99/4A was PLATO, a mini-PLATO from CDC, which used a huge number of data disks to teach almost anything. The PLATO courseware system is still in use despite several changes of ownership and technology.
A long standing supporter of the TI99/4a was Jim Peterson of Columbus, Ohio. Jim produced a monthly column, reprinted in virtually every user group newsletter, for many years. Jim died some years ago, however in his memory here are two issues presented in the original 28 columns that Jim used, to fit 3 columns per A4 page. Picture of Jim (12k) | Jim Peterson Tips from the Tigercub
A very strongly recommended product from CaDD, supporting their PC99 product is a very handsomely full DVD-ROM (The Cyc) for just US$25 inclusive, which includes a lot of printed material in PDF format (the index alone is over 1800 pages!), and many programs (thousands) to run with the PC99 emulator including the entire Tigercub and Amnion software libraries.
A lot of work has gone into this and it is excellent value. Even if you choose not to run PC99 (for copyright reasons relating to the licence Mike has, you have to buy a copy of PC99 in order to buy the Cyc), the Cyc still has very much material of use including for example all the TI modules in PC99 format and 9900 assembly language primers. The content is readily and easily searchable. Cost with PC99 Lite is US$74, well worth it for the immense value of the fully legal content. (Want to see a photo of a TI99/7?). See what Cyc content looks like.
A review of PC99 release 5 & 6.
DOWNLOAD TI99/4A Programs to run on the PC99 emulator, or the MESS emulator.
How to emulate a TI99/4A with MESS includes downloads for W** systems. On Opensuse Linux I am using Mandrake/Mandriva rpm packages of MESS with no problems.
I had to do a bit of work with the groms, but the Linux emulator ti99sim now works nicely for me. Somewhat sensitive to the console grom format but certainly doable. Just unpack the tar-gz - no installation- and then my command line is:
/windoze/dos3/TI/ti99sim-0.0.10/ti99sim-sdl --dsk1=exbas2.dsk sxba.ctg
which sets which dsk file to use and which cartridge (Super Extended Basic in this instance). My grom files are called ti-disk.ctg and TI-994A.ctg - note the upper/lower case.
The TI Module Munchmobile was based upon an arcade game known outside the US as Joyful Road. The TI Module Car Wars was based upon an arcade machine game variously called Head On, Dodgem, and Crash. The arcade game Kangaroo was emulated in the Extended Basic game Roo. The arcade game Astro Invader was emulated in the Basic game by Not Polyoptics, 99Vaders. Arcade game Crazy Climber was emulated in the Basic game called Crazy Cliff. Many arcade games kept their original titles when transferred to TI Modules.
I was awarded an "Edgar Mauk Award" for services to UK TI Owners back in the year 2000, but I only learned about this in 2013! Nobody told me, and the award itself seems to have been lost. Finally received a duplicate award in 2015! Apparently the original was sent in the post. Thanks guys.
Later in May 2013 I was entered into the 99ers Hall of Fame- founded in 2004 - the first British person to be so honoured. The original published biography about me was not approved and mostly in error, but was corrected in 2014 - and the honour is real and much appreciated.