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This part of the web site contains a book written by and Copyright (c) 1983 by Stephen Shaw, published in 1983, by Phoenix Publishing.

Getting Started with the Texas Instruments TI99/4a Home Computer

The Texas Instruments Home Computer, TI99/4A, represents an easy introduction to home computing. The machine is supplied with a language called TI BASIC. This simple implementation of BASIC includes useful and easily used subprograms to enable you to use the machines graphics and sound capabilities.

TI BASIC is one of the simpler forms of the BASIC language, and as such you should find it easy to learn. Commands are typed in normally, you do not have to search for special keys. TI BASIC is not a fast language and you should not expect to write arcade speed games in this language. For really fast action games you must either purchase Modules, or the peripherals which are covered later in this book.

When you are ready to move on to more professional areas of computing, the TI99/4A is capable of expansion to an extremely powerful computer, and may even be used as a terminal for a large 'mainframe' computer.

The TI99/4A console on its own is only a start : it is not equivalent to a business minicomputer, and if you wish to use it now for any demanding task you should consult your dealer, who will advise you what extra devices you need to buy.

Many of the words used in this book are the Trademarks of Texas Instruments Incorporated.Their use here does not imply sponsorship nor endorsement of this book by Texas Instruments.

Read this book, try a few short programs of your own, and as time progresses you will learn how to harness the power of your computer, but remember it will take time and practice.

* References in the text from the book to a PC Emulator are to Edward Schwartz TI Emulate, which is no longer supported. There is now a commercial DOS product called PC99 from CaDD Electronics which is more robust and reviewed elsewhere on this web site. I also use the Linux TI emulator TI99sim and the multiplatform multicomputer emulator MESS.

Minor amendments have been made (c)1984 and 1985 subsequent to TI withdrawing from the home computer market in November 1983.

image of book cover as published

This text is Copyright (c) 1983 BY Stephen Shaw.
THE INFORMATION IN THIS BOOK IS FREE. It may be copied, distributed and/or modified under the conditions set down in the Design Science License published by Michael Stutz at

This book was written entirely using a TI99/4A with TI Writer, the files were later converted to PC text format.

Stephen Shaw STOCKPORT Cheshire ENGLAND

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