Once upon a time back in 1983, members of TIHOME received instead of TIdings a rather slim
but very slickly printed magazine. Unfortunately this had been set up on the premise that TI would support
it, and in November 1983 TI withdrew from the market. This is issue one...
TI Home Computer Users Club
A quarterly publication for Club Members No. 1
As we keep saying, we like to hear your views so here are just
a few we've received to date!
[web note- this first issue of the magazine was the first anyone
had heard of this organisation - so guess all these submissions are
fiction, or possibly forwarded by Mr Dick]
A selection of your letters will be
published on these pages every issue. Keep them rolling in! And
we promise not to just publish praise but useful and
constructive criticisms as well!
Since we're a new operation, we haven't had too many letters
yet, but here are some high score claims. Send 'em all in, and
for the next issue we'll have them sorted out by title and should
be able to award some Top Scorer prizes. Let's start with
Parsec, Munchman and TI Invaders.
I have recently bought the new TI game, Parsec. The game is
the best game yet produced. The game is fast moving and very
exciting. My top score is 71,000 on the fourth level. I would
recommend Parsec to anyone.
Yours sincerely, A. H. Baker — Rhondda.
I am writing to tell you that I have beaten Domonic R. Huffer's
score on TI Invaders on the 'Downright Nasty' level.
Domonic R. Huffer's score was in the May edition of 'Tidings'.
My score is 23,767.
I am also writing to tell you that on TI's wonderful new cartridge
called 'Parsec' I managed to achieve a score of 259,000. So
please could you tell me whether these two scores are records.
Yours sincerely, Steven Dunn (age 13) — Hornchurch.
The Downright Nasty score looks pretty good, but you've got a
long way to go on Parsec, Steven. Ed.
I have just scored 88,330 on my Munchman using joysticks. I
reached my 20th card, is this score a record?
Yours sincerely, James D. Elliott (age 12) — Knutsford.
Here's part of a letter from Adrian Kyte of N Winwick Road,
Reading, RGN NAX, who is keen to get a User Group going in
his area. If you're interested, please write to Adrian direct.
Hi, my name is Adrian Kyte. I'm the county contact for Reading.
So far I've had one call from a new user but I do know two other
people in the Reading area who have 99-4As.
I would like to build up a register of members in this area and, if
there is sufficient interest, I could arrange meetings where we
could discuss problems over a pint or so. If you are interested
please drop me a line — preferably telling me what hardware and
software you've got and whether you are prepared to let other
members borrow or swap any of it.
If you have any programming problems I may be able to help but
I'm not making any promises. I've been in programming for 15
years using assembler (not 9900) but my knowledge of BASIC
and 9900 assembler is growing.
TI tell me that the disc controller for the TI box can handle
double density discs. If you have one of these controllers can
you tell me if it can handle single and double density drives at
the same time. Presumably Disc Controller 2 (double sided
discs, USA only at the moment) can handle double density as
well as 368 Kb on one 5 1/4" floppy disc!
Recently I got TI to demonstrate 99-4A and all the peripherals
except the printer at our works computer club. Everyone who
attended enjoyed it and I would like to thank TI publicly for this
demo. My initial contact was Robin Frowd in case you want to
try to arrange a similar event.
Bye for now, Adrian Kyte.
I am glad to hear that you are organising a new magazine for the
Users, which will not be as expensive as the old one. I myself do
not have to join as my membership has not run out on the old
I have enclosed a listing of a small program which 'mixes' two
colours that are input from the keyboard.
100 REM COLOUR MIXER
110 REM BY G COOKE
120 FOR C = 2 to 12
130 CALL COLOR (C,13,1)
140 NEXT C
150 CALL SCREEN (12)
160 CALL CLEAR
170 INPUT "1st Color?": COL1
180 IF COL1 > 16 then 160
190 CALL CLEAR
200 INPUT "To be mixed with ?": COL2
210 IF COL2 > 16 then 190
220 Call CLEAR
230 Call COLOR (13,COL1,COL2)
240 Call CHAR (128, "AA55AA55AA55AA55")
250 Call HCHAR (1,1,128,736)
260 GOTO 170
Yours sincerely, Graham Cooke — Cowes.
We originally bought our computer for my husband but now he
and my son (16) share it. The modules for it are very expensive
— is there a Swapping Club which you could put us in contact
with? Also I must say I was surprised how my 13-year-old
daughter Janice has taken to the computer. Do a lot of girls use
Yours sincerely, Jennifer Arundel — Barking.
All over the U.K. there are TI Home Computer User
Groups, already set up by people who want to
communicate with other people who have the same
interest in computers as they have. In our next issue we
hope to get as many as possible names, addresses and
phone numbers together, so that the numerous new
owners who have bought a machine recently can get in
touch with the Groups. Paul Dicks has kindly given us
lots of contacts, but we'd like to do a proper area-by-
area listing, as a service to our Members, so please,
Group Organisers, let us have your details.
Anyone, like Adrian Kyte, whose letter is published on
our Letters Page, can set up a User Group, and it hardly
costs a thing. So if you are planning to set one up make
sure we are notified of your existence, too!
We'll need the following details for our records:
MEETING DATES, TIMES AND VENUES
A BRIEF RESUME OF PRESENT AND PLANNED
Once your Group has taken off and you've established
a regular communications pattern, you'll probably want
to invite guest speakers along from time to time. TI is
often prepared to "lend" someone for this purpose, or
you may be able to obtain the services of someone in
another Group. This can work both ways — so if you feel
that one of the Members of your Group is qualified to
give a talk or present a lecture on a computing subject,
let us know and we will make other Groups aware of
your offer. An interchange of ideas and people will
ensure that the Group stays interested, and
Who takes responsibility?
Any group will need at least a small amount of
organisation by someone — probably you! This burden
can get heavy as the group expands, so its best to have
a Committee of two or three people who share any
writing or communications tasks. Or alternatively,
change the Group leadership round every now and then
— often people have hidden talents.
The address to write to with User Group information is
the same one as is shown elsewhere in the magazine,
but mark your letter GROUPS — it will help us spot them
DID YOU KNOW
Did you know that the first true electronic
computers were built in Britain during the second
World War and were used to decode enemy
Did you know that a microprocessor or chip is
smaller and thinner than a contact lens?
Everyone knows a robot is controlled by
microprocessors today but did you know the word
`Robot' is the Czech word for 'worker', and first
used to describe artificial men in a play by Karel
Capek in the 1920s.
And did you know that one of the first computers,
ENIAC, took up the space of a house, weighed 30
tonnes, and cost $1/2 million to build!
Joseph Altham, age 11, has reviewed the ultimate Frogger for us. He's obviously very into games, and this is a
very expert synopsis:
"Superfrogger" by Norton Software
(web note: this program was sold in the UK by Stainless Software who never had a mention from TIHCUC)
Language — Extended Basic
The program loaded first time on both Joystick and Keyboard versions. So, after loading, I typed 'RUN' and a
few seconds later the computer responded with the input 'Does your machine have the hardware problem'''. I
typed 'Y', as Stephen Shaw said that almost all UK consoles do, pressed 'Enter', and the program then asked
me if I wanted to play the advanced level. If I had said 'Y', it would ask me for a password and then would give
me all the full hazards of the game. But 'N' was the reply, and I started to play, after waiting for the computer to
set up the screen with cars, the time (shown in a block graph), banks, and the swamp.
The object of the game is to jump your frog to home avoiding the cars and lorries, tankers and trucks of the five-
lane high-way, and then jump onto the logs and barges, being careful to avoid touching the piranha-infested
water. Easy? You only have a certain amount of time to do it in, and only four lives, and a few screens later you
must also avoid snakes on the logs and crocodiles lurking in your home (lily pad).
It is different from other games (Munchman, TI Invaders, Pinball, Potshot — last two on Video Games 1) in that
one must work quite hard, and concentrate, to score any points at all. For the first few games, the score and
screens completed both registered zero. However, practice makes perfect, and I soon got a frog home. On later
screens it comments on the style of play and even told me I had never played video games!
The graphics are superb, but I feel that some of the hazards could be represented with more graphics e.g. being
eaten by a crocodile, or a snake; instead of seeing a picture of a skull.
The instructions are all right, but rather illegible as they obviously have been printed on a computer with the
pseudo lower case letters being redefined as upper case without true descenders on such letters as p,q,g,y.
Also they are misleading! as they told me to avoid anything blue (the home lily pads are blue!). However, they
did give a comprehensive list of the ways to lose a frog, and the scoring system.
Graphics 95% Instructions 90%
Playability 95% Value for money 80%
We've been asked it we'll take advertisements in the Club News. We may well be able to in time,
but this first issue is pretty packed already, and it looks as if it might be a little while before we
are able to include ads.
First of all, we want to thank LOUISE BARDELL (aged
14) who wrote to us and suggested younger readers of
TI Club News might be called 'TI-GERS'. Well, Louise,
you can see we thought it was a terrific idea — so much
so that we've decided to call this special Kid's Section —
And just to show that apart from being pleased to get
great suggestions and giving nice rewards, we do
actually put them into action!
Louise — GBP 15 is on its way to you with a big thank-you for
naming the page!
And, to all our TI-GER readers — everything we publish
that you have contributed, automatically wins £5.
Now, we know WHO we are let's have a special TI-
GERS badge! Just for us! Send in your designs and the
best one will not only win £15 but become our TI-GERS
CLUB Badge and appear in the next issue of TI CLUB
News. Make them as colourful as you like, and the
shape and size is up to you! Send your designs to: TI-
GERS Club, TI Club News, PO Box NNN, Maidenhead,
Berks SLN 1NN.
HIGH SCORE SPOT — PLAYING PARSEC
Here are some tips on achieving high scores on Parsec
— also from Andrew Myers. Thanks a lot, Andrew.
1) Don't panic!
2) To make killing Dromites very easy, switch to lift 2
and go to the bottom of the screen. When the
Dromite reaches you move upwards and fire.
3) Fire in bursts of about 4 shots. Much more than this
causes your ship to explode on higher levels.
If you wish to cheat, there are a couple of things you
a) To fire an unlimited number of shots press '0' and
the fire button on joystick 2 at the same time. (This
also has the effect of filling the screen with leftover
b) To move to the far left of the screen, first move to
the right a little way, then move to the left and push
the joystick upwards. The ship then continues
moving backwards. Be careful or you will appear on
the far right of the screen.
If you follow the first tips you should do well. At the
moment my best score is 2 million plus — I
eventually gave up. This doesn't mean it's easy,
just that too many bonus ships are given.
I would like to write a childrens page if it has not been
If you decide to take me on, perhaps the first time you
could give me some idea of what to write or a program
to review. After that I would be able to handle it myself!
Yours faithfully, Patrick Cauthery (age 13) — Wilmslow.
As I am fourteen, I was naturally interested in your
children's column. Unfortunately, you do not specify the
age group you are aiming at. If it is the 12-15s then I
would forget it as most of us 'younguns' can do the
things you 'olduns' can — and often better!
I have a few high scores for you — Parsec 578,400 on
level 14 (honest!!) and Tombstone City 135,500 on day
five of insane level.
Yours faithfully, Peter Connors — Rugby
We want to use a lot of material from younger users, so
if you have anything interesting to say, send in your
ideas to TI-GERS PAGE. Anything at all — reviews, high
scores, programs, queries — and we'll see if we can use
it! Write to The TI-GERS Club, at the Club address
given on this page.
You all know already how indebted the new Club is to Paul Dicks, our
Associate Editor and proprietor of TIHOME. Paul has run TIHOME for
several years, providing a terrific software and literature selection for Users
(including "Tidings" magazine).
Paul and TIHOME will continue to operate independently to the TI
Home Computer Users Club, but in friendly co-operation, as he
describes below, and all his subscribers have become Members of the
new Club. Only "Tidings" is no more — we hope you like this new-
format magazine instead. With each issue it will become thicker and
thicker, depending on your own input. We'd like to hear about
everything you think and do — and don't forget, we can print pictures,
Paul will be writing a Paul Dicks Column (or columns!) for Buffs in all our
future issues — we value his contribution very much.
Two years ago, or was it three years ago, I sat at my desk on a Friday
afternoon, after a rather good business lunch and decided that I was fed up
with being the only person I knew that had a TI 99-4. I called my secretary
and dictated a letter to be sent to all the micro magazines. The letter said
"Please contact me if you are interested in joining a TI 99 User Group".
Unfortunately, all the micro magazines published the letter and replies came
flooding in! I was faced with the problem of what would I do with all these
people. I decided to form my own user group and I called it TIHOME.
After a while I contacted Texas Instruments, or did they contact me, and we
agreed to work together for the benefit of owners of the TI 99-4. Over the
years I have discovered that TI are great in lending hardware, but are not
keen on giving money or information. I am not too interested in money — but
the information could have been useful.
TIHOME blossomed and became known around the world as the European
Users Group. After a while I was receiving queries from Australia and so I
sent my complete software collection to Shane Anderson in Sydney and
suggested that he start his own Users Group. There are now at least 5 Users
Groups in Australia, and I like to think I had a little to do with their birth. Later I
started to receive enquiries from the Netherlands, from a fellow called Paul
Karis. He was interested in programs for Holland. I repeated the process with
him and sent him the collection of software. I am happy to report that there is
now a flourishing Users Group in the Netherlands.
During all this time, I found myself accepting members in Hong Kong,
Singapore, Malta, Nigeria, Cayman Isles, United Arab Emirates, Canada,
France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria,
Norway, Channel Isles, Eire, U.S.A., Ceylon, but nobody in New Zealand.
Since then the number of countries we have added to our list has continued
Administering a growing giant
After using one of my son's bedrooms as an office I found myself thrown out
and had to install TIHOME in our dining room. Later the look of the face of my
dearly beloved became rather strained and so I thought it was time that
TIHOME moved somewhere else. Having got the roof converted into an office
I embarked on the job of satisfying the members and customers.
During the life of TIHOME I managed to produce and distribute fourteen
editions of TIDINGS, the TIHOME subscribers magazine. TIDINGS started
as two A4 copied pages and ended as a fat little journal of 120+ pages. Back
copies of TIDINGS can still, of course, be purchased at GBP 2.00 per edition at
Paul Dicks, TIHOME, NNN Bathopsfard Road, Morden, Surrey.
Earlier this year, TI decided that they would take an interest in the User
Group that had been supporting them for the last 2 years. Could this be a
reflection of the way Sir Clive Sinclair was affecting the market! TI decided
that they would ask an outside organisation to run a User Group for their
I was, therefore, invited to assist the new Group in getting
off the ground. TIHOME, being nothing if not totally reasonable, agreed to
this project and there then ensued a series of discussions between TI, the
new Users Group and TIHOME.
The new TI Home Computer Users Club
The outcome of these discussions and agreements is the TI Home Computer
Users Club. This new club, with TIs support, looks like providing a really
good service to users.
The Club officials I have met and spoken with are all people really interested
in producing an excellent service for TI Users. TIHOME subscribers get a
really excellent deal (webnote- almost all members disagreed quite strongly
with this sentiment! Eight pages with very little content failed to replace 64 pages)
in their Membership transfer to the TI Home Computer
Users Club, and can look forward to the same standard of service that they
have received in the past.
So, what happens to TIHOME? TIHOME becomes a software house devoted
to the production of software for the TI 99-4A. It will still continue to sell the
various booklets needed for the 99. It will still offer subscriptions for the
"99'er" magazine. On problems of software you can still ring (01-NNN
750N) between the hours of 7 and 10 in the evening for answers to
your programming troubles.
During the life of TIHOME a number of contributors to TIDINGS made
themselves very popular. Do not worry, you will continue to read these
people in the new Club's NEWS of which this is the first issue.
(web note- well, no, you never did, as the new publishers never accepted any
contributions from them and indicated that contributions were not wanted...)
So, here we are, it is 1983 and everything changes. The French have a
saying that says everything changes and all things stay the same. I rather
think it applies in this case. Both TIHOME and the TI Home Computer Users
Club are in the business of giving a good service to users of the TI 99-4A.
The importance of communicating
Please continue to write your letters to both organisations; without your
opinions we really have no way of knowing what you really think. Please also
continue to send in your articles. You may find that they will be subject to
more editing than they have been in the past, but they stand just as much
chance of being published.
A User Group — any User Group — depends for its success on the
participation of its members. TIHCUC is your Club and it will be as successful
as you make it. So, if you don't like the contents of the magazine, then say
so! (web note- and be ignored...) If you want something that TIHCUC does not
provide, then say so! There
is nothing for nothing in this world, so they say.
The director of the new Club, who I have met and worked with over the last
three months is a person of swift intelligence, and this means that the new
administration will be swift to respond to the opinions coming in from
A look to the future
So there we are, I think I have brought you up to date on what is happening in
the world of TI home computers. Whoever you deal with, you can be assured
that we will make sure that you get the best use and enjoyment out of your
possession of your system.
When I set up TIHOME all those years ago I didn't expect these political
arrangements involving one of the world's largest multi-nationals. However,
that is the way life goes. My interest is the interest of TI 99-4A Users and so I
will continue to ensure that TI Users have the best service available.
end of article
Members of TI*Home were so impressed by the new publication that within a few months a
replacement user group was in operation run by Clive Scally, called TI Exchange, publishing the magazine
TIdings, which continued well past quarterly issue 100! TIHCUC disappeared after five thin issues.
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