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Welcome to the TI-99/4A programming group!


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#1 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:47 PM

Welcome to the TI-99/4A programming group!

To celebrate our spot right here at atariage, I'm starting a little competition.

Rules are simple:
* Create a new original homebrew game for the TI-99/4A, preferably an arcade style game.
* Programming language doesn't matter (Basic, Extended Basic, Assembler, ...)
* The game must run on a real TI-99/4A with 32K memory expansion
* Report your progress and programming questions right here at atariage
* Deadline: January 31st 2010.

Winner will be announced on February 15th 2010.

First prize: MECHATRONIC EXTENDED BASIC II PLUS CARTRIDGE... that's the one with apesoft built-in :D

Attached File  mecha_xbasic_ii_plus.JPG   603.13KB   25 downloads


retroclouds

Edited by kroy2049, Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:24 PM.


#2 GroovyBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:56 PM

How about providing some links to a cross-assembler, emulator, documentation etc.? It would save everybody looking for good information.

#3 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:33 PM

Assembler:
-Use Editor/Assembler on the machine itself (still one of the more common approaches)
-Win994A includes a fairly decent assembler - http://www.99er.net/win994a.shtml
-WHTech has other tools including a c99 cross-compiler and assembler: http://ftp.whtech.com/

WHTech is the primary archive - though it's a bit overwhelming. But pretty much all software, hardware docs, etc, are available there. It's undergoing a reorganization at the moment to hopefully make it more useful.
Secondly useful archive is at 99er.net - http://99er.net/download2/

The best hardware tech page would be Thierry Nouspikel's site: http://www.nouspikel.com/ti99/

Emulators I'll just take from Wikipedia:
* Classic99, a Windows-based emulator including TI-99 ROMs under license from Texas Instruments http://www.harmlessl...tware/Classic99
* Win994a Emulator - a Windows-based emulator of the TI-99/4a http://www.99er.net/win994a.shtml
* TI-99/Sim - a software simulation of the TI-99/4A http://www.mrousseau...ograms/ti99sim/
* PC99 - a commercial DOS-based emulator licensed by Texas Instruments to sell ROMs http://pw2.netcom.com/~mjmw/
* MESS - a multiple system emulator that supports the TI-99/4A http://www.mess.org/
* MacV9T9 - a Macintosh based TI-99/4A emulator http://pytheas.club....sh/MacV9T9.html
* Ti994w - a Windows based emulator with 80 column support http://members.ziggo...94w.html#ti994w

As for guides getting up and running, basics of compiling, ie: turning the above into something you can actually use to get started, there's not a lot out there for that. The TI community is still relatively young so far as the modern age of interest goes. I'll post a quick example of using Editor/Assembler under Classic99, see if that helps.

#4 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:23 PM

It's up now, a simple Assembly "Hello World" using Classic99 (which is easy since the ROMs are built in, and since I wrote it, it's my choice ;) ):

http://www.harmlessl...om/gallery/tiea

First grab the text listing at the top of the thumbnails page, it contain the code. You can either type it in, or copy/paste. Then bring up the first image, and just walk through the gallery, following the steps, and you should produce a basic HELLO WORLD program.

#5 ti99_forever OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:43 PM

...
First prize: MECHATRONIC EXTENDED BASIC II PLUS CARTRIDGE... that's the one with apesoft built-in :D

Attached File  mecha_xbasic_ii_plus.JPG   603.13KB   25 downloads


retroclouds



Got that module. Oh well, guess I won't compete!

#6 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:17 PM

Well, this should be a blast! I will have my game finished... It will just be XB, but hey... Next time it will be A/L, and I look forward to that. Glad to see our little group here. Hopefully it will grow into a blossoming forum and a productive one.

#7 InfernalKeith OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:05 PM

Any reason for the preference for an arcade game, besides personal preference? Not complaining, just asking.

That's a pretty nice prize! I keep getting sidetracked on my new game idea, but I should have some kid-free time this weekend to get a nice bit of work done on it, and will submit some pix and information when I have some.

Keith

#8 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:49 PM

Any reason for the preference for an arcade game, besides personal preference? Not complaining, just asking.


The TI crowd (i.e. the Y! groups) have not been very game centric in the past and Filip (among others) have been trying hard lately to stir up some interest in games on the 4A, as well as try and get some new people interested in the 4A (hence the request to AtariAge for this new group). The 4A shares the same VDP as the Coleco and MSX and we were hoping to get some cross interest, and nothing gets people messing with classic systems like games. :-)

Matthew

Edited by matthew180, Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:49 PM.


#9 BDW OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:41 PM

Sweet! Going to try for my first programmed game.... Dont expect to win, but hey, it'll be fun anyway :)


EDIT: Bah, none of the programs that Tursi posted seem to work (and yes, I did try every one) for my computer. Oh well, maybe next time....

Edited by brandondwright, Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:49 PM.


#10 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:21 PM

What is your system? Classic99 and Win994a run on just about any Windows OS since 98. If you are running some Linux variant, then no, unfortunately we don't have an emulator for Unix yet. I'm not sure about the one for OSX. Hmm, MESS might run on Unix though, but I have not tried it.

Matthew

#11 Albert OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:23 PM

How about providing some links to a cross-assembler, emulator, documentation etc.? It would save everybody looking for good information.

This would actually be a good idea for another thread that can be stuck to the top of the forum.

..Al

#12 BDW OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:29 PM

What is your system? Classic99 and Win994a run on just about any Windows OS since 98. If you are running some Linux variant, then no, unfortunately we don't have an emulator for Unix yet. I'm not sure about the one for OSX. Hmm, MESS might run on Unix though, but I have not tried it.

Matthew


I run a Windows Vista (*gasp*), HP laptop, I'm awaiting the arrival of my copy of Windows 7. Hopefully I can get it to work. This problem truly perplexes me.

#13 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:37 PM

What is your system? Classic99 and Win994a run on just about any Windows OS since 98. If you are running some Linux variant, then no, unfortunately we don't have an emulator for Unix yet. I'm not sure about the one for OSX. Hmm, MESS might run on Unix though, but I have not tried it.

Matthew
[/quote]

I run a Windows Vista (*gasp*), HP laptop, I'm awaiting the arrival of my copy of Windows 7. Hopefully I can get it to work. This problem truly perplexes me.
[/quote]

Classic99 is my emulator of choice... I use it exclusively for my programming needs... Fantastic emulator, truly first rate...

#14 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:42 PM

I never tried specifically on Vista, although one of my machines was Vista machine until 7 came out. ;-) I've been running Classic99 and Win994a on XP for a few years, and now on Win7 without any problems. I hope you can get it sorted.

Matthew

#15 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:05 PM

Classic99 was developed on XP and Vista, and I run it today on 7.

However, there were some reports of recent versions having permissions problems... can you pin down the error you got when you tried it?

MESS should definately run on everything, though of course you need ROMs.

#16 Willsy ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:35 PM

HI everyone!

For assembly language development (in the Windows environment) the best way by far is:

* Classic99 emulator
* ASM99 assembler (part of the Win994A emulator download from www.99er.net)

The assembler can dump the assembled object code directly into a DSK folder in Classic99, available to load immediately. It's very quick. Also the debugger in Classic99 is unmatched.

If any Atariage guys are interested in developing *anything* for the TI, us TI guys are all happy to help.

Thanks to the webmaster for opening up this forum to the TI-99/4A. I think it's going to be great here!

PS: I have a few TI-99/4A speech demos on YouTube. Just type in MarkWillsUK into YouTube, and you will find them.

Regards to all

Mark

#17 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:55 PM

Mark, will you be entering your new project into the contest? Let me know now, so I don't waste my time. =) hehehe <jk>

**For those of you who don't know what Mark's project is, please check out >> http://www.opry99er....evelopments.php << About 3/4 of the way down the page. The screen shots look brilliant Mark. Written 100% in TMS9900 Assembler. Unfortunately the video on the page does not have sound, so you can't hear the excellent use of the "Speech Synth" on the video, but hey... If he "Manically Mines" here in the near future, you will all be hearing it. It's a "big" program, but luckily we now have a 64k cartridge board available to the TI community. Like to see the game on one of those, chap.

#18 BDW OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:46 PM

Classic99 was developed on XP and Vista, and I run it today on 7.

However, there were some reports of recent versions having permissions problems... can you pin down the error you got when you tried it?

MESS should definately run on everything, though of course you need ROMs.

Sorry Tursi, when I run it, a window pops up saying that Windoz is attempting to find why Classic99 stopped working. Then it says that I need to close the program.

If it helps, I downloaded the recent version.

I suppose this is alright, I'll download an earlier version. If all else fails, Windows 7 is coming in a couple of weeks, and I hear the compatibility is much better than Vista.

#19 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:38 AM

For assembly language development (in the Windows environment) the best way by far is:

* Classic99 emulator
* ASM99 assembler (part of the Win994A emulator download from www.99er.net)

The assembler can dump the assembled object code directly into a DSK folder in Classic99, available to load immediately. It's very quick. Also the debugger in Classic99 is unmatched.


While the above is not bad at all, my choice (in the Windows environment) is:

* MESS emulator
* TIAsm assembler

I believe the ASM99 mentioned is called WinAsm99. While the latter can dump in object code, both WinAsm99 (605 KB) and the more limited TIAsm (58 KB) can dump in binary (typically ready to run cartridge format). It's much quicker.

Also there’s a somewhat matching debugger in MESS. Both debuggers are not state-of-the-art.

With MESS I move easily between different game systems.

:)

#20 S1500 ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:24 AM

Which assembly learn-how book was the tan colored one? I had that book, but sadly, it got real confusing after the first 5 pages.

#21 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:55 AM

That is the Molesworth "Introduction to Assembly." The one I'm trying to muddle through. It's not great.

#22 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:51 AM


How about providing some links to a cross-assembler, emulator, documentation etc.? It would save everybody looking for good information.

This would actually be a good idea for another thread that can be stuck to the top of the forum.

..Al


I've just added a TI-99 resources thread. Don't know how to make this a sticky thread, so requested some help from Albert.
I know that there are still resources missing. If you know stuff that should be added, then let me know and I'll update the thread.

retroclouds

#23 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:16 PM

That is the Molesworth "Introduction to Assembly." The one I'm trying to muddle through. It's not great.


I have that book too, and I had it when I was trying to learn 9900 assembly in '84. Reading it now I understand what the author was saying, but holy crap, I understand only because of what I now know.

Currently the best book (IMO) for learning 9900 assembly from scratch is: Lottrup's Book: Beginner's Guide to Assembly

At first I only had the E/A manual, which is a very technical reference manual really, then I had Moleswroth's book which didn't help much either. Once I got Lottrup's book I was actually able to start making programs. The problem, I now realize, with Lottrup's book is that even though it lets you get up and making programs, it does not help much in getting a full understanding of what is really going on.

I've been kicking around the idea of writing some in depth tutorials on getting started with 9900 assembly on the 99/4A, I just never had a reason other than for my own satisfaction. If there are actually people out there who might read such a thing, it would be good motivation for me to actually start writing.

Matthew

#24 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:09 PM


Classic99 was developed on XP and Vista, and I run it today on 7.

However, there were some reports of recent versions having permissions problems... can you pin down the error you got when you tried it?

MESS should definately run on everything, though of course you need ROMs.

Sorry Tursi, when I run it, a window pops up saying that Windoz is attempting to find why Classic99 stopped working. Then it says that I need to close the program.

If it helps, I downloaded the recent version.

I suppose this is alright, I'll download an earlier version. If all else fails, Windows 7 is coming in a couple of weeks, and I hear the compatibility is much better than Vista.


Have this problem with the newest classic99 in Vista too.

Seems to be a permission thing. Running classic99 with administrator rights will do the trick.
Right click on the classic99 executable; now a context menu will appear. Select "Run as administrator" and confirm.

#25 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:39 PM

Thanks for the Classic99 feedback... unfortunately I am about to go out of town, but I will try to see what it's doing wrong. It doesn't write the registry or (in theory) access anything funky. People can try deleting the Classic99.INI that ships with it - there are some erroneous definitions in there that I suspected might be causing the problem. Except for using admin rights I haven't heard back if any of the suggestions I've given make a difference. :)




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