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"Playing" ROM's into the TI-99/4A's cassette input?


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#1 Synthead OFFLINE  

Synthead

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Posted Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:32 PM

I just scored a TI-99/4A at a thrift store for $5! I got the original power supply with the power filter, an RF modulator, and the cassette tape cable. After about 30 minutes of messing around with the DIN-5 connector, I soldered up a composite/analog audio cable and the picture is very, very good. So now I wanna mess with it!

My question: can I somehow use a program, conversion method, etc., to turn ROMS into an audio file that the TI-99/4A can recognize and load? Or are there recordings of TI-99/4A cassettes somewhere on the internet? I have no floppy drives or program cassettes to my avail at the moment, so I thought I would ask you guys what you think!

#2 Synthead OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:46 PM

Hey, I just thought of something. Maybe I could get an emulator going with a loaded ROM and "save" the program (I would imagine there would be some kind of audio output/audio file support) while "reading" it from my TI-99 ... :)

#3 jaybird3rd OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:45 PM

Congratulations on your thrift store find!

ROMs and cassette-based programs are really two different things. Put very simply, ROMs are generally copies of cartridge-based programs, which are in the computer's memory the moment you turn on the machine, while cassettes contain programs/data that are loaded into memory after the fact. Programs designed for one format generally won't work in another format without modification. I haven't looked into it in detail, but apparently there are 99/4A cassette tape images available on the Internet ('FIAD' files) that can be used directly with a 99/4A emulator, or converted into a sound file (a 'WAV' file) so they can be "played back" into a real 99/4A (or transferred to tape) through the computer's sound card. I found one program that is designed to handle this conversion automatically; I haven't tried it yet, but from looking at the documentation it seems pretty easy to use.

Attached File  TAPE994A.ZIP   265.32KB   283 downloads

EDIT: Here's another utility that seems to be newer than the one I mentioned earlier.

#4 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:54 PM

Hey, I just thought of something. Maybe I could get an emulator going with a loaded ROM and "save" the program (I would imagine there would be some kind of audio output/audio file support) while "reading" it from my TI-99 ... :)


I'm afraid it won't work like that. If you bought a bare TI-99/4A console it only has 256 bytes real memory.
It does have 16K memory attached to the video processor but you can't run assembly programs there.
The easiest way to get going is to get a CF7+ compact flash device. The CF7+ has 32K real memory and most of the game roms
are also available in a disk version which you can store on the compact flash card.

It should be possible to load the disk version of the assembly game via cassette, but you still need the 32K memory.
There was an article about that in one of the Smart Programmer issues. Then again I don't think it's that much fun
waiting for ages while the game loads from tape. :D




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