Thanks for the quick reply and for welcoming me to the community.
The laptop actually shipped with Vista. When Win7 came out in 2009, I bought an oem license and did a fresh install. I agree that XP may be a little faster, but honestly I don't think that is the issue considering that I have ~nothing~ running in the background (even disabled Windows Defender, for example). Ultimately, you may be right and changing the OS may be the only choice, but I know that I ran Classic99 on this machine a number of years, possibly when Vista was the OS, and I had no issues then. I had an XP laptop with a 1.3ghz Pentium M back in 2003 and it handled Classic99 and Win994a fine.
Regarding the video issues, I need to change the Mess settings to run as Directdraw (not D3D, which give me a black screen) and I also ned to turn off that stretching, as that makes the screen look fuzzy, not sharp and crisp. I am guessing that the Mess140 install in the gamebase is using Directdraw, but the fuzzy look suggests that stretching is enabled.
I am probably having a type of midlife crisis, looking to rekindle the passion that I had for programming and (some) gaming during my youth with the TI-99 and later my C-128D (used exclusively in C64 mode, except for word processing school reports). While I owned, loved, and spent more time with the C128D, I still enjoy and remember the TI more fondly. They say that you always treasure your first the most. Maybe it is that, but I think there is more to it.
I've browsed a number of TI websites recently, and I now want to play some of the games that I never knew existed, primarily the CRPG games such as Legends I/II and Wizard's Revenge. I had never heard of them as a kid. Tunnels of Doom was all that I knew and owned as an RPG, and I certainly love that game. I was thrilled to see that a gamebase was available for the TI-99, so that led me here. Can't beat having everything in one package. If all else fails, I'll just run this from my desktop pc, but I use the laptop much more, so I kind of wanted that mobility and convenience.
On a side note, any idea whether Owen is still working on his CRPG The Legend of Beryl Reichardt? That thread seems to have stopped almost a year ago. It would be amazing to think that a new game is available for a computer system that is almost 35 years old. That is just fascinating to me.