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Is some TI legacy hardware becoming redundant?


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#26 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2018 1:30 PM

Are some legacy TI hardware devices becoming redundant?

 

For those planning on getting the P-Box version of the TIPI when it comes out, do you think you'll ever use your RS-232 cards or HDX's ever again?  I'm not sure I'll ever use my UDS-10 or either of my RS-232 cards ever again.  I might just pull them out of the box to lessen the load on the aging powersupply and to eliminate extra cords in "the rats nest".

 

Since the TIPI, and Lotharek type SD devices arrived on the scene, how many of you still use your legacy disk drives?

I have an external 3.5 drive that I've not used in at least two years.  I'm not sure I ever will again. 

 

I know cartridges will fair better since some people collect them, but with FInalGROMS's and UberGROMS, a lot of legacy cartridges just take up space, collecting dust.

 

Do you any of you guys have the same problem, feeling like you're being buried under a mass of unused hardware?  I was so happy to acquire each and every one of these items a few short years ago, but a lot of the new tech is so much smaller and does so much more.

 

For those with specialty hardware, P-Boxes are still necessary, I know I'll never get rid of mine, but I wonder if in some cases, for people with room, will the P-Box just become a fancy retro case for the TIPI?

 

I'm really interested in your comments, insights and opinions.  It seems we are at a turning point in the hobby for non purists, and I'm not sure what's going to happen.

 

I think the question is generic enough that any classic computer enthusiast can chime in.

 

I don't have a TI-99/4A these days. I did as a kid back in the day, along with many other systems. And for reasons of space and "overwhelmage" I settled on keeping my Apple II stuff which I continue to keep to this day.

 

The Apple II has a number of slots in it, and all chips are socketed, and there is a PEB-like box called the Mountain Hardware Expansion Chassis. MHEC. So we have tons of expansion capability that can be had in many forms.

 

---

 

I remain a purist with my Apple II material, and I keep the old equipment around, the 300-baud modems, the serial and parallel interface cards, lower-case chips, 80-column cards, 16K RamCards, drives and drive controllers, clock boards. All of it. I keep at least 1 working example of all the material I had as a kid. I also get new updated modern stuff from time-to-time like VGA adapters or a flash-based storage solution. But I don't get upset if it shows a bit of wear and tear.

 

But at the same time I consider these new modern pieces an onging demonstration of the original EXPANSION CAPABILITY of the system. It's like hey look! I can plug this 21st century hardware into an old vintage computer!

 

So while it makes some things redundant, like storage and floppies, it is not a 100% replacement. It's. Just. Different. In practice I'll use both the old and the new from time to time. With the bulk of my activities done through emulation because of unparalleled convenience and speed.

 

The Apple II eco-sphere is adept at handing and converting and transferring disk images. Many multiple ways to do the same thing, each with different mixes of old and new hardware.

 

---

 

As time goes on and we become "less-purist" I think one's attention settles on the software experience and aura surrounding a game or program. And exactly what hardware the software is run on becomes less important.



#27 80s_Atari_Guy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2018 2:37 PM

I could never go back to the original media, I simply don't have the time to faff about with loading tapes. Today, life is to short to faff with old media.

I mean, I still know a few mates from the late 70s and early 80s, and they're all married with kids, family life, and work fulltime. When they get home they have to deal with kids, the wife, meals, a bit of TV. Then when they finally get a hour spare they fire up one of their retro machines.

I do the same, but I don't have to deal with kids or a wife. But I do have to deal with my dog, and have a myself a meal. I get a hour or two in week days, and a few more hours at weekends. I do not want to deal with faffing around looking for tapes or disks. Might have to rewind them, then might have several tries of loading them. All that can be alleviated by using a modern sdcard solution.

A sd2sio for my A800. Sd2iec for C64. DivMMC Future or TZXDuino for my Spectrums. On TI994A, I have NanoPeb and Flashrom 99. Everything at the click of a button. No need to spend hours looking for tapes, rewinding tapes, dealing with tape/disk errors, or finding the disks.

 

This has nothing to do with purism, and everything to do with real life, and dealing with life today, not 35+ years ago. 35 years ago, I had plenty of time. But even back then, I would have died for some of today's modern sdcard solutions.



#28 fabrice montupet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2018 3:23 PM

I like to plug and swap TI cartridges,  I like the sound of my floppy drives, I like to ear the tape sounds too, I like the speed of my serial and PIO ports. You see, I like to see my old devices playing,  The delays of loading programs has no importance, because my goal (what I only love) is the continue to live the first emotions with my TI-99/4A.  I have one modern device: The FinalGrom and I like it because it permits me to test  new programs during their developpment stages. But when the programs are finalized, I burn them on EPROM and put them in a cartridge to play with them.

If I want to use USB, Wifi, Ethernet, new GPU, CPU or any other modern technologies, I use my numerous modern computers .  When I see the 99/4A under perfusion with modern chips, I do not recognize the old computer that I love and I go away.
 



#29 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2018 3:32 PM

In 1977 I fantasizes about and wrote a paper about "Superman" style crystals that could store and play ever game ever made. And today we have that! They're just not glitzy in the sense of Hollywood" and "future Disco".

#30 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2018 3:37 PM

  When I see the 99/4A under perfusion with modern chips, I do not recognize the old computer that I love and I go away.


That's true to a point, maybe. If a computer has expansion slots, then all modern hardware is doing is making use of those slots as intended. For future expansion.

It bothers me when accelerators that can run 50x faster come into play, like the Vampire for the Amiga. It's really a whole new computer, and your classic rig becomes a dumb terminal. It's why they make a stand-alone version of it too!

#31 fabrice montupet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2018 4:50 PM

For future expansion.

You're right :-)  A futur... as long as the old computer keeps its DNA and it not uses totally anachronic technologies. I do not care about the rest,  I keep in mind that this computer is not anymore productive (My Mac and PC computers are) . By using the 99/4A,  I only espect two things: Revive the original sensations and also see all its capabilities (not totally exploited at the old times) , discovering its limits constantly pushed by the genious of some current programmers.



#32 Casey OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 30, 2018 6:09 PM

What I love about the new hardware is that it shows just how good the design was originally.  No one could have known at the time they made the system that something like Compact Flash would ever be a thing, or that a raspberry pi (a totally separate computer) could somehow be hooked into it, and just "work" the way the TI operating system design said it would, or that someone could design a cartridge in such a way that every cartridge that ever existed could be on 1 tiny SD card.  But they do, and they allow us to further extend the usefulness of the 99/4A without fundamentally changing it.  I would never want to replace how the 99/4A works.  I like seeing the color bar screen when I turn it on.  I like the menu that appears when I "press any key to begin".  But I love that I can save and load programs to flash media, or use the TIPI to do things that were never even imagined when the machine was being conceived.



#33 fabrice montupet OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 31, 2018 1:12 PM

Of course, if I am not interested by some of these new too modern devices, I salute the very good skills of their developers who make an impressive job :-)



#34 Vorticon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 31, 2018 2:30 PM

I'm with Fabrice on this one. There is something incredibly nostalgic about old hardware running. I have no real practical use for the TI, so any use of it is purely for fun and experimentation. Sometimes I run out of curse words when the old hardware does not behave, but it's all part of the experience. I have absolutely no qualms about using new modern expansions, but they will never overshadow the original stuff, just augment it.

#35 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 31, 2018 5:52 PM

I don't think there is an issue with new hardware vs legacy stuff.

I agree that both are good and interest many people. I have both new as well as old stuff.

What I find annoying is the total all in, cheerleading of the next new thing at the expense of existing stuff that occurs at intervals from one direction.

Personally I am following the TIPI PEB project with an open minded, but experienced level of interest. If it looks to me like it seemlessly integrates into a TI system then bam it's on. There is ( I imagine ) more unseen hurdles so I will watch and see how they are handled. I doubt it will replace my SCSI or IDE card nor my RS232 (not to mention my FDC) but it looks like a really good addition on the books.

So, sorry to interupt your normal programming. TI on at your leisure.

#36 Ed in SoDak OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 31, 2018 11:09 PM

It seems it's a bit different for everyone. I'm an old-schooler and built my TI systems back when they were currently sold and not long after TI pulled the plug.

 

Like now, there were numerous avenues for upgrading the TI. I'm currently perusing old issues of Ryte Data's newsletters from circa 1986. The number and variety of upgrades back then was no less than astounding. There were multiple versions of memory cards, PEB replacements, disk controllers, GRAM emulators, video upgrades and several proposed console replacements, among other choices!

 

Out of them all, the Geneve caught my fancy (I could only afford ONE, so why not dream big?), but the extended wait for a functional form and then a working, supported OS was too long and I moved on. My ultimate goal was photo-quality desktop publishing, so I went with Mac. For me, the proof was in the printout. My own explorations using The Printer's Apprentice, Joy Paint and my Epson were still only glorified dot-matrix approximations of magazine-quality output.

 

Other than the photo-realistic output the Mac provided, my dual TI+peb setups still met all my needs in my darkroom/photography business, so I never felt the strong urge to upgrade and that's how my TI remains to this day. I sure don't use them like I used to. Back in the early 90's, I was almost as active online as I am today, though it was all text-only and dialup back then. If I wasn't programming, I was surfing. If neither of those, I was timing a darkroom process or figuring costs/profits, printing invoices or letters or doing bookwork for both my own self-employed business and my wife's.

 

Perhaps unlike many others here, my TI was essential to my business, so it's usefulness lived on long after I'd switched over to Mac. Similarly, many of my own TI XB programs were utility- or business-related. Game playing was important, but secondary. I got seriously hooked on Legends! If I needed a program to do something, I turned to my TI. I never did learn how to program my Mac!

 

These days, I can scratch my TI itch with emulation. With a bit of effort, I can port my old programs or new stuff between the Mac and TI using the RS232 and Telco on the TI (Z Term on the Mac). My disks of 30 years ago are still good with multiple backups of important stuff. Plenty of spares to keep the TI's hardware side going as well.

 

For the most part, I don't have a real need to upgrade and I admit I'm not a dedicated gamer type. But I also admit I'm seriously watching all these upgrade options once again.

 

With my 3-foot-long firehose extender, the size of the PEB or the cables is not an issue. It can tuck it away off the desk entirely. I only need to be able to hit the power to it and insert a disk to be off and running.

 

An interesting question: Would I have landed in this same place today if the Geneve had come off a little better? Would I still have ended up in the Mac camp eventually? Probably, but it would still be fun to see what coulda-shoulda been, with the new TIPI here now and the also amazing Eric's Tiny PEB in development and so many other wonders of software and hardware!

 

Final note: What's redundant to you and just taking up space could be much-appreciated by others with only a console/cassette and looking for more. At one time, two full PEB systems was indispensable to me. I should take my own advice and move one on.

-Ed


Edited by Ed in SoDak, Thu May 31, 2018 11:56 PM.


#37 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 1, 2018 10:24 AM

I don't think there is an issue with new hardware vs legacy stuff.

I agree that both are good and interest many people. I have both new as well as old stuff.

What I find annoying is the total all in, cheerleading of the next new thing at the expense of existing stuff that occurs at intervals from one direction.

Personally I am following the TIPI PEB project with an open minded, but experienced level of interest. If it looks to me like it seemlessly integrates into a TI system then bam it's on. There is ( I imagine ) more unseen hurdles so I will watch and see how they are handled. I doubt it will replace my SCSI or IDE card nor my RS232 (not to mention my FDC) but it looks like a really good addition on the books.

So, sorry to interupt your normal programming. TI on at your leisure.

 

This statement confuses me, have you watched the videos or read the wiki?  

 

The card is not meant to replace any of those cards that's just other people talking about their systems.  It doesn't do rs232, it's not a disk controller or a ram disk, and it's definitely not a SCSI/IDE or HDX replacement. 

 

It is entirely stand alone and gives you additional functionality and can be used in conjunction with any other card out there. Flat file system as large as your raspberry pi storage device can hold, DSK1-3 emulation to any folder in your TIPI_DISK folder, TCP/UDP port forwarding from the PI and of course PI.http:// file access to pull down data/programs from the www.  Also we are discussing putting in a PIO emulation that allows you to open PIO on the TI and it will store that data on the PI for printing with CUPS or running through a filter (I have been messing with an epson->PS converter that almost works for doing epson graphics to printing on my laserprinter.. works fine with text tho)  and I'm sure more things we haven't thought of yet.

 

At this point we haven't done any specific testing other than one prototype but it will be tested with many cards before sale.  Any hurdles that we have found are all resolved. But we need people like you to use it, find issues and report them so that those can be addressed to. People that can write software are needed to test it's boundaries too.  The options for TCP/UDP and mass storage are pretty amazing!

 

Greg



#38 barry.peterson OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 1, 2018 11:29 AM

My concern lately, is the if/when I go (the BIG go) my wife will have no idea of what I've left her with. What I've acquired came from local purchases/gifts and long-distance purchases. Shipping costs more than the stuff is worth and she won't know how to find buyers or where to give it away. (Goodwill would be an option but the dumpster would be easier.)

 

A realtor from 12+ years ago asked: "Barry, why do you have 23 keyboards?"

 

My reply: "Because 22 was not enough!"



#39 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 1, 2018 12:32 PM

I have given my wife the eMail addresses and screen names of the people in this community who I want to be involved with the 'reassignment' of my collection. 3 are members here, one is a member of the CTIUG who is not a member here.

She'll know where to go. I told her I don't want anything dumped and not to sell TI gear to anyone outside of the community. The four individuals I put in as the "TI contacts" will know how to sell/distribute my stuff.

Edited by Opry99er, Fri Jun 1, 2018 12:35 PM.


#40 digdugnate OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 1, 2018 1:07 PM

you know, i had really never considered this angle of my collections of stuff, lol.  my wife knows generally what everything is and i'd say that my son would end up inheriting the majority of my vintage gear.

 

That being said, there better be room in the casket for my PEB!



#41 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 1, 2018 2:48 PM

I have all that information referenced and provided to my attorney who holds my will and documented inventory, including what stuff can be tossed and who to contact to redistribute or how to sell.  I do not think selling will be a consideration.



#42 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 1, 2018 4:31 PM

I've had no takers when it comes to my material. So far, off to the dumps, because no one in the family is interested.



#43 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 1, 2018 4:37 PM

I've had no takers when it comes to my material. So far, off to the dumps, because no one in the family is interested.


...which makes them 'normal'. You really shouldn't be surprised. Now, if you had kept all your Amiga stuff, then you'd really have something there. And even the "uninitiated" would know what to do with it. I mean... just do a search for all things Amiga! :lol:

#44 acadiel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 2, 2018 6:33 AM

 

This statement confuses me, have you watched the videos or read the wiki?  

 

The card is not meant to replace any of those cards that's just other people talking about their systems.  It doesn't do rs232, it's not a disk controller or a ram disk, and it's definitely not a SCSI/IDE or HDX replacement. 

 

It is entirely stand alone and gives you additional functionality and can be used in conjunction with any other card out there. Flat file system as large as your raspberry pi storage device can hold, DSK1-3 emulation to any folder in your TIPI_DISK folder, TCP/UDP port forwarding from the PI and of course PI.http:// file access to pull down data/programs from the www.  Also we are discussing putting in a PIO emulation that allows you to open PIO on the TI and it will store that data on the PI for printing with CUPS or running through a filter (I have been messing with an epson->PS converter that almost works for doing epson graphics to printing on my laserprinter.. works fine with text tho)  and I'm sure more things we haven't thought of yet.

 

At this point we haven't done any specific testing other than one prototype but it will be tested with many cards before sale.  Any hurdles that we have found are all resolved. But we need people like you to use it, find issues and report them so that those can be addressed to. People that can write software are needed to test it's boundaries too.  The options for TCP/UDP and mass storage are pretty amazing!

 

Greg

 

 

It's more like this... :)

 


 



#45 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 2, 2018 7:09 AM

I would be quite happy with NFS or SMB file access from the TI side.



#46 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 2, 2018 8:18 AM

I would be quite happy with NFS or SMB file access from the TI side.

Yup you can do that just mount the smb or nfs in tipi_files directory structure.

Also Tipi comes with a smb share by default to the tipi_files folder.

And web access with a file manager that has auto converted upload so if you upload a v9t9 file it will convert it to tifiles

Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk

#47 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 2, 2018 5:10 PM

 
This statement confuses me, have you watched the videos or read the wiki?  
 
The card is not meant to replace any of those cards that's just other people talking about their systems.  It doesn't do rs232, it's not a disk controller or a ram disk, and it's definitely not a SCSI/IDE or HDX replacement. 
 
It is entirely stand alone and gives you additional functionality and can be used in conjunction with any other card out there. Flat file system as large as your raspberry pi storage device can hold, DSK1-3 emulation to any folder in your TIPI_DISK folder, TCP/UDP port forwarding from the PI and of course PI.http:// file access to pull down data/programs from the www.  Also we are discussing putting in a PIO emulation that allows you to open PIO on the TI and it will store that data on the PI for printing with CUPS or running through a filter (I have been messing with an epson->PS converter that almost works for doing epson graphics to printing on my laserprinter.. works fine with text tho)  and I'm sure more things we haven't thought of yet.
 
At this point we haven't done any specific testing other than one prototype but it will be tested with many cards before sale.  Any hurdles that we have found are all resolved. But we need people like you to use it, find issues and report them so that those can be addressed to. People that can write software are needed to test it's boundaries too.  The options for TCP/UDP and mass storage are pretty amazing!
 
Greg


That sounds great. Didn't mean to confuse you.

#48 LASooner OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 3, 2018 12:48 AM

I have one TI that I keep all the original equipment as it was, and I have one TI that gets all the new gizmos and gadgets people come up with.

 

So nothing gets replaced.



#49 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 3, 2018 1:00 PM

I tend to try and keep at least one copy of everything I can get my hands on to use as reference test equipment when I'm working on new stuff. . .more people have that old stuff than you might imagine--and I want to make sure the new stuff plays nice with it.



#50 iKarith OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:52 PM

There are a lot of landmines in this thread so I'm going to carefully not reply to anything but Omega's original post and therefore carefully avoid them all.  *KABOOM*

 

Right.

 

There's always going to be a place for original hardware.  I don't personally use floppy disks all that often anymore.  In a couple of platforms, I have and want to maintain the ability to use them, but I don't personally have the space, the need, nor the inclination to mess with them usually.  I just don't need them.  But there are also people for whom the idea of using anything but those old floppies is just strange/weird.  These older and newer technologies are redundant in that they serve the same purpose from the perspective of the TI console, but they're not the same thing in the eyes of many collectors and longtime fans of the system.

 

Where you're going to start running into "redundant" technology is the stuff that was not contemporary to the machine.  Do you need a nanoPEB if you have Matt's 32k/TiPi?  Do you need a FinalROM/99 if you have a FinalGROM/99?  Do you need the UDS-10 anymore?  The UDS-10 is at least itself vintage technology, but it hails from almost a decade later.  WiFi alternatives now exist, and there's TiPi.  Can TiPi give you a serial port for things that aren't telnet though?  Do you need that?

I'd like to find good uses for some of this stuff, but I'm not sure some of these things really are obsolete now if you have the things that have supplanted them.  The nanoPEB was a great thing in its day—or would've been if the QA was a little more consistent—but the number of reported problem units is said to have been high (my own required some repair before it came into my hands), and this coupled with hand-assembly by a single person just hurt availability.  A person could've been very enthusiastic about it and less so a short time later as it becomes clear that the nanoPEB wasn't living up to those expectations.

But having a nanoPEB that works well enough (it's an odd duck among nanoPEBs, doesn't properly fit the 3D printed case, etc), but TiPi is the better device to have given the choice, even for being more complex to set up and use.






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