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Member Since 26 Jun 2014
OFFLINE Last Active May 17 2019 7:37 AM

Topics I've Started

Creative Computing Software for the TI

Wed Feb 6, 2019 2:55 PM

Has anyone ever tracked down any of the three titles that Creative Computing released for the TI? Below is the page in their Catalog 8 that lists them. They're also mentioned in the TI Home Computer Program Library brochure that usually came with a TI-99/4A. I've no idea if this software was any good, just curious if these titles have ever been preserved or if they may be most liekly lost to history.


Amusing yet true marketing claim by TI from Back in the Day, durable indeed

Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:52 PM

Here is a piece of marketing copy (item 10) that has indeed stood the test of time. Such a shame their support for the computer ended so abruptly, but of course, money talks.


This comes from the "Introduction to Computing with the TI-99/4A" booklet that was put out by the TI Computer Advantage Club in the "Commonly Asked Questions" section.


The second one (item 12) was clearly a shot at both of Commodore's computers - the VIC 20 and the 64 - with the marketing hype taking over by mentioning only good things such as creatively arriving at access to 110K of memory and a 16-bit processor in the era of 8-bits, even if the machine really was unable to take full advantage of it. Dazzle 'em with numbers - the higher, the better, baby! (...or baffle 'em with BS, depends on your point of view)



MBX replacement headset?

Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:10 PM

Just wondering how the MBX headset works, since I may be acquiring one that's missing the headset. As I understand it, the headphones aren't actually that - there's no audio - but is instead a convenient way to attach the mic to your head while playing with both hands. So is it just a simple mic plug that would work with any mic that can attach to it?

Ti99dir - CF card limited to 2621 DSK images?

Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:16 PM

So I bought two 4 GB compact flash cards for the nanoPEB I recently purchased. After formatting them within Ti99dir, it tells me that there are 2621 volumes available. However, based on the information provided in the CF geometry option in the nanoPEB's menu, it's telling me there is space available for 4883 volumes. This would seem to jive with the documentation on the nanoPEB site which explains that you need to divide the capacity of the CF card (in my case, 3,999,137,729) by 819,200. This results in 4881.76. Now granted, I'm sure I'll have difficulty filling the card with that many disk images, but I am curious to know if this 2621 volume limitation is due to Ti99dir or something else.


Now as for the CF cards - I bought a Verbatim and a SanDisk. Per the note in the nanoPEB manual, it states that SanDisk and Kingston work best and that due to timing issues, not all CF cards will work. Sure enough, the nanoPEB doesn't recognize the Verbatim card, sometimes corrupting it (the first volume, apparently) with some oddball garbage characters, requiring it to be reformatted. The SanDisk initially had this problem too, but after some perseverance, I was able to get it to work. Ti99dir is able to read from and write to it fine. I've even copied files back to my PC and verified that they weren't corrupted. The card only gets corrupted after the nanoPEB has tried to access it. Has anyone else had any luck with a Verbatim CF card?

My "new" TI-99/4A with FinalGROM and nanoPEB - so darn cool!

Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:10 PM

Okay, now I know what I've been missing. And let me tell you, I'm glad I dove back in!


I picked up a few TIs from a person nearby whose relative was apparently a hoarder. I figured I'd grab three to start (yes, there are a decent amount of additional ones I may grab) and thankfully one of them works with almost no issues. The other two I will be sending off to another AA member to attempt repairs once I recover from having my gall bladder removed this Wednesday. I am tentative about picking up any additional equipment because the place they were stored has water damage due to both a leaky roof and very damp basement. In fact, the 3 machines I picked up still have a bad mildew smell to them. If I can get what I want at a decent enough price, I will. If not, I'll be happy with my current set up, which does include a speech synthesizer.


I know I've said this a few times in other threads, but I've really been missing my original hardware for a couple of years now, wishing I had never given away the rather large collection of TI-99 items I had up until 2010. But, it may have been for the best, now that I've gotten a hold of a FinalGROM and a nanoPEB. So much power in so little space! It's amazing how you can fit pretty much every TI cartridge onto an SD card and over 2500 diskettes onto a 4 GB CF drive. Add to that the 32K expansion and RS-232 port, it's amazing that I've been able to expand to my dream TI set-up for less than $150 including shipping for these two amazing pieces of equipment. These are so much better than the humongous and noisy PEB (not to mention the cards needed to fill it) and all those cartridges and aging diskettes lying around. If I had the space to store it all or enough room to set up all of the systems I'd like to, it wouldn't be an issue, but having downsized my living space by more than half between 2005 and 2010, these tiny devices are a godsend. So for me, it's a wonderful alternative.


Between this and my modernized Amiga 4000, this is like living in retro computing heaven. Two of my three favorite computing platforms (the third being the Apple ][ line) I now have working original equipment that are modernized to enjoy nearly everything there is to enjoy on them. It's doubtful I'll ever get any original Apple ][ hardware due to how the prices on them have soared over the past few years, which is fine since I already have to swap my systems in and out of my limited space in order to enjoy them. I guess I can settle for Apple ][ emulation on my Raspberry Pi for now!


I just wanted to thank all the hobbyists who have kept this 40-year old computer relevant (or at the very least still fun to play around with) all these years later. There are far too many people to list without anyone feeling slighted, so I will just thank all of the contributors to this wonderful group here on AA as well as on FB for all the useful and helpful information on modernizing the first computer I ever owned. Like the Blood, Sweat and Tears song goes: You've Made Me So... Very Happy!