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helocast

Member Since 5 Dec 2016
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 6:33 PM

About Me

Is this where the mini-bio goes? :sleep: 

 

Life Experience: Raised a Colorado farmer + livestock feedlot son ... wanted to become a locomotive engineer or a commercial airline pilot. Mom and Dad made sure I experienced 4-H projects/fairs, Future Farmers of America, six years of piano lessons + six years learning/owning various woodwind instruments throughout junior high/high school.

Moved on to college with the intent to complete a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. Completed a full four semesters before the Reagan Years happened, the economy tanked, inflation soared, and my parents lost their farm. My parents moved to Texas; I moved to a military career totaling almost 26 combined years both as enlisted (Intelligence) and officer (Chinook Helicopter Test Pilot Instructor). Currently "retired" as of 2012.

 

Travel: More-than-tourist visited/traveled to and/or was assigned in all 50 U.S. states, South Korea, Japan, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan (probably missing a few that weren't more than an airport stopover, so I don't count those).

 

My first computer was a new, "fire sale-pricing" TI-99/4A + PEB V1 my uncle hooked me up with. I even did a couple high school presentations trying to get teachers/parents interested in our beloved machine (latter end of the height of TI-99/4A Home Computer sales).

Then came learning on the Apple II (singular) and Apple II+ (singular) my very rural high school math/physics/track coach managed to budget in for his college bound students during my last two years of high school. Then came learning on shared mainframe time at college programming in Fortran '77 on terminals for the engineering courses. And finally my first IBM-clone PC around 1988-1990ish.

 

My TI+PEB got lost in one of my many movies and I only recently got back into "owning a piece of my past" and anxious to see where modern tech and my childhood intersect.

 
Interests:

  • General tinkering; mechanically inclined. NOT just computers/electronics, but taking apart and figuring out how things work. Sometimes they go back together; sometimes not. Oh, but, the curiosity of doing ...
  • HO model railroading
  • Computers. These days strictly PC, building systems, consulting, tech support to friends/family
  • Internet. Not big into social media, but it's were 98% of my news comes from
  • Music. Still play piano on a nice little baby grand player I pickup up in my travels

Current TI Projects:

  • Nothing released. My lofty goal is to design replacements of items that are wearing out, so I have several hardware projects in various stages of "done".

Current TI Hardware:

 

TI-99/4a (presently) - not a collector or hoarder, but in the future I'd like to be able to put together systems for interested people who want to get back into this hobby and have something reliable rather than most of the uncared for junk on eBay + keep a spare or two around as personal replacements

  • 11 consoles, mostly QI (non V2.2) in various stages of repair (four F18A mods so far). My current system is usually my latest find, troubleshot, cleaned, then stripped down on a wooden table strung together for easy probe access and hardware visuals
  • 2 PEB (V1 and V2) upgraded power supplies - each loaded 100% TI cards (32K+RS232+Floppy Controller (both 80-track mods) P-Code (one works) + half-height 5.25 floppy drive + Lotharek HxC SD Emulator. I think I have a couple 2016 Edition SAMS cards around here someplace ...
  • 2 or more of each (as I find them) Speech Synthesizer, TI Extended Basic, Extended Basic 2.7 Suite, E/A, Mini-Mem, Logo II, Plato Interpreter, NanoPEB V1.1, Ubergrom, FinalRom 99. Modest amount of game command modules that I specifically remember from my youth and wanted to own again. Latest acquisition is a FinalGrom 99 + Toshiba FlashAir 16GB Wireless SD

Texas Instruments CC-40 Computer with some excellent prototyping boards recently available


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  • Group Members
  • Active Posts 170
  • Profile Views 2,196
  • Member Title Chopper Commander
  • Age Age Unknown
  • Birthday August 17
  • Gender
    Male Male
  • Location
    Amarillo, TX

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