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Casey

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  1. There’s an excellent beginners assembly language book I just happened to read through that specifically brought up the subject of sound generation and the need for an LIMI 2/LIMI 0 pair in the main loop to make sound work. It’s aimed at the Mini Memory cartridge with the Line By Line assembler, but it had a lot of good information for a beginner in it. COMPUTE!’s Beginners Guide to Assembly Language on the TI 99/4A. You can find that I think on archive.org as a PDF. It might be worth taking a look through, even if you are planning to use Editor/Assembler.
  2. From a hardware perspective they are very similar - Commodore BASIC doesn’t know what a disk drive is either - it just sends commands out to device 8 and device 8 does whatever was asked of it. This is nearly exactly how TI BASIC works. It just looks for a DSR named “DSK1” and passes the rest of the information you supply along with it. The difference on the TI is that Disk Manager cartridge doesn’t add any commands to TI BASIC, which is unlike how DOS works on the Atari or what the DOS Wedge does. Atari BASIC can initialize floppy disks with an XIO command, and the Commodore DOS Wedge can make it easier for you to send the “new” command to the disk drive, but Disk Manager doesn’t do that to TI BASIC. It would be possible to add a CALL FORMAT command to a cartridge that would add the command to TI BASIC, but the TI Disk Manager doesn’t do that. More difficult is that you can’t easily display a disk directory in TI BASIC without writing a program. Some disk managers (and some Extended BASICs) have a subprogram to return a disk directory but natively you don’t have that.
  3. The Tandy 2000 came out before the Tandy 1000 - so really the statement should be “The Tandy 1000 was cheaper because it wasn’t as powerful as the 2000” - But they really were 2 different markets. The 2000 was to be the ultimate business machine. The 1000 was a reaction to (and a decent clone of) the IBM PCjr.
  4. I had the opposite experience. I had the TI 99/4A first, and then a Commodore 128, which spent 98% of its time in 64 mode. After all the commands that TI BASIC has that the 64’s BASIC 2.0 does not, I felt the Commodore had a steeper learning curve. But I love both platforms. All that said - TIPI and Force Command, and many of the newer things are things that no one who designed the TI could have envisioned. The fact that the TI’s operating system allows for devices that were never pictured to just work when designed properly is a really powerful thing. One nice thing about the TIPI is that the config file can be changed easily within TI BASIC using the normal file processing commands. I suspect if someone ever designed a VICPI, it would be similar though - either with its own device number on the serial bus, or accessed via a SYS if it plugged into the cartridge port.
  5. How hard would it be to have the label printed on it in the style of Hex-Bus Interface seen here ? (With “Speech Synthesizer” of course) - this would match the style of the beige 99/4A perfectly. http://aug.99er.net/unreleased.htm
  6. Here’s my test program for this, in TI BASIC: 100 OPEN #1:”DSK1.TEST”,OUTPUT,INTERNAL,VARIABLE 254 110 PRINT #1:1,2,3,4,5,”CASEY” 120 PRINT #1:6,7,8,9,10,”CASEY” 130 CLOSE #1 140 OPEN #2:”DSK1.TEST”,INPUT,INTERNAL,VARIABLE 254 150 INPUT #2:A,B,C 160 PRINT A,B,C 170 INPUT #2:D,E,F 180 PRINT D,E,F 190 CLOSE #2 Results from running this program: 1 2 3 6 7 8
  7. If I was going to move a + across the screen from left to right in TI BASIC on row 3, I would do it this way: 100 CALL CLEAR 110 R=3 120 FOR I=1 TO 32 130 CALL HCHAR(R,I,ASC(“+”)) 140 CALL HCHAR(R,I,32) 150 NEXT I In Extended BASIC, you could simplify it: 100 CALL CLEAR 110 FOR I=1 TO 28 120 DISPAY AT(3,I):”+”::DISPLAY AT(3,I):” “ 130 NEXT I One thing that isn’t obvious to a person new to the TI: while the screen is 32 columns wide, PRINT and DISPLAY will only use the middle 28 columns, while CALL HCHAR can access all 32. Column 1 for DISPLAY AT is the same as column 3 when used with CALL HCHAR.
  8. This is also possible in TI BASIC, but it’s cumbersome compared to Extended BASIC. Using your example: 100 FOR I=1 TO LEN(A$) 110 CALL HCHAR(10,10+I-1,ASC(SEG$(A$,I,1))) 120 NEXT I
  9. One thing that happened that I didn’t expect. I typed CALL LOAD(-2,244,3) to change the screen colors to white on blue. Leaving XB 2.8 with BYE and coming back in, it remembered that. I turned off the power to 99/4A, turned it back on, and it still remembered that. Then I remembered my Jedimatt 32K was plugged into power, so I unplugged it, plugged it back in after about 15 seconds, and XB 2.8 still remembers the color setting I made. I turned off the console, plugged in TI Extended BASIC instead of the FG99, entered in CALL PEEK(-2,A,B)::PRINT A;B and got back 244,3. Where could these values be kept when the power is off? If I CALL LOAD(-2,244,0) then inside TI Extended BASIC, turn the power off, put back the FG99, and go back into XB 2.8, CALL PEEK(-2,A,B)::PRINT A;B printed 244 and 0. The result of CALL PEEK(-8,etc) you asked for, printed this for me: 145,0,0,16,7,240,244,0
  10. I tried to attach my NanoPEB to see if I could answer a question above. Either it no longer works or I don’t know where I’ve put the proper power supply for it, but I couldn’t get it to work. When I reattached the TIPI, now, I get a purple screen with light blue letters, and CALL PEEK(-2,A,B) returns 93 and 1. The only other change I made was I did an apt update to update the OS on the Pi.
  11. I just did this with my FinalGrom and I got 0 and 0 right after power up and choosing it from the FG99 menu.
  12. This is to the composite input on your monitor/TV? My NIB 99/4A that I got 2 years ago looks like that also - maybe not quite to that extent. But I can see vertical lines going down the screen and some color fringing as well, depending on the colors. Black background with white letters is very rainbowy. It’s always been this way.
  13. DM3 was going to be bundled with the Hex Bus floppy disk controller/drive, right? (That’s my recollection from reading the manual a while back). The Hex Bus controller was designed for 4 drives also? (1 drive/controller, and 3 drives without controllers?). I do wish the Hex Bus interface and peripherals had been released for the 99/4A. Would have made for a much more cost effective system.
  14. Back when I had a 99/4 and a sizable cart collection, the only carts I had that wouldn’t show up on the 99/4’s menu were the ROM only Atarisoft carts. Parsec would show up but didn’t work because of the bitmap mode it requires that the 99/4 doesn’t have. Selecting Parsec from the menu simply cleared the screen and then returned to the color bar screen.
  15. If you read contemporary discussions of these 8-bit machines, the Commodore and Atari machines have what was called a full screen editor. What we think of today as a full screen editor with search and replace is not what they were referring to back in the day. The Coco has an EDIT command. It’s actually very full featured.
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