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musicanic

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Posts posted by musicanic


  1. Progress is complete on that project. I now understand better how to use the Lotharek with the TI and PC - Your video is very good, too. So I managed to transfer all the adventure files from the ftp site onto my Lotharek, and copied them on to a floppy (just for originality's sake !). This was my main aim, although I assumed originally that I would have to read the tapes onto my TI and then, somehow, save them on floppies. My tape player remains very unreliable, so I am glad I found this other way of doing it, which opens up many possibilities. It might even be easier to type any BASIC or XBasic programs into my PC and then transfer them to the TI (I assume that will work?), because my TI keyboard stutters badly ! If I hit the keys quick and hard it is fine, but tiring, otherwise I spend lots of time backspacing and deleting characters.

     

    There was some earlier mention of possibly uploading my cassette details to the ftp site and to the Italian user group. However, having found and checked my box of tapes (about 30), I find that most of the ones which aren't adventures, are BASIC and XBASIC programmes I inputted myself, probably from the various magazines which were around in the early-mid 80s in the UK, together with my own programs when I was learning Basic and then Assembler. I think there are only two proprietary tapes of games, one loads but sticks part way through and I haven't yet been able to get the other to load.

    Is it worth trying to load tapes onto a PC using a TI emulator? Is it likely to be more reliable - I have programmes which can modify sound files - e.g. Audacity. If this is worthwhile, what is the best emulator to try. I looked at v9t9, but don't understand how to get the ROMs downloaded or sourced from somewhere. Any advice?

     

    STOP PRESS ! - I just found your video "Text listing to you TI..." in YouTube, which pretty much answers my last question. I will have a go at that next...

    • Like 2

  2. Good point, Ckoba. I do have a couple of dozen, although I suspect they are run-of-the-mill. Here in the UK it was a little difficult getting anything out of the ordinary (without paying silly money). However, I will certainly have a look and see what I have. Where is the best place to check what is already around - I have found the "games" folder on the whtech.ftp site - is there anywhere else? (Got the Cassettes folder too, of course).

     

    Happy New Year to you, and all the other helpful people on AtariAge.

    John


  3. With help, I have established that my 32k memory has at least one bad chip. A few replacements ordered, so I can, hopefully, fix it. I prefer to keep the machine as original as possible. Also, again with help, I have figured out the workings of 99/Dir and the Lotharek software and have successfully transferred the adventure games from the ftp site onto my Lotharek disk. This will save a lot of time trying to get my ageing cassette player to work !

    Thanks for the help so far. There are some very helpful people on this site!

    John, UK

    • Like 1

  4. APOLOGIES to all, particularly Schmitzi and Omega.

    You were vey helpful in August and I am really sorry I haven't got back to you before. I got really bogged down with lots of things and couldn't spare the time to progress my "problem". However, things are easier now and I have spent some time assessing just where I am as follows:-

    I am happy now that the Lotharek device is working as it should. I still don't understand why the Lotharek software doesn't seem able to produce a working ,hfe file, but it doesn't really matter because the ones Schmitzi provide do the job and I can replicate them as necessary. All this started out because I wanted to get the Adventure games onto disk. I have downloaded them from the ftp site, but I don't know how to get them added in to a .hfe file so I can load them on to the TI. Any guidance on this would help. I assume I need some software to convert the files to a disk image or something? Do I need a 99/4a emulator on my PC?

     

    I have also pretty much convinced myself that the 32k expansion in my PEB is faulty. Some of the programs Schmitzi provided, which require Extended Basic and 32k, don't load properly and look garbled when listed. If I load them without the 32k removed, they load OK but fail where they try to use the 32k (obviously). I have tried a number of simple memory tests and get different results, but one which is fairly consistent is that memory locations C000 to DFFF (at least) seem to have the least significant bit permanently set to 1, so any number you LOAD and PEEK returns the nearest odd number (no evens). I am not convinced this is the only fault and there may be intermittent faults. Are there any usually suspect chips which I should try and replace? I have been looking out for another 32k, but nothing has come up yet.

     

    So, I hope you will forgive my absence and help me move forward - I should be able to keep up regular communication now.

    • Like 1

  5. Thanks for all these extras. I have decided to take everything apart and clean all connectors, and replace the ribbon to the HxC (it was a modified cable anyway). I am still getting strange and inconsistent results, so I am thinking there may be a hardware problem. The console has been in a cupboard for nearly 30 years, the PEB is "New Old Stock" from Ebay, as is the real disk drive, but the 32k and controller are second-hand. I have a speech synth in between console and PEB, so I will remove that too.

    I will get back when I have done this (a few days probably).

    Thanks again for your help.

    • Like 1

  6. I am getting there, but...

    I followed the advice from Schmitzi and "Omega" (untwisted the ribbon cable and changed the jumper setting). I also copied Schmitzi's 2 .hfe files to the SD card. I can now select and access each .hfe and catalog them using Disk Manager 2. However, if I try to run CopCat I get XB errors such as "syntax error 160". The program is protected to I can't list it. If I Load and Run DU2K I get I/O error 02. If I try to look at either of these .hfe's on my PC with the HxC Disk Browser I get a red warning at the bottom with "Some errors found during the image mounting! DOS Disk ? Disk damaged?". I have tried downloading and saving the files a second time but it made no difference.

    I tried creating my own images, one for an empty disk and one with some files. In both cases I got "Disk not initialized".

    However, I have been able to copy a Basic program from the real floppy drive to one of Schmitzi's images on the HxC without any errors. I do find I have had to switch the console off and on once or twice to get successful results. I have also moved the PEB connectors and the HxC connectors to try and remedy any bad connections.

    Any more advice?


  7. I'm back with another problem, or at least an extension of the original.

    My 99/4a has a PEB with 32k memory, disk controller (1240) and single disk drive (1250). I have then added the HxC to the external tab on the disk controller using a 34 way edge connector and a 34 way socket for the HxC. I have checked that connection No. 1 (red wire) goes to the right place at both ends (assuming that on my cased HxC it is the bottom pin nearest the jumper set). The ribbon cable is "twisted" as usual for an additional drive, so I have set the jumper on HxC to Drive B at ID2.

    I have not done anything about the "termination pack" on the TI drive and I don't have an "adapter board" as mentioned in the TI manuals.

    I did the SD again from scratch and used the CFG Schmitzi suggested. Then I went into the HxC Disk Browser, selected 5.25" 180k SSDD 300RPM FAT 12, did "Create Disk" and then Save/Export to the SD (I though it would be simpler to create an empty disk rather than try adding files which themselves might cause problems).

    So, the HxC recognises my SD and reports "T:000/040 S:0". When I used Disk Manager 2 module to list what is on the disk, the HxC access light goes on and the display shows "RB T:000/040 S:0" and the Disk Manager reports error 16.

    I am still obviously missing some fundamental step here, so any help is welcome.

    My goal at the moment is to be able to load up the Scott Adams adventure files which I downloaded from the ftp site, either by using the SH838-ADV.dsk, or the individual files, assuming that one or other method will work through the SD card approach (or are they just for using on an emulator on a PC?).


  8. I just bought a Lotharek HxC floppy emulator for my 99/4a but I am having trouble getting it set up. I have followed the software instructions and added a .dsk file which I downloaded. This creates a "disk image.hfe" file on the SD card, but when I put it in the emulator it says it can't find "HXCSDFE.CFG". What am I doing wrong?


  9.  

    Musicanic ! :) good choice :) it is a nice device ... really...

     

    instead about the cassette you need to convert, could you write here the titles ? maybe we could help you to know if already done or not ;)

    Thanks Fritz, I have now ordered an HXC from Lotharek. The original adventure tapes I have found so far are Pirate, Strange Odyssey, Savage Island 1 & 2 and Ghost Town. I think I have others but not yet found. However, I looked on the ftp.whtech.com site and found all these and others so I have downloaded them. I should be able to get them transferred to the TI using the HXC and then saved onto floppies. I want to use the original machine rather than a PC based emulation.

    I will report back on progress.

    • Like 1

  10. Thanks to Fritz and Chris, but I am still a bit green on some of these things. I don't have RS232 on my 99/4a yet so I can't connect to anything else. I have considered getting the Lotharek SD card disk emulator which would at least allow me to transfer DSK images from PC to 99/4a. There are several styles of this unit but I guess they all do the same job - any advice on which is best, or just go for the cheapest? I don't have an "older PC" with floppies, my other machines are all modern PCs (although I do have a ZX81 and an Amstrad 4386 with Win 3.1, but neither are of much use here). I don't have a modem, just broadband at 150MB. Chris mentions "the FTP site" - which site is that, where do I find it?

    Finally, I've seen V9T9 mentioned but looking at it, it requires ROM images on the PC and again I am not sure yet how to get them transferred.

    So, at the moment I feel like one of Chris's idiots, so please educate me and save on the bullets!

    Thanks,

    John


  11. (Also posted on 99er.net)

    I have recently resurrected my TI99/4a after some 30 years, and have now added a new PEB plus disk drive a 32k Mem. I have started copying my old Basic and XBasic programs to disk but I also have a few adventure tapes which work with the adventure module. Does anyone know a way of copying these onto disk to save the laborious (and unreliable) process of loading via tape recorder. I have Xbasic and should soon have the new XB2.7 module, so could utilise assembler if necessary. Surely someone has already done this ??
    Thanks from the UK - are there many TIers still in the UK?

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