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About Airshack

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Phoenix, AZ
  • Interests
    TI-99/4A, Atari 800XL, Commodore 64, Intellivision, Odyssey2, Colecovision, basically retro computing and gaming is why I'm on AtariAge.
  • Currently Playing
    ESCAPE NORTH KOREA on the TI-99/4A. SCRAA is a good one too. ;)
  • Playing Next
    T.I. Munchkin on the TI-99/4A

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  1. You're making a giant mistake by assuming that 40+ year old consumer programming tools are in fact "intro." The best way to train yourself to program on a retro system is to use modern software tools on a modern PC. Wrap your mind around that fact that we've had 40+ years to develop tools (editors, manuals, cross assemblers, graphics toolkits, emulators, etc) which greatly assist one in learning to program a retro system in 2021. Saying retro-programming is not for you after using the O2's Computer Intro cartridge is like saying you'll never learn to surf after trying to surf using a piece of driftwood. Modern surfboards make it easier. It works like this: 1. You design the game framework using a graphics editor, not graph-paper as was done in the 70/80s. 2. You code your game using a modern editor on a modern (portable too) computer, not the Odyssey2 (NOTE: games of the era were not created on the O2 either) - ask around AtariAge and you will find the best editor for the system you are coding for.... 3. Modern games for retro systems can be written in Assembly which is a poor place to begin. Many retro systems have BASIC language programming kits which allow you to use a compiler to transform BASIC code to Machine Language. Ask around.... In my humble opinion the Odyssey2 Computer Intro cartridge is nothing more than an interesting artifact. Good on you for learning it because some really important concepts are covered in there...GOOD JOB! I plan to revisit that manual and cart now that I've got a few BASIC and Assembly games (TI-99/4A) under my belt. The only reason I'll revisit it is for nostalgia. I'm going to have a great time doing so but have zero expectations that it will really teach me anything meaningful. It was aimed at people whom had never touched a real computer.
  2. I feel I have my answer. Thank you gentlemen. END
  3. Hey Rich So glad you’re participating in the conversation as you’re possibly the most knowledgeable GPL programmer I’ve ever met. Thank you for always lending an ear. I’m not saying anything on this thread other than, “What up with this twice-interpreted reference…yo?” Somehow my BASIC code (of any variant found on the TI) ends up running on the CPU as machine native code. What I’m asking for here is a very high-level explanation of that process. One great part about asking a question on this forum is you end up learning many things.
  4. So…getting back to my original thread question… TI BASIC is FIRST-interpreted by the 99/4’s BASIC interpreter into GPL because the original designers did not know which CPU was going into the machine, or had another (failed) CPU in mind, or just planned to program in GPL, so they slapped BASIC atop GPL. Next, the resulting GPL code is SECOND-interpreted (by the GPL interpreter) into TMS9900 machine code in order to run on the 99/4A’s actual CPU. Safe to assume all other machines of the era began their life with a specific CPU in mind? Therefor, the other machines of the era have BASIC interpreters in ROM which transform BASIC code directly to the respective CPU’s machine code — simpler. One step vs two because the design started with another CPU in mind on the 99/4A?
  5. I forget the specifics behind exactly why the BASIC on the 99/4 machines needed to be twice interpreted?
  6. Billy Mitchell opposes this suggestion. 🙂
  7. Not a bad idea my friend. Cozying up with this latest edition and really savoring the feeling I get while reading it. Like a time machine… Yesterday’s News has transformed me back to a simple time. I look forward to this every month. Thank you.
  8. Jesus! Yes. Totally sacrilegious.
  9. @arcadeshopper Would have guessed he’d already have a dozen in stock?
  10. I would enjoy attending this year. Any words on nearby hotels? Willing to drive others in my rental car. Would be nice to have the out of town folks stay at the same hotel if able.
  11. I’m surprised there’s not already a small clip-on system saver device for the 99/4A. Seems one could easily install a small thin 5v laptop fan underneath that grill opening, just aft of the cartridge port, where the 99/4 speaker was originally installed. Right above the power supply. Would it matter if the fan blew up-n-out vs down-n-in? I suppose pulling air up and out would result in less debris inside? Whats the consensus on removing that aluminum RF shield? I know it cools one of the ICs. Maybe removing that shield and putting a heatsink or small fan atop that IC would be better?
  12. I can't imagine there will be a large market for buying one (1) ROM on a CD. If the seller wanted to pay royalties to the defunct publisher or some now aged programmer, it'd probably be nearly impossible to do so. To me this crime is equivalent to not paying taxes on the income you pay to the babysitter. Very small peanuts.
  13. Ditto! Awesome job @tmop69 @senior_falcon Kudos for making the compiler even easier to use in 2021.
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