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blackbox

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About blackbox

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    England
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    Old computer programs, old radio, tv, films. Classic SF. Instrumental music.
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  1. Two more manuals in tif format image format for you to read, ocr, pdf or print, 480 dpi clean images. First is Treasure Island, by DataEast PHM 3168 (joystick or keyboard) with helpful playing hints. And from Spinnaker Software, FACEMAKER- PHM3177 (keyboard only) TI version by Jerry Spacek, cartridge conversion by John M Phillips treasure_island.zip facemaker.zip
  2. Thanks Omega, I love the old SF stories- not that this one is that old, quite recent!, 1977.just a couple of years before the 99/4 was announced. Watch for the Canadian tv movie of the book, made in 1984 (that number rings a bell) as "Hide and Seek". The 1977 book seems to reference what today we would call a virus- had they appeared by 1977? The book came after "Colossus- the Forbin Project" (book 1966, film 1969) but the 1984 film was rather close to "War Games" (1983) which had a similar story to this one..
  3. Brits buy 32k 16 bit computer on ebay, only 3750 Euros. Now raising funds to move it from Nuremburg to the UK. So far ...in 4 days 99 people have donated.... The Brits responded to an ad selling a Puma 2020 ("wir bieten Ihnen eine relativ seltene Anlage Puma Computer") and expected an employee rescued bit of kit and found a complete fully cabled IT department, tape still threaded, long abandoned and sealed away- they had purchased 2 IBM 360, and an IBM 370, and lots of heavy peripherals - even field manuals, and boxes of unused punch cards, and sealed tape reels..... Puma remain near to Nurembourg in Herzogenaurach. Yes, that Puma. Quite an adventure. Lots of mouth watering pics on their website https://ibms360.co.uk/ Now that is what I call retro computing.
  4. Documentation in hi res clean TIF format for you to ocr, print, read or pdf as you wish.... First CERTIFICATE 99 from Great Lakes Software. The documentation was three sheets of A4, printed both sides, stapled at top left. No pretty pictures or cover. I have included the advert for the software which was sold on disk to be loaded with Extended Basic or Editor Assembler or Mini Memory or TI Writer. Two more modules from Scott Foresman- READING FUN (1981) PHM3043 Solving problems. Why things happen. Characters feelings. Reading Fun works both with and without the speech syntheser. READING FLIGHT (1982) PHM3082 - classification, summarising, and outlining skills. Includes the ADDENDUM sheet regarding the horrible error on page 2- the module does not support speech! I have included the correction both as a separate sheet (quite badly printed) and also copied the small amount of text into the blank area on the relative page- if you want an archivally accurate incorrect page, just cover that area with white. Certificate99.zip reading_fun.zip reading_flight.zip
  5. Using the TI PAL modulator... About the time the TI came out TV sets sold in the UK began to work well with a either a 50Hz or a 60Hz signal, as the tv sets were able to lock onto the frequencies well. My present CRT tv set is perfectly happy with an input of 50 or 60Hz. There was a long standing issue in the UK with television sets made for the UK market not working too well with the UK TI99/4a. You could tune the TI sound in perfectly OR you could tune the TV picture in well. To get something approaching good meant VERY fine tuning of the tv channel, and if you got the sound perfect with no hum, the picture was probably rolling or there was colour loss etc. This was designed in by TI. The PAL modulators were made for European PAL. The BBC chose to have their own version of PAL for the UK standard and there was a wider audio bandwidth. Or to put it another way, on the TI modulators of the day the sound channel was too close to the picture channel to play nicely with UK tv sets.... The UK used PAL STANDARD I while Europe used PAL STANDARD B or G - B and G used different bandwidths but the distance between image and sound was the same. The BBC wanted better quality sound so the sound channel in standard I was 0.50 MHz adrift of Standards B and G., I suspect this may be your problem with the RF signal. There is no ready answer except to tweak the fine tuning on the tv set- most sets had a manual fine tune opton. And compromise. Most folks preferred a good picture.
  6. I have found the following historic note, which refers to connecting a TI99/4a European console directly to a monochrome monitor. I had a mono monitor connected to my TI for a while. The need for a high impedance at the monitor end may still apply - worth considering anyway. Modern equipment does seem to have lower impedance matching than older historic equipment. quote The input impedance of the monochrome monitor should be fairly high (above 560 ohms) and not 75 ohms (which is a standard value), as the video output circuit of the console can be damaged feeding a 75 ohm load. Viv Comley unquote s
  7. Hi Mike, Yes, Adamantyr lacked a TV with a tuner so was using an old VCR to feed the TI rf output into and then on to a modern set (this is actually what I do here!). The TI99IUC conversion allows you to cable from a TI modulator directly to a monitor or tv that accepts analog PAL composite video (sound is always a separate cable), and as adamantyr has a metal modulator, it will be a lot easier than the tricky stuff using the plastic cased tv modulator. regards S
  8. Hi. EUROPEAN PAL CONSOLE TO MONITOR (Analog Composite Video): The PAL console does not have RGB, it uses a colour difference output from the console- apparently to make it easier to work with the French SECAM tv system. To enable the PAL console to work with a PAL tv set you needed a PAL MODULATOR- the first part of which took the colour difference signal from the console and created a composite video signal, which was then fed into the small metal box inside which was the actual RF modulator. It follows that if you open up your TI RF Modulator, you can have access to the composite signal that is fed into the actual modulator box! Details of this can be found on the lovely web site at ti99iuc. The photographs and a little web translation should get you past the Italian. The following link takes you to a selection of related articles: http://www.ti99iuc.it/web/index.php?pagina=cerca&ricerca=modulator&cerca=Cerca The output after conversion is ANALOG COMPOSITE, usually fed to tv sets etc via phono (RCA) cable. A modern monitor may be unhappy with such a low definition signal. regards Stephen
  9. Hi. The PAL console does not have RGB, it uses a colour difference output from the console- apparently to make it easier to work with the French SECAM tv system. To enable the PAL console to work with a PAL tv set you needed a PAL MODULATOR- the first part of which took the colour difference signal from the console and created a composite video signal, which was then fed into the small metal box inside which was the actual RF modulator. It follows that if you open up your TI RF Modulator, you can have access to the composite signal that is fed into the actual modulator box! Details of this can be found on the lovely web site at ti99iuc. The photographs and a little web translation should get you past the Italian. The following link takes you to a selection of related articles: http://www.ti99iuc.it/web/index.php?pagina=cerca&ricerca=modulator&cerca=Cerca The output after conversion is ANALOG COMPOSITE, usually fed to tv sets etc via phono (RCA) cable. Then you may find that your modern monitor is really unhappy with such a low definition signal. regards Stephen
  10. Two more manuals scanned in high res 480dpi, clean tif images for you to ocr or pdf or print or read... A couple for the Milton Bradley MBX unit: I'M HIDING PHM3155, ages 4-7, requires the MBX unit, and uses the membrane keypad, the speech recognition and MBX unit speech synthesiser. HONEY HUNT PHM3156, ages 5-8, will use the MBX unit if you have one but also works on a normal TI99/4a, using the MBX unit speech synthesiser if you have one, or the normal TI speech synthesiser. honeyhunt.zip Imhiding.zip
  11. Two more manuals supplied as separate one page per image clean hi-res TIFs for you to ocr, print, read or pdf as you wish This time two of the older programs by Milton Bradley: HANGMAN PHM3037 CONNECT FOUR PHM3037 - this is the 6 language European manual with the tiny screen printed images of the tv screen. If American spelling is confusing in HANGMAN you can input your own word list of up to 60 words- and can even save them to tape for later use.. which makes it suitable for other languages. The partly complete word on the cover should be obvious.(!) As seems usual for the European manuals there is no note on Connect Four to suggest Connect Four is a trademark, or that Milton Bradley wrote the program and claim copyright in it. On the other hand HANGMAN suggests that HANGMAN is a trademark of Milton Bradley.... I am sure there was prior art to negate that claim. hangman.zip connect_4.zip
  12. That could be it. Try running ANYTHING from DSK5 - for example- Can you do the following from Basic: CALL PART(400,80) CALL EMDK(5) type in a short Basic program: 100 GOTO 100 now SAVE DSK5.TEMP now type NEW then type OLD DSK5.TEMP From the Myarc Disk Memory System manual: "The DDCC-1 Disk Controller will control any combination of 4 double-sided or 4 single-sided disk drives. This disk controller also reads and writes interchangeably — and equally well — to the standard TI-99/4A format, single-density diskette." On the other hand, the docs for the HFDC say that if you have an FDC then the FDC controls drives 1-4 but the HFDC controls drives 5-8. No HFDC therefore may mean no drive 5 due to DSR limitations.. Interesting you are getting a directory, but that will be using differing code. The only other alternative is that PIX PRO is checking the drive number (some programs did) and not permitting an "out of range" number for what the programmer that should be used. s
  13. I've never had an HFDC so can't comment on any restrictions with that. The HFDC apparently has a UTILITY menu (MDM5) (U from Main Menu) with a RAMdisk option which will show you the status of the RAMdisk- worth a try. It should show DSK5 as set up. If that looks correct then it may be a limitation of PixPro. The Utility also allows the ramdisk to be set up (Caution- will delete contents)... Is the HFDC at the default CRU of >1100.
  14. To rule out a problem with file names and file formats- will the same files load from a standard TI disk drive? The 512k ramdisk uses 32k as standard 32k expansion leaving 480k available HOWEVER the RAM disk element may not exceed 400k - the balance is for print spooling. Are you using 400k or less? Can you access the ramdisk as dsk1 -5 with other programs? It has to be set up on every powerup eg CALL PART and CALL EMDK. Which environment are you using with PixPro- Editor Assembler, Extended Basic, or TI Writer? Myarc XB II? Assuming you are using a real TI99/4a rather than an emulator? Which disk controller? TI's 32k ram not present? Can you do the following from Basic: CALL PART(400,80) CALL EMDK(5) type in a short Basic program: 100 GOTO 100 now SAVE DSK5.TEMP now type NEW then type OLD DSK5.TEMP Has it loaded the short TI Basic program? s
  15. More info please! TI Basic Input/Output error codes are given as TWO digits and the Myarc memory card sticks to the two digit format. If the first digit is a 2 it is an INPUT error. If the second digit is a two it is an attribute error (eg the OPEN command is not appropriate- incorrectly specified. A second digit of 7 means the file does not exist or is not the expected format ).. If you set up the ramdisk as DSK1. or DSK2 temporarily, will the images then load? - this will rule out a possibility that PixPro does not like loading files from DSK5 (the catalogue program will use different code). Note the original TI disk system was limited to 3 drives and PixPro may check the drive number when entering file names but not reading a directory. (Change emulated disk drive temporarily with CALL EMDK(2) and set it back to your preferred value after testing) If files don't load from RAMdisk as DSK2: To rule out a problem with file names and file formats- will the same files load from a standard TI disk drive?- are you remembering the dot after the K- eg DSK5.FILE ? Try using the device and filename as RD.FILENAME - no DSK. - PixPro may accept that??? The file format must be one supported by Pix Pro and file names must be acceptable to PixPro. Have fun.... s
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