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Everything posted by ballyalley

  1. Thanks for the very thorough overview of the "Teach Yourself BASIC" series. It was very informative. I'm impressed that you dug right in there and used it yourself and even perhaps found a bug. I do prefer user manuals-- and paper ones are much better than pdf files, but a pdf is a great place to start and is certainly better than nothing at all. When I really want a document, I've been known to print out books from the pdf is the book isn't available anymore. Adam
  2. I do feel like I'm on a roll-- and the best part is that I'm having fun. One aspect of Archive.org that I like a lot is that I can browse without downloading the pdfs. If I like them, then I can get the pdf and move it to my iPad. Thanks for the recommend emulators. I'm familiar with MAME and TI emulation (via GameBase), but my time with it has been strictly limited to cartridges. I suppose that the emulators all must support additional RAM and hardware. I use emulation very often and I can't imagine not using it... but I still prefer the real hardware used with a real CRT. Adam
  3. I have finished and posted my second video to YouTube in my series that covers my very small collection. https://youtu.be/oAmfKxBKouM (The video doesn't seem to be pulled-up in the below link; this is always inconsistent for me in the forums, which is why I have the above link) https://youtu.be/oAmfKxBKouM In this 45-minute video, I use my standard TI-99/4a with a tape interface cable to play three TI BASIC games: 1) Boa Alley 2) Nerm of Bemer 3) Goblin The first two games were recommended in this thread. I also browse two TI books: 1) Games TIs Play 2) Zappers: Having Fun Programming and Playing 23 Games for the TI-99/4A As I play the games and skim the books, I give commentary on my experience with classic 8-bit computers and the TI-99/4a. Enjoy! Adam
  4. I have been inspired by this TI BASIC thread, so last night I shot some video footage of me playing three BASIC games and flipping through three more TI books in my collection. I haven't finished editing that video yet, but I did post a video a couple of days ago called, "TI-99/4a Collection Overview (Part 1) - General Overview and First Test." Somehow, 19 people have already watched it; that surprises me. In this 40-minute video, I sort through my small TI-99/4a collection and get it set up and running on a 14" flat-screen CRT TV. Here's a link to that video: I begin by taking down my Amiga CD32, after all, I need to make space for the TI computer. I show a few of the hardware accessories that I have for my system: the 99/4a cassette cable and the Atari-to-TI joystick adapter. I show the seven books I have for the TI; I browse through three of them closely. I hook up my TI to my wonder Toshiba TV via the RF modulator and then a composite cable. I type in a few BASIC statements and then I play the Munchman "Command Module" (you know, a cartridge) with my Atari 7800 joystick. I'll post the second video in this series in this thread too. Thanks for all the feedback and advice that people have been leaving here. Adam
  5. Yes, I did find my way to the massive "favorite ti programs.zip" download. It's from there that I have been been trying the programs that have been recommended in this thread so far. It's also where I found the game, Goblin. I've been loading these games from an old hand-me-down Windows Vista laptop. It is essentially a tape recorder with a fancy screen. Adam
  6. I never went to any copy parties, but I did exchange software with local friends back in my C64 days. We also would type in programs together. I'd say I miss those days-- but typing in those programs was a time consuming process. Those days, be damned! Luckily, we usually could find and fix all of our typing errors. Well, most of the time. I have been using Archive.org and skimming many of the TI books that they have there. It's a fun way to pass the time. There are literally over two hundred books related to the TI that I've come across so far. Wow! Thanks for pointing out the CS1er, TIdir and TIImageTool utilities. I'll try them out. The Development section thread looks useful-- and time consuming (in a fun way) to read. To whom is the "Teach Yourself BASIC" series aimed? Is it ultra-simple? Adam
  7. Thanks for the tips. There is a LOT of modern hardware available for the TI, isn't there?!? For now, I'm set with my basic model, but that website certainly has caught my eye. The page has been bookmarked and I'll revisit later. (At first, I thought that the pictures of the 6 rolls of thermal printer paper were toilet paper!) Adam
  8. The 32K upgrade requires an external upgrade expansion box though, right? I probably don't need to be asking these questions here, as "WhataKowinkydink" lives nearby and we're gonna meet up this week. He's going to show my his system and I'm sure that I'll learn a LOT from him. Or, at least I'm going to try to learn a bit, which shouldn't be hard, as right now I'm starting from near-know-nothing-ness. Adam
  9. Ah-ha-- I knew it! Sure, first it's the FinalGROM, then it's a 32K upgrade (or those even available anymore? Don't they require some other sort of upgrade first?), then it's the chip to the a VGA monitor and then... you know what I mean. I like the idea of that sort-of-multicart, but... we'll see. Adam
  10. I'm debating if I should get the FinalGROM, which I think will allow me to use Extended BASIC. For now, I'm trying to just use what I have already in my collection. In a way, this makes it more fun and kind of shows me how the average TI user would have used the computer in, say, 1983. I expect that most people just had TI BASIC and a tape recorder. In effect, that's what I have now. The fastest loading game yesterday was Goblin, which took about 1 minute to load. The slowest game to load was Dragon, which took about 2 1/2 minutes to load. That's all very acceptable to me, as I browse Compute! "books" (pdfs) while a game loads. It was also fun to read the original "Nerm of Bemer" article in the Compute! magazine on Archive.org. Hey, what's the baud rate for the tape recorder? On the Astrocade, it was originally 300-baud, then it got bumped up to 2000-baud. For a machine with just 1.8K of BASIC RAM available, this was fine. Adam
  11. Yes, I played the BASIC version of Goblin using TI BASIC. Back in the mid-80s I typed this one into BASIC for my Commodore 64. For such a VERY simple game, I played it very often. I was happy to see that it was made for the TI. I'll give RoboChase a chance too. If people can link me to already-made WAV files of these games (or, possibly even attach the file here), then that would be very helpful to me, as I have been finding disk images, which I can't use on my real hardware. It's been fun digging into the TI, but I am surprised at TI BASIC's lack of speed. It's helpful to know that there is a TI BASIC compiler. Adam
  12. Thanks again for the game recommendations. So far, I have loaded a three TI BASIC games from "tape" (WAV files). I played: Boa Alley Goblin Nerm of Bemer The games all loaded fine. I have mostly played games from cart on the TI. Of course, I know those are written in machine language, but I have plenty of experience playing BASIC games. And yet, I was surprised at the slow speed of TI BASIC. The two Worm-type games all played so slow that they didn't feel like games at all. Boa Alley takes about 20 seconds just to get your guy drawn on the screen. Goblin, one of my favorite BASIC games of all time on the Atari and C64 computers, plays kind of at an acceptable speed, but it's still quite slow-- but fun once you get used to it. Do games play faster in Extended BASIC (not that I have that cart)? If so, then if you play a TI BASIC game under EB, then does it play faster? I'm curious, did most people just use Extended BASIC? Did pretty-much everyone have that cartridge back in the 1980s? I'm discovering that most of the BASIC software that I find requires that Extended BASIC. Now I see why the Star Trek game was recommended right away. I haven't tried it, but its non-arcade game feel seem more likely to fit into the way games might play well using TI BASIC. Adam
  13. I've uploaded the picture here: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/218727-ti-99-photos-thread-post-your-systems-here/?do=findComment&comment=4635317 Thanks for the suggestion. Adam
  14. @Omega-TI asked me to upload a picture of my "before" setup, to this thread: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/311431-best-plain-old-ti-basic-games/?do=findComment&comment=4634853 The idea, it seems, is that I'll upgrade my TI-99/4a system someday. We'll see about that idea. Right now it's simply the computer with one cart and an Atari joystick adapter That's it. I gave the computer a simple scrubbing so that it wouldn't look terrible in this picture. I hope to get it to at least be able to load TI BASIC games in the next few days. Last night I made a video of my meager TI collection. I'll post it somewhere (here?) when I finish editing it. I've only just browsed this thread, but there are some breathtaking systems here! Adam
  15. I took a video of me getting the system up and running. Everything worked a-okay. I didn't try to load any BASIC programs; I was just testing the system out. I plan to upload a video of the beginning of my TI experience sometime early next week. First, though, I'll take a still from the video and upload it. There's a 100% possibility that I'll never max out the system-- unless you mean with points. I had so many points in my one game of Munchman this evening that the digits were sliding off and down the side of the screen. Adam
  16. Hey, this forum is nice and active. That's good to know. It's around 8pm here in the SW U.S. and I'm gonna play around with my TI for a bit. I won't have time to try to figure out how to load any BASIC games tonight, but you all have really put some thought into your suggestions. Thanks! My agenda for tonight: get my '99 setup for use and hook it up to a 14" Toshiba CRT TV via, first the modulator, then a composite cable (I think it uses the same one as my Atari 130XE). I haven't used a TI much since the 1990s, and even back then, although I had a large collection, I mostly just used "Command Modules" (it sounds very Star Wars-ie). My experience with BASIC is near-nill-- which is a shame since I love BASIC. I'm just dipping my toes into the shallow end of the TI pool for now, but let's see where this takes me over the next few months. If I can find some video art for TI BASIC, then that would win over my heart. Adam
  17. @WhataKowinkydink recently watched one of my Amiga videos and commented about the TI-99/4a. I have one, so I dug it out. I just have a unit with TI BASIC (I don't have the Extended BASIC cart). What are some fun games that will load from a tape (WAV file) that will work without buying additional hardware other than than the tape interface cable, which I already have. TI BASIC doesn't support sprites, but there are probably still some fun games available. Any links to downloadable TI BASIC software would be useful too. Oh, and if there are older threads of this nature, then they would be handy to check out. Thanks in advance for all your help. Adam
  18. Oh, cool! Thanks for posting it. Did you type it in yourself or just find it. I say "just" find it, but I looked for the program everywhere I could think of that usually hosts Atari software without coming across it. No matter how you got the software, that's great that it's available to play now. If anyone plays it, it would be cool to see a short video of the game in action. Adam
  19. That game didn't used to be hosted there. I wonder when it was added...? I've bookmarked the page to remind me to check it out sometime. If they can contact the author at his webpage (see the first post), I'm sure he would like to hear about it too. Adam
  20. First off, thanks for posting this video. I have not watched it yet, but I'll watch it soon. The EPROM programmer that I use is the USB version of the Pocket Programmer II. I'm not even sure if it's available anymore, but here is the webpage for it: https://xtronics.com/wiki/Pocket_Programmer.html The programmer doesn't really work with my current computer. Technically, yeah, it works... but it works too fast or something; all EPROMS that I burn or read on modern systems don't work correctly with my EPROM programmer. I keep an old Window XP laptop around and use it only to burn or read EPROMs. That programmer has proved useful a number of times, including semi-recently, when I archived some a rare EPROM from an Atari disk drive. You'll probably a faster results to this question by posting to the Astrocade forum on Groups.io, here: https://groups.io/g/ballyalley You have to join the group to post, but you'll be approved quickly (within a day or two-- faster if you contact me and let me know your waiting for approval). Adam
  21. I added "Program C-13" (Three Letters on a Tape with Video Art and Animation) by Stanley Kendall. This program is written for the Bally Arcade/Astrocade and Blue Ram BASIC. It contains three letters written to Robert Fabris, Don Gladden, Dave Carson and Clyde Perkins on May 30, 1983 and September 25, 1983. Sometimes AtariAge doesn't automatically put in a preview for a link, so here is a direct link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O69C2zjDOkk Here, hopefully, is a YouTube link with a preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O69C2zjDOkk This video can also be downloaded from archive.org: https://archive.org/details/C-13ThreeLettersStanleyKendallAstrocadeAstroBASIC1983 Enjoy! Adam
  22. I added an overview of "The Collatz Conjecture" by Jim Dunson. This appeared on Astro-Bugs Club Tape #5 in August 1984. This program is a mathematical demonstration. Sometimes AtariAge doesn't automatically put in a preview for a link, so here is a direct link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0hCmwrAQcY Here, hopefully, is a YouTube link with a preview: Instructions from the program's loading screen: About 30 years ago [1937] a professor named Collatz created this thought provoker. Start with any whole number. If it is odd, triple it +1. If it is even, take half. Repeat. The final result will always be one. Why is that? After all, the odd number is tripled + 1. This more than compensates for the halves??? Send your explanation to me, Jim Dunson. For more information about this, check out the Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collatz_conjecture Sample program run: THE COLLATZ CONJECTURE START WITH ANY WHOLE NUM- BER. IF IT IS ODD, TRIPLE IT +1. IF IT IS EVEN, TAKE HALF. REPEAT. THE FINAL RESULT WILL ALWAYS BE ONE. I WILL COMPUTE FOR YOU. INPUT A NUMBER [The program now will run for a while, printing the results on screen until the answer is one, then it will ask for another number.] This video can also be downloaded from archive.org: https://archive.org/details/collatz-conjecture-the-1984-jim-dunson-ab-overview-astrocade-720p-10-mbps Enjoy! Adam
  23. Thanks for posting this reply about the game. There's plenty of dense information in there. This thread has yielded much more information than I ever expected. Adam
  24. The nuclear weapons in this game are a good indicator that the game was created during the cold-war era in the United States. These were the "ultimate" weapons; there was nothing that they could not accomplish. The game doesn't seem realistic, but that's just the nature of game's theme (which seems loosely based on The Andromeda Strain). The thought of using nukes to knock-out an entire country/continent/world never occurred to me, as the baddies in this game are invisible to the naked eye. Yet, in desperation, would someone ever resort to that tactic? If you had asked me this question a few years ago then I would have thought it idiotic to bring into a conversation, and it is a completely absurd idea-- yet, in this time, during this era, in our world, maybe anything that I thought I was improbable or impossible now seems within the thought-reach of a select few who have trouble determining where reality ends and fantasy begins. Luckily for us, Epidemic! is just a game and isn't striving for realism. Adam
  25. The ANTIC Interview #387 with Claudia Cohl, Editor-in-Chief of Family Computing Magazine, inspired me to go through my back issues of the magazine. I found a game on page 86-87 of the March 1985 issue called "Epidemic!" by SSI that invokes the idea of the Coronavirus. Has anyone played it before? "Epidemic!" is available on AtariMania: http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-epidemic_1859.html Here are a few screenshots of the game: Here is the front and back of the box: As with all SSI games, the manuals is lengthy at 20 pages. Here is the Family Computing review of Epidemic! ---------------------------------------- Epidemic! (Review from "Family Computing" magazine, March 1985) Hardware Requirements: Reviewed on IBM PC. Also for Apple II series. Atari Home Computers, IBM PCjr. Manufacturer: Strategic Simulations Price: S34.95 It's rare to find a strategy game that is easy to play, takes only a short time to finish, and is good enough to demand instant re-starting after a run-through, but Epidemic!, from Strategic Simulations, is just that. You (and as many advisers as you can muster) are the just-appointed international task force assembled to halt, analyze, and hopefully cure a space-borne plague roaring across Earth. Armed with a variety of weapons, you can temporarily arrest it, sometimes slow it, and, under extreme conditions, resort to a nuclear option and destroy entire subcontinents to stop the disease from eradicating the human race. This is a pure strategy game, playable on four different skill levels. Although we preferred to play it with a group of people, it's designed for solitaire gaming and is an excellent way of passing an hour or two. At each turn (a day in computer time) you can take only a limited number of steps towards eliminating the epidemic. Should you shoot down a plague-bearing meteor which your radar says is hurtling towards an unaffected region? Try to cure a barely-hit area? Obliterate a nearly destroyed zone? Or perform any of the other operations which will mean life or death to tens of millions of people? It's actually just like a Grade B science-fiction movie (you know, one of those with actors who speak English without moving their mouths). It's also one heck of a game, suitable for ages 12 and over, a real brain-teaser that play-testers went wild over. (For an added twist, assign each player several countries/areas as his or her "responsibility." They're the only ones who can push the button to kill their own people. This makes the nuclear option all the more realistic and less likely to be used.) ---------------------------------------- Atarimania (and the game manual) claim that "Epidemic!" was released in 1982. I find it strange that it was reviewed in March of 1985. Does anyone have any memories of this game? Has anyone played it? How about recently? It might be one to revisit in this era of Covid-19, if only for a little diversion. I'd love to see a video review of this game given the context of the world right now. Adam
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