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Everything posted by rickneff68

  1. I don't recall the date that we got the first TI-99/4A (as I would end up with one just for me, but more about that below). But, I recall visiting Radio Shack with my Dad in the early '80s and was fascinated by the TRS-80 in-store displays. So, I recall asking my Dad if we could get one. (We didn't, but I think he liked the idea of getting a computer as well, but wanted to do more research.) I'm not sure what sold him on the TI vs. the other systems, but that's what we ended up getting. At first, my brother and I really only played games (Tombstone City to be precise). But one day, I decided to read the blue book on BASIC that was included. Long story, short: I really took to it and, because if it, my Dad got me one for myself. And over the years, my birthday/Christmas presents for those years was TI stuff. Eventually, I/we (some of it was shared between the systems) ended up with 2 Speech Synthesizers, PEB (with Disk Controller/Disk, RS-232, Memory, P-Code card), Extended Basic, MBX, etc. When I graduated from college, with a Computer Science degree, I ended up with most of the TI stuff and still have it today. My Dad had his console and PEB for a while, but when over to the Atari side with some of their later systems. My brother also ended up with a TI console (which I now have), but didn't take to it as I did. He didn't get into the computer side of things until college and by then, it was IBM PC systems. I had a Triton Turbo XT which was my introduction to the IBM side. (I have still have the interface box, but not the XT system anymore.) My sister and Mom never really got into the TI side of things. Back in the day, most of my time was spent in Extended Basic. Learned Assembly (a bit) as well, but Extended Basic as the cartridge that was almost always plugged in. Or course, quite a few games were still played as well. It was also my first experience with online access via CompuServe. As mentioned, I still have all my original TI-99/4A equipment and have since gotten a couple more consoles, nanoPEBs, F18 (with more desired of course), and probably a few more things that I'm forgetting. It's certainly not used as much as it was, but I do still enjoy having all of the stuff I grew up with! It also determined my college major in high school, so unlike many of my peers, I had no doubts in determining my major. (Ironically, my brother ended up with a Mechanical Engineering degree, but has been in the I.T. field, like me, since he graduated.)
  2. Tursi, I agree with many others that Class99 is amazing! It's my go-to TI-99/4A emulator. I understand where you're coming from as I used to be a developer and moved to the network stuff as a career choice. And one of the reasons is similar to what you're experiencing. So, just know that there are plenty of us who very much appreciate all you do and have done with this!
  3. Extended Basic, without question. Although, Disk Manager II was pretty much a required cartridge as well. But, if we're talking games, that's a much harder topic. For the longest time, Chisholm Trail was the 1st game cartridge we had and I played the heck out of it. My favorite was probably Centipede with the Wilco trackball. Of course, many other games, Parsec, TI Invaders, Bigfoot and MBX Baseball were games that were regularly played.
  4. If you're going to own the MBX, you really should get Championship Baseball as it's really one of the better titles. You will need 2 players though. I always thought Bigfoot was fun! Plus, the speech is much better/clearer on the MBX. Plus, the joystick is more comfortable than the TI ones when playing Bigfoot too.
  5. Yes, apparently I got the two names mixed up in my thinking.
  6. I disagree with Meteor Belt - One you know the various tricks, like capturing satellites, it was a game my brother and I played quite a bit when we were younger. Also, disagree with Chisholm Trail, again, once you learn how to wipe out the side-by-side cacti to stop respawns. However, my opinion is probably biased as it was one of the first games I played (for many hours, I might add) on the TI-99.
  7. Count me in as one who has both stock and modified consoles.
  8. I used mine without the scanlines. But sometimes, it nice to have on. Depends on the game and how much nostalgia I have for the game. Eagerly awaiting the day when I get a few more F18s for my other TI consoles.
  9. Only when I play Championship Baseball really. Sometimes with Bigfoot or Meteor Belt as the joystick is nice, but typically not plugged in all the time.
  10. I've had one since a few years after I first got the TI in the '80s. It was/is a very cool equipment, so I'll post my thoughts: -The joystick is nice, but only works with MBX games on the system. You can't use it by itself, which is a shame. -The keypad also is a nice addition, but the overlays don't really handle usage well. Fortunately, it's easy to find printable copies on the Internet nowadays. I've printed some out and laminated them. -The voice/microphone is largely useless. it was interesting back in the day, but I can't imagine trying to use it today. Plus, only a few of the titles used it. -Championship Baseball is the game to have with the MBX system. If you don't have it or don't have an interest in it, I'm not sure the MBX is worth it. -However, the speech sound is much clearer and better on the MBX system, especially with MBX games like Bigfoot. (Non-MBX titles won't be any different.) It does take up space, but since the seller has the original box, it's not hard to keep it in that. (It looks a LOT better than my very beaten up one!)
  11. As I recall, since it didn't require any drivers on the PC/XT side, it should work as a keyboard with an AT (not PS/2) connector. I still have my Triton Turbo XT sidecar, but not the XT computer itself, and since I don't have anything that uses an AT keyboard connector, I can't prove that.
  12. I've done that -- Put my name on the list for 2. I do have one already, but I damaged it working on the system it was in. I need to have him repair the damaged one as well. (So hopefully, I'll end up with 3 working ones) Probably should have stated that I made a request in my earlier post. Sorry about that!
  13. Truthfully, I kind if wish I could pre-order some, so I'm not constantly checking the site. Does anyone know what the "magic number" is to get another batch going? I'm looking for at least two myself.
  14. If I don't stay organized, there is simply too much data to get out of hand. If that were to happen, I'm not sure I'd be able to organize again. It helps having multiple PCs that I re-image or rebuild regularly. So, keeping data separate and organized makes that much easier. On the TI side, now that I pretty much have all the floppies I'm going to have, it's easy to organize once and never have to worry about it again.
  15. I don't think there is much chance of bricking a TI-99/4A with one. It really is as simple as you describe -- Just replace a chip and you're good to go. The only real chance you have of messing something up is cutting up the case for the VGA connector. A Dremel or other good rotary tool should work well though. As far as getting one, I'm looking to purchase some more myself, but they apparently aren't available until there are enough people signed up for the new batch. So, I'd recommend making your interest known: http://codehackcreate.com/store#!/F18A-V1-5-Video-Board/p/14022176/category=0
  16. I've done the DRAM replacement before and it's pretty straightforward, if you are interested in messing with the hardware. However, I would recommend the F18A instead as it is a very useful upgrade. As mentioned though, they aren't available right now, but I would recommend getting on the waiting list. See: http://codehackcreate.com/store#!/F18A-V1-5-Video-Board/p/14022176/category=0 (I'm waiting on a couple myself.)
  17. I have a MBX, but no Sketch. I do also have a Triton Turbo XT box and cables (the computer itself is long since gone) since it was mentioned previously in the thread. I agree with digdugnate as would like to see an emulator device too. Ideally, it would accept USB joysticks and I also suspect that a USB numeric keypad could replicate the overlay system. Although you wouldn't have printed overlays, you could match the keys with the corresponding item. There certainly would be some tricky parts to the keypad as there were different overlay keys for each of the games. But, from the ones I have, I think there are enough keys to emulate most of them. (Although via a key combination.) Sadly, I'm no good on the hardware side or I'd try messing around with it.
  18. This was the first game that we had when my Dad brought the TI-99/4A home. We played it for hours and got past the first day multiple times. Of course, it does become repetitive after hours of playing. (This caused me to break open the blue programming book and learn BASIC programming. Which, in turn, took me down my career path in the computer field. But, I digress.) I still like the game, but I'm not nearly as good at it as I used to be. But, once you learn how to take out the cacti, it's not really all that bad.
  19. Describes my situation exactly! It was my first computer and the Beginner's Basic book taught me programming and concepts. This pretty much determined what I wanted to do for a living long before I went to college and my career.
  20. That's actually a hard question for me. I really can't give a single answer. If we're talking about stuff that has come out since TI left the market, I think either the NanoPEB or F18. Both have made the "modern" TI-99/4A very nice to use today. If we're talking about the stuff that I got back when TI was in the game, it would either be the MBX system or the PEB itself. At the time, both were pretty revolutionary for a home computer system. If we're talking emulation, Classic99 has been awesome for me as I can casually do "TI stuff" on my laptop. Some games work pretty well in emulation too.
  21. It is. You are actually better, scorewise, to get as far though a level as you can and die before capturing Bigfoot. Of course, the hard part is not dying when you're ready to actually capture Bigfoot and move to the next level.
  22. Oh, and here's the best I've managed on Classic99: (I probably had higher when I was a kid on the actual system. I still have the MBX and cart, but I seem to have misplaced my skills along the way.)
  23. The only advantage the MBX has with this cart is the speech is much better/clearer than the TI Speech Synthesizer and, as you mentioned, the joystick. This was one of my favorite games (Although I also liked the Metor Belt and Championship Baseball MBX games).
  24. Yeah, I hear ya! What makes it more disappointing is that these things aren't being made anymore and it hurts a bit to know you've killed one more off! And the puff of smoke off the F18 did cause some swearing.
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