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Everything posted by rickneff68

  1. It does suck, but then again, I bought the system off eBay to do modifications. And, I knew when I bought it that the video didn't work properly. The keyboard also didn't work and I had a replacement to put in it. I'm more upset that the F18 burned up an IC. That was the more expensive part and something I had hoped to put in another one. I still have to see if something is salvageable. The keyboard should be fine and I'll check the power supply. Might see if I can get another cheap one off eBay or somewhere to try again.
  2. Well, this is disappointing...I was doing some work on this system (removing the video/audio port since I have the F18 board) and after trying to power it on, smoke came out of the F18 board. Sigh. I'm not sure what specifically happened as I was pretty careful, maybe some loose solder or something got on the board somewhere. But, the system won't power up anymore. The lesson here, I guess, is to be careful and check/double check before powering on the system. Don't feel too bad -- I have 3 more systems.
  3. That reminds me of my typing class, which I wanted to take so I could code faster. As you mentioned, the class used IBM Selectric Typewriters, rather than computers. The funny part was my teacher was befuddled with me in the class as the rest of the class was all female and tailored towards secretarial typing. (Seriously, as sexist as it would be considered today!) She didn't know anything about computers and was unsure of why I was in the class. While I wasn't very fast (and I have gotten faster) learning to touch type dramatically made it easier to type code from 99er and Compute! magazines.
  4. We had Apple IIc computers at our High School. (1 classroom of about 10 or so.) We did have a BASIC & LOGO class taught at the school. Myself and another student had TI-99/4A computers at home, so we paired up whenever team assignments were performed (which was a fair amount as there were only 10 computers in the school) We both had spent a lot of time doing BASIC/XBASIC on ours, so the class was very easy. In college, it was all PC-based. I did purchase the Triton Turbo XT and had that with my TI & PEB setup in college. I made the transition to the PC this way. As time when on, especially after I got a 30 MB hard drive in the XT, more and more real work was done on the PC side of things. Plus, all of the programming in my classes either used a Digital mainframe system or the PC, such as Turbo Pascal and Borland C++, so the TI ended up more for games than anything.
  5. 1.) Here's a good place for disk images. I was able to use some of them without issues with the NanoPEB and my CF card: http://www.99er.net/download2/index.php?act=category&id=18 2.) & 3.) are pretty well answered above. 4.) It's actually pretty straightforward -- There is a special command, CALL MOUNT, that allows you to assign a disk number (1,2,3) to the CF volume/disk image. The example straight from the documentation: CALL MOUNT(2,5) Inserts volume 5 into DSK2 I don't have a Mac, so I can't answer anything regarding that, but on the PC side, it's easy enough to reformat the CF card in either direction. Since I use a PC/Windows, TIDir is used for this.
  6. When you find out, just let me know. I can probably take one off your hands.
  7. I just finished a couple of projects with my QI TI-99/A tonight: 1) Added a blue LED to the console. (https://atariage.com/forums/topic/228592-beige-console-power-led-mod/) A 3/16" drill bit works well and is about the right size for most standard LEDs. (As I'm in the U.S. I used imperial measurements, not metric.) You need to clip about 1/4" off the LED for it to bend and seat properly in the case socket. I found it useful to use a Sharpie to mark the leads on the LED to identify which went where. Otherwise, it's a very basic process. 2) Added a Reset Switch (http://shift838.wixsite.com/shift838/projects) The tutorial mentioned C606, but since the QI motherboard layout is completely different, there is no capacitor labeled C606. Instead, I used the one labeled C22. Again, like the above, it's a very basic process once you find the right capacitor. I'm in the process of making a cable for headphones with volume adjustment since I installed the F18 board in the system. (https://atariage.com/forums/topic/265627-f18a-video-board-and-qi-motherboardssystems/) I got it started, but I didn't finish it. My problem is that I would like to use a wheel potentiometer. (Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/3-Pin-Single-Linear-Potentiometer-Selling/dp/B01MEFKK3D/ref=sr_1_25?ie=UTF8&qid=1495348849&sr=8-25&keywords=wheel+potentiometer) However, I'm not sure of the best way to mount or protect it. Most of the time when I've seen these in pre-made cables, there is a protective housing. I don't have anything like this and haven't found one online. Anyone know where to find a housing for a wheel potentiometer?
  8. Thanks to dphirschler for the original write-up! I just performed this on one of my systems with a blue LED. A couple of notes: A 3/16" drill bit works well and is about the right size for most standard LEDs. (As I'm in the U.S. I used imperial measurements, not metric.) You need to clip about 1/4" off the LED for it to bend and seat properly in the case socket. I found it useful to use a Sharpie to mark the leads on the LED to identify which went where. Otherwise, it's a very basic process.
  9. Like pretty much everyone else, I got the PEB pretty soon after getting my own TI-99/4A console back in the 80s for the 32 Kb and disk controller/drives. I added 2 RS232 cards and the P-Code card in mine. At the time, I couldn't imagine NOT having the PEB if you wanted to do something other than play games. Like the Speech Synthesizer, it was just something I needed to have to complete the system. Today, however, I don't use it as much since the NanoPEB does most of what I use on a regular basis. (Plus, the TI isn't my computer for productivity anymore.) That said, like my original console, you'd have to pry it from my cold, dead hands!
  10. I'm sure they can, but I doubt this system has been modified. According to the Mainbyte page, just because it was a QI board doesn't mean it always had v2.2. I wouldn't have minded if this one did as I'd be curious to try to replace the GROMs in it. Just a bit of history on this system, I bought it off eBay cheap as it was listed as parts/repair due to a VDP RAM issue. I specifically bought this system to mod and tinker with. I'm finding as I'm working on projects that the board layout does affect some of the projects that others have posted or are written on other sites. So, I may start a series of posts outlining some of the differences for those that have QI boards.
  11. The QI model is the later model which has a different motherboard layout. Hence the need for the socket to rise the board up a bit. Mainbyte has a good picture that shows the different layout between the two boards: http://www.mainbyte.com/ti99/computers/ti99qi.html Oddly enough, the QI model I have doesn't have the V2.2 OS -- It still shows the 1981 copywrite and runs 3rd party modules, but the hardware is quite different. Also, I have 4 TI-99/4A consoles, so I think I'm fine.
  12. Oh, and thanks again for creating these! It is a MAJOR upgrade and really makes the TI look really good!
  13. I was surprised there was such a significant difference as well. But fortunately, it's easily resolved. It might be worthwhile to make a note about it somewhere on the order page. Feel free to use any of my pictures if you want.
  14. I wouldn't mind seeing one if it had USB ports for keyboards, wireless joysticks/controllers and, as digdugnate mentioned, the newer projects, such as the F18, 32 Kb and speech built into the console. However, what would really make it special is storage. I'd like to see support for BOTH flash memory (SD card or the like) and an actual floppy drive connector. It would be very useful for many to be able to transfer, on the console itself, TI floppy disks to/from flash storage. That said, price would quickly become an issue, I think.
  15. Just an FYI if you own a beige QI motherboard and purchase a F18A video board. The VDP RAM (and related electronics) prevents the board from sitting evenly in the slot. However, this is easily fixed with any 40-pin socket (see pictures) or, possibly, the ColecoVisi​on, tall pins version. (I'm not sure of the latter as I don't have a tall pin version of the F18A.) This might have been mentioned previously somewhere, but after doing some searching here and on the http://codehackcreate.com site, I didn't see any mention of this. If this has been mentioned before, I apologize for reposting. And, if you do have a QI board, you don't have to worry about the additional height as there is only the heat shield on the bottom of the motherboard. Plenty of room up top for the socket and F18A board! Just some pictures showing my configuration after adding a 40-pin socket.
  16. Yep, one of the reasons I got this was to do some hardware hacking on the thing. The odd thing about the QI system is that the shielding is soldered on one half of the board, yet just clipped to the other side. I really would have preferred a screw or two similar to the older shielding. The good part of the QI design is that the shielding is only on the bottom. I don't have to cut up the shielding if I put IC sockets everywhere or put something on that sticks up a bit. I also like the neat clip-on heat sink the VDP uses too. Although, the VDP was the first thing I replaced on the system.
  17. Poor little guy -- He can't help that he was born a QI console! Seriously, one of the reasons I picked it up (other than I knew that I could fix it) was so I could play around with doing some of the hardware modifications I've been itching to do. I have too much sentimental attachment to my original systems to recklessly start hacking at them. I don't have that issue with this one.
  18. I've been lurking here for a couple of months with a registered account and much longer before that. I've had a TI-99/4A system since my Dad brought the first one home around 1981. I was starting high school at the time and after playing a LOT of Chisholm Trail (one of the first games we had) I decided to read that blue book that came with it. I learned BASIC with this book and the TI. Eventually, I got my own system, PEB, MBX and a whole bunch of other stuff. I majored in Computer Science and have been in the IT field the rest of my adult life. I also had an Atari 400 and 2 Timex Sinclairs, but I never worked with them as seriously as the TI. I've kept all my TI systems, which now include 3 silver/black consoles, the PEB, and MBX. While I saved my Dad's and brother's TI consoles, I didn't save my Dad's PEB. Since then, I've been on a bit of spending spree. Picked up a beige system off eBay that had a VDP RAM error. Turns out it was a QI system and also had a bad keyboard. (I had an extra keyboard from Radio Shack -- Back when I worked during the Christmas break in college.) Since it was having video errors, I decided to get an F18 board for the system. (Although, one thing to note: The motherboard layout is different, so the F18 board is tilted due to the VDP RAM chips being in the way. I may get a socket or something to act as a riser.) I've also purchased a nanoPEB and FlashROM99 cart. These have largely replaced my PEB and individual cartridges for most of my game playing and the like. Attached are various pics of my systems, including the newest QI system, with the before and after F18 upgrade. Hope I wasn't too long winded, but just wanted to introduce myself since I've gotten so much from this forum! I am amazed at how many people have developed new hardware for the platform! My thanks to all of you for getting me back into firing up my TI systems again.
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