The year is 1984 and I, "DJ", from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England was 17 when I wrote my first game, "Moonbase Alpha” on the Texas TI-99/4A in TI BASIC - my first computer! I taught himself BASIC programming from the TI manuals in just a few weeks and soon become familiar with the concept of game developing, once the capabilities of the TI were mastered.
I wrote many others games during the first few months of having the TI-99/4A and seeing the success of the game developers, I approached Intrigue Software of Tenterden, Kent in April 1984 with a view to publishing his range of games all written in TI BASIC. One of those games, "Moonbase Alpha” was published as “Beneath The Stars” by Intrigue software in the summer of 1984.
After my first experiences of the TI-99/4A I embarked into a successful career in software development with business applications (rather than games), focusing primarily on Mini-computers from Datapoint using Databus (similar to COBOL), Open Systems using Unix, SCO Unix, Linux, PCs and PC networking porting Datapoint applications to Open systems. I continued as a software developer into the mid 1990’s writing in Databus, DB/C, Informix 4GL, C and shell scripting.
After a successful time in software development, I turned my attentions to the Internet and switched to a successful career in Internet connectivity technologies and video streaming working for Bay Networks, Nortel, Equinet, IBM and RealNetworks in technical and commercial positions.
I live in the West Sussex countryside with a career dedicated to computing constantly keeping pace with the ever evolving world of change that computing brings! It all began from the TI-99/4A micro computer, a great foundation to learn programming skills.
I have re-worked Beneath The Stars, back to its’ original title “Moonbase Alpha 2019” fully updated 35 years after the original of 1984 and is available on the TI-99/4A and emulators. Both games are available to download from the TI-99 Italian Users Club. A BIG THANK YOU to Ciro Barlie for firstly saving Beneath The Stars and hosting on his site for all these years and secondly Ciro has inspired me to update and significantly enhance Beneath The Stars to become "Moonbase Alpha 2019".
Moonbase Alpha 2019 is vastly improved in terms of speed, playability and cosmetic appearance - all written in TI BASIC using the original code with significant enhancements and available in TI-BASIC and machine code editions. The title "Moonbase Alpha" was inspired by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s TV series Space 1999, where for those old enough will recall the moon breaks free of Earth’s gravity after a nuclear explosion and drifts off into space.