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This is a work in progress.. will be happy to add anything missing - Greg A few bits of information, rules and guidelines on posting. Short links to our sub-forums: TI-99/4A Computers http://ti99.atariage.com TI-99/4A Development http://dev99.atariage.com Please read the AtariAge site guidelines which apply to and are enforced in our subs. Our sub-forums are divided to help cater to the varied interests in our beloved platform. The parent sub-forum, TI-99/4A Computers, contains general information and conversation regarding the TI-99/4A and its siblings, such as the 99/2, 99/8, CC-40, and BASICALCS. The sub-forum TI-99/4A Development is for conversations, information, announcements, etc. pertaining to programming, tinkering, or the development of software or hardware for these computers. This division is not intended to be a separation of the community but rather a way for those who have little interest in development but moreso in general discussions to focus their time on the fun-zone, while those who take more interest in the deep-down nitty-gritty and not so much general shenanigans to focus their attention just the same. The rest of us can spend all the time we want and will peruse both subs with reckless abandon. Insofar as development is concerned, once hardware or software has been completed or is at least ready for general consumption, an announcement should be made in the general TI-99/4A Computers forum for all to partake. Further development and inquiries should still be continued within the TI-99/4A Development sub-forum. The forum leader will move threads to a more appropriate forum. This may also be done by request should a thread be started in the wrong forum by accident or the trajectory changes from general to development or vice-versa. The forum leader will also merge identical threads started in both forums into a single thread in the proper forum. Per AtariAge guidelines, please refrain from posting identical threads in both sub-forums as way to ensure the topic gets viewed. Many people already browse both subs, and if your topic pertains more to development rather than general, or vice-versa, the thread should exist in the appropriate forum. As well, multiple threads created on the same topic in the same forum will be merged. Regular members can edit a post for 60 minutes after submission. This allows you to fix any issues you may notice with the post right away. Subscribers can edit posts for 30 days. In the Marketplace and Programming forums you can edit your posts indefinitely, since the flexibility of allowing editing of posts outweighs the potential abuse of the edit functionality. If you make a duplicate post in a thread, which can happen by accident or some unforeseen technical glitch, report the post by clicking on the "report" link at the bottom of the post and indicate in the report that the post is a duplicate. If you are not a subscriber, please help support AtariAge by using the eBay BBCodes ebay, ebayseller, and ebaystore when posting links to eBay! Click here for more information. Anything you would like to share with your fellow 99ers but is seriously off-topic for the forum may be posted in the official off-topic thread, located here All of us are ready and willing to provide answers to your TI-99 questions if we can, some will just chime in if they cannot, and others will just lurk. If you have any questions specifically pertaining to the operation of our forums, please feel free inquire of the forum leader via Private Message (PM,) or one of the global moderators. TI-99/4a and related Web pages: FTP site: ftp://ftp.whtech.com/ (ftp login is anonymous with NO PASSWORD) or just use http://ftp.whtech.com Gameshelf: http://tigameshelf.net/ Tech Pages: http://www.nouspikel.com/ti99/titechpages.htm Mainbyte photos lists and projects: http://mainbyte.com/ti99/ Fred Kaal's site: http://www.ti99-geek.nl/ 99er.net: http://99er.net/ ninerpedia: http://www.ninerpedia.org 99ers hall of fame: http://ti99ers.org/hof/ Jim Peterson Awards: http://ti99ers.org/forum/viewthread.php?thread_id=77&pid=90#post_90 Tursi's TI software: http://www.harmlesslion.com/cgi-bin/showprog.cgi?TI994A http://www.ti99.com/ http://www.ti99.eu/ Users Groups: TI 99/4a OLUG: http://ti99ers.org Chicago TI 99/4a Users group: http://ti99ers.org/hof/bios/ChicagoUG/ChicagoUG.htm - The Chicago users group meets monthly and has a youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLTtWUO1syCerK4cPjOjPjg Austrian TI-99 Club: http://ti99blog.webs.com/- The new Austrian TI-99 Club has a meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7pm (GMT+1) Please pass this Information on to any 99ers you know from Austria. International Guests are very welcome TI 99/4a Italian User Club: http://www.ti99iuc.it TI user group of the UK: http://www.ti99ug.co.uk/ TI Gebruikersgroep (Netherlands): http://www.ti-99.nl/ TI Club Errorfree (Germany): http://www.errorfree.de/ User meets/festivals: USA: Chicago TI Fest: November 2, 2019 - Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave, Evanston, IL 60201 TI Fest West: sometime in 2020 - TBD Portland Retro Gaming Expo: https://www.retrogamingexpo.com/admission.php Europe: The German group will meet in Vienna (Austria) for 2020. It will take place from October 2nd to 4th (Friday to Sunday). The Dutch group will meet on 14th March 2020 in Den Haag, Netherlands. The British group will meet for their AGM on 17th and 18th April 2020 in Loughborough, England. More info: Windows Emulators: classic99: http://www.harmlesslion.com/cgi-bin/showprog.cgi?search=Classic99 Win994a: http://www.99er.net/win994a.shtml PC99: http://www.cadd99.com/ Linux Emulators: ti99sim: http://www.mrousseau.org/programs/ti99sim/ DOS Emulators: V9T9: http://www.99er.net/emul.shtml#V9T9 PC99: http://www.cadd99.com/ Multi-platform Emulators: Mame/MESS: http://mamedev.org/ (emulates every version of the 99/4a, the Geneve, 99/8 and more!) Java V9t9: http://eswartz.github.io/emul/ Browser based Emulators: JS99er.net: http://js99er.net/ Vendors: http://www.dsapsc.com/what-is-sid.html - SID99 add a SID soundchip to your TI http://codehackcreate.com - F18A vga VDP replacement https://shift838.fwscart.com/ - Geneve keyboard adapters, drive select boards, geneve scart adapters and more https://www.arcadeshopper.com/ - Software, Hardware, Cables and adapters. Flashrom99, SAMS, USB Keyboard adapters, Extended Basic 27 suite, RXB and much more.. new games, multi-carts etc FAQ: What are the differences with the different versions of the console? http://mainbyte.com/ti99/computers/computers.html has great photos and specific differences. The QI consoles will not allow ROM only cartridges to operate from the cart port. (Atarisoft, Funware etc) there is a software based solution for this: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/184559-bypass-v22-console-protection/?do=findComment&comment=2924284 and a disk is available on arcadeshopper.com How do I hook up my TI to a modern tv/monitor? NTSC: Composite cable - The 8 bit computers of the era all share the same cable, Atari 800, ColecoVision, Coleco Adam, C64 at the least.. Buy one here: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Composite-video-cable/p/74389896/category=23804650 Make your own: http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/cables/monitor.html PAL: Modify your PAL RF Modulator for use with modern TV's (PAGE IS IN ITALIAN MAY NEED TO USE GOOGLE TRANSLATE) http://www.ti99iuc.it/web/index.php?pageid=119&pagina=mod_proj1&sezione=4&data=Mod_and_Tuneed Build your own cable - VGA out (works on both PAL and NTSC consoles) F18A VDP replacement from codehackcreate.com allows you VGA out from your TI http://codehackcreate.com/store#!/F18A-V1-8-Video-Board/p/14022176/category=0 For those interested in getting a F18A VGA VDP replacement for your TI-99/4a here's the latest: The manufacturer is having boards made, he is doing this on his dime and in his spare time so it will be at least a month or two before they are available. (perhaps more) If you want one, go to http://codehackcreate.com/and follow these instructions: "If you want to be notified about F18A status and when the next batch will be available, please send me your name and email via my contact form." the link for the contact form is http://codehackcreate.com/contact-us VGA to HDMI adapters have been used to make this work with HDMI only displays. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/234226-hdmi-for-the-ti/ The audio is still output through the 5pin DIN video port so you will still need a composite cable with at least the audio pins connected to a speaker if you install a F18A Where do I find information on the power supply and where can I order one if I don't have one? http://www.mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/power_supply.html https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Power-Supplies/c/22342013/offset=0&sort=nameAsc What are all of the ports on the console? TI-99/4 Ports TI-99/4A Ports (beige example, black and silver consoles are identical) Geneve Ports I don't have a cassette cable to store/load programs how do I get one? Build one Buy one here: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Cables/c/23804650/offset=0&sort=nameAsc Can I use any cassette drive/audio source? Yes there's an official TI program recorder but it is a standard audio cassette player, any player with the proper connections (mono audio out, mic in and remote) will work with the TI. Good tips on that link for setting up your recorder with the correct volume etc.. I have had success with a stereo to mono splitter on my PC and playing WAV files out using VLC to my TI as well. WAV files are here: http://ftp.whtech.com/Cassettes/ What are the best games for the TI-99/4A? The best games are usually run in 32k from disk or use a large rom cartridge such as the 512k cart or the FlashROM99 or FlashGROM99 cartridges. RAM is a requirement for most modern home-brew games/demos. The TI Gameshelf contains a database of all kinds of games including games that run from TI-Basic, Extended Basic and Assembly Language games that require a disk system and 32k. There is a great game high score contest here on this forum that we showcase some of the best games for the 4/a every month and the winner of the high score contest usually wins TI software or hardware donated by the last month's winner. Rasumus and Sometimes99er are the most prolific home-brew game makers as of late and their software is featured here in the development forum. Cartridges for most of these are available at arcadeshopper.com. Is there a multi-cart available? Yes you can buy a game multi-cart here: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Multi-carts/c/16641009/offset=0&sort=nameAsc Also there's a XB27 suite that is a multi-cart with many utilities, extended basic, editor assembler, disk manager, diagnostics and 10 games and more: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Extended-Basic-2-7-Suite/p/44354005/category=15846004 Also there's Flashrom99 that uses an SDcard to load 32k ROM files: https://endlos99.github.io/flashrom99/ https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/FlashROM-Cartridges-cases-and-parts/c/22342012 NEW the FinalGROM99 has been released, this replaces the Flashrom99 and has 1mb ROM space and GROM emulation also supports multiple folders on the SD Card more info here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/260917-the-finalgrom-99/page-10?do=findComment&comment=3802011 purchase through Ralph directly information is here: https://endlos99.github.io/finalgrom99/ Also available at https://www.arcadeshopper.com What is the difference between ROM and GROM on a TI? ROM is Read Only Memory and is used widely in the electronics industry as a standard storage for program and data on hardware. Read-only memory (ROM) is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM can only be modified slowly, with difficulty, or not at all, so it is mainly used to store firmware (software that is closely tied to specific hardware, and unlikely to need frequent updates) or application software in plug-in cartridges. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Read-only_memory for more info on how it works. ROM cartridges can not be used on a QI model 99/4a due to changes made in the operating system to block non-TI cartridges. See above for more info on working around this. Some ROM cartridges were made that plugged in to the side port to bypass this protection as well. Arcturus and Miner 2049er for examples. ROM cartridge boards are available from 8k to 2mb at https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Cartridge-Boards/c/16275020/offset=0&sort=nameAsc GROM is a TI propitiatory standard memory device only found on TI-99 and compatible systems. This is a technical write up on the GROM: http://www.unige.ch/medecine/nouspikel/ti99/groms.htm All carts released from Texas Instruments contain at least one GROM chip GROM chips are the storage medium for the GPL programming language developed by TI GROM chips were never available to manufacture outside of TI's control Some interesting devices were made to get around TI's GROM restrictions including: Gram Kracker from Miller's Graphics - http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/gram/gramk.html Pgram: http://www.unige.ch/medecine/nouspikel/ti99/pgram.htm Pgram+: http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/peb/pgram.htm 128k Gram Karte: http://www.unige.ch/medecine/nouspikel/ti99/gramkart.htm UberGROM: The UberGROM alows us to build any cartridge that was made for the TI in the past due to it's ability to store 512k of ROM and 128k of GROM in a single board. Designed and built by Tursi, Ksarul and Acadel. Available here: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/PCB-Fetzner-UBERgrom-board-with-49F040-flash-ROM/p/44354004/category=16275020 FinalGROM99 was just released by Ralph Benzinger and supports loading ROM and GROM images from a SD card more info here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/260917-the-finalgrom-99/page-10?do=findComment&comment=3802011 and a pre-built cartridge library for the sdcard is here: http://ftp.whtech.com/Cartridges/FinalGROM99/ What is 32k ram expansion and how do I get one? Are bigger memory cards available? The 99/4a came with 16k VDP ram on board, 32k ram expansion gives you additional memory for Extended basic, assembly language programs and GPL programs. It also is required for most of the utilities and fun 3rd party/homebew stuff. Editor Assembler requires 32k ram expansion. The 32k can not be duplicated in multiple cards/expansions so if you want to use another device that provides 32k you must remove or disable the existing 32k device. (this is notable with the nanopeb/cf7 device as they can not easily have their 32k disabled) You can insert a 32k ram card into the Peripheral expansion box, if you have an expansion box. Many were made by TI, Corcomp and others. The 9900 Micro expansion from Corcomp provided 32k and optional disk controller and RS232 ports http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/9900_micro/9900_micro.html TI also produced a 32k sidecar that plugged in the expansion port on the right side of your 99/4a. JediMatt42 designed and released a new 32k sidecar that has a very small footprint and expansion pins for future addons: You can buy a Jedimatt42 sidecar 32k here: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Sidecar-Peripherals-Cases-&-Power-Supplies/c/22255086 There are a couple of projects to add the 32k expansion memory directly to the console http://atariage.com/forums/topic/242260-hardware-project-of-the-calendar-quarter/page-2?do=findComment&comment=3381035 There is a pcboard on oshpark to improve this project: https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/dXyzUBwA http://www.mainbyte.com/ti99/32K16/32k16.html (no longer available to purchase) http://mainbyte.com/ti99/16bit32k/32kconsole.html Also you get 32k ram expansion with the NanoPEB and CF7 sidecars. Yes you can get bigger memory cards such as: Myarc 128k and 512k memory card - These include the 32k expansion ram and use a proprietary method to address/bank in the additional ram. They also include DSR routines to do print buffering, ram disk etc. You can use 100% of this memory in Myarc Extended Basic II which is software that requires this card, a cartridge with ram at 6000 (supercart) and a disk drive to load the program. Foundation 32k/128k memory card - basically the same thing as the Myarc card in fact there's a ROM swap to make it 100% compatible and work with Myarc Extended Basic II (there is also a hack for these to make them 512k) AMS - Asgard Memory System cards were available in 128k-512k sizes. These set the standard for AMS memory and were quite expensive when they first came out. (semi-rare) SAMS - Super AMS supporting up to 1mb of ram. base 32k is included and the rest is only compatible with software that works with AMS http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/peb/sams.html Ksarul SAMS - The latest incarnation of the SAMS with 1mb or 4mb ram capabilities. Currently only the 1mb version is available. Buy the board here and build your own: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Fetzner-1mb-SAMS-board-bare-board-assembly-required/p/65657431/category=16275021or contact Kasrul on atariage to purchase an assembled one. More info/discussion here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/252171-1-meg-super-ams-discussion-thread/ What about the NanoPEB and CF7 sidecars? NanoPEBs are available periodically on ebay and arcadeshopper.com a limited quantity is produced and sold without any regular schedule. The NanoPEB has 32k ram expansion, floppy disk emulation off a proprietorially formatted CF card and a singleDTE 9pin RS232 port. This port is not software compatible with most serial programs (with the exception of TIMXT and the Web Browser software that are programmed for it) serial communication other than that only works with DSR calls (open RS232, etc..) CF7's are also available on Ebay and arcadeshopper.com randomly.. The CF7 had 32k ram expansion, floppy disk emulation the same as the NanoPEB and a single PC Parallel port on a 25 pin connector. This port is not software compatible with programs that do not make DSR calls. Using the PIO device works fine in basic and other utilities that use that DSR. The NanoPEB and CF7 file system on the CF card can only be read and written too using the software on the author's site, TIDIR from Fred Kaal or the java application TIImageTool. http://webpages.charter.net/nanopeb/ http://www.ti99-geek.nl/Projects/ti99dir/ti99dir.html http://www.ninerpedia.org/index.php?title=TIImageTool What is TIPI? TIPI is the TI to Raspberry PI connection. This leverages the cheap storage and internet connectivity of the PI for use on your TI-99/4a computer. In a nutshell, you get an equivalent to a hard disk, floppy drive emulation and internet connection as well as access to peripherals on the PI (such as the mouse, ports etc) The raspberry PI is connected to the TI-99/4a via a sidecar or PEB box TIPI card. The sidecar TIPI card requires the sidecar 32k card with 44pin connector and external power supply to operate, while the PEB card plugs directly into the expansion box. For updated/more info see: http://ti994a.cwfk.net/TIPI.html TIPI (Pronounced tip-ee) A File system and network access device for TI-99/4A TIPI is a device for the TI-99-4A that allows communication between service scripts on a Raspberry PI and the TI-99/4A with DSR support to act as a filesystem, expose TCP and HTTP access through the Raspberry PI, and enable extensible PI services to the TI such as a mouse, or network gaming protocols. TIPI is currently out in the wild, available from ArcadeShopper.com TIPI sudecar prerequisites: 32k sideport with stacking header expansion such as my memory card. Powersupply for sideport 32k card. 32k sideport set to use 'ext' instead of 'ti' power. Suitable separate powersuppply for your Raspberry PI. Your own Raspberry PI (model 3, 3b+ or zeroW supported) SD-card with TIPI SD-Card image flashed PEB version of TIPI is available now! Prerequisites: Suitable separate powersuppply for your Raspberry PI. Your own Raspberry PI (model 3, 3b+ or zeroW supported) SD-card with TIPI SD-Card image flashed TIPI Features: DSR for file READ support: INTERNAL/DISPLAY, FIXED/VARIABLE, PROGRAM, DIRECTORY Write support: INTERNAL/DISPLAY, FIXED/VARIABLE, PROGRAM CATALOG support. Sub-directory support. Native file support: /b99 /bas /xb files can be LOADed or SAVEd as PROGRAM files with automatic transformation to/from ASCII native os files. /txt /a99 /b99 /bas /xb native os ascii files can be OPEN and READ as DISPLAY VARIABLE 80 files. other native os files can be OPEN and READ as DISPLAY FIXED 128 files. Partial long name support CATALOG shows shortened names only Long names and short names supported for file access. DSR devices: TIPI. DSK0. DSK1. DSK2. DSK3. DSK4. DSK. PI. URI1. URI2. URI3. Special files: PI.CLOCK - reading a DISPLAY 24 record returns asctime (time & date as string) PI.STATUS - virtual D/V 80 file with list of network device info on PI. (mac addresses, and ip addresses for each network device ) PI.HTTP://... - GETs an HTTP url and let you access it like a normal file. PI.TCP=hostname:port - open a socket, write opcode supported to write, read to read... PI.STATUS - virtual D/V 80 file with version and network information. PI.CONFIG - virtual D/V 80 file for configuration of TIPI services. PI.UPGRADE - open and close (D/V 80) to trigger upgrade of TIPI services. File name transformation: Devices are mapped to unix filesystem locations: TIPI. - /home/tipi/tipi_disk DSK0. - /home/tipi/tipi_disk ( alias for TIPI. for disk unit 0 support ) DSK1. - /home/tipi/tipi_disk/DSK1 DSK2. - /home/tipi/tipi_disk/DSK2 DSK3. - /home/tipi/tipi_disk/DSK3 DSK4. DSK. - /home/tipi/tipi_disk/ DSK1-4 are managed as symlinks, and can be configured with the TIPICFG program. Raspberry PI transforms TI device-filenames with the following rules: '.' in file or path names become '/' '/' or '\' in file or path names becomes '.' linux filenames with more than 10 characters can be referenced with either the long name, or the short hashed name as listed in the CATALOG there is no shortening support for directory names capitalization is observed ( the host os provides a case sensitive filesystem, as is the TI FS ) Software currently available for the TIPI includes (but not limited too) or more info see http://atariage.com/forums/topic/278913-tipi-enabled-software-listing/ TELNET - native TI telnet application with 80 column color ANSI support (with f18a VDP) also does 40col and 64col modes for 9918a stock TI (32k,TIPI, with internet connection req) CHATTI - native TI chat program that allows people to chat on the internet with other TIPI owners (32k, TIPI and internet connection req) RPS - TI basic program that lets you play rock, paper, scissors with another TIPI owner over the internet (TIPI required) How about the Speech Synthesizer Plug it in and it is available to any program that supports it. Extended basic will only say the words in the included vocabulary in the Extended basic manual. UPPER CASE ONLY if you use lower case it will say "UH OH" for every letter.. Terminal Emulator II will do "text to speech" and say any word spelled in the format documented in the manual. What about the little door on the front? Originally when the synthesizer was designed, it was programmed with about 300 words and phrases (the ones you can get from CALL SAY in Extended BASIC). TI's intention was to sell add-in modules that went into this compartment that would add additional words to the resident vocabulary. TI then figured out how to do unlimited text to speech through software, added that to Terminal Emulator II, and then there was no need for the add-in modules. So none were ever sold and very few of the speech synthesizers even have the connector inside the door for these to plug into. I hear there are a couple lines that aren't passed through the speech synth? (these can be jumpered across the board to resolve) 5v on pin 1 (Jedimatt sidecar32 requires) Sound through (SID99 requires) What is this Peripheral Expansion Box you speak of? TI released two versions of the PEB (Peripheral Expansion Box) one with the 99/4 and one with the 99/4a. There was a beige colored box in advertisements for the QI models but it was never released to the public. Great write up with photos here: http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/peb/perf_box.html Many cards were made available for the PEB including Memory expansion, RAMdisks, CPM coprocessor boards, Pcode Pascal system, Western Digital Hard disk Controller interfaces, SCSI controller, IDE controller, Video controller, Floppy disk controllers, SID99, Speech synth adapter (to hide the speech board in the PEB) and much more. http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/peb/ti_cards.html http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/peb/3rd_cards.html http://www.dsapsc.com/what-is-sid.html http://www.s-n-u-g.de/home/index_e.php https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Peripheral-Expansion-Box-boards/c/16275021/offset=0&sort=nameAsc Can I hook up a PC keyboard to my TI? USB: http://ti994a.cwfk.net/TiUsbKeys.html - boards and assembled units are available here: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Keyboards-and-adapters/c/23836460 PS/2: http://www.harmlesslion.com/cgi-bin/showprog.cgi?search=adapter Rave99 (no longer made..) http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/rave/keyboard.html What Joysticks and controllers are available for my TI? TI Handheld controllers are very common in the black plastic model. Less common in the beige color. These are nicknamed "hand wreckers" as they use a poorly designed lever and membrane method with foam pads under the membrane that go bad over time. Atari compatible joysticks can be used using an adapter, there were various models made from Wico and other manufacturers. A compact "Atari" joystick adapter is available here: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/Joysticks-and-adapters/c/21773047/offset=0&sort=nameAsc Make your own: http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/cables/joystick.html Wico made a very nice Trackball: http://www.atariage.com/forums/gallery_ips/gallery/album_1249/gallery_35324_1249_250202.jpg they are available on Ebay now and then Milton Bradley released a MBX expansion system for the TI in 1983 that contained an enhanced speech synth, speech recognition, a "touchpad" interface and enhanced controllers: http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/mbx/mbx.html Mechatronics made a TI mouse that was basically a generic xy mouse with TI drivers and a 5v power supply, there is also a DSR for TI-artist Asgard software had a serial mouse driver. <if someone has a link lmk> Here's another serial mouse driver: http://www.stuartconner.me.uk/ti/ti.htm#connecting_serial_mouse SuperSketch was available for the TI and had it's own paint program built in. Also a TI-artist DSR was available. These were difficult to use due to the linear axis of the system. http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/super_sketch.html Can I hook up a modem to my TI? To hook up a modem you need a RS232 serial port with a PEB and a RS232 card with a NanoPEB with a UberGROM board with the serial interface) What is the pinout of the TI RS232 serial port? Here is the manual: ftp://ftp.whtech.com/datasheets%20and%20manuals/Hardware/Texas%20Instruments/PHP1220%20RS232%20Card/ti%20rs232%20card%20manual.pdf 1 Ground 2 RXD 3 TXD 5 CTS 6 DSR 7 Ground 8 DCD 20 DTR What is the pinout of the NanoPEB? Manuals are available here: http://webpages.charter.net/nanopeb/ 2 RXD 3 TXD 4 DTR 5 Ground 7 RTS 8 CTS What Terminal Software is there for the TI Terminal Emulator II is a cartridge that will allow you to connect to RS232/1 or 2 at 110 and 300 baud. This software has it's own "terminal protocol" that allowed for changing character definitions and other cool stuff. Runs on a stock console without memory expansion. FastTerm was a popular terminal program that gave you basic terminal functions and xmodem transfers. 32k and disk system required. Telco is the most full featured terminal program for the TI, it included multiple terminal (including ANSI but no color) and transfer protocols, phone book and auto dialer and many other features. 32k and disk system required Term80 allowed you to have an 80 column terminal on your 99/4a with the stock VDP, hard to read but amazing! 32k and disk system required Mass Transfer was a terminal program that worked well to send multiple files between computers. 32k and disk system required (included in XB27 suite) TIMXT is the latest terminal released allowing for up to 38000 baud full color ANSI terminal on a NanoPEB or TI rs232 card and 80 column text with the F18a VDP. 32k, rom load or disk system and F18a required. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/265573-timxt-terminal-emulator-dev/?do=findComment&comment=3761846 Can I hook up a printer to my TI? Sure with the following cards/addons you can hook up a printer. TI RS232 card has two serial ports and one parallel port. You can order a TI parallel cable here: http://www.cabledepot.com/05MCOlderTI.html NanoPEB has a single serial port that is the same as a PC serial port. 9 pin CF7 has a single parallel port that is the same as a PC parallel port 25 pin There was a cartridge based program that included a cartridge based parallel port, these are relatively rare. If you don't have a printer, you can use the program TI PRINT from Fred Kaal to use your PC's printer with your TI. You just need a serial port (same as the HDX set up) and this software: www.ti99-geek.nl/Projects/ti99print/ti99print.html Disk drives? TI made a stand alone disk controller and a PEB card that supported up to DS/SD diskettes. There is an 80 track modification available from hummingbird eproms to add 80 track drives to this controller. Corcomp made a PEB disk controller and a sidecar "9900 Micro" that supported up to DS/DD diskettes. http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/9900_micro/9900_micro.html Myarc made a PEB disk controller that supported up to DS/DD diskettes. Myarc also made a HFDC (hard, floppy disk controller) for the PEB that will support up to 80 track DS/DD disks on a 4/a and fully format 1.44mb HD disks on a Geneve (with the appropriate drive). Hard drives? TIPI provides a hierarchical file system (essentially a hard disk as far as the TI is concerned) for more information see the TIPI description above or http://ti994a.cwfk.net/TIPI.html Myarc produced a Winchester Personality Card that allowed you to connect a WDS-100 SASI controller to your TI and then some MFM hard drives to the controller. This supported up to two 20meg drives. There are only three I know of in collectors hands.. Good luck on finding one! Myarc produced a HFDC controller that in addition to disk drives supported up to 2 MFM hard drives as well, I have a 40mb one on my Geneve, not sure the max limit.. (rare) S.N.U.G produced an excellent SCSI controller card that is compatible with the TI and Geneve. These are difficult and expensive to find for sale. http://www.s-n-u-g.de/home/index_e.php WHSCSI card (Western Horizon SCSI card) Handles 7 SCSI drives and with a HP SCSI port splitter box could handle 6 more SCSI drives for a total of 13 SCSI drives (rare) Therry designed a IDE controller for the 99/4a and some have been built as part of a group project among TI enthusiasts. These are not currently in production. but are open source you can build your own Disk emulators? The Lotherek disk drive emulator works with the TI with any controller The Gotek USB based disk drive emulator works with the TI with the optional firmware upgrade and any controller Yep those are here too: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/GOTEK-usb-floppy-disk-emulator-numeric-display-TI-99-4A-Compatible-firmware-installed-BEIGE/p/86757911/category=12497083 TIPI emulates disk access via DSK1-3 pointers on the tipi_disk for more information see TIPI description above or http://ti994a.cwfk.net/TIPI.html The CF7 and NanoPEB have disk drive emulators built in using CF card for storage http://webpages.charter.net/nanopeb/ RAM Disks? Corcomp's 128k and 512k memory cards are basically only usable as RAMDISK these had no battery backup so power off=blank Myarc's 128k and 512k memory cards contain a DSR routine for RAMDISK, these had no battery backup etc.. Horizion RAMDISK is a dedicated ramdisk of battery-backed memory. It will survive a reboot/power down as long as your batteries are good. Various sizes were released getting bigger as ram prices dropped. Can I transfer files from my PC to my TI? Cartridge ROM/GROM: FlashROM99 can run up to 32k ROM files from a fat32 formatted SDcard that you can load rom images on your PC.THIS IS FOR ROM BINARY IMAGES ONLY, NOT DISK FILES. FinalGROM99 can run up to 1mb ROM files and additionally GROM files from SDcard that you can load these images on your PC. THIS IS FOR ROM AND GROM BINARY IMAGES ONLY NOT DISK FILES. DISK files: TIPI can be accessed from your PC on it's built in SAMBA/Windows file share as TIPI it also can be accessed by it's internal webserver at http://tipi:9900 and files can be uploaded to the TIPI disk folder from this interface. Ti99Hdx is a PC program which is capable to communicate with a TI99/4A or Geneve computer via a serial connection (TI RS232/2 interface or own build) or a parallel connection (Cf7a+ interface). or UBERGrom Modified TI RS232 card (Must be TI brand, no 3rd party cards) using the HDX daughter-board (sold here: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/RS232-mods-cables/c/16275022/offset=0&sort=nameAsc ) and a straight-through serial cable hooked to TI RS232/2 (splitters for rs232 also sold there) Standard TI or Corcomp serial card using HDXS software that is downloadable here: http://www.ti99-geek.nl/Projects/ti99hdx/ti99hdx_ti_std_rs232.html (also this tool is included in XB27 suite cartridge) and a straight through serial cable hooked to TI RS232/1 I wrote up a detailed walkthrough here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/248292-pc-to-ti-transfers-with-stock-rs232nanopeb-and-hdx-server/page-1 NanoPEB sidecar serial port, with a NULL modem cable http://www.ti99-geek.nl/Projects/ti99hdx/ti99hdx_nanopeb.html UberGROM cartridge board with a serial device and cable. http://www.ti99-geek.nl/Projects/ti99hdx/ti99hdx_ubergrom.html TI,Corcomp,Myarc RS232, terminal software on both sides and a PC with serial port. Straight through cable. MagicFM - Magic file manager will allow you to use the above serial set up and copy files to/from the TI using your PC's terminal program: https://www.arcadeshopper.com/wp/?page_id=11#!/MagicFM-diskette/p/47916395/category=15846005 If your PC has a compatible disk controller and drive you can read/write disks with this tool: ftp://ftp.whtech.com/pc%20utilities/TI99-PC%203.2.1.%20Password%20'TI99'.rar A web browser? seriously? Yes, it has a subset of html that works with the TI, there are a few pages out there http://atariage.com/forums/topic/231274-stuarts-ti-994a-internet-web-browser/ for more info you will need a rs232 card or NanoPEB and a lantronics uds device. My TI isn't working right! help! Keyboard issues The keyboard is connected directly to the TI motherboard with a pin connector. This can become loose/dirty and may need cleaning/reseating. There is no logic within the keyboard is is merely shorting the keyboard lines when you hit the keys. If your cable is damaged there are replacements available at http://www.arcadeshopper.com/under hardware/cables Alpha Lock issue: With the alpha lock key on you are unable to use the up direction with the joysticks. Release alpha lock to play games OR do this fix: http://mainbyte.com/ti99/console/alpha_lock.html What keyboard do I have? There were at least 5 manufacturers of keyboards for the 99/4a. http://mainbyte.com/ti99/keyboard/keyboard.html has good pictures/info/schematic. Mitsumi: These keyboards do not have any solder points except for the alpha-lock key connection and the ribbon cable. These keyboards have a membrane under the keys that tends to go bad with age and can sometimes be revived by separating the layers (CAREFULLY) https://atariage.com/forums/topic/256662-repairing-a-mitsumi-keyboard/ Alps and others: These keyboards have solder points on the back of the PCBoard these keyboards sometimes have dirt/corrosion in the switches that can be cleaned with contact cleaner or alcohol. Console just BEEPS The start up routine of a 99/4a initializes the sound chip with a tone and then the rom boot routine shuts off the tone.. If it just beeps either there is a bad connection to a peripheral OR a board level issue that is causing the startup routine to "lock". Check all socketed chips for good connection/corrosion etc and reseat. Scrambled/Garbled screen graphics/text 80% of the time this is VDP ram and it will need to be replaced. Here is a great page on how to determine what RAM chip is bad: http://www.ninerpedia.org/index.php?title=Troubleshooting VDP Ram is soldered into the motherboard and will need to be desoldered and replaced (suggest it is replaced with sockets and new ram inserted into the socket) this ram is TMS4116 static ram. Located in number 6 in this photo: http://mainbyte.com/ti99/hardware/big_mother2.jpg The F18A VGA VDP replacement contains it's own VDP ram so replacing the TMS9918a VDP in your 4/a with a F18A will also replace bad memory without having to solder.. On NTSC/USA machines TMS9918a VDP is the hottest component on the motherboard and this tends to end it's life prematurely. Daily use consoles tend to have the VDP fry sooner or later. This chip is socketed so it is relatively easy to replace. It is covered with heatsync compound and there is a metal slug that sits on top of it under the RF shield on a original 4/a. On a QI model there is a metal heat-sync clipped to the 9918a. Cartridges don't work or don't work reliably. The TI cartridge port is the most used part of a console. It tends to get dirty and gummed up. Info here on cleaning carts and the port: http://mainbyte.com/ti99/minimem/cart_fix.html Replacement cartridge port boards are available on ebay and from vendors. wip - will add more soon!
I was trying to find my earliest internet posts about our favorite game console, did a Google usenet search, and found myself on rec.games.video.classic being a pain in the butt of Larry Anderson (Intv FAQ guy) in June of 1995. What can you find?
I'm trying to get up to speed on Atari programming; One of my problems is that the threads are mainly by experts (which is good) who are using jargon, nicknames and acronyms I don't recognise, so I go into a near infinite recursion of googling/searching old posts or threads. One other problem is that it's hard to tell, when reading a thread, wether the technique being discussed is still "start of the art" or whether its been superseded. Is there a glossary/FAQ for Atari 8 bit programming? I saw a reference to "Ironman Wiki", which sounds promising, but it seems to not exist anymore, at least at the links given https://wiki.strotmann.de/wiki/Wiki.jsp?page=Ironman%20Atari BugBear