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Hello everybody, A few months ago I started a small Bulletin Board System (BBS) project. Beery Miller had already announced in January 2020 that he would convert the After Hours BBS system to Telnet communication for the TI-99/4A home computer with Tipi extension. Even then, I thought it was a good idea to use my TI with this application. In mid-May, Beery Miller made the BBS software available in the AtariAge forum. That was when I installed the software on my second TI-99/4A with a Tipi extension. After all, the BBS system should run around the clock, 7/24 hours. In addition to the BBS program, Beery also provided all source files. That gave me the idea of gradually converting my BBS system to German. The changeover has not yet taken place in all areas, but the basic text information and parts of the menu control are implemented in German. I set up the system texts in English and German. The TBOX99 BBS system can be called with any Telnet client. A file transfer is possible with the XMODEM protocol. The TBOX99 BBS system has been available since 05/20/2020 at the following address: URL: mytbox99.ddns.net Port: 61643 In addition to my TBOX99 BBS system, there is a second AFTER HOURS BBS, which Arcadeshopper operates in the original English version. The “THEKEEP” After Hours BBS can only be called from the “The Keep BBS”. After logging into The Keep BBS, the After Hours BBS can be reached with the following two commands: /go dialout + enter then d 19 + enter Beery Miller has further developed the After Hours BBS system over the past few months. He has implemented a huge download area with a very extensive menu structure and more than 3000 files available for the TI-99/4A and for the Geneve computer. He has also implemented a search function that searches all files and brief information in the entire download area for a specific term and lists the files found. In addition to news and information in the message area, the BBS can now also be used as a program source for the TI-99/4A and the Geneve computer. For me this is a very good example of the practical (hobby) use of a retro computer! For everyone who has not yet created an account in the TBOX99 BBS, I have converted the current TBOX99 newsletter #3 to pdf format. This issue explains how to download files from the BBS system. The example uses the "Mass Transfer" (MXT) program on a TI99-4A. The TBOX99 newsletter is a pure text file that can be displayed on practically any terminal. TBOX99_#03_Newsletter.pdf Here are also the previous editions of the TBOX99 newsletter: Issue 2 contains an overview of the currently available hardware and software extensions for the TI-99/4A as well as an illustration of the menu structure in the TBOX99 download area. TBOX99_#02_Newsletter.pdf Issue 1 contains brief information about the start of the BBS system TBOX99_#01_Newsletter.pdf If you feel like it, you can log into the TBOX99 system and simply take a look at the system or leave a message. Wolfgang Hess (wolhess)
I've been thinking on and off about what my next series of projects will involve, and one thought that came to me as an offshoot of a related idea was doing a definitive TI-99/4 and 4a history book. I'd like it to be similar to one of the more recent books I did, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, with Boisy Pitre. One of the advantages we had with that book was that Boisy had a good headstart of key contacts to interview for the book (which in turn led to others over time) and had considerable and very specific subject matter expertise (I brought the writing and publishing expertise, as well as my overall perspective on the industry over the years--it helps to have both a superfan and casual fan working on a subject such as that). My original idea after that CoCo book was to write either a ColecoVision or Intellivision history book, but both of those have since been spoken for. I didn't really think there was anything else worth covering that hasn't already been covered, but like I said, based on some other ideas I was working on, I think Texas Instruments's personal computing ambitions would make for a nifty story. As I stated in another thread, it's long overdue for the TI-99/4a to get some more exposure, and this is a potentially great way of doing it. Anyway, the main reason why I'm writing about just a germ of an idea is I'd like to get some feedback. Like I said, one of the reasons why the CoCo book turned out so good was that we had access to many of the individuals who made that computer series what it was. Without that same type of access, this book wouldn't be as good, and I really wouldn't accept such a scenario. I'd like to get a sense of how potentially available key individuals would be for interviews, and if anyone has good archives available (outside of what has already been generously made available online, of course). As with the CoCo book, I think it would be a good idea for me to partner with (as co-author) a true TI-99/4a expert, which I can balance out with my more casual, but still extensive collection/knowledge of the computer series. I would target this book to a traditional publisher. With that said, there's always a chance that a publisher won't be interested, and, in that case, self publishing would have to be pursued. I haven't had to self publish yet, but there's always a first time, so that's something to keep in mind. As with most books of this type, there is little monetary reward either. If written well, this could certainly move at least 1000 copies over a few year span, which is not much, but would be acceptable for a niche product like this. Anyway, thoughts, comments, suggestions, etc., are all welcome and appreciated. Thanks!