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The Gram Kracker mega thread

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Here are the HFE files for all three programs. I included a README.

 

Hey OLDCS1 or whomever's doing modding nowadays... starting around page 4, we started talking separately about the MG utility programs (Diags, DiskAssembler, Explorer)... can we split this up on its own thread? Thanks!

MG Programs.zip

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So this zip file contains images that are proved to load, as I assume? I am still working on some tools (for the sake of quick and easy development, written in Java) to get a meaningful output from track 11. There is no sense in trying to fix the format in MAME as long as I fail to decode that track manually.

 

By the way, the HFE, as I know it from the specs, only allows for one encoding of the image, with the exception of track 0 that may have another encoding for each side.

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So this zip file contains images that are proved to load, as I assume? I am still working on some tools (for the sake of quick and easy development, written in Java) to get a meaningful output from track 11. There is no sense in trying to fix the format in MAME as long as I fail to decode that track manually.

 

By the way, the HFE, as I know it from the specs, only allows for one encoding of the image, with the exception of track 0 that may have another encoding for each side.

All the images in that archive load on my system: a Corcomp mini PES disk controller, HxC GoTek drive.

 

If someone else is using a HxC or GoTek, I’d like to see if they can validate these images working on real TI, Myarc and BwG controllers too.

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I know at one point, Bill Sullivan was working on a project called TI-BASIC+.

 

It did just that...

Actually, Rich Gilbertson did some improvements to TI Basic, and added the TI Basic support CALLs from the Editor Assembler module. Which worked fine from Basic programs running in VDP memory, but not from Basic programs running in GRAM space, that was easily accomplished using MSAVE & MSAVE6 included with the GramKracker. The 80K version is required to load the RG improved BASIC (also needs the fixes done by Tursi for Basic programs running n GRAM space) in GRAM/GROM 1 & 2. I covered this more thoroughly in the TI Basic Plus (TIB+) topic.

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I've done a very basic tutorial video on the GRAM Kracker which I'll be posting to YouTube. If anyone hasn't seen one of these work, stay tuned for a quick and dirty, poorly edited video. :)

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Hello Everyone and thanks for all the hard work!

 

I am the proud owner of a not so bouncing baby Gram Kracker :)

 

I found the GK 1.0 files on WHTECH.  

 

Where can I get the GK Utilities I disk?  Are there any other utilities, disks that came out the GK that anyone can share?

 

I am just learning the GK so I will be asking lots of questions.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

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On 6/24/2019 at 11:12 AM, videofx said:

Hello Everyone and thanks for all the hard work!

 

I am the proud owner of a not so bouncing baby Gram Kracker :)

 

I found the GK 1.0 files on WHTECH.  

 

Where can I get the GK Utilities I disk?  Are there any other utilities, disks that came out the GK that anyone can share?

 

I am just learning the GK so I will be asking lots of questions.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

We have the test utilities and such now to verify the GK operation on Whtech.  I thought that the disk image of the utilities was there as well.  

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On 2/14/2018 at 11:54 AM, Opry99er said:

I know at one point, Bill Sullivan was working on a project called TI-BASIC+.

 

It did just that...

Yes, but no code in the two TI Basic 6K GROMs were changed, as basically only the TI Basic support code from the Editor/Assembler module (INIT, LOAD, LINK, PEEK, PEEKV, POKEV & CHARPAT) was added in the additional 2K of the 8K GRAM space that the 80K version GK for all GK GRAMs.  MSAVEd TI Basic programs required some timing changes for those CALLs to work from GRAM locations rather than VDP.  This timing adjustment was discovered and fixed by Tursi, as my MSAVEd TIB+ programs were "crashing", but they had tested good in VDP.  The original TI Basic files that included the EA support code was done by Rich (by the way did you complete the re-write of TI BASIC?  I miss a lot of everything that goes on here--AtariAge).  I did come across the original email exchange a few years ago--maybe I can find them again, if they're needed.

 

RetroBill (fdos)

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No rewrite of much other then the code to load address was changed from EA to TI Basic.

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16 hours ago, RXB said:

No rewrite of much other then the code to load address was changed from EA to TI Basic.

Hi Rich, I also noticed that I replied to this topic back in May of 2018.  Which was much simpler and more correct than my current reply that you responded to.   Anyway, thanks for the update; I'm just sorry that we won't get a cleaned up (all that garbage of loop around code removed), and a tiny bit faster TI BASIC.

 

RetroBill (fdos)

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Has anyone built one for sale for us electrically-minimal-skilled Ti99/4a fans that would love to have one but can never remember which end of the soldering iron not to pick up?

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23 hours ago, SpaceEdu said:

Has anyone built one for sale for us electrically-minimal-skilled Ti99/4a fans that would love to have one but can never remember which end of the soldering iron not to pick up?

If you are looking for a respun GRAM Kracker, no. The FinalGROM cartridge provides some of the functionality of the GRAM Kracker (the ability to load and run cartridge files) and the UberGROM cartridge allows you to make permanent cartridge copies of cartridges that contain ROM and/or GROM. These are the only two GROM emulations in production, although I have been considering respinning the old Wiesbaden Supermodul II, as it has a lot of great functionality too.

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Emulation:  GK with Mess  should work with MAME. There are also videos with the real GK on my youtube channel (TI99VIDEOS)

 

 

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On 2/10/2021 at 5:21 PM, SpaceEdu said:

Has anyone built one for sale for us electrically-minimal-skilled Ti99/4a fans that would love to have one but can never remember which end of the soldering iron not to pick up?

I had "briefly" considered designing a new version of the GK but I'm not convinced that there would be much interest in it given the FinalGROM and UBERGROM carts, emulations, etc.  Even if I went ahead with the project it would likely be a kit as I wouldn't have the time to put many of them together.  I wouldn't be able to produce a metal case either so it would have to be a printed plastic case.

 

My to-do list is long <sigh>

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15 hours ago, FALCOR4 said:

I had "briefly" considered designing a new version of the GK but I'm not convinced that there would be much interest in it given the FinalGROM and UBERGROM carts, emulations, etc.  Even if I went ahead with the project it would likely be a kit as I wouldn't have the time to put many of them together.  I wouldn't be able to produce a metal case either so it would have to be a printed plastic case.

 

My to-do list is long <sigh>

 

Regarding the metal case. Just a few days ago I saw an online add of a company with an online site where you can send your design files to, they validate and build it for you. Think prices where very reasonable.

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On 2/12/2021 at 9:35 AM, FALCOR4 said:

I had "briefly" considered designing a new version of the GK but I'm not convinced that there would be much interest in it given the FinalGROM and UBERGROM carts, emulations, etc.  Even if I went ahead with the project it would likely be a kit as I wouldn't have the time to put many of them together.  I wouldn't be able to produce a metal case either so it would have to be a printed plastic case.

 

My to-do list is long <sigh>

All I can say is that my 80K GramKracker is working GREAT now.  The FG99 (which I also have, and a FR99) don't allow me to store 40K of basic programs just like modules, so I can select them from the TI MENU.  I love it!  I also use my Super Space II some times (I just got it working again today), as I thought the 32k chip I removed from my old, non-working, CF7A+ sidecar, had died due to previous damage, but it turned out to be a dead battery!  Having FUN, FUN, FUN AGAIN.

 

RetroBill (fdos)

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Besides enjoying my 80K GramKracker; I think old salts like myself would prefer an improved update to the NanoPEB rather than a new modern CPU interface to the internet.  My Windows PC works fine for that purpose.  My TI-99/4A does have some upgrades, like; F18A video and USB keyboard interface that I use with a four port K/V/M that shares a 22" VGA/HDMI monitor and wireless keyboard with my Dell Optiplex Mid-tower PC and two Dell laptops.  Old age, I guess, prevents me from learning all the new stuff, and I just don't have time to do so.  Before I retired in 2006, my job required that I be a very skilled PC user, and be familiar with IBM mainframe and mini-computers along with AIX/UNIX, and for my needs now, I don't need to spend all my time learning new technologies for my hobby systems, that I just want to have FUN playing and sharing with other like minded hobbyists.  However, I'm not a gamester.  I do like coding, and forth is my favorite, but I did develop a lot of code in Quick Basic for a previous employer.  It was my son who got me to help him with a problem he encountered typing a program from a 99'er magazine that subscribed to just after I got the TI-99/4A for the family at Christmas 1982.  It included 6 TI modules, TI Speech Synthesizer, RF TV adapter, and I added a cassette tape recorder and TI cable, but I was surprised that he had put it all together, and had saved several games to tape, but this battleship game had a flaw in one algorithm, so dad got to help solve that one, as I had learned all about communications traffic across telephone switching systems algorithms when I worked for NEC America in the early 1970's.  I never had this much FUN when I was a kid growing up in Northern California.  So now I'm just making up for all the FUN I missed out on as a child.😂

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Actually, to me anyway, tipi is essentially a network card of sorts. All I use it for is saving/loading files,games,source code from my ti to my laptop. 

I actually never use the internet parts, http, ftp. But it's there.

I would have a hard time loading diskettes, and in this day and age, everything is the same except the media it's stored.

Shoot, I don't have any f18A, but don't know if I'd benefit much at all with it, as much as I do with tipi.

Nothing like DSK4. Being a 1 terabyte hard drive full of TI folders.

 

 

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On 2/19/2021 at 4:33 PM, GDMike said:

Actually, to me anyway, tipi is essentially a network card of sorts. All I use it for is saving/loading files,games,source code from my ti to my laptop. 

I actually never use the internet parts, http, ftp. But it's there.

I would have a hard time loading diskettes, and in this day and age, everything is the same except the media it's stored.

Shoot, I don't have any f18A, but don't know if I'd benefit much at all with it, as much as I do with tipi.

Nothing like DSK4. Being a 1 terabyte hard drive full of TI folders.

 

 

Like, I said, the VGA allows me to share a 22" flat screen monitor and wireless keyboard with my 20GB RAM, 500GB SSD Dell PC and two laptops, via 4 port K/V/M, so it's a big benefit for my purposes, not just TI hobby.  I have a 7200 RPM 2GB hard drive for it, that I hope to install sometime soon.

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After reading through all this and skimming through all the files, I'm thinking about potentially making one or two of these to play around with.

 

Out of curiosity, is there any information on the case? I know it's metal, but that's about it. With some dimensions, my boss and I may be able to come up with a few cases for these.

 

The other thing I noticed, the schematic document seemed to be blurry and in some cases impossible to read. Just wondering if it's still being worked on or if there is a higher quality scan, or something like that?

 

I, unfortunately, have only been able to view the files from my phone so I'm not sure if it's just a problem with downloading from android.

 

Thanks for your time

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8 hours ago, pmk222 said:

After reading through all this and skimming through all the files, I'm thinking about potentially making one or two of these to play around with.

 

Out of curiosity, is there any information on the case? I know it's metal, but that's about it. With some dimensions, my boss and I may be able to come up with a few cases for these.

 

The other thing I noticed, the schematic document seemed to be blurry and in some cases impossible to read. Just wondering if it's still being worked on or if there is a higher quality scan, or something like that?

 

I, unfortunately, have only been able to view the files from my phone so I'm not sure if it's just a problem with downloading from android.

 

Thanks for your time

Tonight I can take some quick measurements of the case and post them here, unless somebody beats me. Don't know about the schematics, they may be out there or in this thread, and I may have downloaded them, but I haven't looked. It would be great to see a new version, using 138k or 512k sram.

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