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Sid1968

A worse programmers questions

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Hi folks,

as a newbie on TI-99/4A i have a few questions about programming on a TI-99/4A

 

1. Why do i get a green screen under TI-Basic by running

 

           10 GOTO 10

 

 and not under Extended Basic.

 

2. What is the best Basic Interpreter for the TI-99/4A?

 

3. Is it true that Extended Basic 2.7 makes troubles with some commands?

 

4. Is there a Basic Compiler for the TI-99/4A?

 

5. Is there a Pascal Compiler for the TI-99/4A?

 

6. What Compiler/Interpreter/Assembler do you prefer best?

 

7. I have only the FinalGROM99 on which i certainly cannot save programs. How can i save programs in a modern way (means without diskdrive/tape)?

 

Thx and Kind Regards

Sid1968

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6 minutes ago, Sid1968 said:

1. Why do i get a green screen under TI-Basic by running

 

           10 GOTO 10

 

 and not under Extended Basic.

 

They happen to be the screen colors chosen by the the programmers of each language. I do not know the reasoning, but you can change the screen color in any program with CALL SCREEN(). To change TI Basic to use cyan (as in XB), use 

5 CALL SCREEN(8)

 

...lee

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35 minutes ago, Sid1968 said:

7. I have only the FinalGROM99 on which i certainly cannot save programs. How can i save programs in a modern way (means without diskdrive/tape)?

I currently recommend the TIPI/RPi configuration as the best, if not the cheapest.  Also, while I do not personally like them, many have had success with the Nano-PEB.

 

There is idea of mine that I would love to see developed in the future, and that would be a mini 32K or 1M SAMS sidecar that uses ones cellphone via Bluetooth for all Internet and file I/O with the TI.

 

Almost everyone has a smartphone, so the sidecar would be the only purchase required.  Having a free download in Google Play might attract some interest and maybe even inspire a few TI's to be taken out of the closet.  New features and updates could be automatically downloaded like all other cell phone APPS.

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22 minutes ago, --- Ω --- said:

I currently recommend the TIPI/RPi configuration as the best, if not the cheapest. 

Never heard of it.

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3 hours ago, Sid1968 said:

2. What is the best Basic Interpreter for the TI-99/4A?

While not being the most elaborate BASIC version today, TI Extended Basic is the most widespread, my guess: >90%. Back in 1982, I got it just 4 months after we bought the console.

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52 minutes ago, mizapf said:

While not being the most elaborate BASIC version today, TI Extended Basic is the most widespread, my guess: >90%. Back in 1982, I got it just 4 months after we bought the console. 

What version of extended basic is the best?

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23 minutes ago, Sid1968 said:

What version of extended basic is the best?

Rich Gilbertson's RXB. In terms of power, flexibility, and awesomeness, it has the crown.

 

Sadly under-utilized as many TI programmers are culturally biased towards sticking with classic TI-Extended BASIC.

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There is only one "TI Extended Basic" (version 110). There was a predecessor (v100) that got replaced by v110 quickly; MAME offers the dump of the v100 as exbasic1.zip. You can quickly identify it by its "hollow" cursor.

 

Apart from that, we have lots of 3rd party derivatives: Mechatronic Extended Basic (former German company), Extended Basic 2.5, Extended Basic Plus, Super Extended Basic (Triton), and of course RXB from Richard Gilbertson who is active on this forum.

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Is it correct that Mechatronic Extended Basic ist the most developed 3rd Party Extendet Basic (exept RXB)?

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30 minutes ago, Sid1968 said:

What version of extended basic is the best?

Indeed, it would be better if you avoided "good"/"bad" or related attributes if you expect a clear answer. Do you think about features, about popularity, about future potential etc.? You may get a different answer for each one.

 

Just now, Sid1968 said:

Is it correct that Mechatronic Extended Basic ist the most developed 3rd Party Extendet Basic (exept RXB)?

 

May I pick another question? Or do I have still have a telephone joker? No, honestly, I never thought about comparing all BASIC versions, since I don't care too much about BASIC in general. Someone else may help here.

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I read that Super Extended Basic is a successor of Extended Basic, and Mechatronic Extended Basic a successor of Super Extended Basic. So Mechatronic Extended Basic should be the best Extended Basic Version in my opinion, because of its highest level of development. Certainly exept RXB.

Edited by Sid1968

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2 minutes ago, Sid1968 said:

I read that Super Extended Basic is a successor of Extended Basic, and Mechatronic Extended Basic a successor of Super Extended Basic. So Mechatronic Extended Basic should be the best Extended Basic Version in my opinion, because of its highest level of development. Certainly exept RXB.

Extended Basic III from Asgard is probably the end of that particular chain. The cartridge is really rare though (I have one, I only got it because I pre-ordered) and for the most part, RXB gives you all the same functionality improvements with the added bonus of being actively supported.

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Ah.. i dont know the licence-right, but is it possible that you make a rom file for the FG99 out of the Extended Basic III Cartridge and share it with us? From what is RXB the successor?

Edited by Sid1968
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If you want to develop a game in XB you should start by looking at the XB Games Developer Package that Lee posted a link to. Most of the XB games created in recent years have used that package, and several of them have been released on cartridge. The package includes a library of support routines and a compiler that makes your game run about 20 times faster. No other XB package provides that.

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5 hours ago, Sid1968 said:

6. What Compiler/Interpreter/Assembler do you prefer best?

This largely depends upon if you want to do your compiling on a modern PC and move the resultant code to the TI, or if you want the original experience of compiling on the machine itself. (I don't recommend it, unless you like waiting a LONG time for things to build.)

 

On the TI itself, the Editor/Assembler package is the best and most common system for writing assembly code. You'd get the most support for it by far, as the others (Such as Art Green's RAG time assembler) are not as well known or used these days.

 

In emulation, there's some nifty tools written in Python (Xdt99) that can handle most of your needs. I think the library still uses Python 2, though, so it's a version behind.

 

I myself use A99, which is a rather old compiler tool originally written on the Amiga. I got a copy of the source and binaries from someone on a TI group years ago. I write a lot of my own tools in C# to handle binary copies, translating object code to literal binary code, and so forth and built a package system to create the files for my own CRPG project. This is because I'm using the SAMS memory system, which no current assembler compiler supports natively.

 

At some point I may just write my own compiler in C# just so I got something I can add the bells and whistles I want to easily.

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31 minutes ago, Sid1968 said:

Ah.. i dont know the licence-right, but is it possible that you make a rom file for the FG99 out of the Extended Basic III Cartridge and share it with us? From what is RXB the successor?

It's a custom-built cartridge, unfortunately, with some weird internals for switching banks that doesn't align with FG99.

 

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24 minutes ago, adamantyr said:

This largely depends upon if you want to do your compiling on a modern PC and move the resultant code to the TI, or if you want the original experience of compiling on the machine itself. (I don't recommend it, unless you like waiting a LONG time for things to build.)

 

On the TI itself, the Editor/Assembler package is the best and most common system for writing assembly code. You'd get the most support for it by far, as the others (Such as Art Green's RAG time assembler) are not as well known or used these days.

 

In emulation, there's some nifty tools written in Python (Xdt99) that can handle most of your needs. I think the library still uses Python 2, though, so it's a version behind.

 

I myself use A99, which is a rather old compiler tool originally written on the Amiga. I got a copy of the source and binaries from someone on a TI group years ago. I write a lot of my own tools in C# to handle binary copies, translating object code to literal binary code, and so forth and built a package system to create the files for my own CRPG project. This is because I'm using the SAMS memory system, which no current assembler compiler supports natively.

 

At some point I may just write my own compiler in C# just so I got something I can add the bells and whistles I want to easily.

Same as on Commodore Systems... most of it is programmend on PC. Honestly i just want to get an overview and do some simple program-experiments. The TI-99/4A has the problem that the CPU has only 256 Bytes RAM in the both MC6810. Additionally the CPU has only access to the other RAM if it fetches it byte by byte from the videochip. Then the Basic is not in a normal rom, but in one of the three smaller groms. In the normal roms is the GPL-Interpreter who must lead the code out of the groms. Another disadvantage is that the TI-Basic Interpreter runs in the GPL-Interpreter... All together makes the system soooo slowly. So programming on the TI-99/4A is a challenge. I just saw the "Dont mess with Texas" Demo from 2017. When i read it right it was made from some guys of this forum. Respect for that! You even programmed the Amiga Boing Ball...🙃

Edited by Sid1968
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26 minutes ago, Sid1968 said:

I just saw the "Dont mess with Texas" Demo from 2017. When i read it right it was made from some guys of this forum. Respect for that! You even programmed the Amiga Boing Ball...🙃

Thanks. The demo requires the 32K expansion to run, so we didn't have to keep all data in VDP RAM. The 32K makes the TI more comparable to other computers from the time, and the bottleneck for sending data to the VDP is shared with other computers, like the MSX1, that use the same VDP. 

Edited by Asmusr
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9 minutes ago, Asmusr said:

Thanks. The demo requires the 32K expansion to run, so we didn't have to keep all data in VDP RAM. The 32K makes the TI more comparable to other computers from the time, and the bottleneck for sending data to the VDP is shared with other computers, like the MSX1, that use the same VDP. 

Interesting. Thx. I compare it in reference of its speed with the VIC-20. His challenger at that time. ;-)

I guess that the problems of the TI-99/4A was based on the decision to use the own 16 Bit CPU. But... i dont want to make the TI-99/4A bad. For me its a beast, but an important part of computer history. It was the first 16 Bit Computer.... or better the first Computer with a 16 Bit CPU. So i bought two of it. 🙂

Edited by Sid1968

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31 minutes ago, Sid1968 said:

Same as on Commodore Systems... most of it is programmend on PC. Honestly i just want to get an overview and do some simple program-experiments. The TI-99/4A has the problem that the CPU has only 256 Bytes RAM in the both MC6810. Additionally the CPU has only access to the other RAM if it fetches it byte by byte from the videochip. Then the Basic is not in a normal rom, but in one of the three smaller groms. In the normal roms is the GPL-Interpreter who must lead the code out of the groms. Another disadvantage is that the TI-Basic Interpreter runs in the GPL-Interpreter... All together makes the system soooo slowly. So programming on the TI-99/4A is a challenge. I just saw the "Dont mess with Texas" Demo from 2017. When i read it right it was made from some guys of this forum. Respect for that! You even programmed the Amiga Boing Ball...🙃

Yeah, any development on the native console without memory is a challenge. THAT said, the recent Dragon's Lair cartridge works just fine with 256 bytes of CPU RAM. :)

 

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8 hours ago, Sid1968 said:

6. What Compiler/Interpreter/Assembler do you prefer best?

 

This is a pretty open-ended question. The Assembler I use to assemble my fbForth 2.0 (see website and development thread links in my signature below) is Cory Burr’s Asm994a (see Win994a-TI-99-4A Simulator in Windows ), which, unfortunately, is no longer supported. I intend (soon, I promise, Ralph!) to start using xas99, Ralph Benzinger’s Assembler available through his xdt99: New TI 99 cross-development tools available thread, which is currently supported (a really big deal!).

 

The interpreter I use most is Forth—a threaded interpretive language—specifically, my own fbForth 2.0, which is also a compiler, but probably not the kind you meant in your question. It also has its own TMS9900 Assembler, which allows for structured programming in Assembly Language!

 

...lee

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4 hours ago, Sid1968 said:

Ah.. i dont know the licence-right, but is it possible that you make a rom file for the FG99 out of the Extended Basic III Cartridge and share it with us? From what is RXB the successor?

RXB is from Miller Graphics that created GRAM KRACKER Extended Basic same as many others including Super Extended Basic and XB 2.5

RXB was created in 1991/1992 and by 1996 I released version 5.54 that was reviewed by Micropendium Magazine. 

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