Jump to content
acadiel

CB Wilson - TI-99 related documents

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, mizapf said:

Wait, I'm going to cast a time-reversed spell to discourage them from using that Z80 ... done. 🙂

 

LOL.

 

I do have some timing type documents I'll be scanning tomorrow - I don't know if they relate to the 99/3B or not, but I'm hoping someone here can make sense out of them.

 

I also have three final sets of 99/4 schematics to scan tomorrow.  

- one set appears to be three out of four pages of the original 77/78 schematics

- one set appears to be the same as above (but I'm still scanning it), plus it has all four pages and three pages of timing diagrams

- one set is a five page (first page says 12/25/79) for the 99/4.  So maybe "almost final" since the last one I have is Jan 1980 for the 99/4.

 

I'll leave it up to all of your tech guys to pour over these and identify the evolution of them.  First, sorting them in proper order, then identifying the differences (what was changed between them) - this will give us an excellent idea of the development lifecycle of the /4.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dont forget that there were two different variants of the 99/4 being produced in the late 1979/early 1980 time period: the one most people have seen and the one with the internal speaker and volume control slide switch. With luck, one set of schematics will be found in there for each type.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is where the community needs to help me a bit.  I know these are timing and other documentation - I have no ideas as to context.  This is the last of the 99/4 technical info folder.  Let's figure this out as a group.  The keyboard diagram was at the end of the folder, and had a number keypad, which might be the 99/8 (?).

99-4_misc_diagrams.pdf

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that almost all of the 99/4 technical/schematic stuff is scanned (which is less than 5% of my overall material), here's what we need to do as a community:

  1. Name these properly - give them a format where they have a date and sequence so people can refer to them when comparing them
  2. Create a directory structure and upload to WHTech
  3. Crowd source the changes between schematic diagrams - how the evolution of the 99/4 happened.  There's lots of gems here.
  4. Review that last set of datasheets, as well as the 99/3B datasheets to determine how/if they relate, and what they're trying to communicate.  A lot of these have 0 context, so we need some knowledgeable community members examining these and offering input.

Thanks for all your support on this... next up - a September 1981 TI-99/4 Consumer 'program request' compilation.  What were consumers asking TI for as of September 1981?  Well, this 1/2" compilation says it all....

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much to you and Ksarul for your work with this; seeing the evolution of the 99/4 is fascinating. Here are some of the changes I noticed:

  • The 9985 schematics (May '78) have a video input connector (5-pin DIN), the IR connector, internal RF modulator, and BNC composite output. Cartridge port pinout is different than the one we're all used to, and there's a RAM expansion port
  • The very next 9900 schematics (September '78) have entirely different layout (more on that later)
  • October '78 schematics are more like the 9985 ones, but there are now two separate boards (mainboard and the 9900/9918 card)
  • In the second prelim. set from February '79, the two boards from before are combined into one, RF modulator is removed, joystick port added
  • Cartridge port got it's "normal" pinout sometime around Jan-Feb '79
  • Between May-July '79, external video DIN and IR receiver got axed, along with the BNC for composite video.
  • RAM expansion port was removed by December '79

About those September '78 schematics: they're nothing like the ones that came before or after them. The keyboard is external and there are connectors for "Dig. Cassette," "Mass Mem.," and "Printer." The RAM expansion is gone and all the DRAMs are labelled 4116, whereas they're labelled 4027 (optionally 4116) in the later schematics. Seems almost like a testbed for getting the 9900 into a Dimension 4-like system...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@AwkwardPotato, Those October '78 schematics are definitely for a Dimension 4, as they pretty much match both of my Dimension 4 board sets. Both sets were manufactured in late 1978 or January 1979, so the schematic timing (to include the changes to a 99/4-like board) through that fall and the winter months make a lot of sense.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Ksarul said:

@AwkwardPotato, Those October '78 schematics are definitely for a Dimension 4, as they pretty much match both of my Dimension 4 board sets. Both sets were manufactured in late 1978 or January 1979, so the schematic timing (to include the changes to a 99/4-like board) through that fall and the winter months make a lot of sense.

Which will help you extremely when it comes to troubleshooting your boards!  Yay!!!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, acadiel said:

In Fall 1981, TI had solicited list of programs that users wanted for the TI-99/4.  Here's the PDF of everything requested.

 

1981_Program_Requests_TI994.pdf 39.29 MB · 5 downloads


I read most of this survey. Knowing what random people wanted in 1981 informs my talking points for museum shows.

 

TI, you had pay-dirt, the very first freaking line in your report is DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.   I hope you put Kevin Kenney on it right away.

 

As I scan through, I get the message that people wanted stuff they saw on other computers in 1981. A surprising lot of folks asked for assembly language, and something very like Mini Memory. Sure, word processors and spreadsheets are eternal. What about the games?

 

 

A lot of the game requests seem to me to be aging 1980 Apple ][ and Atari coin-op titles. Only one each reports PAC-MAN TYPE GAME or GOBBLER! In 1981, the Apple ][ scene was brimming with riotous  variety, yet folks here were asking for late-70s games like Scott Adams, Star Raiders, Invaders, early Sierra graphics adventures...

Wizardry was 1980, but in 1981 came Wolfenstein, Ultima, Bilestoad, Robotwar, so many more--just google for Apple II games 1981. Perhaps this survey was only delivered in September 1981, using rather older data... 

 

Was this TI's first internal clue that they needed to bring in some 3rd party publishers?

 

We really needed ANOTHER QUALITY GAME LIKE THE ATTACK. I liked that one, too.

 

TEXT TO SPEECH WHEN IS IT COMING

 

We still ask this question.

 

 

I scanned for famous names. And I found a few! and some more requests that just made me smile.

 

Such as:

 

P.66

SSTV FOR HAM RADIO SLOW SCAN TELEVISION
AT THIS TIME A ROBOT SS TV CONVERTER 4-K
MEM STORGE I THINK SELLS FOR $800

 

MOORE JR, SAM 
SHERMAN TX

 

Wasn't somebody talking about SSTV on atariage a short while ago?

 

and this one below it

HOW DO YOU FILL UP THE SCREEN W/HEXAGONS

Yes, we all want Dungeons & Dragons or at least Avalon Hill! We'll make one ourselves!

 

 

p.68
SCOTT ADAMS ADVENTURE MFT ADVENTURE INTL
GALACTIC TRILOGY MFT BRODERBUND
HAUNTED HOUSE MFT CREATIVE COMPUTING

 

PINCUS, SAM
HINSDALE, IL


Nearby:

GAMES WITH SPRITES

 

 

p.50 or am I mixing up James Postle Sr?
PROGRAMS IN MATH OR SCIENCE FOR STUDENT
TUTORIAL ALLOWING TEACHER/STUDENT TO
INPUT QUESTIONS WITHOUT PROGRAMMING EXP

 

POSTLE, JOHN P
HAMBURG, NY

 

 

p.71
FACTOR ANALYSIS/PRINCIPAL COMPONENTS
MUSIC EDUCATION-K 1 2 BASIC CONCEPTS
SCHOOL MANAGEMENT BUS ROUTING ATTENDANCE

 

CLULOW, JOHN
PERRYSBURG, OH

 

Now I want to make John Clulow's day by making a PCA package...

What was his background?

 

 

Sadly, I don't see anybody foresee to ask for FORTH. A couple of FORTRAN though.

 

But on p.82

RADZAI, DR FRANK R asks for "A COMPUTER PROGRAM THAT WRITES PROGRAMS"

And then, SANTOS, HECTOR asks for THE LAST ONE FROM ENGLAND.


What is that? Another dungeon adventure game? No, it's a program that writes programs!

 

Here are some fascinating accounts of THE LAST ONE (found using googles.) You decide.

 

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1293278/what-became-of-the-last-one
http://www.tebbo.com/presshere/html/pw8102.htm
https://teblog.typepad.com/david_tebbutt/2007/07/the-last-one-pe.html

 

 

'Scuse me, I have to go flog some 4GL tyres.
 

 

 

Spoiler

(No, I am not the E OLSON on p. 49)

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like on page 3 "Game about a presidential election". I wonder if such a game would have considered the current reality a bit far fetched?

 

Page 9 - "Something to get the wife involved."

 

Page 9 again - "Medical emergency remedies First Aid etc" on cassette. "Will you just bleed quietly for a moment dear while I load this program ..."

 

Quite surprised how many of the users are wanting to use the computer for business or technical stuff rather than just games - assembly language stuff, cypher & data compression, home energy control, statistics, financial stuff, ...

Edited by Stuart
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[mention=22866]acadiel[/mention] Are you going, or have you attempted, to apply OCR to these documents?

Right now, I’m just scanning them. I have a lot more to go. OCR is a whole next level of difficulty. I am scanning them at 600-1200 DPI, so someone is welcome to OCR them to help out :-)

Notice I haven’t put them on Whtech yet - I want them properly named and organized (and maybe OCR’d) before they go there.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to clean at best and add automatic OCR as I already done for other docs shared on my DB online. But anyway I have lot of docs to work already for ti99 world so it could be slow for me 😜

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, acadiel said:

A 1984 memo about the Powerline Network program (with the demise of the /4A)

 

1984_Powerline_Network_Memo.pdf 6.67 MB · 21 downloads

This was 1984?  With all the engineers there, I have to imagine there had to be at least one or two Amateur Radio Operators, with knowledge of Aloha-Net from the 70's and the run up to the frequency allocations for signaling a year later in 1985, so it surprises me that in 1984 they were still stuck in the mind box of transmitting signals over wires instead of going entirely wireless.  They could have propelled us into the WiFi era much earlier.  

 

If more companies could leapfrog ideas past the next "logical step", they could create whole new markets for themselves.  To me it's like Xerox and the computer mouse, they had the idea, but it took Apple to steal it because they recognized it's value.  I have to wonder though, if sometimes it's the limited thinking of those in charge who hold back the free thinkers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...