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13 hours ago, Retrospect said:

Here's a TI-Basic program for you to type in.  It will display a large picture of a space invaders player command base, firing it's weapon.

For what am I being penalized?:ponder:

 

                                                         🚀

 

:evil:

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If other than playing games, which the TI has plenty of, you like programming the extended BASIC on this machine is a work of art. The no Pokes and Peeks will become such a beauty that will become evident fairly quickly.

May I also add that this community is one of the best, If not THE best for support.

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22 minutes ago, SkyPilot said:

I've been reading the TI is pretty slow.  I'm still considering.

"Slow" is subjective.  It can be slow compared to another computer's BASIC, for instance.  But it can also play arcade-quality games along the lines of a ColecoVision.

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1 hour ago, SkyPilot said:

I've been reading the TI is pretty slow.  I'm still considering.

 

Speed is for modern computers.  Old home computers all went whatever speed they went.  Look at other more relevant indicators like number of colors and sprites and sound capabilities etc.  Pick a computer with software that you're interested in.

 

Are you doing some sort of exhaustive comparison of all the old systems?

 

 

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8 hours ago, SkyPilot said:

I've been reading the TI is pretty slow.  I'm still considering.

Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't. Yes, there's some places where TI could have done better, but that's true of everything. 

 

I could give you completely different impressions of the system by cherry-picking specific pieces of software. (Our Defender is pretty darn good.)

Ultimately, what the system actually is is both more concrete and harder to define: it's QUIRKY. Some things are done very differently than contemporary platforms, the software selection has little overlap with the competition... things are just DIFFERENT in Texas.

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For someone getting into a new retro machine, the most important aspect to consider, by far, is the ready availability of help. No matter how impressive the specs of any particular machine are, if you cannot have a quick and accurate answer to the myriad of questions you will inevitably have when starting up then it's all for naught and you will eventually get frustrated and move on. 

On this forum, I have yet to see a question get asked and not receive an answer within hours, and sometimes minutes, no matter how esoteric it is, and it's not the standard RTFM response either. Try that with the Coleco Adam community for example...

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2 hours ago, Jeff White said:

@SkyPilot, I keep seeing posts regarding a TI BASIC/TI Extended BASIC compiler.  Yes, these BASIC’s are slow, but compiled?  @tmop69? @senior_falcon?

The compiler is part of the XB Game Developer's Package. Compiles BASIC/Extended BASIC programs will run 20 to 30 times faster. There are limitations, the biggest of which is that all numeric values must be integers from -32768 to +32767, so modifications usually must be made when you are compiling an existing program.

TMOP69 knows more about adapting existing programs than any other human on this planet.

 

One of the things I really like about the TI99 is that there is so many capabilities and features that are still being discovered or developed. TI BASIC has only 256 bytes of memory and cannot run assembly language programs. But it turns out that it can. Extended BASIC cannot use the bit mapped mode or the 40 column mode. But it turns out it can. Rasmus and others have been creating stunning games that are way better than anything even dreamed of in the '80s. And so on...

 

I suspect that most of the capabilities of the C64 were already known back in the '80s and that there is not that much new stuff to discover.

 

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On 6/26/2021 at 2:54 AM, senior_falcon said:

The compiler is part of the XB Game Developer's Package. Compiles BASIC/Extended BASIC programs will run 20 to 30 times faster. There are limitations, the biggest of which is that all numeric values must be integers from -32768 to +32767, so modifications usually must be made when you are compiling an existing program.

TMOP69 knows more about adapting existing programs than any other human on this planet.

 

One of the things I really like about the TI99 is that there is so many capabilities and features that are still being discovered or developed. TI BASIC has only 256 bytes of memory and cannot run assembly language programs. But it turns out that it can. Extended BASIC cannot use the bit mapped mode or the 40 column mode. But it turns out it can. Rasmus and others have been creating stunning games that are way better than anything even dreamed of in the '80s. And so on...

 

I suspect that most of the capabilities of the C64 were already known back in the '80s and that there is not that much new stuff to discover.

 

You are entirely right.  The reason I suspect is because the Commodore's were pretty much open architecture and the Texas was closed they didn't want people to know about it's innards OR develop games for it.  They wanted to do the games or at least have a monopoly on them so kept it's best-kept secrets to themselves.  The 99 is an awesome machine for the years it was developed.

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Here's a little something I found out about Texas Instruments lately whilst looking into other things;  regarding it's sprites ...

Signetics were the first company to have what are termed now as sprites in any home hardware; they called them "Moveable Objects" ... It was in fact some guy sat in an office at Texas Instruments that came up with the term "Sprites" when they designed the 99/4 (Dimension-4 at the time) ... he coined that phrase because the graphical object floating around the screen didn't interfere with any characters on the screen almost like a Ghost .... or a Sprite .... Sprites are like little ghosts (are they Irish???) .... So yeah,  useless bit of info for ya.

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