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Writing TI994a BASIC Programs on a PC


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Hello all...I hope this does not sound too crazy. :)


I am new to the TI994a and am looking forward to working with with a couple of neat old consoles that I picked up. Does anyone out there create their own TI BASIC programs on a PC and run them on the TI994a? How would you package them to run back on the console?


I have picked up a few accessories that could help me xfer them:


*nanoPEB with 32k memory expansion, RS232 port and CF card floppy emulator.

*cassette deck

*Extended BASIC and Terminal Emulator II cartridges.


I know these accessories will help me to run existing software from the net but I would really like to develop my own on a PC.


I downloaded CS1er and have been playing around with some of the "FIAD" files out there that have been created from tapes. I noticed that you can view the TI BASIC source code within CS1er before your create a FIAD or WAV file for output. I was hoping that there was a way to create "FIAD" or even the floppy "DSK" files from TI BASIC source via a PC.


What process would you guys suggest for accomplishing this feat? Thanks for your help!!

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Use an emulator to write the stuff. Classic99 creates files directly in a directory (directory name DSK1 etc.). MESS and Win994a creates files in a disk image. Use TiDir to further manipulate the disks etc. See pinned thread called: TI-99/4A development resources. Lookup and read instructions for the individual emulator.


You save a program from within TI Basic using: SAVE DSK1.PROGNAME

Retrieve it using: OLD DSK1.PROGNAME


Classic99 has the best clipboard support, so you can basically write and edit TI Basic programs in editor of your choice (paste the lines you add and change to Classic99). MESS has paste too but has a few problems with more than one line and longer programs (putting one or more spaces in front of every line usually solves that). Win994a does not have any clipboard support.


MESS and Win994a has the possibility to run sprites etc. very smoothly (synchronized at 60 fps). Your PC has to be not too slow.


Classic99 and MESS can throttle CPU (make it go faster or slower).



Edited by sometimes99er
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While messing with real hardware is fun, actually writing code on a 99/4A is something you do for 5 minutes for the "experience". ;-) Those of us who programmed on them back in the day, because it was our only choice, don't miss it one bit when faced with a project of any size over a few lines of code. However, some here still code exclusively on a 99/4A, but I don't know how they keep their sanity at the same time.


I suggest you:


* Use an emulator to write your programs. Classic99 is the best IMO.


* Forget stock TI-BASIC (built into the console) and just always use Extended BASIC (XB) cartridge. Everyone at least has XB, even those who only run on real hardware.


* Use a good "code editor" (with syntax highlighting) on your PC, which DOES NOT INCLUDE notepad!! I suggest Textpad, Notepad++, or Eclipse.


* Get TIDir for dealing with the file formats between the PC and 99/4A.


* Take advantage of your CF reader and forget about the cassette interface.


Anyway, that's my five cents on the matter. Welcome to the forum!



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Thanks guys.....


I've checked out Classic99 and seem to have everything I need now. I never considered using the emulators beyond testing my programs.


A note on the cassette interface:


I have no tapes with this rig so I have never used it...I have been trying to play WAV files off an mp3 player into the machine and have had no success yet. I think i'm gonna love the CF reader.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wav files from an mp3 player is tough... I've achieved it a couple times, but it took adjusting volumes quite a bit and even then it was not 100% effective. Are you having any success in your programming efforts? We can help you get going with some advice if you'd like. It can be daunting trying to program on a new platform. That's why this forum is here. :)

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XB programs are fun and simple-- you have solid control of your SPRITEs, a clear and tight instruction set, and a good portal into assembly language. The pinned "resources" thread has all kinds of instructional books, manuals, and game development guides in PDF forms. There are also videos showing one method of transferring files to and from the real hardware.

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