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TI-99-4A - UK Cassette Games - How To Convert To PC Emulator ?


RenegadeG1
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Hi there,

 

Found this site & another last week & installed the gamesbase that was kindly uploaded.

Some good memories came back from the old games I used to play as a kid, but there were some missing.

 

I've just found these in my parents loft - on tape - wondered if anyone on here knows how to convert these to use within the gamesbase?

 

I should have a tape deck in order to record the tapes to the pc and save as wav files, but not sure where to go from there.

 

Games I didn't find on the database which I have:

 

Lionel & The Ladders (UK version).

Santa & The Goblins (Intrigue).

Wargame (Made by someone in Harlow I believe - remember going to their house to buy it :) ).

Roady Toad (Made by my then local ice cream man!).

 

Also got a few others, but these may already been in the database.

 

If anyone has a way to convert, then I'll dig out my tape deck and get them recorded.

(Presuming the tapes still work after all these years!).

 

Image Attached.

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

post-42588-0-22628000-1433083115_thumb.jpg

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If you have a sufficiently good recording on a WAV file, you can mount that WAV file in MESS and read it as an emulated cassette. You may need to post-process your recordings by some audio tools like Audacity (remove noise etc.).

 

However, you should consider to copy the stuff on disk images; there are some more comfortable tools, if I remember correctly.

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I should be able to clean up any recordings - audio tinkering is one of my 'things' :)

 

The TI I had only ever had a cassette deck, and only other main bits of hardware I had were a speech synthesizer & Ext Basic (as well as several game carts).

The game carts seem to be on the gamesbase, so was more interested in getting these games available.

 

If it looks like this is possible & people have the necessary tools/hardware to tinker with the wav recordings, I'll happily upload them once I've recorded them.

 

I did notice my Santa & The Goblins tape looks different to images I've found online - it was bought in a shop, so hoping it's not a copy!

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I've recorded 3 files so far to test (Wav - stereo & mono files of each) - if anyone is able to convert them to something which will load in the Gamebase, please let me know & I'll PM you the files.

So far I've recorded :

 

Roady Toad (frogger)

Draughts (Flip to frogger - not sure if by the same author, or if it's something else that was recorded on the tape - I think it's the same author).

Wargame

 

If these all work out ok, I'll record the others.

 

Cheers.

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Here's file #1. However, it only runs in Extended Basic because of its size.

 

Unfortunately, I can't spend more time for copying more files right now; maybe other MESS users may give a hand. Use the OSD menu "Tape control" to operate the tape, and the "Slider controls" to set the volume of channel 2 to 0 (or you will hear two file shifted transfers at the same time; this is no problem for the emulated console, on the other hand).

post-35000-0-38410500-1433098179_thumb.png

post-35000-0-73553200-1433098194_thumb.png

wargame.dsk

Edited by mizapf
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WarGame and Santa and the Goblins sound pretty interesting. :)

Wargame is a good strategy game.

 

Player 1

Keys : W, E, R, S, D, Z, X To Move.

Q To Fire

 

Player 2

U, I, O, J, K, N, M, < To Move

Y To Fire.

 

Depending on the terrain you're on will affect how far you can move per turn & how far/well you can fire.

Used to spend hours playing this one.

 

Cheers to Mizapf for converting that one.

 

If anyone can tell me what this MESS is and how you use it, I'll give it a go this end - as long as it can all be done on the PC.

The TI hardware is all packed away.

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If anyone can tell me what this MESS is

 

That one's like a stab in my heart. ;)

 

MAME is the multi-arcade machine emulator, MESS is a subproject of MAME (Multi Emulator Super System) with hundreds of emulated systems, a few of them being our TI-99 family (TI-99/4, 4A, 8, Geneve), which I am in charge of. We have collected a lot of information on MESS on www.ninerpedia.org.

 

For your plans you don't need to dive too deep into MESS for now; I'd suggest you use an installation wizard like the one written by schmitzi.

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That one's like a stab in my heart. ;)

 

MAME is the multi-arcade machine emulator, MESS is a subproject of MAME (Multi Emulator Super System) with hundreds of emulated systems, a few of them being our TI-99 family (TI-99/4, 4A, 8, Geneve), which I am in charge of. We have collected a lot of information on MESS on www.ninerpedia.org.

 

For your plans you don't need to dive too deep into MESS for now; I'd suggest you use an installation wizard like the one written by schmitzi.

 

:) - I've used Mame (for many years) and have lots of other emulators for old systems I've had over the years (Atari 2600, speccy, C64, Amiga, Nes etc).

Never heard of MESS though.

Is this part of the gamebase program, or the Classic99 emulator?

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Thanks for taking the time to rescue these--a lot of the TI software from the UK isn't generally available yet. Each one we find is a major bit of good hobby fun! :)

 

 

Does anybody have some example names/titles of "lost games" ?

(if so, please give me full and correct spelled names)

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No, they all finished just after 7pm, there was a slection of stuff from Apex and Virgin.

The main ones I have (Tapes anyway) are the ones I took a pic of, so don't think I had any that would have been on that auction.

 

I did find a load of other tapes - possibly with some games from Home Computing Weekly on them, but they may have been taped over with other stuff over the years.

Also got a few bits (if they haven't been taped over) or some bits I made in extended basic - nothing fancy, but if someone can show me how this tape/MESS conversion thing works, might try to convert those as well.

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:) - I've used Mame (for many years) and have lots of other emulators for old systems I've had over the years (Atari 2600, speccy, C64, Amiga, Nes etc).

Never heard of MESS though.

Is this part of the gamebase program, or the Classic99 emulator?

 

MESS is a subproject of MAME; it uses the same core system. Or, if you like, the MAME engine is used to drive all the computer systems of MESS in the way it does with the arcade machines. It is not related to Gamebase or Classic99. About a year ago, the codebase of MESS was integrated into the MAME source tree.

 

This is the current list of emulated systems: http://www.progettoemma.net/mess/sysset.php

(1060 systems, with another 1116 clones)

 

If you have some experience with MAME, you may find MESS less difficult to work with.

 

  1. Download a recent copy from http://mamedev.org/
  2. Get the system ROMs from ftp.whtech.com (subdirectory /emulators/mess/roms). Unpack the archive file into the ROMpath.
  3. If you don't use a front-end like QMC2, create a mess.ini file by starting mess with option -createconfig
  4. Check the paths and video settings in mess.ini. For Linux you should choose opengl video mode; for Windows use directx. Also, I'd recommend to use windowed mode, no maximized window, and a size of 640x480.
  5. If all is properly set up, you should be able to launch the TI emulation as driver name ti99_4a (e.g. "mess ti99_4a").
  6. Different to MAME, in MESS you have to switch between two keyboard modes in order to control the emulator, because the computer system emulation usually needs all the keys on the keyboard. The default for switching between the modes is ScrollLock. If you don't have that key you can set another one in mess.ini. Have a look at my description on ninerpedia.
  7. In partial mode, press TAB. You should get the on-screen display menu (OSD menu). In that menu you can find "Tape control" with menu items for rewind, stop, start, record. As I mentioned above, for some unknown reason, the tape is output on both sound streams, with one stream shifted. If that bothers you, use the volume setting in "Slider controls" in the OSD menu to mute the second channel.
  8. In full mode, go to TI BASIC as you know from the real TI.
  9. In BASIC, type OLD CS1. Switch to partial mode in order to open the OSD menu, go to "Tape control", check whether the tape is rewound
  10. Exit the OSD menu, toggle to full keyboard mode, press ENTER. The computer tells you to press play.
  11. Again, toggle to partial mode, open the OSD menu, go to "Tape control", select "play". Nothing happens because the cassette motor is inactive.
  12. Go back to TI BASIC. Press ENTER, and the motor starts. You should then hear the tape data.
  13. Since you want to save your data to floppy disk, you should prepare a blank disk. You can do this with various tools, either TI99Dir or TIImageTool.
  14. So either you use the OSD menu to insert that floppy disk now, or you should start MESS in step 5 with the inserted floppy. However, do not forget to specify a disk controller, or you won't be able to access the disk. You can specify a floppy controller e.g. by adding the options "-peb:slot8 hfdc". If you want to start MESS with an inserted disk, you should add "-flop1" and the file name of your disk.
  15. If all has gone well, you can now do a SAVE DSK1.xxxx with xxxx being the program name.

 

Did I forget anything? :)

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Many thanks for all the info - I did see 'Floppy Disc' mentioned - I haven't had one of those in a pc for many years, so if I need one of those to do this, I may have to send the files to someone else.

Someone has PM'd me, so will see how they get on.

 

Anyway, once everything has been converted I'll get them uploaded :)

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Many thanks for all the info - I did see 'Floppy Disc' mentioned - I haven't had one of those in a pc for many years, so if I need one of those to do this.

 

I was only referring to images of floppy disks; these are files with names usually ending with ".dsk". Copying images to/from real floppy disks is another non-trivial but feasible task.

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I was only referring to images of floppy disks; these are files with names usually ending with ".dsk". Copying images to/from real floppy disks is another non-trivial but feasible task.

Ahhh, so a virtual disc - ok - when I next get a day off, I'll give all that a try :)

Cheers.

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I'd guess the EASIEST way would be to record them as WAV files, test them by loading the WAV into a Ti-99, (if you have one), then ZIP or RAR them and then place them somewhere on the Internet publishing links here to download them. You can then sit back and let the generous Ti community here on AtariAge do the conversions for you.

 

Another alternative is to post them off to someone with past experience of archiving Ti software.

 

Anything by Gamesware/Sceptre in your collection of UK stuff?

Edited by UKRetrogamer
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I'd guess the EASIEST way would be to record them as WAV files, test them by loading the WAV into a Ti-99, (if you have one), then ZIP or RAR them and then place them somewhere on the Internet publishing links here to download them. You can then sit back and let the generous Ti community here on AtariAge do the conversions for you.

 

Another alternative is to post them off to someone with past experience of archiving Ti software.

 

Anything by Gamesware/Sceptre in your collection of UK stuff?

That's basically what I've done - recorded a few wav files, removed the background noise, eq'd them a bit & uploaded them.

PM'd a couple of people the links.

Got the Wargame one back - see above.

 

When I get a chance, will get the other games uploaded that aren't in the gamesbase - I've noticed some are (Crazy Caver / Hunchback / Cars & Carcasses II), so won't bother recording those ones.

 

I do have the TI still, but didn't find the tape deck - just the machine, some carts, speech synth & a large PSU :)

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Anything by Gamesware/Sceptre in your collection of UK stuff?

It's mainly items on the pic I posted. There are a couple of other tapes - and some carts.

I'm sure there is another box of bits as haven't found the tape deck / joystick, so might be a few other tapes - I know I had both mania & adventure mania, but only found one so far. There won't be a lot more though, aside from things typed in from home computing weekly & recorded to tape.

 

I mainly tinkered myself making stuff - nothing too fancy - mainly using extended basic making 'collision detection' style games. One was based on Starfleet (old puppet style 80s tv show) - you had to fly the ship across the screen avoiding everything else. Made a few like that.

If these conversions work on the proper games, will see if I can dig those tapes out.

Edited by RenegadeG1
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MESS is a subproject of MAME; it uses the same core system. Or, if you like, the MAME engine is used to drive all the computer systems of MESS in the way it does with the arcade machines. It is not related to Gamebase or Classic99. About a year ago, the codebase of MESS was integrated into the MAME source tree.

 

This is the current list of emulated systems: http://www.progettoemma.net/mess/sysset.php

(1060 systems, with another 1116 clones)

 

If you have some experience with MAME, you may find MESS less difficult to work with.

 

  1. Download a recent copy from http://mamedev.org/
  2. Get the system ROMs from ftp.whtech.com (subdirectory /emulators/mess/roms). Unpack the archive file into the ROMpath.
  3. If you don't use a front-end like QMC2, create a mess.ini file by starting mess with option -createconfig
  4. Check the paths and video settings in mess.ini. For Linux you should choose opengl video mode; for Windows use directx. Also, I'd recommend to use windowed mode, no maximized window, and a size of 640x480.
  5. If all is properly set up, you should be able to launch the TI emulation as driver name ti99_4a (e.g. "mess ti99_4a").
  6. Different to MAME, in MESS you have to switch between two keyboard modes in order to control the emulator, because the computer system emulation usually needs all the keys on the keyboard. The default for switching between the modes is ScrollLock. If you don't have that key you can set another one in mess.ini. Have a look at my description on ninerpedia.
  7. In partial mode, press TAB. You should get the on-screen display menu (OSD menu). In that menu you can find "Tape control" with menu items for rewind, stop, start, record. As I mentioned above, for some unknown reason, the tape is output on both sound streams, with one stream shifted. If that bothers you, use the volume setting in "Slider controls" in the OSD menu to mute the second channel.
  8. In full mode, go to TI BASIC as you know from the real TI.
  9. In BASIC, type OLD CS1. Switch to partial mode in order to open the OSD menu, go to "Tape control", check whether the tape is rewound
  10. Exit the OSD menu, toggle to full keyboard mode, press ENTER. The computer tells you to press play.
  11. Again, toggle to partial mode, open the OSD menu, go to "Tape control", select "play". Nothing happens because the cassette motor is inactive.
  12. Go back to TI BASIC. Press ENTER, and the motor starts. You should then hear the tape data.
  13. Since you want to save your data to floppy disk, you should prepare a blank disk. You can do this with various tools, either TI99Dir or TIImageTool.
  14. So either you use the OSD menu to insert that floppy disk now, or you should start MESS in step 5 with the inserted floppy. However, do not forget to specify a disk controller, or you won't be able to access the disk. You can specify a floppy controller e.g. by adding the options "-peb:slot8 hfdc". If you want to start MESS with an inserted disk, you should add "-flop1" and the file name of your disk.
  15. If all has gone well, you can now do a SAVE DSK1.xxxx with xxxx being the program name.

 

Did I forget anything? :)

Hi,

 

Had a quick go just now - got as far as starting the tape playing so you can hear the sound & getting the OLD CS1 to listen, but after about 20 secs it just says "No Data Found" - as though it can't hear the data coming in.

 

(Adding the wav file to the Tape 1 bit in the file menu, rewinding the tape etc & playing after hitting Enter after Old cs1).

 

I've tried amping it right up, normal volume, but so far nothing is getting it to read.

 

Did I miss something??

 

I've not tinkered with a Dsk controller yet - just wanted to see if it would load up.

 

I've also added around 6 seconds of space at the start as before, it was starting to play a good few seconds into it.

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