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Is there a 'backstory' to the extra space over the RF shielding?


Omega-TI
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Are there any former TI employees from back in the day reading this message? If so, do you have any knowledge about the TI-99/4A's design phase?

 

Was the reason for the extra space over the RF shielding just a byproduct of design concerns like keyboard placement, horizontal cartridge insertion, or heat dissipation? Or was it to accommodate for a 'stylish design'?

 

That space sure comes in handy for hardware hacks, but for some reason I cannot imagine TI would even entertain the thought of aiding hardware hackers.

 

 

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Instead of starting another topic, I'll ask here and hope its ok but what is the little door on the speech synthesizer for?

The speech synthesizer was designed with a resident set of about 200 some words and phrases. The original intent was to add words to the built in vocabulary by small modules that went inside this door. One could imagine a Spanish module, or a German module, etc, especially given how many cartridges were multilingual. Then, TI figured out how to use text to speech without needing additional hardware modules and never released any of these add-in modules. I think very few were made with the connector even inside the door. If you happen to look at the box of a beige console, the updated beige speech synthesizer didn't have any door in it. (This version was never released, but it's what it would have looked like).

 

A couple unfortunate problems with this. You needed Terminal Emulator II to use the text to speech, and thus, it wasn't compatible with Extended BASIC. A disk based text to speech disk was released for Extended BASIC, but it wasn't compatible with the method used by TE II, so a program written in TI BASIC with TE II wouldn't work in Extended BASIC with Text to Speech unless it was modified.

Edited by Casey
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The text-to-speech disk also ate up a fairly healthy chunk of memory, limiting it's usefulness (nice to have text-to-speech functionality in XB, but if half your memory is gone before you get started building a program around it, what's the point.)

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A couple unfortunate problems with this. You needed Terminal Emulator II to use the text to speech, and thus, it wasn't compatible with Extended BASIC. A disk based text to speech disk was released for Extended BASIC, but it wasn't compatible with the method used by TE II, so a program written in TI BASIC with TE II wouldn't work in Extended BASIC with Text to Speech unless it was modified.

 

I was pondering this the other day. Now that the FinalGROM 99 is out, I was wondering which programmer, if there is enough space available in the GROM portion, would COMBINE one of the XB versions like TI Extended BASIC with the TEII. Of course I do not know if that is even possible, but it would sure be cool!

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Not to get too far off topic but I am on the cusp of a project that will need the TI to do its best speech with its largest vocabulary available or I will have to learn how to create my own custom words very soon.

I'll start a new topic on this project as i will have a ton of questions regarding both XB's capabilities and TEII's capabilities.

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Since the creation of Cable and WiFi RF from a computer is not even a problem as the frequence was in the TV and AM radio wavelengths.

 

One of the last computers to deal with this is my Mac Pro Tower in 2009 all aluminum case.

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The speech synthesizer was designed with a resident set of about 200 some words and phrases. The original intent was to add words to the built in vocabulary by small modules that went inside this door. One could imagine a Spanish module, or a German module, etc, especially given how many cartridges were multilingual. Then, TI figured out how to use text to speech without needing additional hardware modules and never released any of these add-in modules. I think very few were made with the connector even inside the door. If you happen to look at the box of a beige console, the updated beige speech synthesizer didn't have any door in it. (This version was never released, but it's what it would have looked like).

 

A couple unfortunate problems with this. You needed Terminal Emulator II to use the text to speech, and thus, it wasn't compatible with Extended BASIC. A disk based text to speech disk was released for Extended BASIC, but it wasn't compatible with the method used by TE II, so a program written in TI BASIC with TE II wouldn't work in Extended BASIC with Text to Speech unless it was modified.

 

 

I always thought that door was intended to hide money I would eventually use for more TI related stuff from my wife. It is very useful even today!

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  • 1 month later...

 

I was pondering this the other day. Now that the FinalGROM 99 is out, I was wondering which programmer, if there is enough space available in the GROM portion, would COMBINE one of the XB versions like TI Extended BASIC with the TEII. Of course I do not know if that is even possible, but it would sure be cool!

Dragging up a topic from a while back... TE II had a DSR (?) for the "SPEECH" device built in that TI BASIC could use. Was TI Extended BASIC expandable in the same way? Meaning, if it were possible to mount both cartridges into the system at once, could Extended BASIC use the SPEECH DSR? (Press 1 for TI BASIC, 2 for TI Extended BASIC, 3 for Terminal Emulator II) ? Or would they conflict due to both being in the same address space? Just a random thought at a late time in the evening...:)

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Dragging up a topic from a while back... TE II had a DSR (?) for the "SPEECH" device built in that TI BASIC could use. Was TI Extended BASIC expandable in the same way? Meaning, if it were possible to mount both cartridges into the system at once, could Extended BASIC use the SPEECH DSR? (Press 1 for TI BASIC, 2 for TI Extended BASIC, 3 for Terminal Emulator II) ? Or would they conflict due to both being in the same address space? Just a random thought at a late time in the evening... :)

 

The two cartridges cannot share the cartridge port ROM space. The Text-to-Speech software was developed for that purpose. I believe it is in the public domain.

 

...lee

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Are there any former TI employees from back in the day reading this message?

 

 

Indeed! Are there any former TI employees/designers on this forum?

 

While listening to podcasts for Apple/Atari/Tandy/Commodore/Mattel I've noticed plenty of folks being interviewed about design decisions.

 

Many others offering up stories about the evolution of 70s and 80s machines.

 

There seems to be a tremendous void of TI-99/4 people talking about their creation.

 

Success or failure, that seems weird. Why?

 

Are any AA members aware of any TI folks lurking on AtariAge or available for interview?

 

So many unanswered questions?

 

Ex: What was the per unit savings 1978-79

expected by going with the VDP RAM scheme over CPU static RAM?

Edited by Airshack
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