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FinalGROM 99 - Program Dreams & Wishlist(s) ;)


Omega-TI
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One of the things that has so excited me about getting back into the TI these past few years is the new hardware and software that's been coming out. To me, it's the same level of excitement now (if not more), than when the TI was still new back in the early 80's.

 

Matthew's F18A has allowed many of us to continue using our old TI's with newer monitors, while at the same time giving us to new levels of enjoyment and capability. Now an F18A paired with a FinalGROM 99 is one potent combination. It seems like many things are now possible with the FG99, that were simply unattainable dreams or 'pie in the sky' before.

 

This all bring me to one question...

 

What do you guys dream of for the TI?

 

 

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Personal:

I want to pick up where I left off, working and using the original 99/4A silicon. I want to know Assembly well, and finish a project that has been at the back of my mind for 25 years.

 

TI in General:

I want to see it reach its full potential, in software and hardware.

 

How far can this little TMS 9900 chip stretch? What are the ultimate coffin corners of its operational envelope. How useful can it be used today?

 

Can it be an actual 80 column daily 'work machine' providing a refuge, a sandbox, safe from the outside "connected" world?

I want an instant on, word processor, spreadsheet (MultiPlan?), programming and gaming platform that I control.

No "Services" working in the background reading and disseminating my information to anyone but me.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

 

I doubt it will ever be super popular, but I would love to see younger people, and a group of us die-hard supporters, realize the legacy these machines represent and carry it forward with new, exciting software and hardware. Exactly what is happening here on Atari Age.

 

To keep it alive, I envision a new, electronically identical TI 99/4A FPGA on a board (with optional F18A) that would fit in the old case, operate ALL of the old peripherals, be forward looking with regards to I/O (F18A, FinalGROM 99, etc) AND within the PEB, if desired, to clean up all the cumbersome wires on the desktop.

 

Is that what you were asking for?

icon_smile.gif

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I have to say to dream a complete PEB in FPGA for TI99 and with a good form factor.
I always unliked the nanoPEB and also all expansions that are not with a good form factor project.

 

I know that our friend Erik Piehl is working on a similar project and I really hope about it.

 

 

I also dream to see a day 2 games:

 

a good BILLIARD Game like the one on MSX for Example and BOLOBALL a Game i play in MSDOS.

 

:P

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Well I gotta tell ya, thanks to the FG99, I just played Alex Kidd for the first time (refused to even try it on an emulator till I saw it on real iron). It is hard to describe that game without using expletives, so let me just say; "Holy F&$*|^% S&|$, that game is so F&$*|^% KICK A$$!!!!"

 

Ahem... sorry.

 

So, If Alex Kidd (and OMG, Knight Lore, we can't leave out Knight Lore) are examples of what our homebrewmeisters are providing us with, and the FG99 is an example of the 21st century peripherals coming out of our hardware gurus, then I must direct my wishes directly at the folks who are making it possible,,,

 

Just keep doing what yer doin' guys!!

 

Most of us only dream we had your mad coding and/or soldering skills, but we're perfectly happy to live with our inadequacies as long as we get to be the recipients of such fine tools and entertainment. I would never dare make a request**, because I'm certain that, left to your own devices, you'll think of something that will absolutely astonish us!)

 

TI might have killed it 34 years ago, but the 4A just won't die!

 

 

 

 

 

**(except, a Galaxian clone would be really, really, really, really nice)

(just saying)

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My wish is that we had more than a handful of active assembly game developers, but I don't know if the FinalGROM can help with that? :)

 

For me the FinalGROM will make the decision of working towards a cartridge only release easier. I don't think the increased storage space necessarily leads to bigger or more advanced games. The bottleneck is still developer time and not storage space. But being able to waste space in a way that was unthinkable in the 80's allows you to pre-compute graphics and data, which means new possibilities for implementing things we didn't think were possible.

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My wish is that we had more than a handful of active assembly game developers, but I don't know if the FinalGROM can help with that? :)

 

For me the FinalGROM will make the decision of working towards a cartridge only release easier. I don't think the increased storage space necessarily leads to bigger or more advanced games. The bottleneck is still developer time and not storage space. But being able to waste space in a way that was unthinkable in the 80's allows you to pre-compute graphics and data, which means new possibilities for implementing things we didn't think were possible.

 

It was not lost on me when I was picking favourite homebrews to copy onto the SD, how many titles came from 2 or 3 people. And really dude, it was impossible not to notice how disproportionately weighted it was towards your offerings.

 

Sadly, the reason your titles are so numerous among my favourites is not because they are groundbreaking in oh so many ways (which they are), but simply because you are prolific in a very shallow pond. While we also have masterworks from other Assembly coders (sorry, no examples, coz I don't want to leave anyone out), it is the sheer volume that you have produced that is awe inspiring - each new release pushing the TI-envelope that wee bit further.

 

But your comment reminds me of a graphic design Commons I used to belong to. At first there were several people contributing to the library. With time it slowly dwindled down to a handful of people - primarily one person - posting their work. One day that one person stopped logging in. The few of us left saw no reason to keep things going. Many of us had moved onto other endeavours (frontline graphic design is hardly a lucrative profession) and sharing one's work carried no benefit without a modicum of reciprocity.

 

I apologize that I am not 30 years younger with the rapid firing synapses of youth (my synapses just like the "nap" part of their name these days) so that I might contribute, because I am keenly aware that you, and the small group of talents like you, will eventually move on.

 

But oh, what a legacy you will leave.Thanks to you, the best software ever release for the 4A was released in the past decade. Who would have thought that the 4A's "golden age of development" would happen 30 some years after its demise!!

 

Kudos and thanks!

Edited by PeBo
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My big wishes would be to see a hardware re-design, whether that be an FPGA or not, that's reliable, takes little desk space, is completely self contained and doesn't need a monstrous PEB, has internal data storage, and is COMPLETELY software backwards compatible, in other words it will run all previous programs just like original hardware, with maybe the option for increasing speeds. Everything else that expands upon its power and allows for future developments are just icing on the cake! :D

Edited by Tornadoboy
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My big wishes would be to see a hardware re-design, whether that be an FPGA or not, that's reliable, takes little desk space, is completely self contained and doesn't need a monstrous PEB, has internal data storage, and is COMPLETELY software backwards compatible, in other words it will run all previous programs just like original hardware, with maybe the option for increasing speeds. Everything else that expands upon its power and allows for future developments are just icing on the cake! :D

 

Built in SAMS, virtual HDDs, virtual floppies, rs232, LPT1, Wifi, speech synth, KB & mouse USB, USB, Sd card, ethernet...etc... hell yes!

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I've always had a fascination with the expanded capabilities of the TI 99/8. A built in XB that was presumably faster (has anyone ever benchmarked the XB in the 99/8?), faster clock, etc. How much can we modify the original 4/a to get closer to that unreleased machine?

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Here you are ...

 

 

This is a simple comparison between Extended Basic II on the 99/8 and ABASIC on the Geneve, both emulated in MAME. Both are running a simple loop with 1000 iterations. Performance should be close to the real iron.

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