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FarmerPotato

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19 hours ago, FarmerPotato said:

 Papers relevant to home computer, in various employee folders:


The Texas Instruments TMS 9940 and TMS 9985 One Chip Microcomputers:
Their Market Potential Through 1983.  Adam Osborne. July 1979.

Frank Walters: 1980 memos on home computer distribution, marketing, advertising, Pascal vs GPL.

Home Computer Sales Training Guide. 1979.

TI Microprocessor Strategy. Bernie List. Objectives, Strategies, Tactics Division.  1978.

These are all block-busters. I need time to write articles about them.

 

I have a couple of different variants of the Home Computer Sales Training Guide. I think I've even scanned one of them at some point and put it online. I'll have to look in my archives. . .

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/4/2021 at 6:04 PM, jbdigriz said:

If you mean as VRAM, no, it's got plenty of dual-port VRAM on the 34010 board. Also I have to apologize, it's Bell&Howell, not Bausch&Lomb, and it's  AT bus, not 8-bit. I'm not sure if it's a PC add in or some kind of embedded setup. I took it apart a while back to take pictures, but I haven't had time to fool with it since then. Still haven''t identified it, other than "IRIS". Seems to be missing a chip, looks like a DAC. [cut photos]

I found the other board set I had; it is indeed a Brooktree Bt454KPJ170 RAMDAC in there, in case anyone needed to know. Unfortunately the 2nd board set PCB is damaged; fortunately I have a 34010 project in mind that needed components, anyway. 

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I found this book on eBay while hunting for copies of books I saw at SMU. 

 

TMS4164 Reliability Report

 

much fascinating background on memory and memory testing. Also, several Application Reports on designing boards for DRAM. 

 

my scanner is broke so here are some interesting photos. More coming later. 
 

The Application Report sheets don’t turn up often do they? At SMU, I read in one Sales memo, that after receiving allotment of ARs, they were to be shared with promising leads only. (Maybe the material is also in the MOS Memory Databook.)

 


C6DA324F-40AD-4E0D-9408-2115AAA6B945.thumb.jpeg.5399775e086282dd1fa31b34cf3b7ce7.jpeg449C0193-A98A-4D60-B3BB-0D7682DE9A7F.thumb.jpeg.310c8943e151fd71a9247e474595169c.jpeg2666608D-AEEB-4F48-9865-253AA2B34648.thumb.jpeg.237d4f9458b684ef0d232c7b544b0892.jpegF387D95A-B14B-4642-B51E-4E82AF4990E3.thumb.jpeg.9eeee5d93bf7fd299cbb9671335de60d.jpeg3FADBC31-27F3-4C61-B01A-9CEC4C04037E.thumb.jpeg.aa2bfe514fa9477011c4670d2c917b9d.jpeg

5B9E800B-C19B-4F5D-9632-65E6673F30BE.jpeg

79C1F659-0BB2-41B0-8E2B-1F3B1502AB1B.jpeg

7309989C-2864-41DD-9B88-80A8B0ADE18C.jpeg

E131149A-F523-4C50-8270-63DAA9B00EAF.jpeg

3228B54C-D94F-448E-8CDC-51BC0C844C05.jpeg

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  • 2 years later...

I got copies of a few more books from eBay.  Some I'd only seen in the Archive, and some I'd not seen anywhere:


* TMS9118 Data Manual.  "The newest compatible members of TI's VDP chip family".   As used in the 99/2 and 99/8, the only difference is the interface to 4416 DRAMs, and the removal of GROMCLK. Dunno if other parts of the manual are revised from the 9918A/28/29. 

 

TMS7000 Family Data Manual.  Covers 7020, 7040.  

 

Especially interesting is the chapter on microcode programming -- necessarily contains detail on the inner workings of this 8-bit CPU. The CROM (microcode ROM) is 64 bits by 160 words. In microcode, every block of the CPU/ALU is switched on or off by some of those 64 bits, for instance selecting 2 inputs to the ALU, the ALU operation, etc.  Every instruction can have an 8-bit next address.  Just 160 words is sufficient to code all the instructions.  There was a microcode assembler and custom CROM service, where TI allowed you to replace "non core instructions".  Books on microcoding are expensive and hard to find, so this was a treat.  I hope to go back to the 99105 patent, which seems to describe its microcoding. 

 

 

TMS370 Family Data Manual.  When Wally Rhines took over the Microprocessor group around 1982, TI relabeled the 7000 under the 370 badge. 

 

TMS9650 Data Manual.  A two-port, 256-byte RAM for sharing between two CPUs.  I was pretty excited to learn about it from the Archive, but there were other sources.

 

* TM990 Microcomputer Handbook.  This is a 1979 guide to all the TM990 products.  It is older than the Microsystems Designers Handbook, but has maybe a few more pages about each item.

 

Section 8 talks about the T-bus, the backplane for the TM990 modules. Signals, timing diagrams for DMA and arbitration.  Probably a digest of information in the TM990/520 backplane manual, and TM990/101M or other CPU manual. 

 

Some unusual mentions in Section 5: the TIMPX (1979), with Pascal, an earlier RX Realtime Executive. (Which is still the basis for Pascal MPX.) TIMBER software  in ROM for the 990/101M is a subset of TIMPX. Multitasking kernel. (See application note MPB 23)

 

TMS1000 Family Data Manual.  The 4-bit (and first) CPU in the extended family.

 

 * items: not in bitsavers

 

 

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2 hours ago, Torrax said:

Does the TMS9118 Data Manual match the one in my photo?

 

 

TMS9918 Data Manuals.jpg

Yup, it's the blue and yellow one. 
 

Nice! You have the Programmer's Guide. I recently read through this online. Amazed that it documented the "undocumented" half-bitmap modes. The sprite coincidence application is also great. 

 

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17 hours ago, FarmerPotato said:

Also acquired:

 

 

Digital Signal Processing Applications with the TMS320 Family. 

 

* TMS380 User's Guide. The guide to "The Last 9900".  (Bitsavers scan is only the odd number pages!)

Sad that the Bitsaver copy only has half the document, but glad you were able to find a good copy!

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6 hours ago, ClausB said:

@FarmerPotato, do you remember coming across any TI SR-5x and TI-5x programmable calculator documents at the library?


I had specific goals, so I skipped over anything on 

Calculators.  I'll kerp an eye on it when I'm there next. I think I saw ordinary SR-59  books. 
 

The 1983 accession of RG-20 Data Manuals,  looks to me like an on-site library. Or "Records must save this manual for ten years." The repair and maintenance manuals are outnumbered by hundreds of user manuals. 

 

I've seen a few sales training booklets, some Regional Learning Center seminar handouts.
 

 

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On 10/5/2023 at 8:31 PM, FarmerPotato said:

Also acquired:

 

 

Digital Signal Processing Applications with the TMS320 Family. 

 

* TMS380 User's Guide. The guide to "The Last 9900".  (Bitsavers scan is only the odd number pages!)

You're always welcome to whatever I have ... trash bin the rest.

Doug

TMS380 Adapter Chipset Jul86.pdf TMS380 Adapter Chipset Supplement.pdf TMS38010 Processor.pdf TMS38021 Protocol Handler.pdf TMS38030 System Interface.pdf TMS38051, TMS38052 Ring Interfaces.pdf

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/1/2021 at 12:19 AM, FarmerPotato said:

92-41 article lists hundreds of 990 books: installation, service, and users' manuals.

94-08 manuals 1966-1983: 21 boxes. 960, 980, 990, 200, 700, etc. I see that this range covers some entries above that I skipped

 

In June 2023,  I browsed through 97-08 and found the inventory of 800+ manuals. 

I plan to visit in January and look at 92-41.

 

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  • 5 months later...

Visiting the library tomorrow and Monday! Two whole days!

 

My priorities:

 

 

Speech Education Module

## RG-06 87-19    

Gene Frantz Design Notes

Folder: Speech Education Module User’s Guide, May 1982

 

990 Manuals

## RG-20 94-08 

45D Box 10

"Model 990 Computer MDS-990 Microcode Development System Programmer's Guide, 15 August 1979"

(other 990 manuals boxes to come as I review my notes)

 

990 Cataloging

See what other 990 manuals are in 87-10.

 

 

Alpha (99105 and 9995)

## RG-06  89-14 Papers of Donald J Manus

Box 6, 10, 12, 13, 14

## RG-20 Publications - TI Publications - Brochures

Box 31, 32

 

Microcomputers

## RG-14 87-17  Papers of  Stewart Carrell

Box 1 

## RG-20 Publications - TI Publications - Brochures

Box 19, 21, 24, 25, 28, 37

 

 

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I have to wonder, do you think somewhere there's a PHA, PHM, etc list with all the numbers of the products assigned to those numbers? I assume TI would have had to keep track of that, but have never heard of anyone finding such a list. Would be interesting as there would probably be a ton of items that we have not heard of in those lists.

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9 hours ago, Toucan said:

I have to wonder, do you think somewhere there's a PHA, PHM, etc list with all the numbers of the products assigned to those numbers? I assume TI would have had to keep track of that, but have never heard of anyone finding such a list. Would be interesting as there would probably be a ton of items that we have not heard of in those lists.

I do have a mostly complete list of GROMs. I still have to add some of the Scott Foresman School Management GROMS and a few others I have that aren't in the list because I haven't opened my carridges to validate them yet, but the holes in the list are getting a lot smaller.

GROM List V11.odt

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On 6/13/2024 at 11:39 AM, Toucan said:

I have to wonder, do you think somewhere there's a PHA, PHM, etc list with all the numbers of the products assigned to those numbers? I assume TI would have had to keep track of that, but have never heard of anyone finding such a list. Would be interesting as there would probably be a ton of items that we have not heard of in those lists.

There's some entries for consumer and employee price lists, but probably only known titles.  There's some papers about semiconductor part numbering which I like.

 

But the trove of boxes called "Home Computer Closeout" was NOT delivered to the archives, likely under "the bulk of which was appropriately destroyed".  I guess it had too many sensitive financials and legal contracts.  It lists closeout contracts with vendors and 3rd party software houses.  Gone forever. 

 

 

 

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Beginning with: Strategy Presentations-- Projects Pegasus and Armadillo, March 1983.  (TIPC and 99/8 Home Computer,resp)

 

There are ghosts in these files. 

 

We never knew:

 

Dennis Mannering, 1942-2021, retired 2007.

  • Programmer of many home computer packages: Multiplan (and its p-code), Adventure module
  • Programmer of 9900 database software (assembly language) first
  • Assigned to Pegasus in November 1982 for speech board

John D'Angelo.   Employed 1978-1989.

  • Assisted in LOGO development
  • "most knowledgeable person in Texas Instruments in practical computer-aided education (CAI)"
  • cited here for CAI

 Al Riccomi

  • Software development for DSG and Consumer.  "One of the CEC technical saviors of the TI Home Computer."

Herman Schuurman

  • Excellence in Texas Instruments-99/4 , Disk Service Routine (Klaus has interviewed Herman)

Bob Peterson, Tom Siep (identical CV??)

  • p-System implementation and supporting 990 hardware
  • Business software in Pascal for PCIF
  • Doing p-system for Pegasus (TIPC)

Leon Tietz

  • Forth
  • Supervised CEC team to port 3rd party software to 99/3 (sic)
  • Very knowledgeable of p-System
  • Now Armadillo

Hilda Uribe

  • Vocaid.  Speech technology.
  • Armadillo now

John Yantis

  • 3rd party software acquisition for Home Computer

 

Many, many more names. 

 

 

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Not for the first time, I'm amused by this juxtaposition of files in one box:

 

87-14  Laser Guided Bomb, 1971-1987

 

87-15 ...

 

87-19  Speech Synthesis, 1976-1982

 

The bomb is the history of the Paveway missiles developed by Texas Instruments DSEG. (Defense Systems Electronics Group, not Data Systems Group--the 990 and TIPC business.)

 

Speech synthesis is the papers of Gene Frantz and Larry Brantingham.   What I see the most of is finished engineering drawings by Jay Puri and Mike Caruso. 

 

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MDS-990.
 

The MDS manual documents how the CPU's 64-bit microcode is written.

 

Microcode  controls all the steps the CPU takes to decode and execute one macro-instruction, like A (Add). Generally, microcode bits turn things on and off at different times.   One 64-bit word executes over 4 phases of one machine cycle. (Why a 9904 outputs 4 different clocks to the 9900. For 9995, the crystal is 4x.) 

***

 

I was able to scan about half of this manual in 2 hours. 1" thick stapled. Up to Page 5-100.  

Chapter 1-2 are a guide to the components of the 990/12 CPU.  Every internal bus, register, interconnect, function unit, clock, interface, PROM, high-speed cache, etc.  Its internal stack (!).  The fields of the 64-bit micro-instruction word.  

 

This is your expert guide to  a 9900 down to the last authentic detail. (Though it's the big brother of the 9900 family!) 


Chapters 3-4 are a reference for the micro-assembler language syntax.  It consists of tiny primitives which combine to set bits in one 64 bit instruction word.  

 

Chapter 5 covers the machine code to operate every internal circuit, especially  the 74S481 bit-slice chips.  Four 74S481 contain the heart of the 9900, its 16-bit ALU.  You need to know what bits are set in what sequence to get a shift operation or a compare or whatever.  The multiply and divide algorithms take up several pages.  (Which is mostly loops over shifts and adds.) 

The S481 chip is covered in the data book  "Bipolar Microcomputer Components", 1977.  

I haven't got to the chapter about tools like MICASM.     The user of MICASM can create new instructions that execute at the speed of built-in instructions.  When ST11 is set, XOP 0 to 15 will branch into the user's microcode.  I was disappointed that they have to be XOPs, not just any available opcode.  (But the 990/12 sucks up most every available opcode!)  Presumably, the XOPs evaluate the operand, then branch to user microcode at 800-80F resp. (this is very fast RAM, above the ROM with all built-in instructions.)

 

 

Neat:   XOP 13-15 are reserved for the 990's operating system.  But if ST11 is set, they do invoke user microcode.  For an XOP to run assembly code as we know it, the first microcode word in user space there must be return via stack to the real XOP microcode.  A user XOP must balance the stack.   Yeah, microcode has a (little) subroutine stack. 

 

Gobsmacking:  In the DX10 operating system, you invoke system calls with XOP15.   On a 990/12, DX10 implements the system call in microcode.  512 64-bit words are reserved for this.  Obviously, at some point it must branch to regular assembly language code, but it's gonna accelerate every system call.  (System calls all go through some table lookups, check privilege bit, etc.)

 

***
 

 

There is a really nice KIS overhead book scanner  available for use now. Angled book cradle, laser depth sensing, does de-curling, page separation and OCR.  

Using it to scan a 1" thick stapled manual, the tricky parts are now just: the beginning, the middle, and the end. 

 

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