T.A.S.S. or TASS: An acronym for TI Artist Slide Show...and application from Gary Bowser dba Oasis Pensive Abacutors.
T.I.M. or TIM: OPA - Released 07/1990 - MSRP $ -- An acronym for TI-IMAGE-MAKER, a VDP (video display processor) enhancement from Gary Bowser dba OPA (Oasis Pensive Abacutors)that is designed to be installed inside a TI-99/4A console, where the existing TMS9918A video chip is located. T.I.M. is a 2.75" by 3.75" board containing the Yamaha 9958 video chip, which according to Bowser, "...has many more features than the old 9938 model which is used in the Geneve and DIJIT AVPC cards." Also according to OPA, T.I.M. has a 25pin expansion port, that can be used by everything from mice to Genlock devices.
T&F SOFTWARE: 10902 Riverside Drive North Hollywood, CA 91602. Manufactured Candy Man and Speed Racer games for the Commodore 64.
TACHYON SYSTEMS: 5125 S. Westwind Way Kearns, UT 84118 (801) 537-7021 firm which produced the standalone T32K-S memory expansion unit for the TI-99/4A in 1983.
TAG TOM: Software Advances - Released 1984 - MSRP $15.95 -- An educational application, bundled with another programs named Fire, where the goal is to make one figure tag another on the playground and around the house. You are Timmy, and the computer is Tom. The program is designed for very young computer users and comes in four versions or levels on the disk or cassette. Level 1 requires only any keypress to make Timmy tag Tom. Level 2 is the same game, but only faster. Level 3 is a joystick version, which is more challenging. Level 4 is a speeded up joystick version. In all four versions/levels, the proram provides on-screen flashes of words like UP, DOWN, UPON and the like. If you have a Solid State Speech Synthesizer attached, you can hear these words spoken also. Extended BASIC is required, and joysticks are recommended. See also Home Computer Magazine, V4N2, p.74 for a review by Greg Roberts.
TAM'S 99-4 HOME COMPUTER PRICE LIST FROM JUNE 1980: 14932 Garfield Avenue Paramount, CA 90723 (213-633-3262)
MODEL NAME TAM'S LIST
PHC004M 99/4 Home Computer (console and monitor) $999.95 $1400.00
PHC004C 99/4 Console Only $699.95 $950.00
PHC4000 99/4 13" Color Monitor Only $399.95 $450.00
PHM3000 Diagnostic $29.95 $29.95
PHM3001 Demonstration $69.95 $69.95
PHM3002 Early Learning Fun $29.95 $29.95
PHM3003 Beginning Grammar $29.95 $29.95
PHM3004 Number Magic $19.95 $19.95
PHM3005 Video Graphs $19.95 $19.95
PHM3006 Home Financial Decisions $29.95 $29.95
PHM3007 Household Budget Management $44.95 $44.95
PHM3008 Video Chess $69.95 $69.95
PHM3009 Football $29.95 $29.95
PHM3010 Physical Fitness $29.95 $29.95
PHM3011 Speech Editor $44.95 $44.95
PHM3012 Securities Analysis $54.95 $54.95
PHM3013 Personal Record Keeping $49.95 $49.95
PHM3014 Statistics $54.95 $54.95
PHM3015 Early Reading $54.95 $54.95
PHM3016 Tax/Investment Record Keeping $69.95 $69.95
PHM3017 Terminal Emulator $44.95 $44.95
PHM3018 Video Games $29.95 $29.95
PHM3019 Disk Manager (one Disk Manager packaged
with each Disk Controller)
4964 Zero Zap $24.95 $29.95
4965 Connect Four $24.95 $29.95
4966 Hangman $24.95 $29.95
4967 Yahtzee $24.95 $29.95
PHA2000 Dual Cassette Cable $14.95 $14.95
PHP1100 Wired Remote Controllers $34.95 $34.95
PHP1500 Solid State Speech Synthesizer $134.95 $149.95
PHA2500 Plug-In Math Speech Module $29.95 $29.95
PHP1600 Telephone Coupler Modem $202.95 $224.95
PHP1700 RS-232 Accessories Interface $202.95 $224.95
PHP1800 Disk Drive Controller $269.95 $299,95
PHP1850 Disk Memory Drive $449.95 $449.95
PHP1900 Solid State Printer $359.95 $399.95
PHA2100 R.F. Modulator $67.50 $75.00
PHA1950 Thermal Printer Paper $12.95 $12.95
TATE, GEORGE: Founder, along with Hal Lashlee, of Ashton-Tate, the Culver City, CA firm that (thought they) bought the rights to the Vulcan Data Base and who turned it into the fabulously popular and commercially successful dBase II program that continues to have an impact upon the PC industry to this day. Tate died at age 40 on August 10, 1983 and fortunately never saw his company go down in flames in a suicidal copyright lawsuit against Borland International in which Ashton-Tate lost because it was discovered they never really owned the rights to the original Vulcan product. In 1987-88 the dBase II program would become the inspiration for Dennis Faherty's TI-BASE, which is still the data base standard for the TI-99/4A today.
TAUB, JACK R.: Founder of The SourceTelecomputing Corporation, an early supporter of TI-99/4 and 4A owners with modems through TexNet.
TAX/INVESTMENT RECORD KEEPING: PHM 3016 - Released 4Q/1979 - MSRP $69.95 -- One of the original cartridge programs created for the TI-99/4 Home Computer in 1979. Perhaps TI's most ambitious productivity attempt? TIRK is a disk-based tool designed to keep track of personal financial data including Assets, Bonds, Capital Gainss/Losses, Dividends, Expenses, Income, Interest, Liabilities, Paychecks, and Stocks. Unfortunately, it is no longer usable because of a date limitation that does not allow entries before 1979 or after 199? (6, 7, 8 or 9, I can't recall which). In all date entries the century part is always "19". The user only gets to enter the year. But the author of the program somehow placed a validity check on the year entry so it cannot be used in the years before 1979 or after 199? What a shame. It makes the application totally useless. That's not all though. Even if the program did not have the date limitation, it also supports only the Solid State Thermal printer or an RS-232 serial printer, so owners of parallel printers were never able to get reports from their data because PIO was an invalid entry. An answer of sorts to this limitation appeared in 1985 with the release of Craig Miller's GramKracker. With it you could dump the contents of the cartridge to disk and then sector edit the program to allow PIO entries. Carried product number AEAD in the Triton Catalogs.
TAYLOR, JOHN E.: Author of Alphanum Delight, Capture the Intruder , Checkbook and Budget Manager , Color Master , and Sprite Builder . Left the TI Community in 1986 to pursue the IBM-compatible computer world.
TBR INC.: PO Box 18 Temple, NH 03084 firm which produced The Cupboard Cook application on cassette for $24.95 in 1984.
TC-99: tc99 Remember this snazzy looking piece of hardware? I do. When I spotted its picture in MICROpendium my heart was pumping with great anticipation of a real TI-99 replacement until I read the article that went with the picture. Unfortunately, TexComp's TC-99 PC look-alike was a glamorous looking shell with only a Corcomp 9900 Micro Expansion System for the guts. But even worse, it was only an experiment and never intended for full production. Talk about building myself up for a fall? I kind of wish Jerry Price had produced the TC-99 anyway. I'd have bought one just for the looks.
TE4-PLUS: Tex-Comp - Released 2Q/1985 - MSRP $19.95 -- A high speed terminal emulator that supports 110-9600 baud. (Mini-Mag 99 May 1985, p.23)
TEACHER'S TOOLBOX: PHD 5088 - Release Announced 4Q/1982 - Release Cancelled 2Q/1983 - MSRP $29.95 -- One of eleven math and science programs developed by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC) for grades one through eight. These programs are standard, in-school computer programs. Requires disk, disk drive and controller, and Extended BASIC Command Module. Listed in 1982-83 Elek-TEK catalog for $24.95. Although this program and the other 10 titles from Minnesota Educational Computing Company are listed in TI's June-December 1982 'U.S. Consumer Products Suggested Retail Price List', neither it nor the other titles were ever released. TI's explanation for the cancellation was that the MECC products duplicated educational themes that already existed in the 99/4A's library of software.
* PHD 5078 - Metric and Counting
* PHD 5079 - Elementary Economics
* PHD 5080 - Elementary Math and Science
* PHD 5081 - Astronomy
* PHD 5082 - Word Beginnings
* PHD 5083 - Exploring
* PHD 5084 - Math Practice
* PHD 5085 - Science Facts
* PHD 5086 - Natural Science
* PHD 5087 - Social Science
* PHD 5088 - Teacher's Toolbox
TECHNICAL DRIVE: A book authored by college student Monty Schmidt that explains TI's internal routines for disk access.
TELEPHONE COUPLER: PHP 1600 - Released 2Q/1980 - MSRP $199.95 -- Lets you send and receive messages, data and even entire programs with your own home phone. You just place your telephone receiver in the coupler cradle and you can communicate with similarly equipped computers at remote locations, and access data bases and such software services as TEXNET(SM) Information Service, THE SOURCE(SN), and the Dow Jones News/Retrieval Services. PRICE: $199.95 MANUFACTURER: Texas Instruments Peripherals Required: RS-232; Terminal Emulator II module. The Texas Instruments produced 'modem' would fall to disfavor after the introduction of the Anchor Signalman Mark II direct connect modem was introduced in 1984.
TENEX CARTRIDGE NUMBERS: Following are the catalog numbers assigned to TI and 3rd Party TI-99/4A cartridges by Tenex Computer Express.
* 42564 - 4A Flyer
* 42457 - 6000+ Module
* 18111 - A-Maze-Ing
* 16518 - Addition
* 16364 - Addition and Subtraction 1
* 16379 - Addition and Subtraction 2
* 18302 - Adventure Module with Pirate Adventure on disk
* 18317 - Adventure Module with Pirate Adventure on tape
* 16631 - Alien Addition
* 18181 - Alpiner
* 42104 - Anteater by Navarone
* 18227 - Attack, The
* 68645 - Barrage
* 16218 - Beginning Grammar
* 80192 - Beyond Parsec
* 68639 - Blackhole
* 18232 - Blasto
* 80149 - Burger Builder
* 13278 - Burgertime
* 18143 - Car Wars
* 13329 - Cartridge Expander
* 13334 - Centipede
* 42138 - Chicken Coop
* 18196 - Chisholm Trail
* 16472 - Computer Math Games II
* 42480 - Computer War
* 18284 - Connect Four
* 65523 - Console Calc
* 65533 - Console Calc Plus
* 32329 - Console Writer
* 38150 - Corcomp '83 Module Adapter
* 31858 - Data Base Management by Navarone
* 13348 - Defender
* 16645 - Demolition Division
* 73449 - Desktop Publishing
* 13353 - Dig Dug
* 21575 - Disk Fixer
* 13367 - Donkey Kong
* 16650 - Dragon Mix
* 16203 - Early Learning Fun
* 16307 - Early Reading
* 18669 - Editor/Assembler
* 33162 - Espial
* 32967 - Extended BASIC by MicroPal
* 18655 - Extended BASIC - TI
* 41488 - Extended BASIC II Plus by Mechatronic
* 13160 - Facemaker
* 42119 - Frog Stickers
* 25963 - Frogger
* 15939 - Home Financial Decisions
* 38407 - Home Sentry for X-10
* 31877 - Homework Helper
* 13122 - Honey Hunt
* 15943 - Household Budget Management
* 18087 - Hunt The Wumpus
* 16556 - Integers
* 13194 - Jawbreaker II
* 73494 - Jumpy
* 31098 - Jungle Hunt
* 65116 - Junkman Jr.
* 23598 - Killer Caterpillar
* 42067 - King Of The Castle
* 16679 - Meteor Multiplication
* 80161 - Micro-Pinball
* 80204 - Micro Tennis
* 80150 - Midnight Mason
* 18105 - Mind Challengers
* 30499 - Miner 2049er
* 35931 - Mini Writer II
* 35379 - Mini Writer III
* 16664 - Minus Mission
* 31101 - Moon Patrol
* 31120 - Ms. Pac Man
* 16537 - Multiplication
* 16383 - Multiplication 1
* 13066 - Munchmobile
* 16222 - Number Magic
* 21191 - Numeration
* 16400 - Numeration 1
* 16415 - Numeration 2
* 13372 - Pac Man
* 34023 - Paint 'N Print A
* 35307 - Paint 'N Print B
* 35312 - Paint 'N Print C
* 38412 - Peripheral Diagnostic Module
* 15962 - Personal Record Keeping
* 13403 - Picnic Paranoia
* 16683 - Plato Interpreter
* 31116 - Pole Position
* 38376 - Popeye
* 73456 - Pro Typer
* 13418 - Protector II
* 25978 - Q*Bert
* 16350 - Reading Flight
* 16312 - Reading Fun
* 16326 - Reading On
* 16345 - Reading Rally
* 16331 - Reading Roundup
* 80176 - Red Baron Flight Simulator
* 13189 - Return To Pirate's Isle
* 16429 - Scholastic Spelling - Level 3
* 16434 - Scholastic Spelling - Level 4
* 16448 - Scholastic Spelling - Level 5
* 16453 - Scholastic Spelling - Level 6
* 13085 - Sewermania
* 13422 - Shamus
* 13206 - Slymoids
* 13137 - Soundtrack Trolley
* 32334 - Speed Reading - Adult
* 32348 - Speed Reading - Child
* 68628 - Spot-Shot
* 73819 - Spy's Demise
* 73473 - Star Gazer I, II & III
* 65519 - Star Runner
* 13259 - Star Trek
* 16522 - Subtraction
* 42195 - Superspace
* 42230 - Superspace II
* 15977 - Tax/Investment Record Keeping
* 15996 - Terminal Emulator II
* 18139 - TI Invaders
* 16294 - TI Logo II
* 73515 - TI Planner
* 73527 - TI Planner Plus
* 80182 - TI Toad
* 73460 - TI Workshop
* 68452 - TI/IBM Connection
* 18124 - Tombstone City: 21st Century
* 42123 - Topper
* 18162 - Tunnels of Doom
* 16241 - Video Chess
* 31542 - Word Invasion
* 31557 - Word Radar
* 65551 - Wordwriter
* 65564 - Wordwriter Plus
* 18265 - Zero Zap
TERMINAL EMULATOR I: PHM 3017 - Released 2Q/1979 - MSRP $44.95 -- The first terminal emulation package from Texas Instruments for the TI-99 Home Computer. It did not support speech as its successor Terminal Emulator II would, so it's value as a cartridge to keep was limited once TE II appeared on the scene in early 1981. According to the documentation (1037109-17) "Links your Home Computer to the telecommunications world through special data-accessing programs. Lets you select options that make your computer compatible with other systems."
TERMINAL EMULATOR II: PHM 3035 - Released 1Q/1981 - MSRP $49.95 -- Second generation terminal emulation package from Texas Instruments that supported only the proprietary TEII transfer protocol. Lost favor among most 99ers when Paul Charlton's Fast-Term fairware terminal emulator appeared in 1985, because Fast-Term supported the Xmodem protocol besides the TEII protocol. When Canadian Charles Earl introduced the Telco fairware program in 1988, which supported numerous transfer protocols, it sealed the fate of Terminal Emulator II as a has been among TI-99/4A owners for terminal emulation purposes. TEII did howver remain popular for its support of speech. It stands alone today as the only TI produced program to boast that "I can say anything", meaning a user could, with TEII and a Speech Synthesizer plugged into the 99/4A, get the computer to speak virtually any word.
TERRELL, PAUL: ROMOX ECPCs The founder and CEO of Byte, Incorporated, which was the parent company of the Byte Shop Computer Store chain. Principal in the Exidy Corporation in 1978. Shortly after selling his chain of Byte Shops, Terrell demonstrated the Zilog Z-80 based Exidy Sorcerer microcomputer at the Personal Computer Show in Philadelphia. The system was officially released in the spring of 1978 featuring plug in ROMpac cartridges, 12K ROM, 8K RAM a 79-key keyboard and 64 column by 30 line display. The suggested retail price is $1100. Terrell was also the President of ROMOX in 1983, which was the firm that produced the Edge Connector Programmable Cartridge (ECPCtm) and several game cartridges for the TI-99/4A, Atari, VIC and C64. Romox went out of business in 1985. See also and SOFTWARE CENTERS.
TERRY TURTLE'S ADVENTURE: PHM 3154 - Released 4Q/1983 - MSRP $49.95 -- This 'edutainment' cartridge from Milton Bradley Company is part of the Milton Bradley Bright Beginnings Series of educational cartridges developed for the TI-99/4A (that also happened to be entertaining). According to the documentation (1053590-1054), " Learn elementary programming from a friendly, little turtle. " This cartridge can be used only with the MBX Expansion System. The system includes Voice Recognition, Speech Synthesis, Analog Joystick and Action-Input Keypad. Unfortunately, Milton Bradley Co. did not give credit to the programmers or designers who created their software, and I've not been able to find out who wrote this program yet. It supports use of the MBX Expansion System (MBX 101), Voice Recognition, Speech Synthesis, Analog Joystick (MBX 102) use and the MBX Action-Input Keypad.
TEX-COMP LTD: A company formed by Cary Hoffman and his father Larry Hoffman when the family purchased the assets to Tex-Comp User's Supply from Jerry Price in April 1995. The following article by MICROpendium Editor Laura Burns describes the event best. " Tex-Comp’s TI-99/4A division has new owners as of April 1, according to Jerry Price, Tex-Comp vice president. The new company, Tex-Comp Ltd., is operated by Carey Hoffman. The 24-year-old Hoffman has been working with the TI for 17 years, he says. “I like the TI,” he says. “It comes up a lot quicker than an IBM, that’s for sure.” He will be aided in the venture by his father, Larry Hoffman of the West Covina 99ers. The elder Hoffman programmed TI’s Speak and Spell to work with Extended BASIC in a project sponsored by Tex-Comp and approved by Texas Instruments, according to Price. Address of the new company is Tex-Comp Ltd., 425 East Arrow Highway, Suite 732, Glendora, CA 9 1740-5684. Voice phone is (818) 339-8924 and Fax is (818) 858-2785. In addition, callers can contact the company under the user name TEXCOMP on the bulletin board of the West Covina 99ers, (818) 339-1134. Carey Hoffman says one project for the new company is “bringing the Databiotics line back to life.” The new company has bought out the remaining DataBioTics stock and will be selling its products, he says. DataBioTics produced numerous cartridges for the T199/4A, including word processors, multi-screen games, spreadsheets and printer interfaces. Price says he began negotiating the transfer at Pest-West, held in San Diego, California in February. During the transition months, he will consult with the new firm, he says. “I feel very comfortable with these people taking over,” Price says. “I would not have sold it to just anybody.” Price began his mail order company for the T199/4A in 1981, when he noticed a need for a source of software other than the popular titles then carried in department stores. At the time he entered the mail order business, “a couple of distributors and stores had mail order divisions,” but he was one of the first TI dealers to make it his major division. Tex-Comp’s TI business was in the millions-a-year category at one time. A tornado that took the roof off a company storage building in December 1991. Later the company sustained minor damage in the Los Angeles-area January 1994 earthquake. " Today, in the year 2001, despite the name change and different owners, Tex-Comp is still a major vendor in the TI Community.
TEX*COMP USER'S SUPPLY: PO Box 33084 Granada Hills, CA 91344 (818) 363-7331 firm that specialized in warehousing TI-99/4A products. The company was founded by California attorney Jerry Price in 1981, as a division of his Calvert Engineering firm. Ultimately Tex*Comp became perhaps the largest independent distributor of TI-99/4A products in the world.
Because of it's size and presence in the TI Community, Tex*Comp would be the recipient of many, many opportunities to market software from independent authors, something Jerry Price told the TI Community early-on that he was very careful about. In a 1984 interview with MICROpendium Editor Laura Burns, "Price says Tex-Comp is extremely conservative in regard to third- party software, in that “if you deal with mama-papa companies’ through retailers, as a consumer, if there are problems with your software, “they’ll never find you.” He says, however, that “we do deal with a number of small companies that have good track records. If we get a product from someone who is an unknown, we have to evaluate it far more thoroughly. Even TI programs have been known to have problems.” While Tex*Comp User's Supply did agree to market several 3rd party software products, most noteably those by Dr. Ron Albright's Heritage Software, Jerry Price also got burned a few times and as a result, made difficult business decisions where some hits like Donn Granros' Old Dark Caves program ended up in the Asgard Software stable instead of being marketed by Tex*Comp User's Supply. Tex*Comp was sold to the Hoffman family in April 1995.
TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC.: A Dallas, Texas-based corporation that started out in the 1930s as Geophysical Service Inc. TI's growth began in earnest in 1941 when it applied the seismic technology it used for oil exploration to antisubmarine warfare gear. Business articles:
* 1979-03/19 -- Business Week -- p.37
* 1979-06/04 -- Business Week -- p.64
* 1979-12/03 -- Fortune -- p.50
* 1980-05/05 -- Business Week -- p.94
* 1980-06/16 -- Fortune -- p.139
* 1980-12/08 -- Business Week -- p.28
* 1981-06/15 -- Business Week -- p.36
* 1981-06/22 -- Business Week -- p.91
* 1981-12/07 -- Time -- p.118
* 1982-03/15 -- Forbes -- p.64
* 1982-05/31 -- Business Week -- p.92
* 1982-07/05 -- Business Week -- p.77
* 1982-07/07 -- Business Week -- p.76
* 1982-08/09 -- Fortune -- p.40
* 1983-02/14 -- Business Week -- p.110
* 1983-02/28 -- Forbes -- p.12
* 1983-06/27 -- Business Week -- p.88
* 1983-06/27 -- Newsweek -- p.26
* 1983-07/18 -- Forbes -- p.168
* 1983-09/19 -- Business Week -- p.56
* 1983-11/14 -- Business Week -- p.48
* 1984-March -- Creative Computing
TEXNET: Funny, how we seem to have forgotten all about this pioneer telecommunications effort specifically for the TI-99 Community? It was first announced in Source World magazine in December 1980, but didn't actually go on-line until October 23, 1981. Nonetheless, it proved to be a marvelous forum for 99ers during its heyday and to this day is the only commercial on-line information service that could display graphics on the screen.
TEXT TO SPEECH-ENGLISH: PHD 5076 - Released 3Q/1982 - MSRP $29.95 - A Texas Instruments created application designed to interpret text words that could then turn them into allophones compatible with the Solid State Speech Synthesizer (PHP 1500). According to the documentation (1051493-76), the program "Requires the use of the Solid State Speech Synthesizer, the TI Memory Expansion unit, the TI Extended BASIC Solid State Cartridge, and the TI Disk Memory System (TI Disk Drive Controller and Disk emory Drive) - not included. Allows you to write programs that "speak" virtually any word in the English language." Although the PHD 5076 software program is not all that rare, the 'new generation' instruction manual shown here is quite rare. Most Text To Speech-English software was sold with the older, brown colored documentation. In fact, the inside pages to this new generation cover are still the old Courier type face, so only the cover was changed. The 'new generation' instruction manual covers began appearing in mid-1982.
TEXTIGER II: Textiger - Released - MSRP $ -- Requirements - TI or TI compatible Extended BASIC, Disk drive or cassette recorder, printer -- Prints through the use of "Format Files" that control margins, form sizes, label layouts et cetera.
THE 99/4 PROGRAM EXCHANGE: PO Box 3242 Torrance, CA 90510 firm which lost a lawsuit to Charles LaFara in 1984 after producing ads in magazines using a logo too similar to the one already copyrighted by the International 99/4 Users Group.
THE ATTACK: #PHM3031 - Released: 1981 - MSRP $19.95 -- Another version of TANK, but with a spaceship and aliens. Provides 4 levels of difficulty. Supports keyboard or joystick use. No speech synthesis. A Milton Bradley product licensed by Texas Instruments. See 99/4 Home Computer Users Group (IUG) Newsletter Apr'81, p.3.
THE SOURCE: 1616 Anderson Rd McLean, VA 22102 (703) 734-7500 firm that was among the first on-line computer services providers. Founded in 1978 by Jack R. Taub. Acquired by The Reader's Digest Association in October 1980. The Source (with impetus from Texas Instruments) provided 99/4A owners with TexNet, the on-line Special Interest Group (SIG) that was devoted solely to TI-99/4 and 4A owners. When TI left the Home computer Market TextNet all but died. However it was restored to new life by Don and Doyle Bynum in the summer of 1984 and returned as the New TexNet. By November 1987 the TISIG portion of The Source was in trouble again though, with membership dropping. Sysops Blaine Crandell and Walt Howe were notifed that TE2 transfers were being eliminated and that if membership didn't increase to help pay the way for the TISIG, that the entire TI-99 section would have to be shut down.
THORN-EMI CARTRIDGES: According to 99er David Shaw, the cartridges planned for the production of Computer War, River Rescue and Submarine Commander had a black plastic casing, slim, plugged into the right hand socket where the PEB usually plugs in. The PCB was gold plated and the Ics were surface mounted- that is to say NOT in a big black case, the actual silicon wafer was mounted to the PCB and protected with a small blob of something looking like black tar (but obviously not!) Only a production sample was produced for test purposes, so no labels exist on the cartridges, but presumably one would have fit on the top surface. No leg on the right for the module to "sit" on the table, as the Tigervision modules have. The module was relatively small and light and entirely supported by the socket. Other titles from Thorn-EMI included:
* Computer War - Atari - #THA12010
* Jumbo Jet
THUMBNAILS: Asgard U9106 disk - Released 1992 - MSRP $12.95 -- This utility is the ultimate organizing, cataloging and conversion utility for MacPaint pictures! Thumbnails catalogs your disks and finds all of the MacPaint pictures on them. It then allows you to view and print them singlely or in batch, either at full-size or in thumbnails format (reduced to fit in a box on the screen) 9 to a page, with a box around each and the filename underneath. Perfect for creating a reference book for your artwork! While viewing pictures they may be clipped and saved in either Page Pro or TI-Artist forms. Organize your MacPaint pics into a simple slideshow for rapid viewing. Thumbnails is compatble with M-DOS 1.14 and 0.97H. An Epson or compatible printer is required for printing. Thumbnalls is
an M-DOS native program and requires a Geneve 9640. By Francisco Garcia. Catalog # U9106. MSRP $12.95.
TI CASINO: Asgard #E9139 - Released 1991 - MSRP $14.95 -- A collection of eight casino games, created by West Coast artist Ken Gilliland, all interlinked, so you can play any of the games with the same bankroll. Each game is almost entirely joystick operated with no confusing keypresses. After you've finished at the tables you can take your winnings to the cashier and get a check. Games include: Acey Ducey, Blackjack, Baccarat, the Crap Tables, Keno, Draw Poker, Roulette and Slot Machines. Requires disk system, joystick and Extended BASIC.
TI COMPUTER CAREL: These 5.5' high by 4.0' wide pieces of furniture were used to show off the 99/4A, Expansion system and various cartridge programs, much like you see Nintendo and Sega do today for their systems. They were originally manufactured for the Consumer Electronics Shows that took place in Chicago and Las Vegas, but also appeared at the 99er Magazine TI-Fest in November 1982 in San Francisco. Word has it that Texas Instruments sort of got dragged into TI-Fest and once committed, pumped a ton of bucks into the show in order to make sure it was not a flop. I honestly don't know how true that is, but it makes for interesting conjecture.
TI ECHO: A topic oriented message base that used participating Bulletin Board Systems to 'echo' messages from the originator to all other participating Bulletin Boards. Popular in the TI Community in the late 80s and early 90s.
TI EXECUTIVES: Following is a list of the "players" at Texas Instruments who had a part in shaping the life and death of the TI-99/4 and TI-99/4A Home Computers.
* J. Fred Bucy - Corporation President at Texas Instruments. The person responsible for setting up the production facility in Lubbock, TX, which was only 20 miles from Bucy's home town.
* Stewart Carrell - Promoted to vice-president in 1982 management shakeup. Given responsibility for coordinating technology, marketing and planning. Resigned two weeks after Consumer Group president William J. Turner left TI in July 1983.
* C. Morris Chang - Vice-president of the Consumer Group in 1979 when Texas Instruments made the move into the Home Computer market.
* Grant A. Dove - Senior vice-president of Marketing at Texas Instruments. Responsible for TI's improved marketing strategies on the TI-99/4 and 4A.
* Peter A. Field - A "hired-gun" from the consumer package-goods industry brought in on September 7, 1983 to do a better job of marketing the 99/4A, only to have it all shut down underneath him a couple months later.
* Jerry R. Junkins - Replaced William J. Turner as head of the Consumer Products Group in April 1983.
* Mark Shepherd Jr. - Chairman of the Board of Texas Instruments before, during, and after the TI-99 era. The person who made the decision to use the 9900 processor in the TI-99/4 Home Computer, rather than an industry standard 8-bit chip.
* William N. Sick - Vice-president of the Consumer Products Group from the TI-99/4's introduction in 1979, to the death of the TI-99/4A in 1983.
* William J. Turner - Head of Marketing for the Consumer Products Group. Hired away from Digital Equipment Corporation for the job. May have been the person most responsible for the TI-99 losing money because of his pricing strategies. Left Texas Instruments in July 1983 amid a sinking ship. Was President of the Consumer Products Group at the time.
TI IMPACT PRINTER: ti impact printer PHP 2500 - Released 3Q/1982 - MSRP $750.00 -- This letter-size, quiet, high-performance, dot matrix,iImpact printer features 60 characters per second bi-directional printing, three type sizes and four distinct printing densities. The TI Impact Printer also features a long-life 9 X 9 dot matrix print/head that is easily replaced. The printer can handle 40, 66, 90 and 132-column widths and can print text or graphic data. Made by Epson for TI. The printer was available with serial interface connectivity only, and had no Near Letter Quality mode. For reasons not clear to me, it appears that Texas Instruments also installed their own chip in the printer, which is said to have eliminated some of the standard functionality that a person who went out and bought and Epson MX-70 would have?
TI INTERN: "TI - практикант" - книга, написанная Хайнером Мартином (Heiner Martin), в которой разобран и описан принцип работы языка программирования TI GPL.
TI INVADERS: PHM 3053 - Released 4Q/1981 - MSRP $39.95 - A game cartridge which is a TI-99 version of the incredibly popular Space Invaders game that was written by Toshihiro Nishikado, which Taito of Japan released in American Arcades in 1978. TI Invaders was written by TI employee Garth Dollhite, although neither the earlier 1037109-53 documentation, nor the newer 1053590-53 documentation give him credit for the program. According to the documentation " Numerous downright nasty space creatures challenge your survival instincts when they attack your world. Try to destroy these swarming invaders before they demolish your missles." Although TI Invaders is only a 6K program, it is one of the most popular game cartridges for the TI-99, and it can be played on either the TI-99/4 or the TI-99/4A. Joysticks are supported, but speech synthesis is not. See also: InfoWorld April 26, 1982, p.32 -- BYTE Magazine Jun82, p.487 -- 99er Home Computer Magazine Jan83, p.28.
User Comments: Everybody knows about TI Invaders, one of the first arcade modules put out by TI. The world is under attack by creatures from puter space. You must use your wits and quick movements to destroy the invaders. a player can use the keyboard or joysticks with the module.
TI INVADERS: PHD 5058 - Released 2Q/1982 - MSRP $19.95 - This TI Invaders is a disk version of the game cartridge of the same name that is listed one entry above. It was one of three such 'disk versions of game cartridges' that Texas Instruments released in 1982, only to discontinue them by the time 1983 rolled around. The other two titles were Munchman (PHD 5060) and Tombstone City: 21st Century (PHD 5057). If you take a look at the sequence of the disk numbers of these three titles, and wonder what happened to PHD 5059, the answer is, 'I don't know?'. I cannot find that the Texas Instruments product number PHD 5059 has been used anywhere else, nor have I ever located any information which would indicate that Texas Instruments planned another release of a 'disk version of a game cartridge'. It's a mystery to me?
Just because this program is on disk, means nothing as far as author et cetera. It is still the same code as the cartridge, still a TI-99 version of the incredibly popular Space Invaders game that was written by Toshihiro Nishikado, which Taito of Japan released in American Arcades in 1978. TI Invaders was written by TI employee Garth Dollahite, although the 1041554-558 documentation does not give him credit for the program. Former TI employee John Phillips is the source of my information about Garth being the author of TI Invaders . As I said above, although TI Invaders is only a 6K program, it is one of the most popular game cartridges for the TI-99. That same thing cannot be said for the 'disk versions of game cartridges'. I don't think they were very popular, which meant they didn't sell well, which meant that TI would discontinuie them, which they did. But it also means that any of these three 'disk versions of game cartidges' are R-A-R-E(as in hard to find. If one comes your way at a yard sale, flea market or on eBay, scarf it up. Joysticks are supported, but speech synthesis is not. See also: InfoWorld April 26, 1982, p.32 -- BYTE Magazine Jun82, p.487 -- 99er Home Computer Magazine Jan83, p.28.
TI SOFTWARE SHOWCASE: Furniture for use by TI's marketing department at the CES shows. This cabinet was also approximately 5.5 feet by 4.0 feet and deep enough to hold four software packages per rack for a total of 144 products per showcase in 6 by 6 layouts. The photo I have of this display case suggests that it was introduced in late 1982 or early 1983 because all of the software displayed is packaged in the plastic cover/plastic tray that superceded the more common 1043601-1 packaging most 99ers are familiar with. I don't know where "goodies" like this go when computers die, but I'm told that both Mike Wright of Salem, NH, and Joy Warner of Mt. Baldy, CA have rooms full of TI-99/4A showcase furniture.
TI TOAD: Software Specialties - #TRI-BADG - Released 1988 - MSRP $19.95 -- The desert winds have caught you on the wrong side of the road. You'll have to quickly hop to safety before your pebbly skin cracks and peels from the intense heat. Watch out for speeding cars as you cross the highway. Then jump from log to log as you cross the river. At last you've reached the Hot Tubs. But wait…better pick an empty one. - Supports either keyboard or joystick. No speech synthesizer support. Written by Glen Groves, dba Software Specialties, this program first appeared in 1983, available only on disk, for a fully-expanded TI-99/4A. It is a clone of the popular arcade game Frogger, with the usual Glen Groves niceties that take advantage of the TI-99/4A's sound and graphics capabilities. The cartridge version was manufactured by DataBioTics.
|TI99 BUMPER STICKER: The
bumper stickers are here! They're the oval euro-style stickers
measuring 4"x6" and printed on durable polypropylene. The cost is $3
including first class postage in the US. [ORDER/MORE]
|TI-99/2 BROCHURE: A
describing the TI-99/2 computer is now avaialbe for download on the TI-99/2 page or documentation page. A big
'thank you' to my friend Fabrice Montupet and his web site, TI-99 Forever!, for the scan of his brochure.
TI-99/4 HOME COMPUTER: 99/4 An entry into the 1970s personal computer market from long time electronics industry giant Texas Instruments, of Dallas, TX. Here is the TI blurb, taken directly from brochure CL-435. "The remarkable TI-99 4 Home Computer. Compare it. Dollar for dollar. Feature for feature. Superior color, music, sound and graphics and a powerful extended BASIC-- all built in. Plus a unique, new Solid State Speech Synthesizer and TI’s special Solid State Software. There’s a computer in your future. And the future is now. We’ve entered a new and exciting era - the age of the home computer. Maybe you’re already quite knowledgeable about computers and are looking for the most programming power and versatility for your money. Maybe you’ve just read about it, and want to learn more. Either way, you need to look closely at Texas Instruments TJ-99/4 Home Computer. The TI-99/4 was designed to be the first true home computer- skilled computer users and beginners alike will be able to put it to effective use right away. If you know computers, you’ll quickly see the difference in the TI-99/4. Texas Instruments has taken those features you’ve been wanting-plus some you may not have heard about yet- and included them in one incredible, affordable computer system. The TI-99/4 gives you an unmatched combination of features and capabilities, including:
* Powerful TI-BASIC - Built-in 13-digit, floating point BASIC. Fully compatible with ANSI Minimal BASIC, but with special features and extensions for color, sound and graphics.
* Up to 72K total memory capacity- 16K RAM (Random Access Memory), 26K ROM (Read Only Memory) plus up to 30K ROM in TI’s Solid State Software Command Modules.
* 26K ROM - Operating system, BASIC, floating point, sound and color graphics software are contained in ROM.
* 16-color graphics capability - Easy-to-access, high- resolution graphics have special features that let you define your own characters, create animated displays, charts, graphs... and more.
* Music and sound effects - Provides outstanding audio capability. Build three-note chords and adjust frequency, duration and volume quickly and simply. You can build notes with short, straightforward commands. Five octaves from 110 Hz (Hertz) to beyond 40,000 Hz.
* Built-in equation calculator-Unique convenience feature helps you find quick solutions to everyday math problems, as well as complex scientific calculations. Directly accessible from the keyboard.
* High quality 13” color monitor- Specially matched for use with the TI-9914 computer console. Simple, sure hookup.
"If you’re new to computers, ti994 tapes the TI-99/4 is for you. You can begin using the TI Home Computer literally minutes after you unpack it. Without any previous computer experience or programming knowledge. You simply snap in one of TI’s Solid State Software Command Modules and touch a few keys. Step-by- step instructions are displayed right on the screen. So you or just about anyone in your family can use the TI-99/4. Two pioneering technological developments in particular set the TI-99/4 apart from the rest. Solid State Speech -This optional speech synthesizer enables the TI-99/4 to literally speak - to provide verbal prompts and special messages to the user. Actually reproduces the human voice electronically. Hundreds of words are available, and plug-in word modules will add hundreds more. TI’s exclusive technology lets you call up the words you want by simply typing them in. Outstanding voice clarity and fidelity. Solid State Speech is a proven technology already on the market in TI’s unique Speak & Spell”’ electronic learning aid for children. Solid State Software”’ Command Modules - Available in a wide range of application areas, these optional ROM modules actually add application program memory to your TI-99/4. They let you use the TI Home Computer immediately, with no programming. Serious programmers will appreciate the time and effort saved by these pre-programmed modules. Plus, they’ll let you introduce your family to the computer in the easiest possible way. Solid State Software was pioneered by TI for use with its powerful programmable calculators. A world of genuine, practical applications exist for the TI Home Computer right now. In addition to the many personal finance, home management, educational and entertainment uses for the TI-99/4, there are also a variety of home business and professional applications. The TI-99/4 is a powerful problem-solving tool - an ideal solution where larger, more expensive computers would be impractical."
TI-99/4A HOME COMPUTER:
TI-99/5: According to Cleveland, OH 99er Glenn W. Bernasek, there were only 10 of these units manufactured. Speculation is that they were designed to compete directly against the Commodore 64, which had more on-board memory than the TI-99/4A. Following is a brief overview of the TI-99/5, as described by Glenn in March 1994. The assumption I am making is that the outward appearance of the 99/5 is the same as a 99/4A.
1. The cassette port was replaced with a Hexbus port. (The Hexbus was an eight wire, four bit wide communication cable. Devices designed for the Hexbus included a floppy disk controller, a serial port, streaming tape drive, 80 column video controller (doesn't that make your mouth water?), portable printers and portable plotters, to name most of them. In a way it was a return to the old "choo-choo train" concept.)
2. The insides were greatly simplified by the transition to the 9995 processor!
3. The TI-99/5B also had the 32K memory expansion and speech synthesizer built into the console.
If you still have doubts, a chip on the motherboard picture has a white label on it. The label reads, in part, "99/5 11/2/83" and "TI-99/5" is prominately printed on the circuit board!
German 99er Markus Kraemer adds, "Believe it or not, I have seen such an animal on a TI Faire in Wiesbaden (Germany), owner was Michael Becker (he is the B in BWG, the German DS/DD Disk Controler)! As *I* know, the name of the animal was TI-99/5, it has the TMS 9985 processor in it and was grey with NO PeBox port !"
Joseph Cohen writes: "The computer you are talking about (also called 99/4B) was a prototype in the transition from 99/4a to 99/8 (or something similar). This particular unit as I recall was sold through this newsgroup by Erik Olson (of the BBS software fame) who received it from a Lubbock personality. At that time he has a whole bag of other TI-museum items like TI DS/DD controller (16 sec/track), Hex-bus interfaces (these went to a US user, I won't mention names because I do not have permission to do that; that user also purchased Erik's 99/8 about 3 years earlier), TI Eprom Programmer card for the PEBox, and more regular items as well. He also sold 2 or more 99/2`s... One interesting thing- Erik was distributing at that time copies of internal Lubbock documents dealing with the Hex-Bus, 99/4B=99/5, and more. Among those was the only known (to me) manual for disk manager 3 cartridge. The cartridge actually exists- a TI user in Florida recently purchased one from L.L . Conner (for more than it's worth, to be sure :-). Our library has a GK file of that cartridge. (Only of historical value, of course. Nothing like DM-1000 or DISKU. I think that the main mod relative to DM-2 was defaulting to DS/DD for the anticipated DD controller, and perhaps support of hex-bus disk controller.
The 99/4B=99/5 had no pebox port because it was only meant for use with hex-bus periphs. If you call TI, they will deny it was ever made. Just like they do with 99/8's, 99/2's, unreleased cartridges etc. Probably because they do not want to have to repair them... Funny thing is, out librarian once wrote to TI and asked about a bunch of never-released TI software. The reply was that TI knows nothing about it, and it does not exist. Then he asked whether he could distribute it to the UG members, and TI said NO, we hold the copyright on that... Contradiction in terms at its best!
As an aside, M. Becker also built a hex-bus disk controller and at least one unit is working in the US, and may or may not be working on building the TI video controller (I believe he got one as a trade from a U.S. user who got it from a former TI engineer. So much for trivia!". See the Comments Section in the April 1994 issue of MICROpendium magazine on page 4.
TI-ARTIST: ti-artisr plus Inscebot - Released 1985 - MSRP $19.95 -- The de facto standard for artist/drawing programs available to the TI-99/4A owner. Written by Chris Faherty, who was a 13-14 year old teenager at the time, and already an accomplished assembly language programmer. TI-Artist is completely menu driven, requiring only that you move the cross-hairs over the icon you want to select for the operation to be performed and then press the fire button on your joystick. Of course the same operations can be accessed without the mouse by pressing the corresponding key on the keyboard. Some of the unique program features include continuous lines from point to point, rays, fills with user-selected patterns, frames, boxes, circles, disks and perfectly horizontal lines and perfectly vertical lines.The program also allows files created with Draw A Bit, Draw A Bit II, and Draw And Plot to be loaded into memory for conversion into TI-Artist drawings. TI-Artist was updated to v2.01 as far as I can tell, before it gave way to TI-Artist Plus , an enhanced version of the original program, that was released through Texaments in 1989 with an MSRP of $24.95. According to conversations I had with Inscebot and with Texaments, the TI-Artist program raked in over $30,000 in sales (approximately 1500 copies were sold), while TI-Artist Plus , despite its superior performance and feature set, did not do near as well in the marketplace. This is almost certainly the result of a diminishing market for anything TI-99.
TI-ARTIST PLUS: Texaments - Released 1989 - MSRP $24.95 -- An enhanced version of TI-Artist, incorporating most if not all of the features of the Display Master program also created by Chris Faherty of Inscebot Inc.
TI-BASE: Inscebot Inc. - Released 2Q/1988 - MSRP $24.95 -- Dennis Faherty authored application.
TI-CASINO: ti-casino Notung Software - Released 1991 - MSRP $15.00 -- A complete casino experience with superior graphics and easy game play according to the Notung Catalog for 1992. TI Casino is a collection of eight (8) games interlinked so you can play any of the games with the same money. Each game is operated through the use of the joystick with no virtually no keyboard interaction required. When you are ready to leave the casino you can take your winnings to the cashier and get a printed check. Pretty clever, I thought! The games include Acey Deucy, Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Draw Poker, Keno, Roulette and Slot Machines.
The visual appeal of this program is wonderful. Author Ken Gilliland has done his usual excellent job of creating professional, appealing display screens, through the use of great graphics design. Actual game play is fun, but some of the games are hampered by a lack of speed, while others are not. The lack of speed is directly related to the fact that most of the code behind TI Casino is TI Extended BASIC. It appears that only the card shuffling routine, written by assembly language programmer Jim Reiss, is the only non-XB code in the application. That's too bad for Roulette and Slot Machine players, but in the other games it really doesn't matter. In the case of the Slot Machines, it takes much too long (in my opinion) for the reels to stop spinning so you can see what you got. Once they do, you will see some of the best representations of bars, cherries, pears and the like that any other computer of the day could offer, they just don't get there fast enough. See MICROpendium Jul91, p.25 for a review.
TI-COUNT: ti-count A full-featured, professional accounting package written for the TI-99/4A entirely in Extended BASIC, by a retired Dow Chemical engineer doing business as Pike Creek Computer Company 2 Galaxy Drive Newark, DE 19714-9619. The package was adopted by Texas Instruments as an 'official' TI software release in 1983, but was eventually withdrawn before the official release with the decision by Texas Instruments to orphan the 99/4A by abandoning the Home Comuter market. The package continued to be sold by virtually every major 99/4A products retailer well after 1983. It consisted of a General Ledger module, an Accounts Receivable module, an Accounts Payable module, an Inventory module, a payroll module and a Mailing List Management module. All modules shared the ability to work with each other, as will as perform as standa alone applications. For example, the Mailing List Management or Inventory modules could be used without owning other modules in the TI-Count package.
TI-MAC: A word processor apparently only available in Germany (maybe other places in Europe), designed to work with an 80-Column card developed by TI-Workshop-Rhineland?
TI-MINIWRITER: See Miniwriter.
TI-PEI: Asgard - E9114 - Released 1992 - MSRP$ 14.95 -- A classic game of Solitaire with tiles from the Far East. The object is to remove like tiles from a pile two at a time. W ritten by William Reiss. System requirements include: 32K Memory, disk, Extended BASIC or Editor/Assembler module.
TI-RUNNER: EB Software - Released 1984 - Tenex #32460 - MSRP $24.95 -- A Lode Runner clone written by Jon Burt and Scott Emery dba EB Software. The game is 100% assembly language coded and was ultimately pickd up by DataBioTics in 1987 and released in cartridge format under the name Star Runner.
TI-SORT: Inscebot Inc. -- Released -- MSRP$ -- Requirements --
TI-WRITER: ti-writer PHM 3111 / PHD 5089 - Released 3Q/1982 - MSRP $99.95 -- A cartridge and disk-based word processor that is indisputably the most popular productivity tool ever created by Texas Instruments for the TI-99/4A Home Computer. Provides full-featured word processing via an Editor to create/print/save the raw text, and then a Formatter to print the text in formatted output, and even chain multiple documents together for virtually unlimited document-size printing. The Editor employs a dot-command type system within a document for layout and text formatting, that can then be interpreted by the Formatter program to provide the desired hardcopy output. The Editor provides 80 column text viewing by providing a series of overlapping windows. Thus once you have typed enough characters to reach the end of the current window, the display window scrolls right and makes more typing room available, while still displaying the last few letters of the last word you were typing before the window scrolled. This 'Text Mode' display mode was created with the release of the TMS9918A chip in the TI-99/4A, which means that TI- Writer is not compatible with a TI-99/4.
The package consists of the PHM 3111 Command Module, the PHD 5089 SS/SD floppy disk, a keyboard template (strip) specific to TI-Writer, a 3-Ring Binder (1035947-0002), a colorful insert for the front panel of the 3-Ring Binder (1053635-23), a vinyl notebook page for housing the TI Writer floppy, a 177-page instruction manual developed by TI employee Susan J. Gum (1053597-1), the TI-Writer program disk containing:
* EDITA1 and EDITA2 -- editor program
* FORMA1 and FORMA2 -- formatter program
* PRACTICE, PRACTICE1 and FORMATDOC -- practice/example files
and a notebook-compatible plastic cartridge tray that will hold four Command Modules (aka Solid State Cartridges).
As part of Texas Instruments' commitment to continue supporting TI-99/4A owners after it left the Home Computer Market totally in March 1984, TI released a free 'update' to the Editor and Formatter program files during the summer/early fall of '84. The Editor update provided a brand new ability to read a font-display file named CHARA1 when it loaded. This meant that users could have true lower case letters on their display while word processing. The update even included a CHARA1 file. The Formatter update provided a fix which eliminated an annoying and paper wasting page eject at the beginning of the Formatter's operation. Many different versions of user-modified CHARA1 files are available, even some that provide representations of non-english alphabet characters. Although I lack complete details on it, I also know that TI marketed a separate version of TI Writer for European users.
A particularly clever use of the CHARA1 file occurred in 1988 when Rodger Merritt, owner of Comprodine (COMputer PROgrammer's DIstribution NEtwork) devised a way to use the TI-Writer Editor, a modified CHARA1 file and the IBM character set built into many popular dot-matrix printers, to provide a program named Form Shop , which could be used to provide a What You See Is What You Get forms design tool in the TI-Writer Editor, that would print out exactly as designed.
Within a few months of the program's release users discovered that the only reason for the cartridge was to house a rudimentary disk cataloging routine, access the Text Mode, and to provide a UTIL1 loader for future or 3rd Party add-ins to the application. In 1984 Tom Knight produced a loader for TI Writer, called TK Writer , that would allow the original Editor and Formatter to be loaded out of Extended BASIC. Larry Hughes, doing business as Quality 99 Software would release a similar offering named QS-Writer a couple years later. Initially, QS-Writer only provided the XB Loader and you provided the Editor and Formatter from your original TI-Writer program disk. That changed after TI released the updates into the public domain. In 1985 TI Writer would be overshadowed completely by BA-Writer , which was a TI-Writer clone created by Italian Assembly language programming wizard Paolo Bagnaresi. In 1986 the Australian father/son team of Tony and Will McGovern would introduce FunLWriter (later renamed Funnelweb ) to the TI Community. This TI Writer clone would eventually become the 'standard' for word processing applications on the TI-99/4A. McGovern even created an 80-Column version of the Editor for use with the Digit AVP Display card. An 80-Column version named My-Word was also created for use on the Myarc Geneve 9640 computer by J. Peter Hoddie. Canadian assembly language programming wizard Art Green also produced a TI-Writer clone named RAG Writer using the original Editor and Formatter from the TI-Writer program.
Curiously, there are very few published reviews of TI-Writer in the commercial media? This is indeed surprising, since it was such a long awaited (and needed) product by 99/4A owners. More TI-Writer word processing questions from novice users, and tips, tricks and tutorials from experienced users, have however graced the pages of the printed media of the TI Community. For years it was all but impossible to read MICROpendium or a User Group Newsletter and not find something related to TI-Writer word processing. My publications indexing database lists over 60 different TI-Writer articles and usernotes just up to 1990, when I stopped maintaining it. Mike Wright's TI-CYC lists a ton of references too.
Some of the more significant creations from experienced users are:
* FunPlus! - from school teacher and columnist Jack Sughrue. Provides programs, files and templates.
* Graphics Printing with TI Writer - a multi-part tutorial by TI Retailer Anne Dhein, that appeared in numerous User Group newsletters.
* TI-Rewrite - tutorial from Dick Altman, who was also the author of the original Fairware List for the TI-99/4A.
* TI-Templates - TI-Writer templates from Jan Knapp of the St. Louis, 99ers.
* TI-Writer Companion - tutorial by William G. Browning.
* TI Writer Supplement - Chicago TI Users Group - a collection of articles, programs and files to make using the program easier and more productive.
* TI-Writer Tips and Ticks - tips and tricks from Joyce Corker of the Boston Computer Society.
TI Writer also enjoyed some neat add-ins. In 1984 Thomas Kirk of Omaha, NE, doing business as Dragonslayer American Software, released the first Spell-Checker for TI-Writer. It loaded from the UTIL1 option on the PHM 3111 cartridge's menu. Mr. Kirk also created an add-in named Padlock Plus that allowed TI-Writer Display/Variable 80 files to be encoded. In 1990 Asgard Software released Spell-It!, a much more sophisticated, next-generation-type spelling checker for TI Writer, that was created by assembly language programming wizard Jim Reiss. Another Omaha, NE resident, Mike McCann, one of the best TI Forth programmers to ever participate in the TI Community, showed us how his Business Graphs 99 application could work with TI Writer and Multiplan. Numerous other applets surfaced that were designed to work on TI Writer's Display/Variable 80 text files. Some provided word counting utility, while others converted TI BASIC and Extended BASIC programming text created in TI Writer into actual programs.
An interesting note about the name of this program. Texas Instruments at different times referred to it as TI Writer and TI-Writer. This variation occurs in software library brochures, official Consumer Product Price Lists (TI Writer) and on the labels of the cartridge packaged with the product (TI-Writer). They never seemed to settle on it one way or the other, so the TI Community never settled on a "right way" to spell the name either.
TIC-TAC-TOE: Extended Software- Released 1982 - MSRP $9.95 -- Program provides and requires quick set up and quick decision making at four levels of difficulty. The levels avoid the frustration of the novice never having a chance to win. Available in disk and tape format.
TIGERCUB SOFTWARE: Founded by retired military officer Jim Peterson, Tigercub Software was probably best known for the "Tips From Tigercub" articles that kept many a User Group newsletter alive. Peterson issued his first "Tips..." article in June 1983 and as far as I know continued to write until his untimely death on January 12, 1994. He leaves a void in the TI Community that cannot be filled. Jim also produced Nuts & Bolts disks, which was a collection of useful utilities for the XB programmer, as well as a catalog of hundreds of public domain programs on disk.
TIME MACHINE I: Starfire Games - Released 1984 - MSRP $34.95 -- You are the fourth test pilot to fly the joint Air Force/NASA XTM series experimental "craft", a vehicle which tranverses through time, the true last frontier. Provided with the newly modified but still untested version of the craft, XTM-3, your mission is to rescue the three previous test pilots who are lost somewhere in the infinity of time itself. Not far into the mission, you discover this task is more than you could have imagined. Never knowing what you will encounter next, you manuever your ship from one adventure to another. You draw upon every resource to survive events ranging from battles with Vikings in the past to outwitting aliens in the future for your ship, the lost pilots, even your very life. But prepare, your final challenge is to return to your own time era safely, a feat which has not been accomplished by any pilot before you. Time Machine I was offered for:
Apple II+ or IIe 48K, Disk drive and DOS 3.3
Atari 400 or 800 (48K and disk drive)
Commodore 64 Disk or Tape
IBM PC/XT 64K or greater
TRS-80 version to be released soon
TNT COMPUTER PRODUCTS: A 15971 Royale Court Fountain Valley, CA 92708 (800) 854-0561 ext 921 distributor of TI-99/4A products.
TOMBSTONE CITY: 21ST CENTURY: PHM 3052 - Released 4Q/1981 - MSRP $39.95 - A game cartridge written by TI employee John C. Plaster, who also coded many of the educational cartridges in the Milliken Math Sequences series. According to the documentation (1037109-152) "Your survival instinct is challenged as you find yourself in a 21st Century Old West ghost town threatened by an invading hoard of green alien monsters. Tombstone City: 21st Century is moderately fun to play in my opinion, although no award winner. It does enjoys the distinction of being one of only three cartridge games that were also produced in diskette (PHD 5057) versions for a limited time. The other two are TI Invaders (PHD 5058) and Munchman (PHD 5060). It is also the only program ever written for the TI-99/4A by Texas Instruments that had the source code released. It was purposely included in the TI-99/4A Editor/Assembler package for use as example assembly language code. Carried Triton product number ACCL.
User Comments: Don't buy this one if you are planning to get the Editor/assembler. The assembly language code for it is included as their example program. it's an arcade gype game but harder than a lot of them. It has good music. the key to doing well is to get out of th city streets as fast as you can and start blasting cacti.
TOMCZYK, MICHAEL: Product Marketing Manager for Commodore International in 1982, and author of "The Home Computer Wars" book published by Compute Books in 1984.
TOPPER: Navarone Industries - #TRI-BAAF - Released 1986 - MSRP $14.95 -- A 1 or 2 player game that at first appears to be a Q*Bert clone, but it really isn't. While the theme of the game involves hopping from tile to tile, similarities end there. This is more like a 3-D version of the tortoise and the hare where you as the tortoise must travel from tile to tile changing the color of each one you pass, without the hare catching up to you. A pretty inoffensive game that is mildly entertaining. Collector Info: A Navarone Industries product that was originally a 1983 release by Romox Software Publishing. I've never seen it as a Romox cartridge, but it does show up on the Ultimate Software Library list of games that were downloadable to the Romox ECPC cartridge. Hard to find I would say. Reference can be found in Triton Products Catalog - Fall'86 - p.12. Carried Triton product number BAAF.
TOUCH TYPING TUTOR: PHM 3064 - Released 2Q/1982 - MSRP $39.95 -- Written by TI employee Susan Powell. According to the documentation (1053590-64), the program " Provides flexible, varied drills designed to help you learn basic typing skills if you are a beginner, or to polish your touch-typing skills if you are an experienced typist ." More specifically, Touch Typing Tutor is divided into a Lessons Section, a Diagnostic Section and a Games Section. The Lessons teaches the beginning typist proper positioning of the hands and fingers, and methodology; Diagnostic is designed to analyze your current typing skills; Games provides for practice at honing your skills once they are developed. This 1982 entry into the cartridge offerings for the TI-99/4A has only the newer '105' documentation. There was no older '103' version of the instruction manual ever produced. Touch Typing Tutor does not support joysticks or speech synthesis. Carried Triton product number AAFG.
User Comments (provided by John E. Taylor and other members of the Shoals 99er User Group in 1985): Requirements: The basic console. Summary: The Touch Typing Tutor is designed to help you learn basic typing skills if you are a beginner, or to polish your touch-typing skills if you are an experienced typist. The flexible, varied drills in this module provide practice on: 1) single keystokes and letter combinations. 2) over 40 frequently used word beginnings and endings. 3) Sentences. 4) Over 500 frequently used words.
TOURNAMENT SOLITAIRE: tournament solitaire Asgard Software #E06 (1990 catalog), #E9115 (1992 catalog) - Released 1990 - MSRP $14.95 -- A collection of seven popular variations of the card game Solitaire. Includes Calculation, Canfield, Corners, Golf, Klondike, Pile Up, and Pyramid variations. Each game can be played individually, or one after the other in a tournament, where the previous score is passed onto the next game. Written by William Reiss. Requires Extended BASIC, 32K and Disk. See also MICROpendium Nov90, p.36.
TRACKSMITH: PO Box 738 Cooper Station, NY 10276 company which released Horse Racing Handicapper on cassette for $34.95 in September 1983.
TRAMIEL, JACK: Founder of Commodore Business Machines and the driving force behind Commodore's victory over Texas Instruments in the Home Computer Wars of 1982-83. Quit his position at Commodore in January 1984 when Irving Gould, a Canadian financier whom Tramiel was in debt to, returned only 10% of Tramiel's stock in Commodore when Jack turned the company around and had it making millions. Tramiel then bought Atari from Warner Communications for next to nothing and turned it into a profitable company for a few years, before it was absorbed by a disk drive company in the early 1990s and disappeared forever.
During Tramiel's early days at Atari he brought out the ST line and surrounded it with a lot of fanfare and marketing hype. Among the most remembered hype was "The Atari Ten Commandments":
* 01. We shall create a computer that will be a landmark in the history of computers.
* 02. We shall create a computer that is as smart as the buy who buy it.
* 03. We shall create a computer that sets a new standard for speed and performance.
* 04. We shall create a computer that lets consumers choose what is right for them.
* 05. We shall create a computer that gives consumers power without the price.
* 06. We shall create a computer that is as powerful in the music studio as it is in the office.
"Jack Tramiel Survival and Starting Over" -- from "Everything in History Was Against Them," Fortune magazine, April 13, 1998
Only 10 when the Nazis marched into his city of Lodz, Poland, in 1939, Jack Tramiel (then named Idek Tramielski) initially had a kid's thrilled reaction to the sheer spectacle of the scene: weapons glinting in the sun, soldiers goose-stepping, planes overhead. "It was a fantastic thing," he remembers.
Jack Tramiel Silicon Valley Founder, Commodore Intl. Reality crashed down after that. Lodz's Jews -- one-third of the city's 600,000 people -- were ordered out of their homes and into a crowded ghetto. For nearly five years Jack (an only child) and his parents lived there in one room, scavenged for food, and worked -- his father at shoemaking, Jack in a pants factory. The faces that the Tramiels saw in the ghetto changed constantly: Jews left, new Jews came in, often from other countries. Later Tramiel learned that the Jewish leader of the ghetto was parceling out its residents to the Germans, believing that the community would be left in relative peace as long as he periodically delivered up a contingent of its residents for deportation -- and no doubt extermination.
In August 1944 the Tramiels themselves were herded into railroad cars, told they were going to Germany to better themselves, and instead shipped to Auschwitz. Jack's most vivid memory of the three-day trip is that each person received a whole loaf of bread as a ration -- a feast beyond his imagination. At journey's end, the men were separated from the women (at which point Jack lost track of his mother) and then themselves split into two groups, one permitted for the time being to live, the other sent to Auschwitz's gas chambers. Jack and his father were thumbed into the group that survived.
A few weeks later, Jack and his father were "examined" by the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele and thumbed again into a survivors line. "What do you mean -- examined?" Tramiel is asked. "He touched my testicles. He judged whether we were strong enough to work." Having passed, Tramiel and his father were transported to a spot just outside Hanover, Germany, and there set to building a concentration camp into whose barracks they themselves moved. In weather that was often bitter cold, they worked in thin, pajama-like garments, and they grew increasingly emaciated on a deprivation diet: watery "soup" and bread in the morning, and a potato, bread, and more "soup" at night.
By December 1944 the Tramiels were assigned to different work crews and seeing each other only occasionally. At one of their meetings the father told the son that many young people in the camp were managing to smuggle food to their elders -- and why hadn't Jack done that for his father? Stung, Jack studied for days how to deal with an electric fence that stood between him and an SS kitchen and finally succeeded in burrowing his thin frame under it to steal food -- one potato and some peels. But when he got the food to his father, malnutrition had gripped the older man and grossly swollen his body. He could not eat. Soon after, he died in the camp's infirmary. Later, Jack learned that the death was directly caused by an injection of gasoline into his father's veins.
As the winter stretched into the spring of 1945, Jack Tramiel himself grew increasingly fatalistic. But then a strange end-of-the-war tableau unfolded. First, the Germans vanished from the camp; second, the Red Cross moved in briefly, overfed the prisoners to the point that some died, and then left; third, the Germans returned and then vanished again. On their heels came two American soldiers -- "20-foot-tall black men, the first blacks I'd ever seen," says Tramiel -- who loomed in a barracks door, peered at the prisoners hiding beneath the straw of their bunks, said something in English that one Jew gleaned as "More Americans will be coming," and left. Next a tank rolled up. In it stood a Jewish chaplain in dress uniform, who declared in Yiddish: "You are free," and told the tank to move on. These were troops of the advancing American Army, the month was April 1945, and Tramiel was 16.
Tramiel, today 69 and a fireplug in build, stayed in Europe for more than two years after his liberation, and many of his recollections of those days concern food: how he tricked his way into a sanitarium to a rich, and shamefully fattening, diet; how he gorged happily while working in an American Army kitchen; how he did other odd jobs for "money or food." But he also learned during this time that his mother was alive and back again in Lodz. He saw her there but then left, resolved by that time to marry a concentration-camp survivor he'd met, Helen Goldgrub, and go with her to the U.S.
The two wed in Germany in July 1947. They got to the U.S. separately, though -- he first, in November of that year. His confidence, strengthened by what he'd survived, bordered on hubris: "I figured I could handle just about anything," he says. He started out living at a Jewish agency, HIAS, in New York City; got a job as a handyman at a Fifth Avenue lamp store; learned English from American movies; and at their end pigged out on chocolate instead of eating regular dinners.
Then, in early 1948, he did the improbable, joining the U.S. Army. By the time he left it four years later, he'd been reunited with his wife and fathered a son (the first of three). The Army had also pointed him to a career by putting him in charge of repairing office equipment in the New York City area.
When Tramiel checked back into civilian life, he entered a long period of close encounters with machines that typed words and manipulated numbers. He first worked, at $50 a week, for a struggling typewriter-repair shop. Using his Army connections, Tramiel got the owner a contract to service several thousand machines. "The guy flipped," says Tramiel, but did not give his enterprising employee a raise. "I have no intention of working for people who have no brains," said Tramiel to the owner, and quit.
Tramiel then bought a typewriter shop in the Bronx. He did repair work for Fordham University and, when he once got a chance to buy scads of used typewriters, rebuilt and resold them. He next prepared to import machines from Italy but found he could get the import exclusivity he wanted only by moving to Canada. It was in Toronto, in 1955, that he founded a company he called Commodore, an importer and eventually a manufacturer of both typewriters and adding machines. Why Commodore? Because Tramiel wanted a name with a military ring and because higher ranks, such as General and Admiral, were already taken.
Commodore went public in 1962 at a Canadian bargain-basement price of $2.50 a share -- a deal that raised funds Tramiel needed to pay off big loans he'd gotten from a Canadian financier named C. Powell Morgan, head of Atlantic Acceptance. Deep trouble erupted in the mid-1960s when Atlantic, to which Commodore was almost joined at the hip, went bankrupt, amid charges of fraudulent financial statements, dummy companies, and propped stock prices. Tramiel was never charged with illegalities, but an investigative commission concluded that he was probably not blameless. In any case, the Canadian financial establishment ostracized him. Struggling to keep Commodore itself out of bankruptcy, he was forced in 1966 to give partial control of the company to Canadian investor Irving Gould.
Commodore's line then was still typewriters and adding machines, but the electronics revolution was under way and setting up shop in Silicon Valley. Tramiel himself moved there in the late 1960s and soon, displaying a speed-to-market talent that has characterized his whole life, had Commodore pumping out electronic calculators. In time, one product, a hand-held calculator, grew so popular that it was self-destructive: The company that supplied Commodore with semiconductor chips, Texas Instruments, decided to produce calculators itself -- selling them at prices that Commodore couldn't match.
With Commodore again reeling, Tramiel vowed never again to be at the mercy of a vital supplier. In 1976 he made a momentous acquisition: MOS Technology, a Pennsylvania chip manufacturer that also turned out to be extravagantly nurturing about 200 different R&D projects. Tramiel, a slash-and-burn, early-day Al Dunlap in management style, killed most of the projects immediately. But he listened hard when an engineer named Chuck Peddle told him the company had a chip that was effectively a microcomputer. And small computers, said Peddle, "are going to be the future of the world."
Willing to take a limited gamble, Tramiel told Peddle that he and Tramiel's second son, Leonard, then getting a Columbia University astrophysics degree, had six months to come up with a computer Commodore could display at an upcoming Comdex electronics show. They made the deadline. "And everyone loved the product," says Tramiel, relishingly rolling out its name, PET, for Personal Electronic Transactor. Unfortunately, this was potentially an expensive pet, carrying a lot of risk -- and demanding, says Tramiel, "a lot of money I still did not have." So he determined to gauge demand by running newspaper ads that offered six-week delivery on a computer priced at $599, a seductive figure on which Tramiel thought he could still make a profit. The ads appeared, and a hugely encouraging $3 million in checks came back.
Commodore got to the market with its computer in 1977, the same year that Apple and Tandy put their micros on sale. In the next few years, Tramiel drove those competitors and others wild by combatively pushing prices down and down, to levels like $200. He also became famous for rough treatment of suppliers, customers, and executives -- and about it all was fiercely unrepentant. "Business is war," he said. "I don't believe in compromising. I believe in winning."
Which is what he did in those early years for computers, leading Commodore to $700 million in sales in fiscal 1983 and $88 million in profits. At its peak price in those days, the stock that Tramiel had sold in 1962 at a price of $2.50 a share was up to $1,200, and his 6.5% slice of the company was worth $120 million.
But then, in early 1984, just as annual sales were climbing above $1 billion, Tramiel clashed with a Commodore stockholder mightier than he, Irving Gould -- and when the smoke had cleared, Tramiel was out. The nature of their quarrel was never publicly disclosed. Today, however, Tramiel says he wanted to "grow" the company, and Gould didn't.
Commodore was really Tramiel's last hurrah. True, he surfaced again quickly in the computer industry, agreeing later in 1984 to take over -- for a pittance -- Warner Communications' floundering Atari operation. But in a business changing convulsively as IBM brought out its PC and the clones marched in, Atari was a loser and ultimately a venture into which Tramiel was unwilling to sink big money. Eventually he folded Atari into a Silicon Valley disk-drive manufacturer, JTS, in which he has a major interest but plays no operational role.
Today Tramiel is basically retired and managing his money. From four residences, he's cut down to one, a palatial house atop a foothill in Monte Sereno, Calif. In its garage are two Rolls-Royces, a type of luxury to which Tramiel has long been addicted.
Naturally, charity fundraisers look Tramiel up. When those for the Holocaust Memorial Museum appeared, he at first thought of it as just one more philanthropic cause to be supported. But his wife, Helen, 69, who spent her concentration camp days at Bergen-Belsen, is intensely aware that both she and her husband survived what millions of other Jews did not. "No," she said adamantly, "for this one we have to go all out."
TRASHMAN: One of nine titles announced by Funware president Michael Brouthers at the June 1983 Consumer Electronics Show as forthcoming for the 99/4A by September 1, 1983. The nine titles included: Ambulance, Ant Colony, Astroblitz, Cave Creatures, Crisis Mountain, Driving Demon, Pipes, Saint Nick and Trashman. Only three of the titles announced actually made it into production (Ambulance, Driving Demon and St. Nick).
TRAVER, BARRY A.: Ordained minister who was among the strongest supporters of the TI Community during the life of the TI-99/4A and after the computer's death at the hands of parent Texas Instruments. Revernd Traver is best known for creating the Genial Traveler diskazine, the first disk magazine for the TI-99/4A. But an equally important contribution was his September 1987 release of an Extended BASIC file Archiver, which was the 'father' of he archiving programs that followed. Traver remained active in the TI Community until the early to mid 1990s when eye sight problems limited his ability to participte in 'things TI'.
TREASURE ISLAND: PHM 3168 - Released 4Q/1983 - MSRP $29.95 - A relatively rare game cartridge that was licensed from Data East in late 1983. According to the documentation (1053590-1068), "Treasure Island is sinking! Your only hope for survival lies at the top of the island. Can you grab the treasures and escape the monsters and gorillas in time to climb to safety?" The goal is to Avoid apes, Battle Bats. Flail at falling rocks. And save the treasure. Joysticks are supported by not the use of the Solid State Speech Synthesizer. In the game you get to explore for ruby lamps and golden crowns, all within easy reach, but you run into a problem when the island starts to sink and you must climb to the top in order to avoid drowning. You try to grab as many treasures along the way as you can, while still avoiding the apes, bats etc. As I said, this Data East game was a late bloomer for the 99/4A, appearing AFTER the October 28, 1983 announcement by TI that it was leaving the Home Computer Market and thus ceasing production on the 99/4A. It appears in the "Important Notice" flyer sent out by TI CEO Jerry Junkins, and my best guess is that this flyer appeared in December 1983.
TREND-TEK CORP: Manufacturers of a joystick holder for the TI-99/4A in 1983. See ad in Compute! magazine May83, p.284.
TRIPLE TECH CARD: See CorComp Triple Tech Card.
TRIS: Asgard Software #FE-14a ($24.95 TI-99/4A cartridge in 1989 catalog), #FE-15b ($24.95 Myarc Geneve 9640 disk in 1989 catalog), E01a ($19.95 TI-99/4A cartridge in 1990 catalog), #E01b ($9.95 Myarc Geneve 9640 disk in 1990 catalog), #E9109 ($19.95 TI-99/4A cartridge in 1992 catalog), #E9110 ($9.95 Myarc Geneve 9640 disk in 1992 catalog) - Released 1989 -- A Jim Reiss authored TI-99/4A and Geneve 9640 version of the popular game Tetris. Definitely not a common cartridge. For the collector, if you find it at a yard sale, flea market, on eBay or whatever, I'd buy it. I don't think many were produced. I have no information on the number of games sold on disk for the Geneve, but it is commonly batted around the TI Community that no more than 1,000 Geneves were ever manufactured, and it is highly unlikely that one Tris game was sold for every Geneve in existence. The Asgard catalog reads, "An extremely addictive mind-teaser! In Tris you must rotate and move colorful, falling shapes to fill in the holes in the bottom of the screen. Completed rows disappear but incomplete ones just cause the screen to fill up! Simple to play but difficult to master, Tris will challenge and amaze for hours. This novel game is based on the popular Russian program that perpetually tops the best-seller lists for IBM and Apple software, but it has better sound effects and color than any version ever produced! By Jim Reiss and Asgard Software."
TRITON CATALOG NUMBERS: Click here for list of Triton Catalog Numbers and the products they represented.
TRITON TURBO XT BRIDGE BOX: Remember this Craig Miller produced piece of hardware? It was an impressive looking device that connected your TI-99/4A console to a PC Clone chassis called the Triton Turbo XT. It appeared on the scene in March 1987 after a lot of secretive fanfare and speculation, mostly initiated by Craig Miller himself. He announced an un-named product that he had produced for a "major American company" on the TI SIGs like CompuServe's TI Forum. When the dust settled, the product turned out to be the Bridge Box. When Triton first offered the Turbo XT one could purchase it with the standard PC keyboard, or with the Bridge Box. For reasons unknown to me, they would not sell the Bridge Box separately. It was an either or situation. The $499.95 Turbo XT came with one or the other, but not both, not at any price. By the Summer of 1989 though, you could buy the Bridge Box for $29.95 since Triton had stopped selling the Turbo XT and all of the related PC products. I wish I had bought one, just as a curiosity, but I didn't. Guess I'll have to be content with the pictures in my catalogs.
TRONICS INC.: A Sales and Distribution company founded in Fort Worth, TX in July 1981 by Jody Black. Tronics became known as the Shaklee of home computers by pioneering the sales of Texas Instruments TI-99/4A and its accessories, peripherals and software via a 'door-to-door' type of distributorship. At the height of the company's successes, it was even able to strike a deal with Scott, Foresman and Company to distribute their TI-99/4A cartridges with the Tronics Label on the cartridge.
TRS-80: One of the early personal computers from Tandy Corporation of Ft. Worth, TX. In December 1979 the 4K Level I starter system retailed for $499. The 16K Level II Advanced System retailed for $849.
TRS-90: The prototype name of Tandy's Color Computer before it was released. An excellent web site containing , The COCO Chronicles, may be found at http://www.cs.edu/~yakowenk/coco/text/history/html for more information.
TUNNELS OF DOOM: PHM 3042 - Released 2Q/1982 - MSRP $59.95 - An entertainment, role playing cartridge written by TI employee Kevin Kenney, who was laid off by Texas Instruments shortly after the release of his work on this software project. The package came with diskette PHD 5073 or cassette PHT 6073, containing fantasy adventures named Pennies and Quest. Although the Tunnels of Doom cartridge has gained increased popularity since the demise of the TI-99/4A in October 1983, my impression is that it was not the big hit that TI hoped for after its release. In my opinion that is not due to the game nor its author, but rather to the $60 price tag that TI burdened the product with right out of the chute. According to the documentation (1037109-42), " Enter a world of fantasy where your instincts and imagination determine your chances of survival. Your journey is about to begin -- prepare yourself. " I have never seen a new 1053590 instruction manual for this program, which lends further creedence to my assumption that an adequate amount of the original manuals existed. To support my belief that the program really was a good, entertaining effort on the part of Mr. Kenney, after TI left the Home Computer market, and Tunnels of Doom (or TOD as it is more commonly known) became more affordable, 3rd party authors created an editor for, and several new adventures such as Volcano Fortress.
User Comments: This is the classic Dungeons and Dragons game in module form. The object is to send a party of from one to four players into a Dungeon to retrieve a King, his Crown, and his Orb of Power. the players are assigned certain characreristics including Hero, Fighter, Rouge, and Wizard. The party is then given some gold pieces and placed in a general weapons store. Here you spend your gold in the best possible manner to outfit your group for battle. the dungeon can e from 1 to 10 floors deep. Each floor has more than 20 rooms on it that are filled with anything from horrible monsters, to spells, gold, fountains, and traps. The graphics in theis game are quite good. The action is not arcade type, rather it is more of a strategy game where your wit will determine how you fare. On moderate level, with a party of 3 playing, in a dungeon of 10 floors, the averge game will last between 5 and 10 hours. Obviously, you are given the opportunity to save the game at any point. If you enjoy strategy games, or have ever wondered just what Dungeons and Dragons was like, then this should be a must for you.
TUNNELS OF DOOM COMMANDS and VOCABULARY: KEYBOARD COMMANDS <ENTER>-Inputs information; Passes a player's turn during combat; Leaves a treasure in a room; Returns from buying items in a stire's subcategory, from using the item, and from selecting an item at a living statue.E,S,D and X - moves your party through hallways and rooms in the four compass directions E=north, S=west, X=south, D=east.
* Fctn X-moves your party down a flight of staris.
* Fctn E-moves your party up a flight of stairs.
* Fctn 3-Erases your selection if pressed before you press the <ENTER> key.
* Fctn 5-begins the game.
* Fctn 6-Proceeds to the next display or action, or Leaves the store.
* Fctn 7-Displays the Command Summary of special key functions.
* Fctn 8-Changes information and enters new information, and also Refuses monster's price during negotiations.
* Fctn 9-Returns to the game screen from looking at a status report, map or Command Summary screen.
* 1-shows player status report.
* 2-shows party status report.
* 3-shows monster status report.
* B-enables the party to break through a door.
* C-checks for secret doors.
* F-fires a ranged weapon.
* K-saves the game.
* L-enables the party to listen at a door which is adjacent to and facing the party.
* M-shows the map.
* N-negotiates with monsters during a battle.
* O-changes party formation.
* T-trades items between players exceot during a battle.
* U-enables a player to use a magic item.
* W-changes a player's weapons.
* VOCABULARY ARMOR-used in defense during combat. It decreases the enemy's chance of hitting a player.
* BONUS-affects a character's combat chances; inherent in a player rather than from an object the player carries.
* CLASS-defines the player's skills and the limitations of his trade.
* DAMAGE-determines the amount of wounds a monster can take before being eliminated. For weapons and monster attacks, refers to the relative amount of wounding each can do to an enemy during combat.
* EXPERIENCE-refers to the points received by a player for eliminating a monster. Experience controls the levels of a player's abilities.
* HIT POINTS-determines the number of wounds a player can take before becoming disabled.
* ITEM-indicates a treasure with special powers.
* LEVEL-indicates a player's or monster's overall abilities.
* LUCK-refers to one of a player's abilities.
* OBJECT-refers to anything in the dungeon that can have the quality being discussed.
* OPTION-relates to the set of commands a player can choose from at any given time.
* PARTY-refers to the group of players exploring the dungeon.
* QUEST OBJECT-relates to any of those items the party is searching for in the dungeon.
* TREASURE-indicates those items that can be found in the dungeon--gold, weapons and armor, magic items, and quest objects.
* WOUNDS-refers to the amount of damage the player has received.
TULIP COMPUTERS BV: голландская компания, в апреле 1994 года купившая право на имя "Commodore" и все права на компьютер "Commodore 64" после ухода из бизнеса компаний "Commodore Electronics" и "Commodore International".
TURTLE NEWS: "Новости Черепашки" - бюллетень, издававшийся "Ассоциацией Юных Пользователей LOGO", созданной сотрудником корпорации "Texas Instruments" Джимом Мюллером (Jim Muller). 15 долларов за годовое членство в Ассоциации следовало выслать по адресу 1208 Hillsdale Dr, Richardson, TX 75081.
TURTLE TRACKS: turtle tracks Scholastic Inc. - SCH 100 - Released 1983 - MSRP $39.95 -- Cassette software that teaches the use of a simple programming language to draw pictures and patterns and make melodies. Players use tracks of a turtle to paint outlandish designs and scenes and pick up programming skills. 32K memory required and Extended BASIC required. Designed and developed by Thomas R. Smith for Scholastic Inc. No doubt the marketing department came up with the idea to make the box, the instruction manual and even the flyer inside the box that hawks Microzine, Electronic Party, Square Pairs and Your VIC-20 in the oblique design you see to the left. I will admit it is 'different', but hardly convenient. While it may have been designed to catch the eye on the retailer's shelf, it is quite difficult to store amongst other boxes because it simply does not 'fit' anywhere. In my opinion, I would rather have seen something less cutesy and more functional, but I guess it's too late now?
TYPWRITER: Extended Software - Released 1981 - MSRP $29.95 disk / $27.95 tape -- A word processor for the TI-99/4A written in Extended BASIC, written by Jim Schwaller, capable of running on cassette tape in a 16K environment, or on cassette tape or floppy disk in a 32K environment. From the instruction manual, "Typwriter is a revised and up-dated version of the original TI-PWRITER word processor, first produced in the fourth quarter of 1981. TI-PWRITER was compatible with the 99/4 model as well as the 99/4A model. It provided access to both upper and lower case letters even though the 99/4 only had uppercase keys. TI-PWRITER is still available in limited quantity for those who might have the 99/4. TYPWRITER was originally advertised as TI-PWRITER/A, but it was so different in its final form that the name TI-PWRITER/A was permanently changed to TYPWRITER. The TYPWRITER, TI-PWRITER/A and TI-PWRITER programs, instructions and names are copyrighted products and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of Extended Software Company 11987 Cedarcreek Drive Cincinnati, OH 45240 (513-825-6645)."
Quite frankly, I have always enjoyed using the program. While anyone can argue that it is arcane, as any word processor forced to operate in a limited RAM, 28 column screen environment would be, it is slow, as any word processor written in Extended BASIC would be, it is still one of the cleverest XB word processors to appear on the scene prior to the August 1982 release of TI Writer by Texas Instruments. During its time it filled a void in the 99/4A software ranks and did so with style and grace in my opinion. TYPWRITER even provides mail merge capabilities when used in conjunction with the NAME-IT mailing list data base, also from Extended Software.
Ultimately, TYPWRITER would become a freebie offering from Roger Dooley's Tenex Computer Express, to those who purchased the MicroPal (Tenex) licensed version of TI Extended BASIC. I don't know how many copies of the program were sold prior to the deal that Mr. Schwaller worked with Mr. Dooley , but my guess is that there were hundreds sold.