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TI-99/4a Console

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Read articles about the TI99/4a.    
This web page contains links to a good collection of articles on this web site, of interest to users of the TI99/4a computer and its emulators. The vast majority of the articles have been extracted from user group magazines published in England. Quite a few of the articles were written by me. Although these pages do not seem to have any visitors, I am persisting with adding more articles where the magazines are not to be found elsewhere on the Internet.
TI-99/4 badge Where to find manuals for software- games, utilities, anything.

What's new? || Jump to: TIdings | TI*MES || Other sources

NEW 2023: A small pdf document with a few book reviews by me, which may be useful now so many books can be found online.
. Articles on the TI99/4 Disk System by Colin Hinson, in one PDF document- DSR use, CPU and VDP memory use, data layout on disk, etc with added section 18 of the Editor Assembler Manual for convenience.
NEW 2022: rambles_compendium.pdf- from 1987-1993 a selection of Rambles from TI*MES in a 250 page searchable 862kb document which includes the smaller document "Rambles Recovered".
Rambles Recovered PDF - some text submitted to TI*MES but not used (113k 15pages).    |    also take a look at: One page history of the TI-99/4 with prototype pics

Presentation made in 2015 at the 30th Treffen held in Crewe, by Stephen Shaw, covering the development of the English TI-99/4a User Groups and dedicated English TI-99/4a magazines.

Jan Alexandersson's two 1988 disks of source code and descriptions of ALL the extra PRK and Stats calls including the CALLS with a single low value character eg CALL 0 A  together with how to use them.

UK magazines for users of the TI-99/4a Home Computer

What UK magazines were there about the TI99/4a?

Personal Computer News was a weekly magazine which had some serious coverage of the TI99/4a, including two articles by me covering efficient programming on the slow limited memory machine, and a technical article on how programs were stored internally and how a program could overwrite itself (articles dated 6/5/83 and 7/9/83). Plus a letter on the use of logical operators on the TI99/4a. There is also part of a review of my book from an Australian edition of Your Computer.

TIdings was the magazine of the original UK TI99/4A User Group (TI Home) originated by Paul Dicks - articles appear below

TI*MES was a user group magazine originally produced by Clive Scally which was the effective descendant of TI Home and ran and ran for many years - articles to be found below. From issue 16 Clive handed the running over to voluntary committee management.

TI Home Computer Users Club was a commercial thin magazine arranged by Texas Instruments for UK TI99/4A users, to take over from TI HOME which was being swamped. First magazine. It was produced by a PR company and its fate was sealed when TI immediately stopped selling the computer. has issues 1 to 4 in pdf format - issue 1 as Autumn 1983-1, issue 2 as 1984 Winter, Issue 3 twice, as Autumn 1983-2 and Autumn 1984, and Issue 4 as Winter 1985.
I have issue 5 of the TIHCUC magazine which was very thin- three pages of adverts and five of "editorial". Listings and several reviews and articles were not published but were mentioned and were available if you sent a self addressed stamped envelope to them for each article you wished to see. Issue 5 mentioned two further issues- not seen. I can't OCR Issue 5, but have made it available as an ODT (Open Document Text- but it contains embedded images not text) file or separate jpg images.
Issue 5 did say the mailing list was being passed to someone in Edinburgh who would continue support- but nothing was ever heard of them. Rumour reaches me from Belgium that Edinburgh issued four magazines, but I have still to see one.

TI-USER was a small magazine for UK TI99/4a users published by a retailer (Galaxy) in Maidstone.
The first issue of TI User ||    TI-user issue two | |    TI-User Issue 3
Issue 4: Book reviews; Module news; IUG; Call Key; random numbers; Mini Memory Assembly.
I also have issues 5 and 6 but the print copy is not good enough for me to use here.
However, after a great deal of clean up work issue 5 is now available in pdf format (also issues 1-4) from: TI-User in PDF format
Thanks to Ciro for his hard work! (To see his site I have to use a proxy.)

TI-LINES from Oxon TI-Users (Later renamed International TI-Lines from ITUG) was a privately produced magazine for UK TI99/4A users produced by Peter Brooks then in Oxford.
From 1984: First issue of TI-Lines, April 1984. | | No 2 May 1984 | |    Issue 3 of TI-Lines
Issue 4 of TI-Lines |    TI-Lines 5 (August 1984) |    TI-Lines 6 and 7 |    TI-Lines 8 |    TI-Lines 9| |    TI-Lines 10
TI-Lines 11 (a long article on CALL H) in Enhanced (or PRK) Basic.|    TI Lines 12 and 13 about CALL G.

Also please see the scanned collection of TI-Lines at whtech. As time permits I will try to add a few more copies- I have the first three years worth. Peter later moved to America.
From TI Lines, July to December 1986: Articles on the TI99/4 Disk System by Colin Hinson

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Parco Magazine was another retailer produced magazine from Parco of Honiton. Issue One was the one and only joint venture magazine with Albert Visser of Holland (with contents mostly from Holland) but as things didn't work out, from issue two it was a production of Parco.
Originating in the English language this time, Issue 2 of Parco Magazine, most of the content was fairly unreadable listings, which I have had to omit- I was never able to read them. Parco Magazine 3 (Feb 85): Programming: Fast Random Number 0-254; Call Sound; Sprites; Horizontal Scroll; Module Reviews: Popeye; Fathom; V2.2 console module problems
Parco issue 4    | |  Parco Issues 5 and 6-module and book reviews.
   pdfs of Parco Magazines from up to v2n4.

Finally- the United States Air Force was protecting us, and provided a good market for US products such as the TI99/4a. From one US air base in England came the magazine of the East Anglia Region 99ers. have 17 issues from 1987-88.
One article by Colin Hinson from the October/November 1988 issues was worth re-typing -
now you can read in detail about the TI disk peripheral system, and read how the 4a stored files on floppy disks.
First Issue May 1987 with DV80 to DV163 -text to merge format; Long list of CALL LOADs; Printer Control Codes using Control U or Transliterate; Buckaroo Banzai Adventure hints and map.
Issue 2 June 1987   |    Issue 3,4,5, July-Sept 1987. Two adventure hints and mini memory file storage.
From 1989, content of East Anglia Region 99ers magazine issues dated February, March and April 1989 containing Meet Scott and JoAnn; Programming Multicoloured text; Assembly: Joysticks; Adventure program hints (Plundered Hearts, Leather Goddesses, Spellbreaker); Disk Peripheral DSR documentation.

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TIdings from TIhome

TIdings and TI*MES both initially contained a considerable amount of technical and programming information and continue to be goldmines for users of the emulators.

PDF copies of TIdings are at TIdings on wht via

See the list of TIdings content available on this website in HTML format.
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TIdings 1981 First ever three issues of the UK User Group Newsletter TIdings, from way back in 1981. [ zip file of Issue 1 TIF images scanned from the whole magazine]
[ Issue 2 zip file of TIF images scanned from the whole magazine] [ Issue 3 zip file of TIF images scanned from the whole magazine]
TIdings July 1981- issue 4. Large article on Boolean operators and various news.
TIdings September 1981- issue 5 with the first news of the hidden Basic commands Call A and Call D.
TIdings December 1981 - issue 6 full of historic hints and tips for owners of the TI99/4a computer (and now, its emulations).

Summary of TIdings 7 to 9 (1982) - to cut down the irrelevant material, I'll move on to quoting relevant historic and technical matters from later issues. The ninth issue was Volume 2 Number 3. There are numerous graphics routines including the first appearance of Pete Brooks "Designs for Fun". An article on how programs are stored in memory (useful if you need to save memory).

Rambles from TIdings issue 10, August 1982 including A program that rewrites itself, Using a Personal Record Keeping database with TI Basic, Using a PRK datafile to hold array values, Graphics Mode 3 and Range and accuracy of Call Sound

Rambles from TIdings Issues 11 and 12 October and December 1982 including hints on program debugging.

TIdings March 1983, (Volume 3 Number 1) - almost all of the March 1983 issue of TIdings split into five parts:
Part One includes Babbling Brooks, Beginners Basic (If Then Else) and an introduction to 9900 Assembly Language.
Part Two includes Programming For-Next Loops and is mostly written by Peter Brooks.
Part Three Mostly Rambles by Stephen Shaw, includes the differences between the 99/4 and the 99/4a, saving data (not programs) to cassette and to minimemory; using sprites in TI Basic; a program that writes itself; reviews of Mindstorms and Cubic Circular; and first words on the 99/2 and the CC-40 (which did not make it to market).
Part Four
Part Five: 4A Keyboard Size; Basic: Using DATA; New 99/2; New DLM Modules; Listings: Paint Pallette and Pattern Maker; Reviews of: Adventure; Starship Pegasus; Winging It. has TIdings in pdf format for every issue, complete.

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Rambles from TI*MES

Rambles first appeared in TIdings and then transferred to TI*MES from issue 2, and was then in almost every issue for many years. Issues without Rambles were typically due to delays in the delivery of previous editions leading to too short a time to submit fresh material, or later, changes in the editor (and where to send copy) that I was not aware of.

PDF copies of the first 50 plus issues of TI*MES are at WHT via -for current listing has TI*MES, mostly in pdf format, for Issue 1 (Summer 1983) to Issue 50, complete, and lots more.

The html format content below is not complete- I have concentrated on articles that I wrote (lack of time to retype everything)

If your browser stops you seeing the content of this section even after clicking "see the list" please let me know. This is just a way to keep visible content manageable(!!!) and can be removed quickly. Cheers.

See the list of TI*MES content available on this website in HTML format.
Hide TI*MES list

Rambles did not appear in TI*MES issue 1.
Rambles from TI*MES 2, Autumn 1983.
Download a clean hi res (600dpi) scan of Issue 2: pdf of all of Issue 2 of UK TI*MES
Rambles from TI*MES 3, Winter 1984. published January 1984, the first issue following TI's withdrawal from the market. This page includes an article by Howard Greenberg (of Arcade Hardware) commencing the history of the Thorn-EMI modules, and a rare article by Ian Godman (of Christine Computing) on flowcharts.
Rambles from TI*MES 4, Spring 1984 including the second part of Ian Godman's article on flowcharts.
Rambles from TI*MES 5, Summer 1984, including a report of a real genuine Thorn EMI module, and an application of the PRK extra calls.
Rambles from TI*MES 6, Autumn 1984 includes a major detailed article on producing SOUND with Extended Basic or Minimemory using faster alternatives to CALL SOUND. Lots of reviews.
Extracts from TI*MES 7 from January 1985. Call Sound program from Sean O'Brien and some animated sprites.
Rambles from TI*MES 8, Spring 1985 with major articles on setting up TI Forth, using TI Basic with Minimemory and lots of reviews.
TI*MES 9 Part 1 Summer 1985 UK User Group Magazine - including book reviews, brief TI Forth, TI Logo and SXB items, using less memory in your programs, and a lengthy article on VDP Registers and accessing them in Basic with Mini Memory module.
TI*MES 9 Part 2 - speech hint; disabling quit key; reviews of COMPUTE! books

TI*MES 10 Autumn 1985 - another bumper issue with notes on fractured files and disk repair, using TI Basic POS, DATA, Extended Basic Prescan, Enhanced Basic with PRK, printing graphics with TI Writer, faster trig functions (cos, sin, tan) in Basic and Forth, TI Forth music and speech.
Rambles from TI*MES 11 from Winter 1985/6. Includes an XB scroll down routine, using sprites in TI Basic with no modules or peripherals; using TI Forth inputs and loops; and reviews.
Text from TI*MES 12, Spring 1986. Includes a report of a visit with Myarc, samples of code for TI Logo, TI Forth, TI USCD Pascal, Pilot 99. An Editor Assembler quirk. Using ExBas prescan.
Rambles from TI*MES 13 (Summer 1986) mainly a long article on how to use TI Writer plus a few nuggets on using ram files with MiniMemory and a different description of how the TI stores data on floppy disks (detailed description of sectors 0, 1 and 2).

Rambles from TI*MES 14 mainly a long article on how to use the language c99, plus a first review of the Myarc 512k ram card, and a short graphics routine showing how Myarc XB II used graphics.
Rambles from TI*MES15 mostly a long article on benchmarks including samples of different languages for the TI99/4a, and a very lengthy detailed review of Myarc Extended Basic Version 2.12, plus an article on using data files on cassette and a short handy list of TI Writer Editor key commands.
Rambles from TI*MES 16 (Spring 1987) is a very short entry for this the last issue of TI*MES to come from Clive Scally before The Committee took over. One machine code routine for Extended Basic to search a string array. Novel input of assembly object code using TI Writer. Farewell from Howard Greenberg. Farewell to John Rice. Article by Ray Kazmer on transferring pictures to a TI graphic image.

Rambles from TI*MES 17, 18 and 19. Items from the first three magazines produced by The Committee. Includes: Basic Programming Tips; c99 Oddities: Using #include; Useful CALL LOADs for ExBas; DATA Statements in Basic programs;, copying TI-Forth disks;, how to input a floating point number in TI Forth; lining up display of decimal numbers - Ex Bas; Operating System Oddities - Call Key; controlling Sprites in ExBas using CALL LOADs; Turbo Pasc 99 - an introduction and benchmarks; using Centre Text (CE) with TI Writer Formatter and of course, introducing The New Committee
pdf of TI*MES UK 18

Items from TI*MES 20 (April-June 1988) - bumper issue covering: Basic: Avoiding IF...THEN; Overusing GOTO; Basic Garbage Collection; On Warning and On Error; Enhanced Basic CALL A and CALL D; Book Reviews: Orphan Chronicles; Beginners Guide to Assembly Language for the TI99/4A; Crash Course in Pascal; Hidden Powers of Disk Fixer and also Fortran; Game News: Diablo; Timeless Software / Ian Martin; Auto load disk menu; Criticisms of Rambles; Tony McGovern writes about Funlweb 4; and Editor Assembler Manual corrections. Phew.

Items from TI*MES 21 July 1988. Items include: What program is (disk file) for?; Caring for magnetic tapes ; Basic: Number correct to N places; Unreadable Display Variable 80 files; Debugging Ed/As file ASSM2; Basic with PRK/Stats- Enhanced Basic Part 2- CALLS: L,P,H,G,S.

Articles from issues 22 and 23 of TI*MES: How an Extended Basic program can tell if Alphalock is down before you press a key; Report on the Alternative Micro Show 1988; Printing with TI Writer or Funlwriter and Controlling the cassette motor and audio.

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Major set of articles from TI*MES 24 and 25, Spring and Summer 1989, with lots on basic programming and hi res graphics: Basic Programming: Solving apples and pears problems; Call Sound inaccuracy; Practical programming: playing with digits; Extended Basic very fast colour changing; Writing your own Extended Basic subprograms with samples; TI writer (and Funlwriter) tips; Graphics Demo programs: Peter Maurer Rose Curves; Lisajou Curves and the G language; Barry Martin's Mapping, Hopalong; Chairmans Farewell; Reports on: Bloxwich Workshop April 1989; Alternative Micro Show April 1989; Review: Triton Super Extended Basic; Triton SXB program to print TI Artist pictures. Phew.

Rambles from TI*MES 26, Autumn 1989: Report on Romiley meeting; Programming: Rounding in Basic Functions; Leaving Loops. Graphics Programs: More Martin Mapping; Attractors; Three routines in G; Small Logo routine. Reviews: PagePro; Book Reviews: Armchair Universe; Lisp; Fractals Everywhere; Science of Fractal Images; TI Base

Articles from TI*MES 27: Basic: Faster Basic Programs; Finding Nth root; Compacting Data; Myarc VAL function; Translate PRK data to DV80; Speech and the TI99/4a; Review: TI Sort; 3rd Alternative Micro Show; Graphics Extended Basic Hi Resolution plotting; Freeform Art; Henon Mapping ; Random Stars; Farewell to: John Guion; Guy Stefan-Romano

Items from TI*MES 28, Spring 1990. I have omitted some long listings, but left in a number of module reviews. There is an interesting article on maintaining variable values after BREAKing a program (and also between programs when one program RUNs another one) and a few general comments.

Rambles from TI*MES 29, Summer 1990. The Sevens Problem - and the first two answers; Graphics on the TI with TML: Points on a circle, Ikeda map, Turtle graphics. More games module reviews.

Articles from TI*MES 30: Console Only Corner- Error proofing; Unlistable basic programs and making them listable; Reviews: Tris module; Balloon Wars; TI Base Version 3; Chaotic Bifurcations as Sound; Graphics: Gingerbread Men ||    Connett Circles

Rambles from TI*MES 31- lots here, especially graphics! Programs for Disk Drives; Fitting and using a load interrupt switch; Puzzles: 50 apples, plus fuel economy; Reported UK user group history; Ed/As module and cassette; BASIC: Switching variable values; Tutorial: user subprograms; ExBas tips: strings, POS, arrays; REVIEWS: Hunchback Havoc; Hang Glider Pilot; Airline; TI Base Utilities; Remind Me; Book: Computers, pattern, chaos and beauty; Rock Runner GRAPHICS routines: Truchet Tiling; Rotate turtle path; Visualise random distribution; Bifurcation plot; Egg tile generation; Random cartoon faces; Connett Circles again; Rotated Random Dots Moire; After Feigenblaum.

Articles from TI*MES 32 and 33 (1991): Extended Basic: Buying Apples, Buns and Cakes; Line Numbers; Randomize Bug; Rems and Tails; Order of Variables; Terminal Emulator 2: Reading Disk Text files aloud Reviews: Book: Magic Machine ; Book: Turing Omnibus Reviews: Backsteine; Certificate 99; Extended Business Graphs; Joy Paint; Picture It; TI Casino; Other: 1991 UK Group AGM; Smith Numbers; Ten Years After

Articles from TI*MES 35: Games module cheat codes; Controlling the cassette motor from Basic; Huge arrays (how to have a numeric array with 8,000 values); Pilot 99- the language, an introduction; Graphics: Popcorn.

Articles from TI*MES 37 with major detailed articles by Mark Schafer on using PRINT USING, and choosing the right way to save data to disk. Plus an article by Jim Peterson on arrays and on sorting.

Articles from TI*MES 38, Autumn 1992. Basic: Easy math program; Date Formats; Graphics: Attractors; Games Review: Mancala; TI Writer: Lower Case file names; Algorithms; Assembly Language Part 1

Articles from TI*MES 39 Winter 92/93. Basic: XB only Pixel plotting; TI Writer for novices; Art of Assembly part 2; Plato courseware; Disk File $$1; Graphics: Feather fractal; Twisted fractal

TI*MES 40 Spring 1993- a thin issue due to emergency editing by someone who didn't have the intended copy and had to use a lot of material from other groups. Original material here includes:- The 49 formula; fast sprite coincidence detection; using joysticks and a horizontal scrolling print display (emphasis on Extended Basic this time.)

TI*MES 41 Summer 1993. Report on 1993 AGM. Major programming articles- sprites, chaining programs, multiple ways of solving a problem with TI Basic (adding fractions), the Koch curve, and advanced c99 programming.

More ti*mes issues to be found on the wht website mostly as pdf documents.
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Other Articles

rambles_compendium.pdf- from 1987-1993 a selection of Rambles from TI*MES in a 250 page searchable 862kb document which includes the smaller document "Rambles Recovered".
Rambles Recovered PDF- longer articles not printed in TI*MES when submitted (15 searchable pages - 113k)

Home Computing Weekly ran a full page on TI99/4a supplier Stainless Software (prop: Stephen Shaw) on 6th September 1983. I didn't write the text OR the headline - but you can read it here The Double Life of Stainless Software's supremo

Personal Computer News was a UK weekly magazine that in 1983 printed a couple of articles by me on how the TI99/4a stores its programs internally with some programming tips. I have also added a bit of an Australian review of my book!

TI Computer Languages (written April 1990) : The sevens problem and solutions in Extended Basic, c99, Turbo Pascal, 9900 Machine Code; Computers available in 1982 and 1984 ; How to make a basic program unLISTable ; Why use old computers?.
TI99/4a Graphics: Includes: Tips on programming menu choices; Using the various TI99/4A graphics programming packages with examples; Jim Peterson's Tips No 65
More graphics, number systems Includes: Hints and Tips from Bill Sponchia; graphics programming listings; Jim Swedlow: TI Bits; and Number systems- hex, dec, bin, nibbles.

Easter Egg
Maths puzzles- program listings. Adding and subtracting fractions, prime numbers, and a math puzzle.
June 99 article (15k)- programming, TI Writer, Module care
Articles by Charles Good and Mike Wright on the TI99/4 and the TI99/4A improvements.
Review of Rapid Copy, JP Drawing, and Addatex software and web site (25k)
Early module programmers- interview with Hank Mishkoff and article on John Phillips (35k).
Pin outs and Addatex-Console pin out details; some hidden program commands and a review of a TI Theme from Addatex.
MBX and Romox MBX Peripheral and MBX and Romox Modules described.

Other sources

The following websites contain significant amounts of information for TI99/4a users: is full of books, magazines, manuals, and programs.
NOTE: A redesign of the whtech front page means I can't see it any more- so I have created my own snapshot archive (12/2023) which this link goes to- there is a link on it to the live whtech front page).

Ron Reuter's Mainbytes        TI Books as PDF files        Thierry Nouspikel's Tech Pages- serious stuff.
Downloadable Manuals for 99/4a software from pixelpedant
Ninerpedia is a principal resource for TI emulation with MAME, and also has lots of other info- registration is required to post, otherwise unrestricted.
Atariage despite the name has a TI forum. (NEW URL Aug 2022). It uses elliptical curve only https and css that crashes my browser- I have to access it using my own css, a proxy server - and I still cannot post documents to it. is not an easy site to find things on but there is plenty there. I mean PLENTY. Make sure to use the section "TI99 Database".

TI Gameshelf a collection of games in bin format for Mess and other emulators, or the FG99 module, and some disk files for emulators. If you redirect to a https page you can't use, try via a proxy.
ti99iuc has some clean documenation to download, some disks to download (for emulators) and lots of information- like how to get composite video from a PAL console- it is in Italian, but there are translation engines, and you will quickly learn the important words.. Uses https and set for using only ONE cipher suite which I can't use, I have to access it via a proxy.
TI GameBase is a 435MB download available from FULL of TI software - cassette, disk and module releases- ready to run on TI99/4a emulators (it includes Classic99, Mess140 and Mess 150), including lots of screen shots.

Where can you find documentation for the software? After visiting the above sites you will see how easy it is to find manuals on pixelpedant and ti99iuc. But which site has what? And how to locate something on wht or atariage? Here is my answer- alphabetic indexes.
manual_index.pdf lists everything I could locate and which web site has it (up to July 2022).
WHT manual index.pdf lists all the software documents on wht and which folder in the website to find it located.
Atariage document index pdf is an alphabetical list with direct links to the specific post holding the manual/document.
Page 1 of Atariage TI-99 - DOCs, Manuals, eBooks, Lost & Found- use prev/next/or select a number to browse (This is an archived copy from August 2022 and does not need elliptical curve https).

What's New?

The following are the latest files to be modified. Latest at the top.
Articles on the TI99/4 Disk System by Colin Hinson
rambles_compendium.pdf- from 1987-1993 a selection of Rambles from TI*MES in a 250 page searchable 862kb document which includes the smaller document "Rambles Recovered".
2022: Rambles Recovered PDF- longer articles not printed in TI*MES when submitted.
2020: History of TI-99/4   ||   NEW 2019: 40 columns in XB+32k
Derived docs for 1980 TI99/4 Advertizer module . ||   New XB plot routine added to TI*MES 27 from Your Computer 1982.
2015 Treffen presentation by Stephen Shaw- development of UK TI99/4a Users Groups and Magazines.

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