Let the Games Begin!

RetroChallenge 2019/03 has officially started! The first item of business was to get my TI stuff out of storage and set it up. I’m pretty sure that this is the same machine that I had in my room as a child. Here is what the setup looks like now.


I had Peripheral Expansion Box (PEB), 300 baud modem, and dot-matrix printer back in the day. I am not sure what happened to these items. Here is a picture showing most of my surviving cartridges, tapes, and diskettes.


Also I have a couple books and manuals.


My 16 year old son and I have been enjoying playing some of the games. So far we’ve played Munchman, Parsec, Apliner, Pole Position, Donkey Kong, and Indoor Soccer. So far his favorite is Indoor Soccer. He wants to play it on our big TV but we don’t have the required composite video cable yet.

Items on Order

On the Atariage forum, found a thread titled, New to the group? TI-99/4A FAQ, Hardware and software resources READ FIRST!. This was a great starting point for coming up to speed in the retro world of the TI99/4a. It helped me find many items that I want to get. Here are the items I’ve ordered (or tried to order).

Fun Stuff

  • NTSC Composite video cable : Needed to connect to a better monitor.
  • JediMatt42 32K sidecar : Need the extra 32K. Required for the TIPI Sidecar. I’m also interested in hacking onto the passthrough expansion pins.
  • TIPI - SIDECAR - Raspberry PI interface board : This seems tantalizingly close to what I need for my project.
  • TurboForth : I like Forth. I want to see how fast it is.
  • TMS9902 : The TMS9902 was the UART that TI used on it serial cards. If I want to be backward compatible with old software the hardware needs to be compatible with this chip.

Items that are out of stock everywhere

  • NanoPEB : The NanoPEB mostly replaces the need for a large Peripheral Expansion Box (PEB). It has 32K expansion, emulates 3 Disk drives on Compact Flash, and has a serial port. Version 1 used the TMS9902 for the UART so it was compatible with the old software.
  • F18A video chip replacement : Provides a VGA port for the TI99/4a, plus a lot of graphical enhancements.
Written on March 3, 2019