TI-99/4A in the 21st century

TI-99 Blog

nanoPEB gets its 1 GB compact flash card

Posted on November 15, 2010 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (2)

I was able to successfully upgrade my nanoPEB device with a Toshiba Compact Flash 1 GB (F II). Now I have tons of memory avaiable for disk images.

 

If you buy your compact flash card at a store, be sure to keep you the option of returning it, if it's incompatible with the nanoPEB.

 

My brother catched his nanoPEB on ebay from Jaime Malilong on sunday. Jaime sells those self-made devices from time to time. On ebay he has got the username schmutzig1952.

finding a compatible compact flash card

Posted on November 8, 2010 at 6:43 AM Comments comments (2)

The nanoPEB, built by Jaime Malilong, comes with a 32 MB compact flash card.

Well, he has tested the nanoPEB with SANDISK Compact Flash cards up to the size of 1024 MB = 1 GB.

 

Since we are in the year 2010 now, it's really hard to get your hands on such small cards.

 

I have bought a Kingston 4 GB CF Card, because that was the smallest card in the electronic shop avaiable.

The nanoPEB & TI booted up correct, I executed the format and mount commands but saving an item always led to an I/O Error 64 (which means no free disk space). My guess is, that the controller and or the software is unable to cope with everything greater than 2 GB size. My guess is some addressing issue.

 

Next I bought a Transcend 1 GB CF Card. Thats the size Jaime successfully tested his device with. If I insert this card, the TI won't even boot up (no title screen).

 

On the computer side I tried everything inside the "Disk Management console" and in the command program "diskpart.exe". I tried forcing FAT instead of FAT32, I tried shrinking the size of the partition.

 

I will now try to find a Sandisk 1 GB Compact Flash Card and will keep you up to date.

first steps with the nanoPEB

Posted on October 30, 2010 at 10:14 AM Comments comments (0)

My brother and I came together to start a really cool day. First we went to an electronic shop to get a power device for the nanoPEB and a card-reader for the Compact Flash Card, used in the nanoPEB. Then we went to his place to start the very first steps with the nanoPEB.

 

The advanced title screen made me scream out lout: "We are in!" (like David did in Wargames after getting into the WOPR system). Everythings works like a charm.

 

Running TI Extended Basic programs

For those who forgot, how to load a program in TI Extended Basic:

OLD DSK1.FILENAME

RUN

or

RUN "DSK1.FILENAME"

 

DSK1 stands for the Disk-Drive 1, with a nanoPEB you have three of them.

DSK2.FILENAME would access the program called FILENAME from Disk-Drive 2.

DSK3.FILENAME would access the program called FILENAME from Disk-Drive 3.

 

You will find hundreds of disk-images, full of programs and games, on several sites. I recommend browsing a bit on the ftp-server from whtech.

You will only need a ftp-client to download the files you want. More on this later...

 

A must have when using the nanoPEB is a program called TI99DIR.

It is a program made for Windows to copy your files to the compact flash cart. With this software it is really easy to get started, most of the disk images contain a catalog-like-program called LOAD, which is auto loaded when TI Extended Basic is started.

 

A PC99 disk image need to be converted to a V9T9 disk image before you can use it on a nanoPEB. TI99DIR gives you both the info, that your file is a PC99 disk image and the command to convert it.

 

Running assembler programs

To start an assembler game you will basically need the Editor/Assembler Cartridge. There are ways around that but let's do the easy way first. A catalog Program or TI99DIR will show you whether your game is of filetype DIS/FIX or PROG.

 

Running assembler programs of type DIS/FIX

Editor/Assembler Menu 3: LOAD AND RUN, on the next screen it asks you for the FILE NAME?. Enter the correct destination of the program - for example: DSK1.FILENAME

 

It could also be that your game has more than one file. In this case enter the name of the first file, and continue with entering all other filenames, one after another. If Editor/Assembler asks for another filename after the last one, just leave it empty and hit enter. Now Editor/Assembler asks you for the PROGRAM NAME? It should be autofilled with the right name. Just hit enter and play!

 

Running assembler programs of type PROG

Editor/Assembler Menu 5: RUN PROGRAM FILE, on the next screen the system wants the PROGRAM FILE NAME? Enter correct destination of the program - for example: DSK1.FILENAME

Hit enter and play! Multi-Filenames should autoload here!

 

My brother is tuning Blue Bugs, an Extended Basic Game, right now. We played all day and evening with the TI-99!