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By: Matthew Doucette
This page is a slight dedication to the TI-99/4A Home Computer, my first computer. (The Tandy 1000 SX was my second computer.)
(Our) TI-99/4A History:
The Texas Instruments "TI-99/4A Home Computer" was my first computer (and Jason's first computer, too).
It was on this computer that I learned how to program, optimize code, and how computer graphics worked. I designed and programmed lots of incomplete games on it as a child. I still remember when I figured out GCHAR meant "get character", which meant I could read the screen, which meant I could (all-of-a-sudden) make game characters interact with objects and levels on the screen. At the time, it was a big deal. It was an unbelievable discovery. I think I was in grade 3 at the time, trying to learn TI-BASIC from a reference manual. Non-programmers may not understand, but the ability to make your game characters interact with your environment was an awesome concept to implement when you first realize how it is done. I fully completed my first game when I was in grade 4, called, "Treasure Hunt". It was a simple maze game. Some of the code still exists somewhere on a cassette tape.
2013-DEC-08 EDIT: I just found the tape:
A few of my favorite Cartridge games on the TI-99/4A were Parsec (especially with the speech synthesizer), TI Invaders, Munchman (not Munch-Man), and Car Wars. Here's a few we have articles on:
Classic99 (previously known as Ami99) is the TI-99/4A emulator of choice. It includes system ROMs and cartridges under license from Texas Instruments. This is a big deal. Normally, emulators are only that, emulators, without cartridge/games ROMs and also without the system ROMs (the preset memory that comes inside the system itself.) Classic99 solves all of this. Just download it, and run it. Also, it is open source and 100% free. Simply amazing work.
I love sharing the fan mail I receive. (I always ask before posting, so have no fear of contacting us, too!)
Hi Matthew & Jason,
More Tech History Articles:
About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $180,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.
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Xona Games, Xona.com, Xonatech, Saw Tooth Distortion, Evolutionary Prototype (EP), Duality ZF, Decimation X, Decimation X2,
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