TI-99/4A Cartridge Lifespan

From: Gil Parrish <107765.1161_at_compuserve.com>
Date: Mon Jul 21 12:35:10 1997

Message text written by INTERNET:classiccmp_at_u.washington.edu
>I managed to get at least of the necessary pieces to have a usable
although I think I've don't have the proper pieces for video, since all I
get is B&W.<

It's probably not worth your effort to mess with a malfunctioning /4a; get
another one. I see these units ALL THE TIME in the $3-$4 range, and I
don't even pick them up because I already have more than I'll ever need.

The trick with the TI is to find the "expansion box", particularly one well
populated with cards; that adds (with the right cards) 32K memory, 1 or 2
disk drives, and serial/parallel ports. (Obviously, you can expand it more
if you want to get serious about the TI, but this is the "plain vanilla"
disk system.) Then you can run disk-based software without dealing with
cartridges all the time.

Still, you can have some fun with a non-disk system. The cartridges can
allow you to do serious work and save the output to tape. There is also an
adventure cartridge that contains the basic parser, etc., and then the
different adventures can be loaded from tape. A nice setup for a
small-memory computer.

By the way, your cable might be your problem on having a monochrome
picture. Many of the old home computers put out a monochrome signal on one
of the pins, and a color composite on another.

Gil Parrish

I'm wondering why of the six cartridges I've got three work just fine. Two
don't work at all, and one "Parsec" works if I fiddle with the tuner on the
TV after it's running, yet the initial screen that lets you choose BASIC,
or the game is normal.

Is this a indication of dead carts or a problem with my computer? What is
the estimated lifespan of the standard cartridge, and how can environmental
conditions effect this?

Received on Mon Jul 21 1997 - 12:35:10 BST

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