Chicago TI 99
Faire 2001

Report on the 2001 Chicago TI Faire
By Charles Good

This November 3rd event was the 19th annual Chicago TI faire. Admission was free, and table space was free. Significant new software and hardware was demonatrated, an amazing accomplishment for an event dedicated to a 20 year old 8 bit computer!

Beery Harmsen from Holland gave away disks with newly written software by European authors. Included was v1.9 of Fred Kaal's DM2K (Disk Manager 2000) which now shows files and sectors left to copy and allows the user to compare this information with space left on the copy disk. He also had a SCSI disk manager that can also format and initialize SCSI drives and which automatically makes a backup of sector 0 which can be accessed in several ways to recover a crashed sector 0. Beery demonstrated a Michael Becker program for the SNUG card that can save the contents of a ramdisk to a single large file on a SCSI drive. A very large game called Trillionaire, by W. Bertsch with text and docs in German, was among the software given away by Beery.

Beery reports that someone is making a program to allow a PC to read TI disks.

The recent Wuppertal TI Faire had 55 attendees from 7 countries. Next October the european TI show will be in Nottingham England.

Bud Mills has attended almost all the Chicago TI Faires and says he will be there next year. He stated that he will be scanning all his Horizon ramdisk, Pgram, memex, etc documentation and will make this documentation and perhaps some never before seen software available to the community on the site and via cd.

Dan Eicher demonstrated Thierry Nouspikel's IDE controller card running on a 99/4a sysgtem. The card being demonstrated was a wire wrap hand made card and it worked nicely. Very extensive documentation and software for this card are available at The card has no on board DSR. Instead, the DSR is on a floppy or on a hard drive and is loaded into an sram chip on the clock that resides on the IDE card. The IDE hard drive emulates 1440 sector floppy drives and it appears that you can have up to 36 of these emulated floppy drives on line at any one time. Other space on the hard drive can hold additionl emulated floppy drives that can be switched on as needed. These emulated floppy drives respond to any floppy drive disk manager such as DM1000.

All the demonstartion software for the IDE card was written in TI Basic. I saw OPEN #1:"IDE.SECTORS",INTERNAL, FIXED 129, RELATIVE used to do sector read/writes. You can, if you want have any module plugged into your 99/4a when using this card.

This card would have made lots of money for its developer if it had been available 10 years ago. The design and development software are now available to anyone who wants to build a card. Thierry is not making and selling these cards.

Mike Wright demonstrated good sounding speech using a Windows 32 bit prototype version of PC99. CALL SAY from extended basic, OPEN #1:"SPEECH", OUPUT from the TEII, and voices on the Alpiner cartridge all seemed to work properly.

Mike also demonstrated part of his goal "rendering" TI files by clicking on a file name on a PC99 "disk" and running the file. For example, when Mike clicked on a TI Artist picture, PC99 loaded TI Artist which then loaded the picture.

Mike gave no indication at all of when these features will be available. I have head many people say, "I'm not buying PC99 until it can do speech". Soon it will be time for these people to put their money where their mouth is.

Mike also showed off the latest addtions to his CYC cd, which now comes within 5 megs of filling a cd. The CYC now includes some original book length manuscripts never before published.

After the faire we had supper at a nearby restaurant and then, complements of the Chicago User Group, went to a nearby cyber cafe where we had free use of the cafe's computers.