Solid State

Texas Instruments Produced many cartridges for the TI-99 line of computers. They also made it as hard as they could to keep 3rd party software companies from producing cartridges for the TI-99. Of course, this did not quite work out as many companies produced cartridge based software for the TI-99.

Some cartridges required either a disk or cassette to actually use them. The adventure cartridge was one example. Another popular game like this was Tunnels of Doom.

This was the text based game Pirate Adventure, which required the use of the Adventure Cartridge to play.

The Mini-Memory Cartridge was a neat device that allowed one to actually store small programs in the cartridge. It also came with an assembly editor, which was how a lot of us first worked with assembly language.

This is the "insides" of the Mini-Memory Cartridge. Notice the battery which kept a small charge on the memory chips so it could keep programs even after it was removed from the computer. If you pick one of these up, you will most likely have to change this battery.

One of the many 3rd party cartridges produced for the TI-99. This one is by ATARI and happens to be Pole Position, a very popular game at the time.

This is the "insides" of a standard TI Cartridge. The IC chip you see is the ROM chip where the game was "burned in". This game happens to be Hunt the Wampus.

A very popular game at the time, Miner 2049er, was another 3rd party cartridge produced for the TI-99. If you notice this cartridge is different as it did not plug into the standard game port on the TI, but actually plugged into the expansion port on the side of the computer. There were a few other games that were produced this way.

Here is an inside look at the Miner 2049er game cartridge. The two larger black circles are actually a material covering the game chips. This was to keep someone from copying them.

Here is a little more productive cartridge, which was part of the Editor/Assembler package.

This is one of two disk that was also included in the Editor/Assembler package.

This is a strip that fit on the top of the keyboard on the computer. Several programs came with a strip, to help with key commands. This one came with the Editor/Assembler package mentioned above.

The below is from a TI training manual:

Equipment needed:

• computer console
• TI Color Monitor or TV with adapter (Video Modulator)
• cartridge (contains a printed-circuit board with chips)

The cartridge medium is an excellent way to take advantage of the wide assortment of preprogrammed software currently available. Most of these cartridges available require no extra peripherals because they plug right into the console. Cartridges, most of which are not erasable, are fast and very easy to use. You can even store your own data (temporarily or permanently) on the specialized Mini Memory cartridge.

To Insert Solid State Cartridges

Turn on your console and monitor or TV. The TI master title screen should automatically display on your screen.

Insert a solid state cartridge firmly into the slot to the right of the keyboard. The screen will go blank for a second and the the TI master title screen should reappear.

Press any key to move to the next screen.

Select the name of the cartridge you inserted (usually by pressing the number 2--the number 1 will always take you into TI BASIC).

To Remove Solid State Cartridges

Return to the master Ti title screen by pressing PCTN and the “ key. or by exiting according to instructions included in the cartridge’s program.

Remove the cartridge from its slot.

In Case Of Difficulty

If a cartridge does not seem to operate properly, try reinserting the cartridge. Or, if the screen locks or produces unusual displays, try turning the console off and waiting a few seconds before turning it back on.