Software and
the TI99

Solid State





BASIC Listings
and Win994a

BASIC Listings
and Classic99

BASIC ... the basics..

The TI-99 line of home computers had the BASIC language built right into the console. All you had to do was power up the computer and a few seconds later you were ready to start programming. BASIC was an easy programming language to learn and to use, and many of today's computer experts started with this language.

In fact when the TI-99 was released this was the only language that was available. But that didn't last long, and soon after there were several different programming languges available, including an Extended BASIC which was a much more powerful version compared to the standard console BASIC. Others included Assembly Language, FORTH, PASCAL, and several other versions of BASIC just to name a few.

If you didn't have the desire to program the TI-99 you could always purchase software that was ready to go. Texas Instruments created many cartridges, which, they called Solid State Software. You could simply plug in one of these cartridges, push a button or two and have a ready made program running on the console. The TI-99 also had a cassette port, so you could purchase software on cassette tapes, and actually save your own programs to a tape.

Three Types of Program and Data Storage

TI offered three types of program and data storge options for the TI99 home computer.

These were Solid State Cartridges, Cassetes, and Diskettes. The Solid State Cartridges were also known as Command Modules, and most of us just call them cartridges. There were over 300 of these cartridges produced over the years by TI and many other 3rd party companies. These are great collector items, and many of the cartridges where produced over the years with different labels. Some are very easy to find, and others are quite rare. Click on the Solid State Cartridge button above for a lot more information on the TI cartridges.

Another way to store programs and data was to use a cassette recorder. At first TI did not offer one,and you had to make sure you purchased one that would work with the TI. Though most of them did work there were still several that did not. In early 1983 TI released it's own (sort of) cassette recorder. It was really a GE recorder that TI put its name on. To see more information about cassettes click on the cassette button above.

The third option that TI offered were disk drives that used 5 1/4" floppy drives. These were much more expensive than the other two options, and at first only the most di-hard computer users purchased them. The disk systems were far superior to the cassesttes systems as any of that struggled with the cassetes will attest to!

Later down the road there were many options for program and data storage. As time went much more advanced disk drive systems, SCSI drives, hard drives, RAM drives, GRAM devices, and supercarts, to name a few, were introduced by 3rd parties.

Note: The software portion of this site is being built. Some pages that link from here may a look a bit sparse at the moment, but I will be adding much more information in the near future.