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View Full Version : TI 99/4A file transfer - what's needed?



Merlin
April 30th, 2009, 11:37 AM
One of our Moderator team at AmiBay has just acquired a Texas TI99/4A. She has asked us what hardware and software she may need to transfer files to and from a PC or via another means (CF card, SD card etc.).

I am stumped, as I never owned one. Can any of you nice people on here help us out? Can files be sent via parnet or sernet to the Texas, or does it need terminal software? Also, what protocols are needed?

Ideally, if someone could post a laundry list of required kit or some useful links, that would be great.

Thanks

MattCarp
April 30th, 2009, 05:43 PM
[moderator: move to TI forum?]

In general, getting files from a PC (or Mac) to a vintage machine is not a trivial task. If you have the right technical skills it's not hard, but if you don't, it will be a challenge. An achievable challenge.

You can move files from a PC to a TI either through a serial port connection, or, by having the PC write a TI disk if it has a 5.25 inch, 360K disk drive. I'll cover the serial port connection since that's the most likely way you would transfer files.

In short, the process is this -
1. Modify the TI file on the PC to add the TIFILES header
2. Connect the TI serial port to the PC serial port
3. Start the communications programs - the Terminal Emulator II cartridge on the TI, Hyperterminal or equivalent on the PC
4. Make sure the communications speed/format settings on the PC and the TI are set to the same values - 2400 bps, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity
5. Start an Xmodem file transfer on both computers

This assumes you have all the hardware necessary to perform the communications:

1. Have the right TI hardware. You'll need a TI with an RS232 card, 32K card, and Terminal Emulator II cartridge
2. Have a null modem cable
3. Have a PC with a serial port (on recent computers without a serial port, you will need a USB to RS232 adapter device)
4. You may need a DB25 to DB9 adapter to connect the null modem cable between the two machines. This just depends on your null modem cable.

Next, you'll need to find the TI-99 emulator software on the web, V9T9. (For example, here: http://www.99er.net/emul.shtml#V9T9)

You won't be running the emulator, rather this package contains a utility, TI2XMDM, which adds the appropriate header to the file you want to transfer to the TI. Sometimes the files you have will already have this header! If you look at the first 128 bytes of the file and see "TIFILES", you don't need to run this utility.

Note- there are a couple special file formats that you might find on the web. This list is not all inclusive, but some of the more common formats:

*.ark - these files are compressed on the TI using a TI file compression program called ARCHIVER. You'll need the archiver program on the TI to be able to de-compress the file after you've transferred it

*.dsk - these are disk images and can be for either the V9T9 or PC99 emulator. On the WHT site there is a PC program by Fred Kaal named TiDir which allows you to examine PC99 and v9t9 .dsk files and to extract individual files on a PC99 or v9t9 disk image and to create individual v9t9 files. These individual files can then be transferred to your TI but do not have a TIFILES header, so they'll need that first. Use the procedure I explained above first.

This message was from my notes from a few years ago, so there may be better techniques...after a quick google search of a few of the main TI-99 sites, I did NOT easily find a good article on this topic...

Merlin
May 1st, 2009, 04:46 AM
WOW!

Thanks, that's very comprehensive.

Cheers

Merlin

Ksarul
May 1st, 2009, 01:37 PM
You can also use a program named TI99-PC by Paolo Bagnaresi to transfer files directly to a TI disk in your PC--or to copy them to your PC. Some TI disk controllers will handle 720K 3.5 drives as well, so it isn't always necessary to install a 360K 5.25 drive.

Fissle
May 27th, 2009, 05:37 AM
PC File Transfer (http://www.pc-file-transfer.com/) can also do it. It's very convenient, now I don't have to burn CDs or establish a cable connection between computers. All that is required is to install the program on two or more computers and connect them to the Internet. Just drag files, and they are transferred.

DarthKur
June 3rd, 2009, 01:48 PM
PC File Transfer (http://www.pc-file-transfer.com/) can also do it. It's very convenient, now I don't have to burn CDs or establish a cable connection between computers. All that is required is to install the program on two or more computers and connect them to the Internet. Just drag files, and they are transferred.

That looks fine for modern PC's but wouldn't work with vintage equipment. At least I didn't see any mention on their page that it would.