Forum Rules and Etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.

Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.

Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
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***TI Users Group - Anyone Interested***

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    ***TI Users Group - Anyone Interested***

    With the recent Retro move of Computers from the 1980s we are considering starting up another Users Group for the TI-99/4 and TI-99/4A computers. We are currently looking to see how many individuals would be interested in participating in forums, chat, classifieds and etc. Everything would be 100% FREE but we are just trying to determine if there is enough interest for us to proceed.


    You do know that there are several forums for the TI family of computers out there already--on Yahoo and on several independent sites.

    This would be a good place to start, as it has links to most of the other English-language sites out there:
    Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!


      Thank You for the information and we are aware. We actually want to take this to the next level and go above and beyond what some of the others are doing. Of course we will be cooperating with them, exchanging information and etc. but we plan on doing a central (Main) hub where TI users goto and then they branch off to these other sites as well. We plan on going back in time and having physical meetings, TI shows and etc.

      Thanks for the input!


        Several groups linked to those forums have regular meetings (Chicago User's Group monthly meeting is today and is also being broadcast online), there are regional meetings held quarterly in Holland and Germany (the Germans had one last month), annual conventions held in Chicago and Europe (usually in the September-November timeframe). The Dutch user's group puts out a magazine four times a year (in Dutch, but I read enough of that to figure out what's up, so no problem here), Several groups here, in Holland, in Italy, and in Germany produce new hardware and software too.

        The main TI hubs that link to all of the others already exist. WHTech is the software and documentation repository, the Yahoo group is the message base, and both and act as gateways to all existing sites. The TI community has been pretty tightly linked together for a long time. The latter sites also have forums, classified ads, chat rooms, and a lot more. If you are thinking of doing something completely new--more power to you.

        I'm just noting that there are a lot of active resources out there that have the necessary traffic to sustain them, and that a new site that does more of the same might not get enough traffic to survive. Rich Polivka (, Tom Wills ( and the main Yahoo group), Dan Eicher (SWPB on Yahoo for TI programmers), Berry Harmsen (TIGG Netherlands), Wolfgang Bertsch (TI Club Errorfree Germany), Michael Becker and Harald Glaab (System 99 User Group Germany), Hal Shanafield (Chicago TI User Group), Don O'Neil (WHTech), and many other people have been working to keep this system alive and accessible for decades. I know every single one of them from many years of working together to promote the TI. I'm one of their reference resources because I have one of the 10-15 most complete TI 99 collections on the planet--and between me and the others on that list, we have nearly everything ever produced for the system. If the resource for what you want to do exists, please use it. It strengthens the community as a whole. I watched many efforts over the years crash and burn because they were more interested in being the center of things than in promoting the community. They reinvented the wheel dozens of times, but very few of these attempts took root and grew strong.

        If you have something you want to do that is a new approach to the old problem of getting people interested in these old systems, go for it and link off of one of the existing resources. Don't try to get them to subjugate themselves to you as the new center of the universe TI--it will be frustrating for you and turn them off completely.

        If any portion of this appears to flame--please accept my apology in advance, as it is not meant to do so. It is meant to get you thinking though--and if what you plan to do improves the available options, that is a good thing.
        Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!


          Originally posted by Ksarul View Post
          Don't try to get them to subjugate themselves to you as the new center of the universe TI--it will be frustrating for you and turn them off completely.
          Yeah, that kind of thing happens too often. Well-intended newbies show up in the hobby and decide THEIR site will be portal for some particular thing. They don't get that making a site even credible, nevermind a master destination, can take YEARS of hard work.

          Cudasales, where are you located? Some regions (like here in the U.S. northeast/mid-atlantic, for example) have vintage computer user groups.

          Also, if you have a couple of specific ideas for features lacking at, then the proper thing to do would be suggesting those features to them. Pretty nutty to make a whole new site, and expect the '99 community to just migrate over, based on a few new details and odds 'n' ends.

          So you should either have a MAJOR new approach to a '99 community, or you'll be doomed to fail.
          @ Founder, Vintage Computer Federation -- resigned Dec. 2019
          @ Author, Abacus to smartphone: The evolution of mobile and portable computers
          @ My homepage
          @ My Lego Robotics Page


            Printer Help!

            Thanks Guys! That is a lot of Great and Useful information. I am located in Colorado Springs, CO.

            If you don't mind I do need some TI help. I am looking for a Dot Matrix printer for my TI and need a list of compatible printers. Would you happen to have such a list?

            Thanks Again!


              Pretty much any dot matrix that was listed as Epson MX-80 compatible will work (including most Star Micronics printers). In addition, the Seikosha GP-550 could be made to work, as could several other brands. Some required special cables to get them to work though--and how some worked depended on which RS-232 card you were using. CorComp had some compatibility issues, Myarc was OK, TI was no problem, Atronic was related to the CorComp and had similar issues, and the Wiesbaden RS-232 is too rare for you to have even heard of. . .
              Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!


                Thanks so much for the information. Will the Star N-1000 work with a TI RS232 Card and if so, what cables do I need to purchase for it?
                Thanks Again!


                  The Star NX-1000 printer is one of the standard printers on the TI (I think somewhere in the vicinity of half of all TI printers are this model or the NL-10). It is the printer I have on one of mine, as a matter of fact. It uses a standard TI parallel cable like this one:


                  It used to have a special resistor pack in it to work with Smith-Corona printers (and it would also work with several Okidata models if I remember correctly), but the seller modified it to the standard TI configuration.
                  Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!


                    Thanks for the Link and I will go ahead and purchase it. I found a Star NX-1000 locally in Excellent Condition with the box and all documentation for $25.


                      Originally posted by cudasales View Post
                      Thanks Guys! That is a lot of Great and Useful information. I am located in Colorado Springs, CO.
                      There were (many years ago) several TI99 users, and a BBS there, as well as Pueblo.


                        Texas Instruments Professional Computer (TI PC)

                        Rare Texas Instruments Professional Computer (TI PC)
                        bundled with a 720x300 resolution 14 TI color monitor

                        I am selling this at this E-bay auction link:

                        Collector's item.
                        The best color graphics Personal Computer from 1983.
                        Vintage Intel 8088 CPU and 512 Kb RAM memory.
                        Stargate Multi-function board by Hybrilonics with clock/calendar.
                        3-plane graphics video card.
                        10 Mb Winchester hard disk and controller with manual.
                        5.25 inch 360 Kb floppy drive.
                        MS-DOS 2.11 for the TI PC with manual.
                        MS Basic 1.1 for the TI PC with manual.
                        Original Manuals.
                        Includes some custom software.
                        Original Boxes in worn condition.
                        Original List Price: $5,660!
                        Worked fine when recently tested for photos. More photos and a short video available.

                        See associated auction for TI PC Speech Command System, various TI software and vintage publications. Item# 270254288743
                        See related auction for Fujitsu DaisyMax 320 daisy wheel printer from the same era. (Item # 270254275337)


                          Colorado Springs Front Range 99ers

                          During the mid-80s, the Front Range 99ers of Colorado Springs monthly meetings filled an auditorium of 150+ seats at the Cheyenne Mountain Inn. It was standing room only for special guests like Craig Miller (twice) and Tony and Will McGovern (touring from Australia). I was a member from 1986-1991, by which time it had split up into PC and TI-99/4A groups, with about 20 people attending meetings.

                          The FR99ers had dedicated core leadership like Joe Nuvolini, Bonnie Snyder, John Pearce, Cliff Swank, Gene Fleming, Kevin Kapus, and many others I'm sure I would recall if reminded.

                          Colorado Springs had a TI office, and many engineers from Lubbock who worked on the home computer transferred there after Lubbock downsized. They were not necessarily TI-99/4A enthusiasts but you might have seen them at one or two meetings.

                          (Similarly, there were never that many TI employees at the Lubbock users group either. I was a member from 1983-1985 and last visited in 1987.)

                          Several members of the Colorado Springs group attended 2 fairs put on by the Denver Rocky Mountain 99ers, but there wasn't a lot of cross-membership that I was aware of.