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TI-99/4A and Geneve 9640 M.U.G. Conference (TIMUG `99)

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Review of the TIMUG'99 TI Show by Charles Good

This event was sponsored by the two Cleveland TI user groups on June 11-12, 1999. The location was the beautiful Spang Mansion just south of Hopkins International Airport. The building was in a wooded area and we could see rabbits hopping by and were told that deer lurked among the nearby trees. The Cleveland groups went all out to give everybody a good time. They almost emptied their treasury paying for table and chair rental, building rental, and free food. There was a free buffet Friday evening and a great after-the-show Saturday evening pizza party. Attendees didn't have to pay for anything. There was no admission fee and no fee to those who wanted tables. I was told that 58 people put their names on the sign in sheet.

One of the major reasons for attending this kind of event is to meet old friends. I met folks like Dave Szippl and Jim Krych whom I hadn't seen in several years and thought had left the TI community. Lots of people were literally giving away surplus TI equipment, and thankfully most of it was taken by those who could use it. I brought a very full carload of stuff to give away, donated by members of the Lima User Group who now rely on PC99 for most of their 99/4A activity.

There were two seminar rooms and sometimes there were simultaneous seminars, so I couldn't attend everything. However all the seminars are on video tape, available postpaid by sending $10 to:

Glenn Bernasek
Secretary - TI-Chips
13246 Harper Road
Strongsville, OH 44136-3942

Bruce Harrison entitled his seminar "The end of an era" meaning that he has decided not to write any more software for the 99/4a. He is doing this, he says, because there are too many different kinds of hardware incompatibilities and he is unable to test all possible hardware combinations. As an example he cited my MICROpendium review of his TI Bingo program. In this review I stated that the programís speech doesn't work on my Geneve with a Rave speech card. Well, Bruce has neither a Geneve nor a rave speech card. Other examples he cited are:

Bruce declared that ALL HIS SOFTWARE IS NOW PUBLIC DOMAIN except his midi software. This is available for a price from Richard Bell Swim4home@aol.com who will also be SELLING REAL MIDI MASTER CABLES. These are important announcements!

One of the seminars was the "MUG Conference" moderated by Glenn Bernasek. This was a discussion of user group survival. Groups represented at this seminar included Southwest 99ers, Western New York, Chicago, CADD, Milwaukee, Lima Ohio, Greater Akron and West Penn. Discussion included posting newsletters on the Internet and archiving old software on CD ROM in PC99 format or some other way to preserve it forever.

Glenn announced that there would NOT be another MUG conference hosted by the Cleveland groups. This one emotionally and financially wore them out. (I personally know exactly how that works. That is why I am not doing another MUG conference in Lima. At the 1998 Lima MUG conference I and one other person were the only ones there from the Lima area!)

Jim Krych jwkrych@nznet.net invited all of us to a Classic game and computer show at a nearby armory already scheduled for June 10-11, 2000 sponsored by the local Atari user group. The event will be free because it is only costing $50 to rent the armory for 2 days due to Jim Krychís military connections. This is GOOD NEWS! I plan to attend.

It was announced that the next CHICAGO TI FAIRE will be November 6 at the Evanston Public Library. This is also GOOD NEWS!

Mike Wright did not have official seminar time but he did demonstrate PC99 and the latest version of his Cyc at his table. He told me that he may put out an interim release of PC99 (version 5.2?) which will include the John Guyon RS232 ROM and disk controller ROM. The all native Windows 9.x version of PC99 is still not ready for release, although it has been improved since its showing at Chicago last year. This PC99 version is currently very slow on a Pentium 100 machine.

Lew King demonstrated how the West Penn user groupís web site can be read using Jeffery Brownís ZT4-80 software running on a 99/4A. This software emulates 80 columns on the 99/4A screen and seems to run much more smoothly (meaning it doesn't crash as often) than did Term 80.

I (Charles Good) demonstrated the TI74 and its PC Interface. This hand held basic programmable calculator is smaller than but functionally almost identical to the CC40. It uses a basic that is almost identical to TI extended basic. You can purchase a very reliable $10 cassette interface or $45 PC Interface that lets you load and save software to and from a cassette tape or the hard drive of your IBM computer. The TI74 is fully compatible with all hexbus peripherals. Unlike the CC40, you can still purchase the TI74 and its cassette or PC interfaces new. These TI74 products are available on the Internet from www.hightechsolutions.com or telephone (360)653-1570.

The show ended with the presentation of the Jim Peterson Achievement Awards. TI Chips announced that it will continue to sponsor these awards in the coming years.

This year's recipients were:
Community ServiceSW99ers
TI-99/4A SoftwareBruce Harrison
TI-99/4A HardwareSystem 99 User Group (SNUG)
Geneve 9640Tim Tesch

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Contact Information

Harry Hoffman
Telephone - 216.631.2354
Postal address - 3925 Trowbridge Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44109
E-mail - harryhoffy@core.com

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