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Retro Console Java

By Michael Kohn
Retro Console Java

The Challenge of Working with Older Equipment

Many years ago, a friend of mine gave me a circa 1981 TI-99/4A computer. It worked fine with the exception of a few keyboard keys, but after initially testing it I put it away for a long time. Recently I thought it might be cool to make my Java Grinder program work with it. I'm always looking to do some kind of project that no one else would think of. Who would ever want to run a Java program on obsolete hardware? I started writing a module for the TMS9900 and then a small API for the TI-99/4A hardware that would allow printing to the screen, sprites, sound, and low-resolution graphics.

After looking at the TMS9900's instruction set it seemed familiar enough so I figured my software would be easy to implement on this platform. I quickly realized I was wrong.

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