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Introduction and questions
Hi folks:

Please forgive if I am posting this in the wrong place.

I am new to, but, wanted to introduce myself and get a little information.

My name is Joseph Norton, from Dalton, GA.

I am a blind computer user.

I bought the TI from a friend of mine, since it had a speech synthesizer, and, was interested in what it could do.

This was back in 1984.  I had a lot of fun, eventually invested in the expansion box, disk systems and bought a separate hardware synthesizer.

As the years went by, I had a lot of fun, writing little programs for myself in both TI Basic and Extended Basic, routing most all of my Print statements through " to go to my Echo speech synthesizer.  I did have a Terminal Emulator II, but, if I wanted speech output in anything other than TI basic, I had to get a hardware synthesizer.

Anyway, years have gone by, My TI quit working one day, but, I had mostly moved on.

Now, I see there are still some folks still using their TI 99's.

Recently, I have been playing around with virtual machines, and, it occurred to me to look for a TI Emulator, as I had once had one working under MAME, I think.

On this very site, I found 2 that I find very interesting.

First, I ran across the Classic 99 emulator.

I found it interesting, because I could run it, go into the TI 99/4A emulation, but, I could print things out to a file, which would be saved on my PC's HD, then, I could view my results with my Windows screen-reader.

However, I noticed that neither of the things I tried could run the text-to-speech functions utilized by the Terminal Emulator II.

I happened to see the Win994A emulator.  It had a lot more of cartridges and disks in a couple zip packages I could use, and, amazingly, text-to-speech works!  The sound doesn't seem as true-to-life, and, the speech is still not quite as good as the real thing, but, I get to play with it again!

I am even looking to try a few educational titles on my 4-year-old and 10-year-old to see what happens.

Anyway, can any of you out there give me some pointers.  For example, does either of these emulators look similar to the original TI 99/4A?  One thing I found interesting, is that, in Classic99, I can change the system to an old TI 99/4--not that I would want to, but, it was fun to look at it, since I'd never experienced it before.

Anyway, I would be interested in hearing about the pros and cons of these and other emulators, as well as any programs I might find useful as a speech user.

This is bringing back a lot of memories.  After all, the TI 99/4A was my first computer I did anything with.

Thanks for any suggestions.. 
I pretty much do everything on my real TI, not on emulators, so my advice might not be the best. The developers for Classic99 and for WIN994A are both still actively developing their emulators. I can let Tursi know about the issue you experienced with the Text-to-Speech attempts and see whether it is a known issue or something new. He's pretty responsive on fixes. On the look-and-feel side, all of the TI emulators show the display pretty much as it was on the original. There are a couple more you may not have seen yet: Michael Schwartz has recently updated his old V9T9 emulator to run under Java. Michael Zapf has done a huge amount of work on the TI emulation under MESS (it now allows TI-99/4, TI-99/4A, TI-99/4A with v2.2 ROMs, the TI-99/8, and the Myarc Geneve9640). It will also emulate the TI's cousin--the Tomy Tutor (known as the Pyuuta in Japan where it originated). Rasmus Moustgaard has also built an interesting emulator called JS99. It is interesting in that it supports some of the newer hardware (like the F18A video enhancement which allows some really interesting manipulation of sprites) This one is possibly a great draw for the kids, as it also has all of the new games Rasmus has programmed for the TI, some of which also take advantage of those F18A video enhancements.

I still design and build new hardware for the TI too--as do several other folks. If you haven't hit the AtariAge site yet, there is a pretty active TI programming forum there under their Classic Computers section.
Enter my mind at your own risk!

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