The Cyc

The Cyc is designed to be an encyclopedia of knowledge relating to the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Home Computer and its accessories. Its aim is to provide at least a starting point for an information search.

For example, if you need to know when the program Wildcatting was reviewed in 99'er Magazine, you will find a reference in The Cyc. If you need to know what 99'er Magazine was, how many issues it published, and what the size of each issue was, you will find it in The Cyc. In most cases references are to external, hopefully available, sources.

The Cyc grew out of my need to keep track of my ever-growing collection of TI equipment. Some envious (deranged?) TI'ers have referred to this collection as a "museum". Other (more intelligent?) people have referred to it as obsolete junk. (How can you refer to a genuine TI IEEE-488 card as junk??).

Whatever. One day I went searching my library for a program. I quickly figured out that it would be quicker to re-write the program than to try and find it. At that point, I decided to try and bring some order into my life. I wanted to be able to find what the pinouts of the TI RS-232 card were, or who Ed Wiest was, or what the test mode keys were for some of the cartridges. I knew I had the information somewhere, but I usually spent most of my free time trying to locate it. The Cyc is an attempt to bring some order to the chaos.

The Cyc consists of two basic areas:

The alphabetical list.
The appendices.

The alphabetical list
There are 27 files in the alphabetical list (01, A1 through Z1). For example, a reference to the program Wildcatting will be found in W1.

The material in the alphabetical list has been drawn from the following sources (alphabetical order):

99/4 International Users-Group catalog
99'er Magazine (99er)
Computer Shopper (CS)
Enthusiast 99 Magazine (E99)
Texas Instruments Home Computer News (HCN)
TI 99/4 Software Directory
Micropendium (MP) (up to Vol 2 No. 6, Jul 85)
Various other sources

It is felt that the alphabetical material is about 55 percent complete. Future plans call for adding material from:

Byte Magazine (BYT)
Easy Computing Magazine (EC)
Mini Mag 99 (MM99)
National Ninety-Niner (N99)
Ryte Data Newsletter (RD)
Super 99 Monthly (S99)
The Smart Programmer (SP)
User group publications

From these lists you will note that there are many holes in the current content. These will be filled in time as the balance of the alphabetical material is processed.

The philosophy of the alphabetical section is to group material under manufacturers, except for TI numbered products. However, a cross-reference to a product is also entered alphabetically. For example, there are various versions of Hangman available. In the file H1 the entries will all "point" to the respective manufacturer. The actual information about a specific version will be found under the manufacturer.

An item entry can include a description (if available), and a list of references where the item has appeared. The references are of the form:

Publication code, Volume number, issue number, page number.

For example:
Harried Housewife
Basic listing for . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99er 1:2:25

means that the Basic listing for the program Harried Housewife appeared in 99'er Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, page 25.

The appendices
The material in the appendices consists of the files (alphabetical order):

99ER Index to 99'er Magazine.
BOOKS Book list.
COMPUTE Index to Compute! magazine.
COMSHOP Index to Computer Shopper (TI-99/4A articles).
EASY Index to Easy Computing magazine.
ENTH99 Index to Enthusiast 99 magazine.
GENITRAV Listing of disks and materials supplied with Genial Traveler (from Barry Traver).
HCN Index to Texas Instruments Home Computer News.
IUGABC 99/4 International Users-Group software catalog (in alphabetical program order).
IUGNUM 99/4 International Users-Group software catalog (in numerical program order).
MICROPEN Index to Micropendium magazine (up to Vol 12. No. 6, Jul 95)
NAT99V1 Full text of National Ninety-Niner, Vol I.
NAT99V2 Full text of National Ninety-Niner, Vol II.
NAT99V3 Full text of National Ninety-Niner, Vol III.
PHX PHx lists.
PLATO Contents of Plato disks.
PRICE Texas Instruments June 1983 price list (last official list).
SMARTP Index to The Smart Programmer from Miller's Graphics.
TIGERCAT The Tigercub public domain disk catalog (from Jim Peterson).

Some of this material has been published before as "TI Reference Lists". The PHx lists contain listing of all TI numbered products under headings: Command Modules (PHM), Diskettes (PHD), Cassettes (PHT), and so on.

Note: Addresses and telephone numbers of companies and people are given where possible. In many cases these will be out of date. They are mainly of historical interest.

File format
Text files on the CYC cd are now in pdf format.

Many of The Cyc files use an adaption of the European SI-recommended date format, which has the advantage of sorting correctly. For example: 920120 is January 20, 1992. A reference to an article is preceded by the publication code and, where possible, the volume number, issue number, and page number. For example: E99 2:3:8, is Enthusiast 99 magazine, Volume 2, Issue 3, Page 8. Not all publications use this format, and compromises have had to be made, but should be easy to figure out. For example, in Computer Shopper year, month, page is used. In the alphabetical lists, CS 84:08:124 means Computer Shopper, August 1984, page 124.

The name "The Cyc"
One of my other weaknesses is trains and model railroading. I grew up in the steam age and was fortunate to see and photograph 10 years of steam in action. In the United States steam reached its zenith in the early 1940s. Each year the Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation published the standard reference work for steam locomotive users. It was officially called the 19xx Locomotive Cyclopedia of American Practice, but was usually referred to as the "Cyc". So I combined the somewhat diverse hobbies of steam powered locomotives and computers and assigned the name "The Cyc" to the TI project.

Use of the material
You may freely use this material for your own uses. I am reserving the copyright on the arrangement and presentation of the data, and any original material. In purchasing this package you agree not to distribute the files in any way to another party.

Ordering information

The Cyc is available on CD Rom for $24.95 (contact CaDD for latest pricing), shipping and handling included.

If you would like to order The Cyc, contact CaDD:

[email protected]

CaDD Electronics,
45 Centerville Drive,
Salem, NH 03079-2674
603-895-0119, 603-893-1450

 Review of THE CYC from CaDD Electronics

By Charles Good
Lima Ohio User Group

This PC cd is advertised on its label as "An encyclopedia 
of information on the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Home 
Computer".  It is a work in progress that is regularly 
updated.  I have the 20000430 (last updated April 30, 2000) 
revision.  The price is $25, with includes first class mail 
delivery in the United States.  Nowhere else can you obtain 
the wealth of software and 99/4a information contained on 
this cd.  

CaDD Electronics
45 Centerville Dr.
Salem NH 03079
[email protected]

The CYC contains scanned documents in *.pdf format, 
many of which are indexed and annotated.  Documents are 
presented either as very detailed annotated tables of 
contents (TOC) or as both table of contents and the full 
text (FULL).  Full text documents have been scanned in from 
the original and then spell checked and, if needed, 
grammatically corrected.  Any commercial advertisements in 
the documents have been removed unless the document itself 
is an advertisement.  Full color cover scans of each 
document are included.  All possible efforts have been made 
to obtain permission from authors/publishers to reproduce 
copyrighted documents on the CYC cd.

An annotated cross referenced index combining many 
documents is the backbone of the CYC.  This index is 
gradually being expanded to include additional material.  
It currently indexes the 99/4 International Users Group 
catalog, 99er Magazine, Computer Shopper, Enthusiast 99, TI 
Home Computer News, TI 99/4 Software Directory, 
Micropendium (currently only through Dec 89), and "various 
other sources".  

It is tempting to compare the CYC to the free scanned TI 
documents available on and other ftp sites.  
The ftp documents are original page scans with included 
advertising.  They are not indexed or cross referenced.  
Some of the documents on the CYC cd have been downloaded 
from ftp sites.  However, the CYC contains licensed 
copyrighted TI material, and a percent of sales is given to 
TI as royalty payment for this material.  These TI software 
packages and documents will not be found on any free ftp 

The CYC's TOC listings can serve as a quick reference to the 
many magazines that are on the ftp site.  By checking the 
TOC and the main CYC index you can know which magazines to 
download in order to get the information you want.  For 
example, I consulted the CYC to find the quotes from the 
literature that I used in my recent "Key to Spanish 1 
Command Module" article.

Here is a list of official copyrighted TI material uniquely 
available on the CYC cd.  The stuff listed below can all be 
purchased individually from CaDD, as explained on their web 
site  However, it is 
MUCH cheaper to buy them altogether as part of the CYC cd.  

1. Roms to all TI command modules ever sold with a PHM 
number for use with PC99.  If you own PC99 the 
inclusion of these roms is reason enough to purchase 
the CYC.  It is not necessary to own a physical module 
in order to legally own and use these roms.  These are 
not "for backup purposes only".  You have purchased 
legal copies of all TI command module software when you 
purchase the cyc.  You can, with PC99, easily transfer 
these roms to real TI disks and use them on a Geneve or 
a real 99/4A systems that has a gram device.
2 User manuals of all command modules (FULL).  
3 User manuals of all official TI 99/4A disk software    
4.   PC99 disk images of the entire PLATO series.  You also   
get an index (TOC) of this complete set of disks.  Very 
few TI owners own the complete PLATO set.  These were 
originally very expensive.
5.  PC99 images of all official 99/4a disk software once 
sold by TI with Phd numbers.  Also, the Minimemory software 
on a PC99 disk, the SMU Electrical Engineering module 
disks, and the Multiplan disk.

Here are the other documents and PC99 software on the CYC 
cd.  By the time you purchase your copy of the CYC this 
list will probably have grown.
--An article by Ron Albright on the use of TI's Text-to-
speech and TEII speech.
--An article by Mike McCormack on the rom cartridge port 
for the 99/4a with detailed technical information.
--A 1987 article by Anders Persson with detailed technical 
information on TI's implementation of the p-code card.
--"Easy Assembly" (FULL) a 1993 book length collection of 
articles on TMS assembly language for the 99/4A in the form 
of a series of lessons.
--A Lubbock newspaper article, dated Feb 10, 1998 about Tom 
Wills and the Lubbock Fest West faire that year.
--Newsletter article by Mike Wright listing TI Basic and xb 
keyword tokens.
--Newsletter article by Mike Wright on the use of Bitmap 
mode on the 99/4a.
--"TI Computer Assembly Language Primer" book (FULL) by 
John T. Dow (who wrote the flight simulator software).  
This may be the best book anywhere for learning how to do 
assembly programming on the EA module.
--"Technical Drive" 1987 book (FULL) by Monty Schmidt.
--"Getting the Most from your Cassette System" book (FULL) 
by Mickey Schmitt.
--"Softech Microsystems p-System Reference Library - 
Internal Architecture" book (FULL).  The official bible of 
the p-System on all platforms.
--"Booklist", unique to the CYC.  An commented listing of 
every book ever published that relates to the 99/4A.
--"PHx Lists", unique to the CYC.  All known TI and third 
party product numbers for all products relating to the 
99/4A.  Some of this information is from internal TI 
documents and includes product numbers for products planned 
but never released.
--"TI-99/4A Home Computer US Consumer Products Retail Price 
List, June-December 1983" dated June 1, 1983 (FULL).  This 
is TI's last published price list.  Many of us have seen 
the 1982 price list, but few have seen this list.  Find out 
how much your stuff would have cost in late 1983.
--In addition to all the roms for TI command modules, you 
get roms in PC99 format for all third party label command 
modules or Gram Kracker modules for which code is 
available.  These third party vendors include Asgard, 
Atari, Corcomp, Disney, Dlm, Funware, Imagic, International 
User Group, John Phillips, John Guion, Tony Kneer, Milton 
Bradley, Navarone, Parker Brothers, Romox, Rich 
Gilbertson(rxb), Scott Foresman, Thornemi, Triton, and 
Weiand (gpl).
--PC99 hardware roms to emulate the 99/4 console, the 
Control Data console, the OPA console with son-of-a-board.  
I don't think you get the 99/4 roms when you buy PC99.
--99er magazine (and its other various titles) TOC. Also, 
the the "On Screen" article (and only this article) in each 
issue and a color scan of the cover.  You also get PC99 disk 
images of all software that appears in the magazine.
--Compute! magazine, TOC of all issues that have 99/4A 
related articles Jan 83-Oct 86.
--Computer Shopper magazine.  A PC99 disk image with all 
published software.  FULL text of all articles in those 
issues available.  A few early issues are missing.
--Easy Computing magazine TOC.
--Enthusiast 99 magazine TOC.
--Genial TRAVelER.  PC99 disk images of all issues of this 
magazine-on-a-disk plus FULL text of all articles in a 
single massive pdf file.
--"The Art of Assembly" by Bruce Harrison.  FULL text of 
all published (in Micropendium) and unpublished articles.
--"Microreviews" published in Micropendium by Charles Good.  
FULL text of almost all reviews since Jan 1994.
--"Micropendium index" TOC of all issues, a document unique 
to the CYC.  If you downloaded all the complete collection 
of MP scans from then you should have this 
--"Micropendium" FULL text of all issues for Volume 1 and 
volume 2.  Included are full color screen shots of 
--"MiniMag 99" magazine TOC.
--"National 99er" newsletter.  FULL text of vol 1 through 
v3#4 April 86.
--"The Smart Programmer" TOC.
--"TI Home Computer Newsletter" TOC.
--Boston Computer Society TI Sig.  PC99 images of all the 
disks in their catalog.  A catalog of these disks that 
includes all the dv80 files on every disk.  This is a great 
PC resource because you can with this catalog print with a 
PC the on TI disk instructions to a lot of very useful TI 
--The International User Group's last catalog, with lots of 
documentation about the early history of the IUG.  FULL
--Articles from the Lima Ohio User Group.
--"TI Home Tidings" newsletter from the UK.  This has been 
'Americanized' in various and includes an American/British 
equivalent dictionary. FULL from Feb 81 through March 83.  
More volumes may be added to later releases of the CYC.
--Amnion Help Line software library in PC99 format.
--"Gramulator Reference Manual" FULL.
--Dijit advertisement for its RGB converter.  Ads and FULL 
documentation for the AVPC 80 column device.  Various 
addenda. Notes on 80 column monitors.
--John Guion disk controller upgrade kit manual. FULL
--Mechatronic XB II user guide FULL.  PC99 disk of software 
from the user guide.
--Myarc 512k card manual FULL.  MDMIII disk manager manual 
--"Hidden Powers of Disk Fixer" by Bill Gronos book.  FULL.
--Navarone color advertisements for its software products.
--C Shell 99 by Joe Ross.  User Guide FULL and PC99 disk 
images of the complete product in sssd format.
--Scott Foresman's own (non TI) user manuals for some of 
their command module educational software that was sold by 
the company under their own label FULL.
--"9900 Instruction Set Summary", a TI document.  FULL
--Instructions that can be executed on the 9995 and not the 
9900.  Short article.
--"GPL Programmers Guide", from TI 1979.  FULL
--"Hexbus Interface user guide" FULL
--"Hexbus RS232" manual FULL
--"99/4A Home Computer Service Manual", Oct 1983 from TI. 
--"TI 99/4 and 99/4A Personal Computer System Software 
Comprehensive Specification", from TI 1983. FULL
--"Source Code for the 99/4A Console Rom".  Not dumped from 
a console, instead this is the actual code TI used.  FULL.
--"GPL Interface Specification for the 99/4 Disk 
Peripheral" from TI 1983.  FULL
--"Software Specification for the 99/4 Disk Peripheral" 
from TI 1983. FULL
--"TI Proprietary Doc-Bus Intelligent Peripheral Bus 
Structure, Timing, and Protocol Specification" from TI 
1988. FULL.  Owners of CC40's and TI74's should find this 
document useful.
--"TI Fanout Memos", a series of iternal memos from TI 
1983.  FULL.  The Fanout Program was designed to equip TI 
employees with 99/4A's as a part of an internal product 
testing and evaluation program.  94% of respondents 
requested an 80 column display.
--"File Management Specification for the TI99/4 Home 
Computer" from TI 1983 FULL
--"European Warranty Information", multilingual warranty 
card that came with European consoles.
--"Dual Cassette Cable" user manual. FULL
--"Video Modulator Operating Guide" FULL
--"TI LOGO Curriculum Guide" from TI 1982. FULL
--"TI Logo Reference Guide" from TI.  FULL. This is not the 
user guide, which is also on the CYC cd.
--"Wired Remote Controllers" user guide 1979. FULL
Although this document has a 1979 data, the pictures show 
the familiar joysticks, not the original 99/4 joysticks.
--"Video Controller" user guide from TI 1982. FULL. This is 
the stand alone php2300 sidecar peripheral.
--"Personal Record Keeping Subprograms", undated from TI. 
--"911/820 Terminal Emulations on the TI99/4A", from TI 
1983.  FULL. Tells how the 99/4A can emulate the TI911 and 
820 terminals.
--"Terminal Emulator Protocol Manual", from TI 1981. FULL
--"TI Professional Computer offer to 99/4 and 99/4A 
Owners", from TI Dec 1984, a series of related documents.  
--"Users Reference Guide" for the 99/4a.  FULL
--"TMS9918A/TMS9928A/TMS9929A Video Display Processors Data 
Manual", from TI 1982. FULL.  With a PC99 disk containing 
the software printed in the manual.
--"Video Display Processors Programmer's Guide", from TI 
1984.  FULL
--Tigercub software public domain disks in PC99 format.  A 
catalog of these disks, with the disk catalog (#6) of each 
disk and short description. FULL
--Tigercub commercial software catalog #8. FULL
--"Tips from the Tigercub". FULL

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