Advertiser

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Advertiser or Advertizer was a very early TI module for the TI99/4.

Code written by TI France in February 1980 is known, but the module has only been seen with a TI label giving a date of 1981. Only a German language version of the module has been recovered. English documentation from 1981 refers to the German language module which is labelled Advertizer.

The module had only one purpose- to add extra CALLS to TI Basic. It produced no menu entry and had no program to autostart, just code to load with the power up routine.

Advertiser set aside some VDP RAM for its special requirements. Because there was no indication the module had initialised VDP ram for itself, the first thing that it did was to turn the borders of the title screen purple to show VDP memory had been reserved. Later, when a disk system was introduced and set aside some VDP ram for itself, the VDP memory check by Advertiser did not work and if a disk system was attached users had to type CALL FILES(9) followed by NEW to set aside VDP memory.

The module is known to exist only as 8k GPL code, either as 2x4k or 1x8k eprom. Written in GPL it was a very early module written in GPL which had no GROM chips, the auto incrementing mode was handled by additional chips in the module.

All TI Basic programs written for the module had to start CALL AD.

It allowed the use of characters 32-95 for one character set and 96-159 for a different character set, they could also be the same but of differing colours. Two commands added double height text, either up to 31 different letters using chars 32-95, or unlimited by using all chars 32-159.

Extra commands included the ability to list items with bullet points; display a menu with single key selection, and quickly change colours for a character set.

It was used eg in conferences and shops to provide an advertising display, which could also be interactive.

A few later modules also extended TI Basic with additional calls, for example the Personal Record Keeping module.

The English documentation which has appeared differs slightly from the module that has been found, as the documentation refers to CALL ACCEPT whereas the module requires CALL A.

The module image was amended to load easily into the FG99 module by adding a second grom to the image, containing a menu entry and an autostart jump to the title screen, which caused the power up routine to be called.

Reworked documentation in html format is at http://shawweb.myzen.co.uk/stephen/3063.htm