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Can I run MESS in Wine on a Linux or Mac system?

Yes. MESS makes use of the SDL library for non-Windows system. However, you'll usually not find precompiled packages but the source code which you need to compile; as there are prepared makefiles this should not cause any trouble. You will get a natively running application for 32 or 64 bit systems.

Can I connect to a printer so I can print out stuff within MESS?

MESS allows you to mount a file which is used to capture the bytes you send to the PIO interface. You can then print this file using the print service of your operating system.

Does any version of MESS allow you to use the RS232 port?

Yes. Since version 0.143 MESS offers a true RS232 connection, but it takes a little effort to get it going. This is due to the lack of an operating system-independent access to the RS232 adaptor in the PC (maybe there is a way, but it is currently not made use of). Instead, MESS sends out all serial data and receives all data via a socket connection. You need a bridge which interfaces between the socket connection and the serial adaptor.

This is achieved via TIImageTool which is actually a tool for managing disk images; one of its features is such a serial bridge. See TIImageTool for more information.

How can I create blank disks (90k, 180k, etc) for use with MESS?

TIImageTool is specifically designed to produce image files for use with MESS. You can also use it to move and copy files between the images.

Also, MESS ships with a program called imgtool that can be used to do this from the command prompt.

The following are the commands you would use to create the various disks. MESS uses the V9T9 format so these images should be shareable with V9T9 as well.

90k (SS/SD):

imgtool create v9t9 sssd.DSK --sides=1 --tracks=40 --sectors=9 

180k (SS/DD):

imgtool create v9t9 sssd.DSK --sides=1 --tracks=40 --sectors=18 

360k (DS/DD):

imgtool create v9t9 sssd.DSK --sides=2 --tracks=40 --sectors=18

How do I get and use MESS for the TI-99/4A?

MESS is an emulation engine that supports a variety of systems, actually a lot of systems! You can get MESS up and running for the TI-99/4a in a matter of minutes.

  1. Get MESS
  2. Get ROMS and Cartridges for TI-99/4a
  3. Startup MESS. I use MESSGUI which is a GUI interface to MESS.
    • Navigate to c:mess
    • Run c:messmessgui.exe
    • Select "TI99/4A Home Computer (US)" on the left panel.
    • Select the cartridge you want in the middle panel and double-click.

That's it, you should be up and running. You can change some of the DIP settings in MESS for the TI to enable and disable features like the HSGPL, Speech, Memory Cards, etc.

Where can I get ROMS for the TI-99/4a for use with MESS?

I always had a hard time tracking down the MESS ROMS for the TI. On WHTECH there is a MESS97 Addon-Pack that has the roms but its for an older version and has other stuff I didn't need.

I took that package and slimmed it down so it has only the pieces for the TI-99/4A and then created a new zip file. The new file is only 5mb and contains the following:

  1. ROMS for the TI-99/4a
  2. All the cartridge files/roms.
  3. Some basic blank disks
  4. Diskettes for E/A and TI-Writer.

Best advice: Use your favorite search engine. They are out there, somewhere.