Artistic TI Programmer
In the world of TI-99 software, the programs of Ken Gilliland form a whole category of their own. His graphics oriented programs are, in addition to being excellent programming examples, unique in appearance. His TI software contained unbelievable graphics, programmed pixel by pixel. Ken produced a large number of TI programs: mostly graphical, but also games and musical programs.
In 1981 Ken Gilliland purchased a TI-99/4A with a Speech Synthesizer and cassette recorder and began making music programs with graphics. In 1983 he won the first prize in the programming contest "The Source" with the program "Siegfried's Funeral Music". This started his series of "singing" disks based on musicals such as South Pacific, The Music Man and The Wizard of Oz. His graphic design ability, as demonstrated by his programs, prompted the software distribution company Asgard Software to award him a software contract. In 1986 Ken produced his first offering for Asgard Software: a disk of TI-ARTIST clipart. He also wrote two Tunnels of Doom Games and started the "Disk of" series.
In 1990 Ken Gilliland formed the company Notung Software. The firm also became the authorized dealer for Ray Kazmer's Software (Kazco International). In 1996 Notung contracted the authors Mickey Cendrowski, Darin Andrade and Norman Rokke. The last Notung product was released in 1996: an add-on for TI Casino called "Casino Solitaire", programmed on the V9t9 emulator. Notung Software continued its mail-order catalog until 2000, when it finally closed its doors.
More information about Ken Gilliland as well as a complete list of his software can be found at http://www.empken.com.
These are the highlights of his software production:
- GIRLIE CALENDAR - For the years 1985 until 1989 Ken made printable calendars partly published on his BBS. The subject of the illustrations in these calendars is obvious!
- DISK OF... SERIES - Ken Gilliland made a large number of graphical disks with historical themes: Disk of Dinosaurs (three titles), Pyrates, Horrors, the Ancient Ones, the Old West and Medieval Times.
- FONTS AND BORDERS - Ken produced seven series of fonts and borders on disk for the TI. On the last issue he included the fonts in the "Disk of" series and the Asgard Software packages.
- MIDI FILES -There were five musical disks with files for the Midi Master package: Midi Favorites Volumes I to V.
- GAMES - Ken programmed two Tunnels of Doom games (Daring Adventures in Kmart and Search for the True King). Quite famous is his game TI Casino, available with two supplements.
- GRAPHICS - Ken made several titles of graphical disks: Star Trek Album, Halloween and The Baba Beer Labels.
- UTILITIES - He also wrote some very useful utilities: Terminal Emulator 2 Encoder, Graphx Slideshow (with Paul Charlton) and Certificate 99 Companion Plus.
Ken wrote a number of tutorials for the program The Printer's Apprentice. His book with disk: How to Use The Printer's Apprentice (and not go insane) was well known and highly regarded by the users of that program.
From 1984 until 1986 Ken was the Sysop of the KBGB BBS. The system ran on a TI-99/4A using Cal-Tex BBS Software. He became a member of the San Fernando Valley 99ers Computer Group. In 1986 he was elected as the first president of this group. Ken was a highly valued vendor throughout the 80s and the early 90s, and highly regarded speaker at many TI Fairs such as the Fest West, the Lima Fair and the Chicago TI International World Faire.
Ken Gilliland was born in 1959 and has been involved in art from about the time he could hold a pencil! At the age of fifteen Ken was introduced to oil paints. In 1978 he graduated from Crescenta Valley High School and later graduated as a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the California State University, Northridge, in 1983. He continued his art studies at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He has worked as a Web Designer, Photographer, Illustrator and Software artist. Ken lives in Tujunga, California.
Click below to view examples of graphics from Ken's "Disk Of" series.
Inducted into the TI99ers Hall of Fame on February 12, 2010