Adventure Gamer Extraordinaire
Since the mid-1980s Mickey Cendrowski (née Schmitt) has been a member of the TI community who has consistently exhibited a dedication to the TI-99/4A Home Computer, to the community that supported it, to the members of the user groups to which she belonged, and to the many other 99/4A computer users that she met over the years.
As a member of both the Pittsburgh Users Group (PUG) and the West Penn 99ers, Mickey held positions as the leader of the PUG Adventure game interest group, as well as Vice-President, President, Librarian and Newsletter Editor for the West Penn 99ers.
In 1986, she began writing a series of articles for the West Penn 99ers newsletter entitled "Getting the Most from your Cassette System". At the 1988 TI Exposition, held in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Mickey met Mike Wright, who had access to sophisticated typesetting equipment. The meeting resulted in a republication of her cassette series. Included with this new edition was an offer made to all user groups: purchase one copy and receive the rights to reprint and sell copies to group members, as a fundraiser.
In 1988 she partnered with fellow user group member Lynn Gardner, to create the Adventure game, "Oliver's Twist", which was distributed through Asgard Software. The experience enabled them to become two of only a few members of the TI community to master the complexity of the Adventure Programming Language used by The Adventure Editor program.
In 1989, Mickey authored "The Adventure Reference Guide", which was a definitive listing at that time, of TI-99/4A compatible adventure titles. The research involved in creating the guide led her to a partnership with the Western New York 99ers (WNY99ers) and Massachusetts Users of the Ninety nine and Computer Hobbyists (M.U.N.C.H.) user groups to create the "TI Adventure Compendium": a collection of twenty-eight adventure games, as a joint fundraising project for the two groups.
In 1991, a desire to become more involved in all aspects of software distribution resulted in the formation of MS Express Software with partner Mike Sealy. In addition to Mickey's programs, the partnership would go on to distribute Norman Rokke's Page Pro Cataloger and Sliding Block Puzzle Series, Lynn Gardner's Adventure Hint Series and Eric Kepes' Galactic Emperors.
In 1998, Mickey worked with her husband Mike to collect unused TI-99/4A computer systems. After giving each a thorough cleaning and check-up, they donated these systems to a Christian school near their home, so that students would have the opportunity to learn, using various TI-99/4A educational programs. Later, when the school received a grant for personal computers, these TI-99/4A computers found new homes with those students whose parents could not afford a PC.
In 2008, although being told that it would be hard to do, Mickey was the first to attempt to run PC99 on a Hewlett-Packard Jornada 728 Handheld PC. Not only did she succeed in this task, but as a test she played Adventureland from start to finish on this handheld computer - and she has the screen dumps to prove it. See Pocket TI-99/4A Computer for a full explanation of this project. Currently she is trying to get her "Pocket TI-99/4A" to run faster on the Jornada 728.
Some of Mickey's other contributions to the TI community include:
Mickey lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband Mike Cendrowski and when not working as Museum Manager of the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, riding motorcycles and All Terrain Vehicles.
- Rattlesnake Bend - An advanced-level adventure game created for use with the Adventure module. (1991)
- Adventure Database - A variety of TI-Base command files for managing Adventure game collections, which comes pre-populated with data from "The Adventure Reference Guide". (1993)
- Genealogy Plus! - Templates and utilities for creating and managing family genealogies using databases created in TI-Writer, Personal Record Keeper, or TI-Base. (1993)
- TI Software Database - An assortment of TI-Base command files for managing TI Software collections. (1995)
- Printer Reference List - A listing of escape codes for over 30 TI-compatible printers. (MICROpendium: Jul/Aug 1996)
- Load Master (co-authored with Bruce Harrison) - Utility to catalog and load programs, identify program associated with individual files, print disk sleeves, labels, etc. (MICROpendium: Jan/Feb 1997)
Inducted into the TI99ers Hall of Fame on December 18, 2009