S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

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Greyfox
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S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by Greyfox » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:05 am

Hey everyone, anyone out there know about the "Texas Instruments TI-99/4a" computer or could shed some experiences on it, what it was like, what software was good?,

if your an expert on the machince please contact Boyo, as he wants to chat with ya about it...

thanks in advance for the help..PM Boyo if your ineterested

Cheers ;)
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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by Fred83 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:07 am


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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by Greyfox » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:22 am

Thanx m8, he has all that info, he needs to chat with someone who actually owned one or has one , ta
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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by Rinoa » Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:54 pm

We have one with 5 games or so, but to be honest know very little about it :(
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oldtimer
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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by oldtimer » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:31 pm

I actually used to sell them years ago when i worked for the long defunct Rumbelows chain.
It was a really good little system with a good quality keyboard.
Also had a Speech syntheysis module and memory expansions.
I seem to remember that Alpiner was a great game,with good music etc.

But for information....Try Area99 Rick Liddels Texas collection,good bloke with a great knowledge of ti99s .
ATARI....There can be only one !!!!!!!

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resident paul
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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by resident paul » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:43 pm

?
Last edited by resident paul on Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by resident paul » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:47 pm

Filecore is the expert on it & shown his machine on the 'Byte Back' event, give him a PM!
But I have about 60 odd carts for my TI if failing to get a answer from 'Filecore'
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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by oldtimer » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:35 pm

Did you get hold of Area99 in the end?
ATARI....There can be only one !!!!!!!

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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by resident paul » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:21 am

I'm getting no response from either Greyfox or Boyo as well.
What's the hell's going on! :?
Don't they want the info?
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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by PanzerGeneral » Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:56 pm

My very first computer,
A 16 bit computer with decent sound, sprite graphics and hardware speech synthesis that was way ahead of it's time, that's the good stuff.
Bad stuff - extremely slow machine when used in standard basic mode, (extended basic could be purchased which improved the sytem greatly). The machine was fairly unpopular in the u.k - which had the knock on effect of tracking down software and hardware very difficult.
The machine had display capabilities almost identical to the MSX, Memotech and Colecovision machines, - making games colourful - but relatively poor where smooth scrolling was needed.
Some of the better games available for the machine are as follows, - Alpiner, Parsec, Demon attack, TI invaders, Munchman and Hunt the Wumpus, Alpiner and Parsec having speech when used in conjunction with the speech synthesiser unit.
Joystick port looks identical to the Atari 9 pin D connector, dont be fooled - it is infact non standard and requires TI controllers or specialised 3rd party controllers or conversion interfaces.
The machine did however have one of the best expansion sytems I have ever seen - affectionately known as P.E.B or peripheral expansion bus/box. This unit could accomodate a multitude of interface cards and disk units.
Loads of expansion options and peripherals were available for the machine , unfortunately mainly in America where the machine was almost as big a success as it was a failure here in the U.K

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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by psj3809 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:59 am

Dont mean to be rude, but how come your parents got you this machine ?

I thought back in the 80's most parents would see what their friends kids had, or their son/daughter would play on a friends computer and say 'can i get a Speccy/Amstrad/C64 because xxxx has one' etc ?

Not taking the mick or that just never heard of anyone in the UK having this machine. There were a few mishaps as one friend had a Dragon, another had an Oric (tries not to laugh) but they soon converted to the norm.

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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by PanzerGeneral » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:26 pm

Why did our parents buy us these machines?

MMMM - lets see,
well it didn't need the power cable pulled out the back to power down, it lacked a crappy rubber keyboard, it lacked single channel beeping, it lacked censored poor display capabilities with colour clash and dot crawl, it lacked the need for a sinclair interface 2. it also lacked 1 in 4 being returned to manufacurer for being crappily constructed.

Sorry I really dont know!

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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by psj3809 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:29 am

PanzerGeneral wrote:Why did our parents buy us these machines?

MMMM - lets see,
well it didn't need the power cable pulled out the back to power down, it lacked a crappy rubber keyboard, it lacked single channel beeping, it lacked censored poor display capabilities with colour clash and dot crawl, it lacked the need for a sinclair interface 2. it also lacked 1 in 4 being returned to manufacurer for being crappily constructed.

Sorry I really dont know!
Thanks for that 'great' reply to an honest question.

It makes perfect sense now, obviously your parents bought that machine as it was 'so popular' and lasted years and years and 25 years later people are still creating good games for it ;) I'm sure your parents did their homework and checked out the Spectrum and found out that '1 in 4 were returned' and that it had a crappy keyboard, so crappy that tens of thousands of users couldnt use it to play games during the heyday/

My silly fault ! Perhaps my schoolfriends were odd for having a Speccy, C64 or Amstrad. My parents must have been stupid as anything to get me a Speccy, the most popular computer in the UK at the time instead of a Texas Instruments machine ! 'Fairly unpopular' ? Think it ranks way way below the 'big three' and even below the Oric/Dragon in the UK.

Give me hardly any games, a couple of users, a computer which disappeared a few years later rather than a crappy rubber keyboard, tons of friends to swap games with, games to buy in local shops all over the place and magazines available anyday !!!

Silly me ! Makes perfect sense now, thanks so much ! I'm suprised there arent huge features or game reviews in Retro Gamer about this machine month after month !!! It would sell so many more ! Me thinks someones still bitter all these years later for having this as their home computer ! Poor lad !

You'll be defending your parents choice next in buying you a Speak n Spell when all your friends had a Megadrive or SNES next

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PanzerGeneral
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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by PanzerGeneral » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:07 pm

Awwww poor baby needs mater and pater to pick his machines for him :(

Did it never occur that being individuals offered choices - we may infact pick the machine we like the most:- as opposed to buying one "because my mates have got one"
2.5 million machines sold is hardly a failure is it?
The machine was one of the best selling home computers in America, where the Spectrum bombed - because the consumers thought the machine to be a throwback.
With the exception of the useable memory the Spectrum had nothing to offer that the Yanks could not purchase already.

It was unfortunate that so many machines were released in the 1980's that were light years ahead of the Spectrum - but failed because of peer pressur, pack mentality, my mates got one -etc.

I own a zx81 and three Spectrums and have enjoyed using them at various times, but I dont blindly follow one brand over another and never have, I am aware of the pro's and con's of practically every 8 and 16 bit system ever realeased and as such am comfortable with my oppinions on various machines - because they are based in facts (not stupid arsed playground banter).

Please take heed of the original topic under discussion here - it was for somebody looking for info on the TI/99/4A, keep smart arsed comments (my machines better than yours etc) where the belong - Computer and Video Games March 1985

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Re: S.O.S. regarding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:17 pm

To some extent it depends when the TI was bought. A close friend of mine bought one and we thought it was an incredible machine. In retrospect most of the games we played were terrible, but at the time we had no basis for comparison, it being the only system we had proper access to (school computers being locked away and shop systems not being generally available to play with at that point).

The good games were good for their time, especially the expensive cartridge based ones that were in machine code and had access to the sprite functions.

Admittedly within a year the Spectrum market exploded and changed the face of UK gaming, but compared to the ZX81 we were more familiar with the TI was light years ahead. It made sense in the early days to buy this 'proper' computer instead of one of Sinclair's toys. Also remember that we didn't quite know what computers were for then. It was an age where its place in the home wasn't established, there was just a vague 'educational/business/accounts/housekeeping' aspect to them that was alluded to but never really defined in any useful way. A couple of years later we all knew they were just games machines, but not quite then. Kids now miss out on that, you can't get a PS3 for Christmas because 'it'll help with my homework' ;)

The TI has its good points. Games may not be one of them, but on a grander scale it hit many of the required marks needed to justify such an expensive purchase. I don't think I've ever seen a non-working TI-99 (though to be honest I'm not sure I've ever seen one since).

Suffice to say I've a soft spot for them. I learned to program on that mate's TI (borrowed for a week or two and the odd evening afterwards) and bought the BASIC manual a couple of years back for nostalgia value.

Let us not forget, for the duration I ran the Retro League, it was a TI-99/4A emulator that was used to select the games each week via a program I wrote for the job. There's your current relevance right there ;)
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