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ScuzzBlog: Diaries December 2017

Entry 17th December 2017: Post: 1

TI-99/4A or ' that silver thing '

This computer looks real slick, what with the high polished silver
and jet black case. Also has the old Citroen BX dash tray for
putting your loose change on. There is an ominous shortage of
connectors and ports to this machine. Also none of the sockets
really are what you can call traditional outlets.

To run on a TV you need the special modulator which plugs into
the lone socket on the rear. The power supply has a real whacky
socket which is seen on no other computer I have. And there is
a very strange cassette cable that appears to connect to the
joystick port.

Saying all that the machine looks all very polished. The BASIC
shows the commands in smaller capitals which is neat. The cartridge
is a menu option which I think is a brilliant idea. I will have to
check out what form of BASIC this uses cus it just didn't seem
to understand all the standard words and commands. I did feel
that the computer was talking to me at times. Very friendly.

I have to say this computer is very very different to anything
else I have mucked on for the period. Not sure if that's a good
or bad thing. What dismays me , coming late to all these platforms
is why I ever bothered with the Spectrum. Any one of these other
platforms would have provided me with a much better system. I
loved the HiTBiT with the software on the ROM. I enjoyed very
much the TRS in all it's forms. This computer I would have
definitely fell in love with. Like I say sad that I didn't look
around at more.

The saddest truth is that I never was able to buy the VIC-20 that
I was saving up for. The girlfriend has to take the blame for that
one. But then she did have much more easily accessible hardware.

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A from 1981
Uses the TI TMS9900 CPU running at 3MHz
Memory is 16K with 26K in ROM
Display id through a special TV modulator 32 characters by 24 lines
and 192 x 256 in 16 colour graphics.
The unit has a ROM cartridge on the front. Port for data storage
There is also a CPU bus expansion plus joystick port.

The computer uses its very own TI BASIC which is incompatible
with the more popular MS-DOS BASIC.

The computer had a very strange way of adding peripherals which
basically created a wagon train daisy chained to the right of the
machine. This could be overcome but at great cost.

Anyway enough about that lets get to the pics. Starting with me
first finding the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A... or as I call it
' that silver thing '. I have three of these. One is busted.

My shelf with three of these silver things on

My SONY in the store always gives way
better images than the big Toshiba

The computer was working when I first
discovered her so looking good so far

Also found a goodly amount of docs

First thing to connect is the modulator
or TV connector. The DIN connects to the
one rear port on the back of the machine

A TV PAL Encoder

Next up you need the special power supply

With the very strange connector

Then you are good to go

Sorry for the blurred images. Camera issues
Well , more camera user issues. My bad for
leaving the setting on macro. Duh !!

Nice touch having the cartridge on a menu

Munch - Man ... guess you realised that

Very entertaining if you like Pac-Man

Think you may just be able to read that.
I discovered later that the " " print quotation
marks are on the front face of the 'P' and
not shown on the top of the button like normal

I have to photograph in near dark so
couldn't find the print " ... thingies

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Last updated 16/12/2017

Chandraise Kingdom

Keep the Faith
scuzzscink 2017