Thursday, December 23, 2010

Texas Instruments TI99/4A

Back in 1981 when your truly was really -really- young Texas Instruments released its early 16-bit computer: the TI99/4A; the follow up to the not particularly successful TI99/4 that improved on its graphics capabilities, added more than a few extras and shipped with a proper high quality keyboard. Having owned this wonderful machine for over 25 years, I just can't recommend it enough.

This TI99/4A bundle currently up for auction, seems like a great way to start your TI collection. You'll be getting the computer, 14 cartridges, 2 joysticks, the power cord, the RF adapter, the rare(-ish) Speech Synthesizer and quite a few manuals. Seller ships worldwide.


  1. aha - now I see the genesis of the TI Invaders post over at the Lair. Nice pic of manual on there and everything. Too bad I already blew all that money on Christmas gifts I might've considered this one.

  2. Hehehe... Actually this post was simply a way to urge me to go on and actually write the TI Invaders post. BTW, wish we had garage sales over here too.

  3. They sound good in theory, but unfortunately you have to wade through a sea of retro trash before you finally find a retro treasure...

  4. Nice. My first computer was a TI-99/4A. I got it for Christmas, 1982 -- I was 10 years old.

    I convinced my folks to get me the Peripheral Expansion Box, a floppy drive, and a 32K memory expansion card to go with, the following Christmas. And memory wasn't cheap back then...

    At $299 for that 32K of RAM, the 12GB in my current Mac Pro would've cost, back in 1983, $244 million (adjusted for inflation).
    Can you believe it?!

    I've since setup a new TI-99 system...

    ...and have, of late, been getting back into the games. Check the custom 64K cart I just grabbed with the modern indie title Neve Lander on it:

    I'm toying with the idea of playing with TMS-9900 assembly on the device, just for fun. There is a nice tutorial series here:

    The TI-99/4A is quite a unique machine. It's got it's limitations, and no mistake, but it's such an odd beast. The first 16-bit personal computer. I'd encourage folks to check one out.

  5. @ MadPlanet: Fair enough, but still... They'd be lovely.

    @ Blake: A most amazing collection of links. Thanks!