Author Topic: Texas Instruments TI-99/4A  (Read 855 times)

Offline TrekMD

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Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
« on: August 30, 2015, 17:56:05 PM »
[align=center:19vrej5s]Texas Instruments TI-99/4A was an early home computer, released in June 1981, originally at a price of US$525. It was an enhanced version of the less successful TI-99/4 model, which was released in late 1979 at a price of $1,150. The TI-99/4A added an additional graphics mode, "lowercase" characters consisting of small capitals, and a full-travel keyboard. Its predecessor, the TI-99/4, featured a calculator-style chiclet keyboard and a character set that lacked lowercase text.

Games

Developers created about 100 99/4A games, most published by Texas Instruments. Some of the most popular were Parsec, TI Invaders, Munch Man, Alpiner, Tombstone City: 21st Century, Hunt The Wumpus and Car Wars.

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Many TI-developed video games, especially those developed by John Phillips, may be forced into "cheat mode" by holding the shift key and pressing 838. Terse messages often appear, which may allow the user to move to a different round of the game. In Munch Man, the top screen and top round includes invisible Hoonos ("ghosts" in this Pac-Man derivative) which travel several times faster than Munch Man. In Alpiner, the player can select which mountain to climb. 838 (with or without SHIFT) in Star Trek gives a random but high level of torpedoes, shields, and warp-drive energy.

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InfoWorld criticized the computer's game library as mediocre. TI discouraged third-party development for the 99/4A, including games, but did not license popular arcade games like Zaxxon or Frogger. The company actively promoted the TI-99/4A in educational use (as opposed to Atari and Commodore's emphasis on arcade-game action) and learning programs for children comprised a large portion of its software library. But as the Apple II already had a major foothold in schools, in USA, and was an open architecture that anyone could easily develop for, TI failed to make an impact there.

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Going to the final frontier, gaming...

Offline Saturn

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Re: Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 14:43:47 PM »
That's some interesting info/history. This is another computer I'd never heard of, probably bc of my age in 1980 but even if I had, at that price tag in that year, it wouldn't have happened anyway.
I find it remarkable that so many systems were out there and I'm only hearing about them now lol.
Loved me some Atari 2600 in those days and was happy to have it.
Thanks for the info! 8)

Offline zapiy

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Re: Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 17:25:21 PM »
I have always loved the look of this computer, had some great games by the looks of it also. Any owners i wonder?
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Offline Saturn

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Re: Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2015, 18:29:04 PM »
I often wonder what it would be like to happen onto a stash of these (or something similar) on a pallet in an old abandoned building. Everything brand new and ready to adorn the game room turned museum lol.
Would be cool.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2015, 23:40:12 PM »
I remember seeing these but never realized it had so many games. 

Going to the final frontier, gaming...

Offline Shadowrunner

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Re: Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2015, 15:30:22 PM »
I can see why the original didn't do too well. $1,150 in 1979 is like $3,700 today! Nice looking games on it but I've never seen one in person.

 

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