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Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Home Computer

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Home Computer

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Home Computer

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SOLD! Did you have a TI-99/4A, or would you like to replace your old one with one that works? Here's a great opportunity to get a complete, nearly like-new, system with monitor and many peripheral cards, and program cartridges. Use it "as-is" or use it to repair your old one, or take parts that work from your old computer that doesn't work and add it to this one. These computers can be really fun to work on, and let you program at the lowest level, or run pre-programmed software! We are offering our system and all components and accessories for sale (see bottom of this page for details).

In 1982 I became self-employed for the first time in my life. After spending 25 years devoting my energies to the benefit of others, I decided it was time to take off on my own. As a business writer and publications director, I figured the most logical business I could start for myself was freelance business writing, editing and printing services. Although I started out using a typewriter, I quickly realized that computers were the up and coming thing, but I couldn't afford the prices charged at that time for an IBM PC and the software available for it. After considerable research (which was difficult in pre-Internet days) I decided the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Home Computer was the best alternative with the most options available.
(Photo removed)     Late in 1982 I purchased the system shown above. The only things I purchased at that time, not shown, was an Epson MX-80, dot-matrix printer (which I recently sold) and a data recorder. I should mention that I purchased some things separately as the next few months progressed, for example, I started with a data recorder, but quickly upgraded to the peripheral expansion box with one disk drive, then added the second disk drive. There is a Speech Synthesizer shown above, which was purchase later, and although I didn't need it for business purposes I had fun playing with it.
     In order to efficiently run the business, I acquired TI-Writer Word Processor for creating the written documents my clients needed, and Microsoft Multiplan to keep track of my income and expenses, and to create necessary spreadsheets for client assigments.
     Interestingly enough, I frequently worked on-site for a major client who had IBM PCs, and I found that I could create as good documents with my little TI as I could with their PC. The difference being that I paid around $2,750.00 for my system, and they paid close to $10,000.00 for theirs!
     Some of the peripherals that enhanced my system included TI Extended Basic, Disk Manager 2, Terminal Emulator II, and a Hayes 300 baud Smart Modem, a major step up from the previously offered 150 baud modem!
     I also purchased Editor/Assembler, taught myself, and wrote some of my own assembly language programs. In fact, I wrote two simple assembly language games that I sold through a TI Users Group newsletter (not many, but I sold some!) One game was a Wheel of Fortune type program for either one or two players, and the other I called Cryptocompute, a game with some built-in cryptograms, but you could also enter the daily cryptogram from the newspaper and figure it out. :-) I still have, and recently played, both games.
     In 1987 I was still using the TI for business purposes, but finally started my "move up" to IBM PC-compatible computing. I purchased a Triton Turbo XT and Bridge Box to operate both TI and PC programs using the TI keyboard and the same monitor. Wow! My first move towards PC computing. I still have both the Bridge Box and the Turbo XT (although only the Bridge Box is included in this offer).
Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Home Computer select screen     Getting back to just the TI without the Bridge Box, in order to run a software program, a cartridge was needed in addition to the installation disk. (In the photo of the entire system, the Extended Basic cartridge is inserted in the computer, and in the photo at right is the "select screen" between plain Basic and Extended Basic.) Because I was afraid switching the cartridges frequently would wear out the contacts quickly, I purchased a "cartridge extender"—a gadget that plugged into the cartridge socket and allowed you to have up to three cartridges plugged in at the same time. I kept my three most frequently used cartridges in that, and if I needed to switch one program out and another in, I'd switch it in the extender rather than the computer's socket. I normally kept TI Writer, Multiplan and Extended Basic in the extender. In order to go from one program to another you simply moved a little switch between positions 1, 2 and 3. This, obivously, was way before the days of a multi-tasking computer!
     I've kept the TI because it is fun to "play with", but after not using it for a few years, I set it up again in the fall of 2004, and played my games on it off and on since. However, I'm now reaching the age when I really don't have time for that (I'm semi-retired, but still need to continue working to supplement my Social Security), and really could use the space the old computer takes up, whether packed in boxes or set up for use. I am therefore accepting offers for the purchase of the entire system. I will not consider selling parts of the system, if I can't get a reasonable price, I'll keep it and continue to play with it from time to time.
     This system MUST be turned on in a specific order: 1) external drive, 2) peripheral expansion box, 3) monitor, 4) console. Computer MUST be turned off before adding or removing ANY peripheral device, including Speech Synthesizer, peripheral cards, etc.
     The system is as "near new" as something that old can be! This is what's included in my offer:
  • TI-99/4A Console
  • Peripheral Expansion Box
  • RS232 Interface Card
  • 32K x 8 Memory Expansion Card (2)
  • Disk Controller (controls both drives)
  • Flex Cable Interface
  • 1 Internal and 1 External, 5-1/4", double-sided, single-density disk drives
  • Panasonic Data Grade Color Monitor Model CT-1300D (case color matches computer) and Operating Instructions
  • All necessary and some optional cables
  • Texas Instruments Program Recorder (casette tape)
  • Cartridges for:
    • TI Extended Basic 2
    • TI Writer
    • Microsft Multiplan
    • Editor Assembler
    • Terminal Emulator
    • Disk Manager 2
  • Program disks, where applicable, for above programs and, when available, upgrade disks
  • Cartridge "Extender" to hold 3 cartridges
  • Bridge Box
  • Hayes SmartModem 300
  • Manuals for everything
  • Programmer's Reference Guide to the TI-99/4A (Basic programming)
  • Fundamentals of TI-99/4A Assembly Language by M.S. Morley ©1984, 310 pages
  • Introduction to Assembly Language for the TI Home Computer by Ralph Molesworth ©1983, 140 pages
  • Free Software for your TI-99/4A (many addresses & phone numbers, none of which are probably any good any more!)
  • TI Extended Basic
  • Video Modulater (Interface for connecting to "regular" TV set)
  • The Best of 99'er" Like New ©1983, 358 pages (Articles & Programs for the TI-99/4A "collection of diverse crop of articles which appeared in the pages of 99'er Home Computer Magazine during its first year". )
  • Beginner's BASIC (for TI BASIC language)
  • Overlays, pre-written and blank, as guides to Control and Function keys operation for each program
  • U.S. Consumer Retail Price List January - June, 1983
  • A "bunch" of 5-1/4" floppy disks, most with data for the TI (I plan to check each to be sure it does not contain data I don't want to distribute)
  • Another "bunch" of casette tapes with data for the TI (I plan to check each to be sure it does not contain data I don't want to distribute)
  • A beige, alpha-numeric keyboard from Archer, originally for the TI-99/4 computer (I purchsed it on the assumption that if the original keyboard malfunctioned I could use it as a replacement. Never tried it, so don't know if it works on the 4A or not.)
  • Brown vinyl console dust cover


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Thursday, October 19, 2006
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