The Compact Computer 40 is a cute little system which represents Texas-Instrument`s first entry into the portable computer market. It can be considered in many ways as the TI-99 4/A's little brother.
It includes a special version of the TI Extended Basic, where most of the graphical and sound statements has been discarded. But it is so close, than some TI-99 4/A can actually be executed on a CC40 !
Basic statements can be accessed directly through specific key combinations (CTL + key). There is a reset button located to the right of the spacebar.
A lot of peripherals were available thanks to the Hexbus connector : a printer/plotter, a cheap and unreliable wafertape drive (a 8000 baud digital tape which can store about 48 kb) and an RS232c / Centronics interface.
Several software were available on cartridge. Titles released by Texas Instruments include : Memo Processor, Mathmatics, Games #1, Finance, and Electrical Engineering. Memory could also be expanded through special cartridges.
In some ways, the CC40 is the ancestor of the Exelvision EXL 100.
David Vohs report us :
Texas Instruments planned to launch later a TI CC40+, it has the same text and graphics modes and the same operating system as the TI CC 40. This model was announced after TI realized that their cheap wafertape drive turned out to be cheap but unreliable (no other method of mass storage was ever adapted for the TI CC 40). So the cool part about the CC40+ was that it had connectors for a regular tape player to be hooked up to it (just like the TI 99/4 & 4A). It may also have sported a better keyboard (unconfirmed at this time).
But unfortunately, this computer was a casualty of bad planning, since TI was backing out of the computer market at this time, and the TI CC 40+ was never released.
I worked on the followup to the CC-40. I don''t remember anything about a CC40+, but I worked on the something called the CC80 (? I think that was the model). It had a larger display (several sizes were being worked on), it could take more than one of the modules plugged in at one time, and other enhancements. TI decided there was no market for compact computers, or really any consumer electronics and cancelled pretty much everything, even though a lot of it was complete and ready to go!
Saturday 9th July 2016
While I hate to disprove such a beautiful rumor... My dad used to work for TI, and wound up in possession of one of the CC40+ prototypes when the home computer division was killed. Consequently, I can verify that the keyboard on the CC40+ is identical to the standard CC40 keyboard aside from coloration, and not improved at all. Aside from a cost-reduced housing(in beige plastic to match the 99/8, 99/2, and late-model 99/4a) and the addition of a 99/ series cassette cable connector, there wasn''t any real difference between the two models.
You MAY be thinking of the TI-74 Basicalc, which actually WAS released. Despite being a clear relative of the CC40 family, it WAS different in many respects, including the keyboard.
Thursday 9th May 2013
COMPACT COMPUTER 40 (CC40)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Special version of TI Extended Basic
Calculator (chicklet) style keyboard with separated numeric keypad, 4 function keys (BREAK, RUN, ON, OFF) CTL, SHIFT, ENTER and large SPACEBAR
Texas-Instrument TMS-70C20 (CMOS 8-bit)
6 kb (up to 18 kb)
34 kb (up to 128 kb)
1 line of 31 characters (5 x 8 character matrix)
monochrome LCD display (31 characters, scrollable to 80 chars)