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T > TEXAS INSTRUMENTS  > TI 99 / 4A Beige   


Texas Instruments
TI 99 / 4A Beige

This TI99/4A all plastic beige version was launched in June 1983, five months before Texas Instruments decide to definitely get out of the home computers market.

The goal was to reduce the production costs and offer a better price front of the Commodore VIC-20 competition. T.I. also thought of standardizing colours and peripherals of its future line of home computers, the TI99/2 and TI99/8.

Internal hardware of the beige version was quite the same as the TI99/4 black and silver model. All of the TI99 peripherals could run on the new version. Some minor change were made though:
• New power supply unit
• New power switch moved to to right of the keyboard
• The power Led was replaced with a blue colored area on the power switch
• Only the T.I. licencied ROM cartridges could run on this version.

Despite its short life, several tens of thousands system were sold, in American continent and Australia.



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I have a beige 99/4A that my Grandma bought at Sears on clearance. It came with the original version of the system ROM and will run all third party carts. Guess TI was trying to just make everything they could and mixed and matched surplus part stock to get rid of it at the EOL of the machines. Even though the computer is almost a decade older than I am I have enjoyed it and still break it out every now and then to play Zero Zap or Parsec on.

          
Monday 19th June 2017
Nathaniel (Texas)

I still have my beige TI-99/4a (16k of RAM!) and it still works (except I no longer have a tube tv for display. :-( ). I also have the cassette player I used with it and there''s a tape in there but I''m afraid to even plug it in or try and open the player. Figure the tape has welded itself to the read head or something. For what it''s worth, I now admin super computers. Great way to start.

          
Wednesday 5th April 2017
Gilmoure (New Mexico, United States)

My farther purchased one for me when I was around 14 or 15. I lived in a little town called Newport Pagnell (where Aston Martins are made) just outside Milton Keynes. My first computer.

Remember learning BASIC, copying programs from magazines with the thinnest paper. Loved it. Learned to debug because I would never copy correctly, still use those same techniques today...

Pretty sure having this computer and loving it helped me get my apprenticeship at Allen-Bradley in 1981 and career in tech ever since...

          
Saturday 1st April 2017
Mark (United States)

 

NAME  TI 99 / 4A Beige
MANUFACTURER  Texas Instruments
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  June 1983
END OF PRODUCTION  1983
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  TI Basic
KEYBOARD  QWERTY full-stroke keyboard, 48 keys
2 x SHIFT, CTRL, ALPHA LOCK, FCTN
CPU  TI TMS 9900 (with 256 bytes 'cache', actually it accesses to 256 bytes of RAM)
SPEED  3,3 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  TMS 9918 (TMS 9929 in Europe) - Video / Sprite
RAM  256 bytes - Memory expansion card can be added : 4 KB or 32 KB (up to 52 KB)
VRAM  16 kb
ROM  26 KB  : 8 KB ROM connected to the CPU + 18 KB ROM in byte-serial bit-mapped circuits (usually known as GROM, Graphic Only Memory)
TEXT MODES  32 x 24 (16 colors), 40 x 24 (2 colors)
GRAPHIC MODES  Multicolor mode : 48 x 64 with 16 colors
256 x 192 with 16 colors (only accesed via machine code)
Sprites (only with TI-Extended Basic)
COLORS  16
SOUND  3 channels, 5 octaves (110hz to 55khz) and 1 noise channel (periodic and white)
SIZE / WEIGHT  38 (W) x 25,5 (D) x 6 (H) cm / 2,15 kg
I/O PORTS  Tape interface, RGB video, Joystick (2), cartridge slot (Solid State Cartridge)
OS  TI's own system, but a p-code card could be added, which gave access to the UCSD p-system and a Pascal compiler.
POWER SUPPLY  Special TI external PSU
(pins 1,2 : 16v / 1,6A -- pins 2,4 : 8v / 0,15A)
PRICE  AU $200


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