At the business I work for, they have an electronics recycling program for the public. For the most part, we receive old boat anchor PCs, televisions and fax machines, but once in a while someone brings in a classic gem. Yesterday was one of those times.
I saw a lady enter the store with a box for a Texas Instrument TI-99/4A computer. She was heading towards the recycling dump when I approached her and asked if she minded if I took it instead. She laughed, handed it to me and said “Have fun, it’s all yours!” I thanked her and brought the box to the lunch room. I opened it up to find a treasure trove that I had only dreamed to find. The box, in great shape, hels the original computer, a cassette deck (for storing programs) the voice module (very cool at the time), several games and other programs and all the original manuals, cables, cords and power supply… Freakin’ Sweet, I tell ya’!!!
Now, I never had a TI-99 when I was a kid, but a good friend of mine did (Robb, I’m talking about you!), and I was always impressed by what this machine could do. At the time, I had a Commodore VIC-20, and I managed to squeeze a surprising amount out of it, but it always paled in contrast to what the TI-99 could do. The TI-99 had 16 megabytes of RAM, while my little VIC-20 had 5 MEgabytes of RAM…3.4 available after basic. Not much at all. The one big thing the VIC-20 had going for it was a very low price tag: $99 when my parents relented and bought me one – even though I had wanted an Atari 800!
I’ve posted few pictures of my un-boxing of the TI-99 at home. I plan on posting some videos of it in action soon.
While writing this, I was listening to “Far Side of Crazy” by Wall of Voodoo