First computer was a beige TI-99/4A and bought it from a friend when I was either in 8th grade or Freshman year of H.S. Came with Extended BASIC, Adventure, Mini Memory, programming books, a bunch of game cartridges & tapes, program recorder, speech synthesizer, a printer adapter that hooked to the joystick port and a dongle for the joystick port I could hook a single Atari compatible joystick to. Played and programmed the hell out of that machine and got to know a couple of friends that also had TI's at home. Was too broke to be purchasing things out of catalogs, so was great being able to temporarily swap cartridges once in a while. Spent untold hours with my friends playing games like Tunnels of Doom, Centipede, TI Invaders, Slymoids, Burgertime, Star Trek, Car Wars, Congo Bongo, Blasto! and lots more ...with one person using a joystick, and the other using the keyboard. Didn't complain much back then about it... was just the way it was. Honestly, cannot remember if I was even aware of the Wico 2-player adapter at the time or not. I'm thinking not, but either way - I loved my TI and was elated to have a computer to call my own. Think I paid around $200 for it and really, was a large collection right off the bat - probably the main reason why I didn't really seek purchasing much else for it at the time. Went on to purchase other computers instead of investing more in the TI I guess.
By the late 80's, it and my Atari 2600 were relegated to the closet as I had moved on to the Amiga and NES for gaming. The C64, Atari 400 and Apple ][ computers I had bought since the TI, were all gone by this time, though I did purchase a new C64c and 1802 monitor a few years later.
Early 90's, started frequenting thrift stores and would run across old game systems and computer stuff. It's where I found another Atarisoft game (only had and was aware of Centipede) and nearly lost it when it turned out to be Donkey Kong! DK for the TI?! One of my favorite games of all time and this is when I decided to bring the system out of "retirement".
By the late 90's, acquired a PEB box, official TI monitor and started collecting cartridges like crazy. Even had Espial, which I had traded for a couple of other hard to find carts at the time. Micro-Pinball and I forget the other now. Really got into the text Adventures around this time too and wanted to put together a collection of the games on something more convenient and "permanent" than tapes, just in case they'd ever go bad. Got ahold of Scott Adams and coincidentally, found he lived in WI as well. Asked for his blessing in putting together a compilation of sorts for the good folks of Usenet, when he mentioned he was in the middle of making a sequel to Return To Pirates Isle for Windows 95 machines. Not sure or can't remember whatever happened to *that* project (don't think it was ever finished or was only sold in super limited quantities?), but I went ahead with my CD collection that had versions of all his games to be played through a CD player into the TI using the cassette cable and a Windows interpreter for people that didn't have legacy hardware to play on. Gathered up all the artwork for the original game boxes as well. Some other tidbits like hints/tips/walkthroughs, etc.
...fast forward to today and still have most of my TI collection (sold some of it, but added things like a Milton Bradley MBX unit) and actively participate in the forums here. Have been enjoying some of the latest the best of the community has to offer, such as multi-carts, memory expansion/CF card units, games, knowledge, storytelling and more. While there will be nothing like the way I felt as a kid growing up with this stuff BITD, 30+ years later, these are arguably the best times to be in the hobby.