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Why is the TI99/4a so popular here?


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#76 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:28 PM

It's less capable (Atari neutered) and turns yellow just like every other ugly cheap computer of that era. Love is in the eye of the beholder, so not criticizing you or your ilk. It's just, this model is part of a long line of poor decisions at TI. I'd laugh if it didn't make me cry. A model specifically designed to thwart third party software support. It's an atrocious perversion of the -99/4's lineage. Other than that I'm sure it's a fine machine.


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I have never encountered a yellowed beige model. Every one I ever had looked fantastic. It's not made of cheap plastic either. It is equally a very very well built model. The things I personally like about it:

 

1. Holds up better in the long term physically. I have seen some REALLY bad looking aluminum models. They scratch and ding pretty easily, much like the metal strip on the Atari 7800. Finding a great looking one is a lot harder than the beige model.

 

2. I like the power switch on the beige model MUCH better. Sure, it does not have a light, but this switch feels a lot sturdier in my opinion.

 

3. It is a nice color and goes very well with my other beige non-yellowed vintage computers :)

 

 

True you always have the worry that it will be a gimped v2.2 model, but I suspect those models to be pretty rare as I have never come across a single beige model with that revision GROM :)

 

Here's a beige model I scored recently for $10. Doesn't look so bad (or yellowed) now does it? The other pic is an example of how I usually find the first model in the wild (when I do find them...which has not happened now in over a year)

Attached Thumbnails

  • s-l1600.jpg
  • 2014-02-22-1st-ti99-4a-beat-up-800x600.jpg

Edited by eightbit, Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:33 PM.


#77 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:14 PM

Its a good point on the Apple units not being as popular as the numbers exposed to it might suggest. Is it because TIs and Commodores work well on CRTs, but I associate Apples with needing a monitor? Or is it the association with education versus games?

o.o? The Apple ]['s monitor is a plain old composite display, connected by a plain old RCA cable.  But it might be the latter, the quite sizable library of games that it *did* have notwithstanding.

 

I think it's because Apples were more expensive, actually.



#78 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:19 AM

First, I am delighted this forum exists, and that the TI99 is getting new hobbyist made hardware. Its fun. Second, I am a grey hair whose first computer experience was learning a bit of BASIC on a TRS80 in 1979. While its special, the ubiquitity of the Apple units in school and Commodore at homes overwhelmed it for my set of nerdy friends in the early 80s.

Apple made Great In-Roads into Education, and the Price Point/Features ( and the Openness of Programing ) the C64 made it Very Popular for the Home..
 

Its a good point on the Apple units not being as popular as the numbers exposed to it might suggest. Is it because TIs and Commodores work well on CRTs, but I associate Apples with needing a monitor? Or is it the association with education versus games?

The Apple ][s did not ship with an RF Adapter, it was 3rd Party ( dodging FCC Regulations ), but it was easly added.. The Apple ][s default Video was NTSC Composite.. If ALL Else Failed, you could connect it to your VCR's Composite Video Input and use the VCR's RF Output to your TV...

I am a long time Apple ][e owner, NOV-1983, and I would occasionally disconnect the Apple Monitor /// and hook it up to the Color TV..

In recent years, there has been a big interest in people getting the old Apple ][s, because they could not get one BITD.. Basically First Time Apple ][ Owners...

MarkO



#79 PhileasJWhoopie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:07 PM

The Apple ][s did not ship with an RF Adapter, it was 3rd Party ( dodging FCC Regulations ), but it was easly added.. The Apple ][s default Video was NTSC Composite.. If ALL Else Failed, you could connect it to your VCR's Composite Video Input and use the VCR's RF Output to your TV...

I am a long time Apple ][e owner, NOV-1983, and I would occasionally disconnect the Apple Monitor /// and hook it up to the Color TV..

In recent years, there has been a big interest in people getting the old Apple ][s, because they could not get one BITD.. Basically First Time Apple ][ Owners...

MarkO

 

That's great information, thanks.  I just assumed it was composite video out only, and did not even have RF out.  Now I know better.

 

If my experience is at all typical, many of us may just not be aware of what the Apple ][ can do or its library.  I still associate it with a monochrome green screen and pixel art and other school related activities done on a keyboard.  That's in contrast to the computers I encountered in homes that I associated almost entirely with games using joysticks on color televisions.   Its a faulty perception, but perhaps it helps explain the reduced number of Apple ][ enthusiasts today relative to the larger number of people exposed to it.   



#80 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:34 PM

 

That's great information, thanks.  I just assumed it was composite video out only, and did not even have RF out.  Now I know better.

RF modulators were a pretty common accessory in the early days of the Apple II. Apple themselves didn't even make monitors until the Monitor /// in 1980 or '81, so if you had a ][ or ][+ before then, you either needed to track down a monitor, which probably wasn't cheap, or get an RF modulator and use the T.V. you already had at home. Many of the advertisements of the time pictured the Apple being used with a television, as well.

I'm not sure what the attachment rate to monitors was among Apple owners after that, but I'd hazard a guess quite a few people still used //e and //c systems with RF modulators and TV sets to spare themselves the expense of a monitor. 



#81 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:22 AM

Heck, the Apple ][ used a two-button analog joystick (that WORKED, unlike the unholy abortion on the Atari 5200) when everyone else was using 1-button digital sticks.



#82 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:10 AM

RF modulators were a pretty common accessory in the early days of the Apple II. Apple themselves didn't even make monitors until the Monitor /// in 1980 or '81, so if you had a ][ or ][+ before then, you either needed to track down a monitor, which probably wasn't cheap, or get an RF modulator and use the T.V. you already had at home. Many of the advertisements of the time pictured the Apple being used with a television, as well.

I'm not sure what the attachment rate to monitors was among Apple owners after that, but I'd hazard a guess quite a few people still used //e and //c systems with RF modulators and TV sets to spare themselves the expense of a monitor. 

 

I think a lot of the monitors on early Apple IIs were for security or something like that.
9" or 12" B&W and in a metal box.
The last one of those I saw on ebay was selling for a ridiculous price.



#83 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:35 AM

Heck, the Apple ][ used a two-button analog joystick (that WORKED, unlike the unholy abortion on the Atari 5200) when everyone else was using 1-button digital sticks.

That's because the game controllers Wozniak designed the Apple to use were paddles. Two potentiometers, two buttons, one each per controller. Apple-compatible joysticks are essentially a pair of paddles stuffed into one box.

Quite a few (most?) of the early Apple games that used game controllers, if they didn't reference paddles explicitly, you can tell they were designed to be played with paddles. OTOH there are games like Bob Bishop's Star Wars, which is just about impossible to play with paddles, which were the only Apple game controllers available at the time (1977-78).

And the 5200 joystick is a good controller once you properly refurb it. :)
 

 

 

I think a lot of the monitors on early Apple IIs were for security or something like that.
9" or 12" B&W and in a metal box.
The last one of those I saw on ebay was selling for a ridiculous price.

They certainly look like little BNC security monitors. I don't know if monitors like the classic Sanyo were standard composite or if they required a phono-BNC adapter.


Edited by BassGuitari, Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:43 AM.


#84 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:29 PM

...

 

They certainly look like little BNC security monitors. I don't know if monitors like the classic Sanyo were standard composite or if they required a phono-BNC adapter.

They required BNC adapters.  A friend had an Apple II+ with one.



#85 toptenmaterial OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:08 PM



#86 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 6, 2017 6:48 AM

What I find so amazing about the TI section here on Atari Age is all the activity currently going on.  There are so many different projects going on at the SAME TIME, that I simply don't have enough free time in the day to follow them all closely.   How many retro systems can you say THAT about?  :thumbsup:



#87 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 6, 2017 8:19 AM

What I find so amazing about the TI section here on Atari Age is all the activity currently going on.  There are so many different projects going on at the SAME TIME, that I simply don't have enough free time in the day to follow them all closely.   How many retro systems can you say THAT about?  :thumbsup:

 
Not as many computer systems I suppose, but the C64 and Amiga are two for sure.   :)   

#88 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 7, 2017 11:36 AM

How many retro systems can you say THAT about?  :thumbsup:

Uh...quite a few. ;)

The aforementioned C64 and Amiga, the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Coleco, Intellivision, NES, and no doubt even more post-crash systems that I'm less familiar with.



#89 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Sun May 7, 2017 2:49 PM

Yeah, if you look in the right places - and AtariAge is not always the right place, mind you - you will find quite some projects for many of the available systems. Of course if the definition requires more hardware and software projects than one individual can keep up with, the number of systems are limited a little.



#90 kiwilove OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 7, 2017 4:14 PM

The Atari 8-bit computers forums also has a strong following/support for - particularly for those into the hardware - which I am not.  I'm more into software development - as I like designing graphics for the 8-bit hardware - and I don't mind designing graphics for any 8-bit computer, providing I have the tool(s) to work with on a PC laptop - but it's pretty rare for me to find any programmers keen to work with me.  I like to see any 8-bit system pushed to it's limit - and see if something new? can be done on it - that has not been done before?

 

I can imagine there's very strong support for the C-64, Spectrum - because of the numbers that were sold.

 

Harvey






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