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What do you think?


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Poll: A new machine? (45 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you be interested in a 'modern' TI-99/4X console.

  1. Yes (15 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  2. Hell yes! (7 votes [15.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.56%

  3. No (16 votes [35.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.56%

  4. Hell no! (4 votes [8.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.89%

  5. Other/No Comment (3 votes [6.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

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#1 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 2:49 PM

An AtariAge user sent me << THIS LINK >> on the ZX KickStarter project and wondered if something like this would be interesting to the TI Community.

 

If there is one thing I've learned about the TI community, it's that we all have different reasons, likes and goals for being here.  Some of us are purists, some of us like updating and doing mods to our equipment, while still others like programming or playing game.

 

Since this is a 'varied community', I figured doing a poll might be the quickest way to ascertain where people 'stand' on the issue of a new or modernized TI-99/4X.

 

Due to the subject matter, this is an anonymous poll.  However, if you have the guts to break anonymity by stating WHY you answered either YES or NO, I'm sure many of us would all be interested in learning the various viewpoints.  I have faith we can keep it all friendly.

 

 



#2 RXB OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 2:52 PM

I finally might have money for this to use.



#3 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 2:55 PM

I would love a modernized TI that does not sacrifice any original capabilities and supports things like networking (wired and wireless), usb host, ide, etc...

But that's just me. I was hopeful to see the Speccery projects flourish into something like this.

#4 digdugnate ONLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 2:56 PM

I voted 'yes'- but with some trepidation.  :)

 

I'd like to see a console that has new components, plus the cool stuff similar to an F18A video chip, either onboard PEB-type stuff or accessories, and USB keyboard support (if you were so inclined).  so- basically an amalgamation of all the cool projects I've seen supporting the 99-4A.  

 

The only gotcha is that I'd prefer to see it run the original carts if wanted.  

 

I always view these with some trepidation because of the several failed Commodore concepts over the last ten years, but I think if it stayed true to the spirit/architecture of the 99 with some quality-of-life improvements I'd throw money at it.  



#5 PeBo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 3:41 PM

I got into the TI for nostalgia's sake, and while I have a FR99, an F18A, a nanoPEB (as well as a real PEB) and will be buying an FGR99 (like everyone else here)) each of these items simply enhances my nostalgic experience with some modern cool and groovy-ness. My hobby is actually running something that is pretty much the same as 40 years ago (the only thing not easily removed is the F18A - which is why I have a second non-upgraded console)

 

a 4X would hold no nostalgic appeal as it would be something a tad Frankensteinish.

 

Now if hardware gurus wanted to resurrect the /8, (call it maybe the Phoenix?), now that's something I could get on-side with!



#6 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 4:06 PM

I'm good as long as the price in isn't higher than buying a pc..  I'm not going to pay 600$ for one..  I'd have to think hard about paying 300 for one and it'd be a no brainer <200 

 

Greg 



#7 Casey OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 4:46 PM

I'm with PeBo - If there were attempts to make a 99/8 remake, I'd be all over it.  99/4As are easy to come by and I prefer the old hardware I think, but remaking unreleased hardware (99/8, 99/2, the hex bus interface for the 99/4A) I would be very much interested in.  As it is, I want a beige 99/4A but the "new, unopened" ones go for more than I'm willing to cough up at the moment, so I probably wouldn't pay that much for a remade one.



#8 rickneff68 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 8:45 PM

I wouldn't mind seeing one if it had USB ports for keyboards, wireless joysticks/controllers and, as digdugnate mentioned, the newer projects, such as the F18, 32 Kb and speech built into the console. However, what would really make it special is storage. I'd like to see support for BOTH flash memory (SD card or the like) and an actual floppy drive connector. It would be very useful for many to be able to transfer, on the console itself, TI floppy disks to/from flash storage.

 

That said, price would quickly become an issue, I think.



#9 Arnuphis OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 8:52 PM

A 99/8 with all the bells and whistles(p-code card etc.), plus a F18A, ethernet card  and internal SSD hard drive. That would be a case of 'shut up and take my money'. Failing that a TI 99 laptop!


Edited by Arnuphis, Mon May 15, 2017 8:53 PM.


#10 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 9:01 PM

I could use me another six or eight cans of that potted meat, if you got any extra.



#11 Asmusr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 9:04 AM

I voted No because I mainly use my hardware for testing. For that purpose I don't think a new "hardware emulation" would have anything to offer over mature software emulation, and I would probably fall back to testing on the original hardware. But it all depends on which features the modern TI would offer. Would it have a cartridge port, for instance?



#12 adamantyr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 9:26 AM

I voted no. I don't mind expansions on the existing TI like SAMS and the F18A, but developing an entire new platform is like, well, is it a TI anymore at that point?

#13 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 9:53 AM

Like Bill (Gates) said, software *makes* hardware. If it runs the software then it must be a 99/4A. I don't know if that is true of a 99/8? However, with an FPGA based board, it could be anything.

The board should fit in the original case and have the cart port, side port, keyboard port, and power plug so you can put it into an original case if you want.

A PEB could be plugged in, but the system should have an on-board SAMS memory expansion, F18A capability with HDMI output (with audio), and probably some built in peripherals like a serial port, parallel port, SD or USB reader, etc.

The nice thing about a system like this is that you could fix a lot of the crippling that TI did, and finally see how fast the 99/4A could really have been (not unlike the stuff Speccery has already done with the 99105 project). You can implement ROM as RAM and have the vector table available, make a new OS and/or patch bugs, no wait states, full 16-bit memory across the board, no read-before-write, etc. All of that keeps the system compatible with the existing console (mostly), so most software should still run fine.

All this is just my opinion of course.

#14 vectrexroli OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 10:18 AM

I think they did many things right when specifying that Spectrum Next, it runs old software, you can even load from tape if you want and use old hardware add-ons, you can connect VGA and HDMI, but you can also run modern enhanced software. You can run old software faster at 7 MHz. Also important, there are well known game developers behind that project.

It is also important how that system looks, it still should keep some important design elements of the original.

 

For a TI-99 Next I would wish it would run in TI-99/4A mode and 99/8, maybe also something more modern. Speech synthesizer and P-Code on board would be great, but I guess that could end up in legal issues with TI unfortunately. A flashdrive solution should be built in.  :)


Edited by vectrexroli, Tue May 16, 2017 10:21 AM.


#15 vectrexroli OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 10:23 AM

I voted no. I don't mind expansions on the existing TI like SAMS and the F18A, but developing an entire new platform is like, well, is it a TI anymore at that point?

As long as it runs the old hardware on FPGA, I would think so, yes.



#16 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 10:40 AM

If it runs the software then it must be a 99/4A

 

Then I would say it is compatible. The Geneve runs the software of the TI-99/4A, but nobody would call the Geneve a kind of TI-99/4A. It is a different platform.

 

The nice thing about a system like this is that you could fix a lot of the crippling that TI did, and finally see how fast the 99/4A could really have been (not unlike the stuff Speccery has already done with the 99105 project). You can implement ROM as RAM and have the vector table available, make a new OS and/or patch bugs, no wait states, full 16-bit memory across the board, no read-before-write, etc.

 
Then it is not a TI-99/4A anymore. Limitations belong to a platform the same way as its features. If you remove the limitations, software will only run on that new system, but not on the original one.

 

But this is also my opinion, and we won't find a conclusion this time either. :)



#17 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 10:49 AM

I sort of like the idea, but like a couple of others here, I agree with them that (for me) it would HAVE to be able to use real cartridges AND it would HAVE to be able to connect with a P-Box.  I would also like to see integrated HDMI and SAMS and possibly even an internal connector for a TIPI.

 

Something like this might make a great platform for Tursi's multi personality distorter and it could also be used as a 'project' or 'learning platform' for many users as well.   For instance, the motherboard could be designed with a 'blank spots' to support shields for things like WiFi or other hardware currently in development if the user wanted them.  Plug in shields would also help keeps costs down on the initial purchase for people.  

 

Case design is another topic in itself, but one thing I would like, even though it's not very TI'ish, is a standard PC type keyboard built into the case.



#18 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 11:34 AM

I'd like to see a portable solution like this one for Amiga:

http://www.makeuseof...lator-giveaway/


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

#19 unhuman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 1:26 PM

Wouldn't this just be a fance emulation scheme?  That's what all the things are.  But, I'd buy one.



#20 unhuman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 1:26 PM

btw - shouldn't hell yes be above yes?  :P



#21 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 1:28 PM

Hell is below.

#22 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 2:46 PM

Then I would say it is compatible. The Geneve runs the software of the TI-99/4A, but nobody would call the Geneve a kind of TI-99/4A. It is a different platform.


I think it was the goal of the Geneve to be different, it was not even trying to just be a better 99/4A. Can you plug a 99/4A cart into a Geneve (I have never seen one)? The other problem with the Geneve is availability, you can't get them.

 

Then it is not a TI-99/4A anymore. Limitations belong to a platform the same way as its features. If you remove the limitations, software will only run on that new system, but not on the original one.


Sure it is still a 99/4A.  Removing the limitations will not stop existing software from running.  Just like putting 32K on the 16-bit bus inside the console does not make the system any less of a 99/4A.  Your statement is only true for new software that intentionally takes advantage of the removed limitations.  And in that case there is zero worry, there would not be *any* new software.  It would never happen.
 

But this is also my opinion, and we won't find a conclusion this time either. :)


Probably not.



#23 vectrexroli OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 16, 2017 8:41 PM

Wouldn't this just be a fance emulation scheme?  That's what all the things are.  But, I'd buy one.

FPGA would simulate the real hardware, it would not be emulation of the hardware using software.



#24 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 17, 2017 2:49 AM

I wish to clarify that I indeed welcome all kinds of developments for the TI, in particular the F18A. The disputes about terminology should not imply any kind of deprecation from my side.

 

The point is that I do appeal for being aware that all kinds of feature extensions bear the risk of having an impact on the existing user base. As long as there are enough people, this need not be an issue. My concern is that by calling it the same platform despite all extensions, those changes become obscured as perceived by the users ("still a 99/4A"), but we would end up with a highly heterogeneous environment.

 

I don't say, don't do it. I just ask for awareness.



#25 PeBo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 17, 2017 5:42 AM

Look, if there's an interest go for it.

 

I defined my hobby above as being that of a vintage computer enthusiast who enjoys the authenticity and nostalgia of operating original 40 year old hardware.

But why should that restrict folks who's hobby is more in line with bringing that old tech into the 21st century??...those self same folks who's tinkering has brought us things like nanoPEBs, 32K cards, USB keyboards and F18A's!

 

Regardless of whether I see a point to creating a 4X, there would likely be ancilary benefits derived from it - even for old stuck-up authenticity snobs like me!

 

But I have to ask... has anyone ever contemplated a Geneve replacement? As an add-on PEB card that would hold more interest to me.






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