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Any prototypes out there?


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#1 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:47 PM

The back of this TI box makes me wonder where our Hexbus interface, Wafertape interface, and beige speech synth are....

Any protos floating around?

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#2 acadiel OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:05 PM

Had one of the Hexbus interfaces.  Ksarul has it now.  Also, I've heard that there are shells of the speech synth out there, but nothing more than that materialized.



#3 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:07 PM

I have one of the Speech Shells and a pair of HexBus interfaces from different points in the development process. Only a few of the shells made it into the wild. Note that the bottoms on all of the Speech Shells I've seen were actually for the HexBus Interface. There are probably 20-30 of the HexBus Interfaces out there, although not all of them are fully functional.



#4 Casey OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:58 PM

It's surprising to me that they went to all the effort to design molds for these, they made at least enough for them to be used in advertising (there are some pictures of the beige 99/4A on I think a collection of cassette games that has a beige speech synthesizer attached to it), but so few seem to actually exist.  Did they redesign the board for the beige speech synthesizer since it appears to be wider and longer than the old black/silver one?



#5 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:15 PM

The board would definitely be somewhat larger to put them into the beige cases. Based on the fact that the HexBus Interfaces were supposed to hit the street before Christmas 1983, IIRC, it actually made sense to do all of the molds at the same time, as they were just minor variants of each other.



#6 kl99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:35 AM

The 99/8 lot I have aquired from an TI employee included a beige PHP1300 Hex Bus Interface for the 99/4(A).

It also came with the Hex-Bus Disk Drive Controller.

The employee was responsible for parts (parts lists) for the TI Home Computers, and therefore got (or bought) some stuff it seems.

From mdude I have aquired the released Hex Bus Peripherals: Plotter, the Printer 80, the CC-40, the Modem and I found the RS-232 Interface some place else.

I am missing the wafertape drive.

 

There is also the beige Program Recorder which even shows a 99/2 on the back of the box.

 

Afaik there was a silver/black edition of the PHP1300 Hex-Bus Interface shown on the CES 1983.

 

There are supposed to be beige PHA cassette cables for the 99/8, which have the 3 single cables on both ends instead of the 9pin connector on one side.



#7 bradleyb OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:00 PM

On that note, are there any prototypes or pictures or rumors of other peripherals that would have used the same mold as the black/silver speech synth? what would that little door have ever been used for?



#8 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:03 PM

That little door was part of the original design. There was a 20-pin connector back there and you could put vocabulary modules into it. TI decided that the Text-To-Speech and Terminal Emulator II speech methods were a better solution, and so none of the speech modules were ever released. Some very early speech synthesizers do have the connector for them though.



#9 bradleyb OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:56 PM

Ah, I surmised something like that back in the day, but saw that my newly acquired speech synth had nothing that looked remotely like any provision for a connector on the board.



#10 acadiel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:01 AM

The 99/8 lot I have aquired from an TI employee included a beige PHP1300 Hex Bus Interface for the 99/4(A).
It also came with the Hex-Bus Disk Drive Controller.
The employee was responsible for parts (parts lists) for the TI Home Computers, and therefore got (or bought) some stuff it seems.
From mdude I have aquired the released Hex Bus Peripherals: Plotter, the Printer 80, the CC-40, the Modem and I found the RS-232 Interface some place else.
I am missing the wafertape drive.
 
There is also the beige Program Recorder which even shows a 99/2 on the back of the box.
 
Afaik there was a silver/black edition of the PHP1300 Hex-Bus Interface shown on the CES 1983.
 
There are supposed to be beige PHA cassette cables for the 99/8, which have the 3 single cables on both ends instead of the 9pin connector on one side.



ba77b49d07f29bdd1349dcbbadcff7eb.jpg66b455f1aab1d0d6a53f76e45a54139b.jpg

#11 Ed in SoDak ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:57 PM

With so much new product development so close, it's truly a shame they didn't at least release it all for Christmas '83. It coulda been a game-changer for a few more years anyway. In the end it paved the way for PC/Mac to eventually dominate as all the other players fell aside. The price war was stupid and ate them all up in the end.

 

These days, you can have companies like Twitter, with no actual tangible product, post losses for years and still somehow survive.

 

OTOH, TI getting out sure helped make picking up a system a lot cheaper just a couple years later. Still, I bought a lot of third party product in the following decade that TI totally missed out on, and my run with TI as my primary computer might've continued had there been factory upgrades instead of the coulda woulda shoulda that the Geneve became. That was when I jumped ship and went Mac to self-publish my books. The TI became mostly nostalgia for me after that.

-Ed



#12 BeeryMiller OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:58 AM

That little door was part of the original design. There was a 20-pin connector back there and you could put vocabulary modules into it. TI decided that the Text-To-Speech and Terminal Emulator II speech methods were a better solution, and so none of the speech modules were ever released. Some very early speech synthesizers do have the connector for them though.

 

Out of curiosity and not knowing how that 20 pin connector was tied into the rest of the hardware, can that 20 pin plug be used for something else useful?  

 

Beery



#13 schuwalker OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:28 AM

How rare are the wafer tape drives and wasn't there one on eBay not too long ago?

 

I have a Christmas catalog (from Sears I think) that has the wafer tape drives listed for sale. I'll have to dig it out and post the page.



#14 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

--- Ω ---

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Posted Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:33 AM

Honestly, I'm super excited about contemporary prototypes, and I have a hunch the TIPI demo at Fest West this year will be a watershed moment in TI retro computing not to be missed.



#15 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:02 AM

There are probably less than 20 Wafertape drives in circulation (and definitely less than 30). Several of those are non-working, so they aren't too easy to find. There are similar numbers of the TI HexBus Floppy drives out there and somewhat fewer of the Mechatronic Quick Disks.






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