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Meddler

Ti99/4a Super Sketch

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There is a bit of excitement on this side of the pond as a Ti99/4a Super Sketch has been offered on ebay.
I have never seen this before and wondered if details are archived?
Can you imagine, a whole 192 x 256 resolution? LOL

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ti99-4a-Super-Sketch-model-G2400-/162527377779?hash=item25d762f973:g:A08AAOSwDiBZJW5D

 

post-45502-0-24995900-1496149530.jpg

Edited by Meddler

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Those things are mostly a collector item as they are next to worthless. It's cartridge based, so you really cannot use it in conjunction with much of anything. It takes up way too much space on the desk, so for the most part it's a dust collector. I cannot remember much about it, maybe I'm trying to block it from my memory, because I owned one back in the day and was so disappointed in it's operation that it stayed in the closet for years.

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A driver would have been nice for use with TI-Artist, but even then I'm not sure I would have used it much as I was never able to make a decent image with it. Everything turned out looking like something a first grader would have made.

 

For those who may be interested, attached below is a poor quality PDF of the manual so you can be better informed about what you are bidding on.

 

 

super sketch.pdf

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I wondered about these things as well when I saw something about them a while back. After reading I got the impression that you guys are giving now that its only value is as a collector's item.

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After reading I got the impression that you guys are giving now that its only value is as a collector's item.

 

Well, that is just my opinion, others may vary.

 

Here is a YouTube video of one operating on a ColecoVision. I think you'll be able to formulate your own opinion. Who knows, whoever buys it might have 100's of hours to play with it to get their images to come out like the examples at the end of the video.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DiXza-ACXA

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I had one back-in-the-day, but even when "tracing" provided line drawings, I found it very difficult to use and nearly impossible to make an accurate trace (as the original poster points out...the resolution is a little low to get smooth curves from the thing, making most traces look like they we're drawn by a 3 year old!)

 

I used it a couple times, then filed it away until I sold my TI.

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The issue is that you are using a straight stick to actuate the gears and so it wants to go in a straight line no matter what you try to do.. it can be "made to work" with some effort but a mouse is infinitely better due to it's unfettered nature

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A driver would have been nice for use with TI-Artist, but even then I'm not sure I would have used it much as I was never able to make a decent image with it. Everything turned out looking like something a first grader would have made.

 

For those who may be interested, attached below is a poor quality PDF of the manual so you can be better informed about what you are bidding on.

 

 

 

Same here. The Lima group had one available to loan. I spent a weekend with it, tracing over the provided template/sample images, and never got anything that looked remotely like what was on the paper.

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I would guess it used the cartridge port to read and convert the analog input from the potentiometers. It was also convenient that the software could be in the same cartridge. But due to the arm being fixed around a pivot point meant it would always be very hard to control or use with any kind of accuracy. Also, due to the limitations of GM2, any time you used color you always ran into the 1x8 boundaries. I remember liking the menu, the way it would slide in from the left, and despite being physically hard to use the software did work and I think they made an honest effort.

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... and I think they made an honest effort.

 

That's a fair statement. The technology and limitations of the times...

 

At the time, the TI was my primary (only) computer system. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight my vision is a little clouded after all these decades, almost as much as my den is crowded. Due to time and space limitations, if I want a graphic moved over to the TI now days, I'll cheat by using Tursi's TMS9918A converter.

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At last year's VCF the Super Sketch proved to be quite popular. Enough that I will have it up again this year. I have been making signs for the table and I wanted to make one up for the Super Sketch, only to run into a lack of good historical information. It was announced at the 1984 CES for $50, which also puts it about a year after the Koalapad, but that seems to be it.

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With practice, as shown in the video, you could eventually produce something half-way decent.

I wouldn't necessarily discount it.

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Competition Computer was selling an EPROM for Super Sketch that added the option for printing. (BTW, what ever happened to Competition Computer? Anyone know?)

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Kyle Crichton (Competition Computer) is still around, although he hasn't been selling TI things lately. He's been a bit more active with Vectrex stuff. I talk to him once in a while.

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Kyle Crichton (Competition Computer) is still around, although he hasn't been selling TI things lately. He's been a bit more active with Vectrex stuff. I talk to him once in a while.

 

I bought a ton of stuff from him when I got back into the TI in the mid-90's.

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At last year's VCF the Super Sketch proved to be quite popular. Enough that I will have it up again this year. I have been making signs for the table and I wanted to make one up for the Super Sketch, only to run into a lack of good historical information. It was announced at the 1984 CES for $50, which also puts it about a year after the Koalapad, but that seems to be it.

 

I too can report that the Super Sketch is very popular. At MGC we had adults and kids trying it out. Several drew the whole bird picture. One kid did several of the practice sheets.

 

I have only my own memories from 1984-5. I knew some folks that purchased it at Unisource Electronics (Lubbock TX computer store with a catalog operation). I first played with it at a community craft/computer fair where they had the C-64 version.

 

The one in use at MGC came from a nice TI collection in Wisconsin that I bought in 2010; the owner had a lot of Tenex catalogs.

 

Chris Bobbitt reviewed Super Sketch in Micropendium, Jan 1985.

 

http://ftp.whtech.com/magazines/micropendium/mp8501.pdf

 

 

The review shows a price of $59.95 and adddress Personal Peripherals, 1505 S Green St, Longview TX 75602.

 

There is a Unisource ad on page 20 selling it for $44.95.

 

The review is all As, acknowledging Super Sketch shortcomings, while not calling it a dead end because it can't write to disk, or print.

 

(Who solved printing, by the way?)

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I had a driver at one point to use with ti-artist solving the save/print issue. I'll see if I can find it when I unpack the boxes :)

 

we used it a bunch until I got the mechatronic mouse and that won over hands down for art, the supersketch tends to make you move in x/y instead of free flowing.. makes it very tricky to draw freehand.

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That's a fair statement. The technology and limitations of the times...

 

At the time, the TI was my primary (only) computer system. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight my vision is a little clouded after all these decades, almost as much as my den is crowded. Due to time and space limitations, if I want a graphic moved over to the TI now days, I'll cheat by using Tursi's TMS9918A converter.

 

 

What's this Tursi's TMS9918A converter you mention?

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What's this Tursi's TMS9918A converter you mention?

 

its a windows program that takes images on there and converts them to fit on a ti screen with ti colors.. harmlesslion.com is his site, click on sw and windows

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