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If you were going to design a modern TI-99/4A computer desk...

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There was a multitude of plans for homemade computer desks for the various computer systems back in the day. Over the decades things have gotten smaller, some things on average are no longer used while other new specialty items might require a 'special location' in a modern design.

 

If you were going to design a custom TI-99/4A computer center, what would you include in the design? Would you add a cork bulletin board type backing, LED strip lighting, built in power strip, a place to put manuals or speakers? How big or small would you make it, what kind of materials would you use? Would it be to house a full blown PEB system or a 'lean and clean' design to support TIPI.

 

I bet if enough people come in with ideas, we could end up with a couple of totally awesome designs than many of us could benefit from. Please, feel free to come in, toss around ideas, designs or even pictures. Let's see what we can end up with!

 

 

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The picture below is one idea I plan to include...

 

I'm also thinking of a corner desk idea, but one that can be easily disassembled for moving. Maybe even include built-in shelving and a side wall to hide the P-Box's bottom. On the back possibly even a bracket to hold the monitor(s) without having to sacrifice desk space for a stand. Still pondering ideas...

 

 

post-35324-0-30675600-1553269177_thumb.jpg

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Many of us grew up with the PEB sitting behind the TI with a monitor on top. That config worked, but it was cramped since there was often not much space between the console and the PEB, especially with cables coming out the backof the console. Just having a shelf about 2 or 3 inches up on which you could place the PEB would free up the back of the TI itself.

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When I was a kid, I used a regular desk for the TI. My dad actually built both me and my brother computer desks uniquely designed for our computer systems (TI-99/4a and the TRS-80 Color Computer) with spots for printers and whatnot. Right now theyr'e in storage at my parent's place, I am musing getting them at some point. (They have strict instructions NOT to junk them. They're large enough I would need a truck to haul them, and it's 200 miles away.) The problem is, I don't think they would work as well for me today, and the days of having a claustrophobic desk has passed.

 

I was using a beautiful wood table for awhile for my TI set-up, but I had to stop because the weight of the machine and P.E. box started bowing the table in the middle. :/ It was never intended to be used as a desk anyway, it's not even a great table it seems.

 

So I went to a local office supply place and found one of the raisable/lowerable desks, the kind software companies like Microsoft buy in bulk, and got one for $50. It has 1 1/4" thick surface and sturdy steel legs, so I know it can take the weight. So far it's working great!

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I ordered a custom built riser from Etsy. There are probably cheaper ways to do it, but this way I got precisely the color and dimensions I wanted. The result is very sturdy and the wood matches my desk nicely. I went with 24 x 13 x 4 because I wanted to place my PEB on top, and have just the right space for a stack of TI external drives next to it. The downside is it took 3 months to receive it.

 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/jimswoodworks#about

Edited by peterfleeman
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Many of us grew up with the PEB sitting behind the TI with a monitor on top. That config worked, but it was cramped since there was often not much space between the console and the PEB, especially with cables coming out the backof the console. Just having a shelf about 2 or 3 inches up on which you could place the PEB would free up the back of the TI itself.

 

Agreed! I was pondering having a cutout under a shelf (not use for a monitor) for the cords to come out the back as well. Using the 18" extension for the P-Box like I do, the P-Box could sit in a little 'custom cubby niche' under the desk protected on four sides with the back open for the cords. It would save a LOT of space and look pretty cool too!

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Many of us grew up with the PEB sitting behind the TI with a monitor on top. That config worked, but it was cramped since there was often not much space between the console and the PEB, especially with cables coming out the backof the console. Just having a shelf about 2 or 3 inches up on which you could place the PEB would free up the back of the TI itself.

Yes, it's always hard to slide floppies in and out of the drives because of that. I do need to find a riser. As a matter of fact I need a whole new table as the one I have is starting to severely bow in the middle. That PEB is a monster...

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I had a computer desk that I made specifically for the TI-99/4a when I was in 10th grade in woodshop. It was made entirely out of 3/4" birch plywood (furniture grade).

 

About 6 foot long, 28" deep. It had a sliding keyboard shelf where the 99/4a would go. I had a extension cable for the flex cable to make it long enough. As my monitor had it's own separate shelf above the TI, then above that a separate shelf for the PEB. It was right at 6ft tall as well with the hutch. The hutch unit housed the PEB, Monitor, a separte shelf in the middle for my 1200 baud modem! I had a collapsible shelf on the side where my Gemini Star 10x printer was. There were 2 drawers and cabinets as well as a few other shelves. one of the drawers had slots in them to where I could fit TI cartridges perfectly (label up) for 3 across and I think 12 or 18 deep. My dad even mounted surge protectors to keep all the cables hidden and out of the way.

 

It was the purrrrfecf TI-99/4A computer stand. I don't have any pictures of it though.

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My surge protector and PEB sit atop a metal (steel?) keyboard tray enclosure like this one. The sliding keyboard component was removed long ago, which gives me sufficient room for the TI power supply and cables, clearance for the PEB disk drives. Has served me well over the years.

 

For while I used one with my Geneve system, as I could then push the keyboard under the PEB if I needed to write notes or mark up documentation.

 

post-25764-0-87187000-1553290474_thumb.jpg

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post-25764-0-87187000-1553290474_thumb.j

 

 

I was thinking a small pull out keyboard drawer would be nice under the desk for my TI's PS/2 keyboard, but I'm still on the fence on that.

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I had a computer desk that I made specifically for the TI-99/4a when I was in 10th grade in woodshop. It was made entirely out of 3/4" birch plywood (furniture grade).

 

About 6 foot long, 28" deep.

 

Nice thing about making your own is that you can make it deeper than average, which can come in handy. BITD I had a HON business desk that I put my TI's 'hutch' on, but it left hardly any room for anything else...

 

gallery_35324_1027_256507.png

 

... which is why I really like modern flat screen TV's with mounting hardware. By mounting on the back, it'll take hardly any room at all unlike the behemoth I used to use. If/when the F18A MK2 is released, one can pick up an inexpensive TV with an HDMI input and have a great little system with sound going on.

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I love the IKEA fredde. I have a flat screen and TI monitor up top and below I have a ti99,c64,c64 disk drive, drum machine. I had also stored midi Co trolleys underneath. Plus two tower stands down below. I turn the speaker shelves inward for other stuff.

 

https://m2.ikea.com/PIAimages/0180198_PE332339_S5.JPG?f=xl

 

I use a TV for computer monitor and have coax and RCA input ready for hookup of my classic systems too.

Edited by KevKelley
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