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Strangest place you've ever seen a TI....

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Have you ever watched a movie, TV show or commercial and noticed a TI-99/4a in the background?  Or, have you ever gone shopping to notice a TI in the office?

I would love to hear about the time you saw a TI in the wild when you weren't expecting it.

 

Unfortunately, for me, the closest I've come to seeing TI in the wild was seeing some TI games at my local K-Mart when they mostly stocked C64 and NES games.

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I saw a TI a few times on an episode of Diffrent Strokes. I'm sure that's well documented in "Starring the Computer". 

 

Weird seeing it used for graphics on an episode of The Price Is Right. 

 

It was featured in 2 music videos. 

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This may not qualify as "strange" per se: a TI-99/4a on my high school Geometry teacher's desk which later resulted in being allowed to submit an XB-based Geometry program for my end-of-semester project. 

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I used a TI-99/4A then a Geneve at work many moons ago. Bill Gaskell even wrote a software piece for me called TIMETRACK. 

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I also remember using a TI-99/4A to send text to the video titling device (kyron?) at KLTV (a cable access channel) in the mid 80's.  It was eventually replaced with an Amiga with it's genlock capability.

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For years (at least into the mid 90s), Iowa State University’s College of Engineering’s career office used a TI 99/4A hooked up to a black and white TV as a display showing which companies were coming to interview for jobs and when.  

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Up until I found out about my boyfriend's one, I've only seen a TI-99/4A in the hands of collectors, like Ashens. Strangest place we did hear about it was at a local game shop; as some of you know, when we found my boyfriend's old TI and was trying to repair it, we talked with the owners there about whether or not they worked on such things (I was interested, because they had some Atari 8-bit games and a computer in stock), and one of them said that he remembered his dad owned one, so that was rather surprising to me.

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I found an RS-232 card in a bin of towels at my local Wal-Mart around 1985 or so.  It was marked to clearance at $15, so of course I bought it.

 

The thing is, I had never seen a single TI-99 anything, hardware or software, at my Wal-Mart.

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I purchased my TI-99/4 back in 1980 from a Sanger-Harris store in Arlington Texas. The display kiosk for the TI computer system was curiously sandwiched between the men’s and women’s clothing departments. Nowhere near the electronics/TV department. I first spotted the 99/4 while shopping for clothes with my Mom. Weird. 

 

I’ve always felt the the storefront mosaic looked the part:

 

https://youtu.be/2ro-COj2OzM

 

 

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When I was being recruited to the Army in 1989, they had a recruit information program that was run off a TI connected to a laser disc player and text from the computer was overlaid on top of the LD video footage, kind of a multimedia thing. I believe it had the video controller attached to it, and the software was a cartridge. That would probably be a rare find.

I know it's not a TI, but when I was in Basic Training, they had a rifle range simulator that ran off of a Commodore 64 that had an M-16 peripheral with a DB-9 Joystick cable. When you pulled the trigger a solenoid moved to simulate bolt action and kick. Apparently they switched them out with a Super Nintendo a couple years later.
 

 

A-5. MULTIPURPOSE ARCADE COMBAT SIMULATOR (MACS)

The U.S. Army developed the MACS as an inexpensive marksmanship trainer (Figure A-10).

a.   The system consists of a Commodore 64 microcomputer, 13-inch color monitor, specially designed long-distance light pen, and mount that attaches to the M16A2 rifle. (Some versions use a permanent mount on a demilitarized rifle.) The system is activated by a program cartridge, which contains several training exercises.

Figure A-10. Multipurpose arcade combat simulator.

Figure A-10.  Multipurpose arcade combat simulator.

b.   The MACS was designed to enhance other training techniques and existing training aids and devices used to train and sustain marksmanship skills. It is not designed to replace live-fire training or to eliminate the need for knowledgeable instructors. The MACS provides additional practice for those units without access to adequate range facilities, or that have other resource constraints.

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The former owner of my PEB used his TI-99 setup to control the heating of his house, he wrote his own DSR for that. So I assume it was running 24/7.

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The first place I ever saw a TI-99/4A was in fifth grade (1985); there were two of them in the back of the classroom, connected to a pair of 12" B&W TVs. It was strange because there were no other TI computers in the school; there were only Radio Shack TRS-80s and Apple IIs. It turned out that they weren't school property; they belonged to the teacher; a fact that he pointed out whenever students felt entitled to use them. We did get to use them sometimes, but not very often.

 

Parsec and some text adventure game that loaded from a compact cassette tape were the only software I ever saw him run on them. He also typed out a BASIC program once that created an animation of a crude-looking rocket taking off, and challenged us to figure out how he did it, but no one ever did. In hindsight, I'm pretty sure he did it purely with print commands, i.e., something like this...

10  print "    /\    "
20  print "   /  \   "
30  print "   |  |   "
40  print "   |  |   "
50  print "   |  |   "
60  print "   |  |   "
70  print "   |  |   "
80  print "  /    \  "
90  print "  |    |  "
100 print "  |    |  "
110 print "  |    |  "
120 print "  |    |  "
130 print "  |    |  "
140 print "  |    |  "
150 print " /      \ "
160 print "|        |"
170 print "|        |"
180 print "|_/\__/\_|"

... followed by enough blank print commands to make the "rocket" appear to scroll up and off the screen. We knew how to make the crude rocket with print commands, but none of us could figure out how to make it "take off."

Edited by MaximRecoil
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That's awesome, though I don't think his was that clever. He typed it in while we were at lunch or on recess or whatever, and then just typed run when we were watching the screen. The rocket scrolled up and off the screen and that was it. A bunch of blank print commands after line 180 will make that happen.

Edited by MaximRecoil

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Back in 1990 I was a Business Telco installer. I had an order at a local "Alternative" school and had to goto the basement. I passed by several class rooms and glanced at one and did a double take. In that room were 20 or so CDC 4A's with PEB's. On the way out I stopped and talked to the teacher. His only complaint was the students were not gentle on the floppys and of course he couldn't make copies. I couldn't help as I no longer had a 4A. Several years later I stopped by and asked about the 4A's and of course they did not know what happened to them.  Probably made it to a landfill.....

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Someone was using a TI in 1990? So I wasn't the only one. Wow. Then again, Apple //e in the early 1990s was still common in schools. 

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1 minute ago, S1500 said:

Someone was using a TI in 1990? So I wasn't the only one. Wow. Then again, Apple //e in the early 1990s was still common in schools. 

TI was my ONLY computer until 93 or so ;)

 

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52 minutes ago, S1500 said:

Someone was using a TI in 1990? So I wasn't the only one. Wow. Then again, Apple //e in the early 1990s was still common in schools. 

I used my TI and Geneve until 95...  

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My Geneve had a crucial role for my math diploma thesis in 1995. Here are some graphs that I created with FORTRAN9640, using complex calculations (yes, FORTRAN has a data type for complex numbers).

 

This was also the most complex (in another meaning) program I ever wrote in FORTRAN. It was able to draw the graph and to save it in MyArt format to disk.

 

I wrote my diploma thesis in LaTeX on a 486 PC, left some space for the graphics, printed them on my Geneve, and glued the graphics into the spaces. Then I photocopied the whole text and submitted it.

 

(For the mathematicians among us, the thesis was titled "Mapping properties of general triangle functions" and dealt with the solutions of hypergeometric differential equations. The scary thing about this is that I also have trouble to understand my own text by now.)

 

Spoiler

C     Darstellung komplexer Funktionen
C     mit dynamischer Schrittweite

      DOUBLE PRECISION XM,YM,I,I1,J,K,AR,AI,FK,SM
      COMPLEX*16 X,Y,F,G,CDLOG1,W,A,B,C,D
      INTEGER FARBE,XV,YV,XP,YP,KY,S
      INTEGER XKOORD,YKOORD,II,JI,JJ,TASTE,STATS
C
      CHARACTER NAME(20)
C
      F(X)=CDLOG1(CDSQRT(X)+CDSQRT(X-1D0))
      G(A,B,C,D,X)=(A*X+B)/(C*X+D)
C
      CALL CLEAR
      WRITE(6,*) 'Darstellung einer Dreiecksfunktion'
      WRITE(6,*)
      WRITE(6,100) 'Bitte |x|max eingeben:'
      READ(6,*) XM
      WRITE(6,*) '|y|max ist |x|max*0.75'
      YM=XM*0.75D0
      WRITE(6,*)
      WRITE(6,*) 'Moebiustransformation: (az+b)/(cz+d)'
      WRITE(6,*)
      WRITE(6,100) 'a (real): '
      READ(6,*) AR
      WRITE(6,100) 'a (imaginaer): '
      READ(6,*) AI
      A=DCMPLX(AR,AI)
      WRITE(6,100) 'b (real): '
      READ(6,*) AR
      WRITE(6,100) 'b (imaginaer): '
      READ(6,*) AI
      B=DCMPLX(AR,AI)
      WRITE(6,100) 'c (real): '
      READ(6,*) AR
      WRITE(6,100) 'c (imaginaer): '
      READ(6,*) AI
      C=DCMPLX(AR,AI)
      WRITE(6,100) 'd (real): '
      READ(6,*) AR
      WRITE(6,100) 'd (imaginaer): '
      READ(6,*) AI
      D=DCMPLX(AR,AI)
      WRITE(6,100) 'Dateiname (Speicherung am Ende ausser nach ESC): '
      READ(6,110) NAME

      CALL SETMOD(8)
      CALL SETPAL(4,0,0,0)
      CALL SETPAL(12,0,0,3)

      J=0D0
      FARBE=6
      I=XM

6     FARBE=13
      J=0D0
      FK=1.5D0
      SM=0.015D0
      DO 7 JJ=-16,-1
            I=-1D10
            XV=-1
            DO 8 II=-200,200
               CALL KEY(0,TASTE,STATS)
               IF (TASTE.EQ.32) GOTO 14
               I1=I
               CALL HOLE1(I,II,FK,SM)
               I1=I1*I
               X=DCMPLX(I,J)
               Y=G(A,B,C,D,F(X))
               YP=YKOORD(Y,YM)
               XP=XKOORD(Y,XM)
C              IF (J.EQ.0D0.AND.I1.LE.0D0) XP=-1
               IF ((XP.NE.-1).AND.(YP.NE.-1).AND.(XV.NE.-1).AND.(YV.NE.-1))
     A            CALL SETVEC(XV,YV,XP,YP,FARBE)
               XV=XP
               YV=YP
8           CONTINUE
         FARBE=11
         IF (J.EQ.0D0) J=30D0
         CALL HOLE(J,JJ,FK)
7     CONTINUE

10    FARBE=10
      I=0D0
      SM=0.2D0
      FK=2D0
      DO 11 II=0,16
         DO 13 K=-1D0,1D0,2D0
            YV=-1
            J=22D0
            IF ((K.EQ.1D0).AND.(I.EQ.0D0)) GOTO 13
            DO 12 JJ=-150,-50
               CALL KEY(0,TASTE,STATS)
               IF (TASTE.EQ.32) GOTO 14
               CALL HOLE(J,JJ,1.1D0)
               X=DCMPLX(I*K+0.5D0,J)
               Y=G(A,B,C,D,F(X))
               YP=YKOORD(Y,YM)
               XP=XKOORD(Y,XM)
               IF ((XP.NE.-1).AND.(YP.NE.-1).AND.(XV.NE.-1).AND.(YV.NE.-1))
     A            CALL SETVEC(XV,YV,XP,YP,FARBE)
               XV=XP
               YV=YP
12          CONTINUE
13       CONTINUE
         CALL HOLE2(I,II,FK)
11    CONTINUE
C
14    CALL KEY(0,KY,S)
      IF (S.EQ.0) GOTO 14
      IF (KY.NE.27) CALL SPEICH(NAME)
      CALL SETPAL(4,1,7,1)
      CALL SET80

100   FORMAT('+',A)
110   FORMAT(20A1)

      END
C
C     Unterprogramme
C
      SUBROUTINE HOLE(KOORD,SCHRITT,FAKTOR)
      DOUBLE PRECISION KOORD,FAKTOR
      INTEGER SCHRITT

      IF (SCHRITT.LT.0) KOORD=KOORD/FAKTOR
      IF (SCHRITT.EQ.0) KOORD=-KOORD
      IF (SCHRITT.GT.0) KOORD=KOORD*FAKTOR
      END
C
      SUBROUTINE HOLE1(KOORD,SCHRITT,FAKTOR,SUMMAND)
      DOUBLE PRECISION KOORD,FAKTOR,SUMMAND
      INTEGER SCHRITT

      IF (SCHRITT.LT.-50) KOORD=KOORD/FAKTOR
      IF (SCHRITT.GT.50) KOORD=KOORD*FAKTOR
      IF (SCHRITT.GT.-51.AND.SCHRITT.LT.51) KOORD=KOORD+SUMMAND
      END
C
      SUBROUTINE HOLE2(KOORD,SCHRITT,FAKTOR)
      DOUBLE PRECISION KOORD,FAKTOR,SUMMAND
      INTEGER SCHRITT
      IF (SCHRITT.EQ.1) KOORD=0.3D0
      IF (SCHRITT.EQ.2) KOORD=0.5D0
      IF (SCHRITT.EQ.3) KOORD=1D0
      IF (SCHRITT.GT.3) KOORD=KOORD*FAKTOR
      END
C
      INTEGER FUNCTION XKOORD(X,XM)
      COMPLEX*16 X,W
      DOUBLE PRECISION XM,XK,DREAL

      XK=(DREAL(X)/XM+1D0)*256D0
      IF ((XK.GE.0D0).AND.(XK.LT.512D0)) THEN
         XKOORD=INT(XK)
      ELSE
         XKOORD=-1
      END IF
      END
C
      INTEGER FUNCTION YKOORD(X,YM)
      COMPLEX*16 X
      DOUBLE PRECISION YM,YK,DIMAG

      YK=(1D0-DIMAG(X)/YM)*106D0
      IF ((YK.GE.0D0).AND.(YK.LT.212D0)) THEN
         YKOORD=INT(YK)
      ELSE
         YKOORD=-1
      END IF
      END
C
      COMPLEX*16 FUNCTION CDLOG1(X)
      COMPLEX*16 X,Y

      Y=CDLOG(X)
      IF ((DIMAG(X).EQ.0D0).AND.(DREAL(X).LT.0D0)) Y=Y+(0D0,6.28318530718D0)
      CDLOG1=Y
      END
C
      SUBROUTINE SPEICH(NAME)

      CHARACTER DATEN(128),NAME(20)
      INTEGER I,J,ERR,POS,JALT,FARB,BISHER,ANZH,ANZAHL
      INTEGER*1 WERT1,WERT2

      DATA DATEN / 0,250,0,0,0,0,17,6,51,7,
     A   23,1,39,3,81,1,
     A   39,6,113,1,115,3,97,6,100,6,17,4,101,2,85,5,119,7/

      CALL OPEN(3,NAME,1,0,0,0,128,ERR)

      POS=35
      DO 2 I=0,211
         J=0
         JALT=0
1        IF (J.NE.512) CALL GETPIX(J,I,FARB)
         IF (J.EQ.0) BISHER=FARB
         IF (FARB.NE.BISHER.OR.J.EQ.512) THEN
            ANZAHL=J-JALT
            ANZH=ANZAHL/256
            WERT1=BISHER*16+ANZH
            WERT2=ANZAHL-256*ANZH
            DATEN(POS)=WERT1
            POS=POS+1
            DATEN(POS)=WERT2
            POS=POS+1
            IF (POS.EQ.129) THEN
               WRITE(3,130) DATEN
               POS=1
            ENDIF
            JALT=J
         ENDIF
         J=J+1
         BISHER=FARB
         IF (J.NE.513) GOTO 1
2     CONTINUE
      IF (POS.NE.1) WRITE(3,130) DATEN

      CALL CLOSE(3)

100   FORMAT('+',A)
110   FORMAT('+',10A1)
130   FORMAT(128A1)

      END

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dreieck1.png

hyp.png

x25.png

Edited by mizapf
Shrinked the graphs
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