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Sean39

Serial numbers on the TI-99/4 and TI-99/4A computers

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Posted (edited)

Hi

   I started this thread for one reason the serial numbers really do not make any sense.

I just want a clear understanding how the TI-99/4 and TI-99/4A serial number work

I have read on many web sites that only about 2.8 million computers were ever shipped out.

 

Ok Why is there serial numbers of 30 million to 54 million on computers

As well one I have that says 6,006,039   with a date code of LTA 3183

 

 

For the strange one

Serial number 7,237,627  date code LTA 1383  Which means this one was made before the computer with 6,006,039 serial number ?????

 

((((While my earliest one has Serial number 2,411,226  with a date code LTA 3882 )))))

Which puts it under the 2.8 million ,so why are there serial numbers larger than the 2.8 million mark ?

 

Did Texas instruments make more computers than the 2.8 million everyone talks about on all these web sites.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

Edited by Sean39
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Hi

That is some great information. I can see you have not found a 1981 console either for the TI-99/4A .

I am starting to think an actual 1981 console might be pretty hard to find.

 

Anyways that is great information on that list

 

Thank you

 

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TI serial numbers had very little connection to actual production sequence numbers through most of its lifetime. Most 99/4s had sequential numbers up to about 75,000 or so, although some have bizarre numbers well outside that range too. Based on articles on the subject written back then, 75,000 is probably the total production for the 99/4, as it had only sold about 55,000 machines by the early spring of 1981 (I think I saw this reference in Time magazine, of all places). Early 99/4A machines also had low numbers (I think the first one I had was about 55,000, but I lent that one to someone in Germany when theirs broke and I never got it back). Later, numbers jumped straight into the millions/tens of millions. It may have had something to do with identification of console production lines or even minor variations in installed mother boards. Internal power supplies used two different connector styles to the mother board, depending on when they were produced, so that may have also been identified by the console serial number.

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LTA numbers specify when the injection-molded case was produced.  Typically, they went from the plastics are to the assembly lines across the hallway pretty quick.  For example, an LTA of 0583 meant the case was produced in the 5th week of 1983, which would be sometime in early February.

 

Serial numbers were all over the place as noted.

 

CC

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