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I'm new to Atari Age, noticed a lot of activity on this TI.  Considering getting a classic system, any reason this one over all others?

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They're fun, but if you've never had a vintage computer before you might be better off with one of the more popular ones, like the Commodore 64.

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Best reason would be you like odd architectures and brushed aluminum. ;) 

 

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Just now, Tursi said:

Best reason would be you like odd architectures and brushed aluminum. ;) 

 

Yes - fans of the Delorean for sure :)

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My outlook is - any - of the popular classic systems has plenty to do on it.  You're not going to run out of thing to do on Spectrum or MSX or C64 or TI-99 or CoCo or VIC-20 or whatever.  Especially not these days, after years of ferocious homebrew productivity.  And while some of these have larger libraries than the TI-99, I don't really think that for someone just starting out, being on a platform with 200 good games is going to deliver a fundamentally better experience than a being on a platform with 50 good games.  Because you're not going to be playing 200 games on your first day, or week, or year, with a platform.  They've all got enough going on and enough to do. 

 

I agree with Tursi that the biggest appeal of the TI-99 is definitely that it's an odd architecture, with its own pretty unique way of doing a lot of things. 

 

But it also crosses off a few more generic "want" items on any introductory retro computer list, I think: 

 

- A huge amount of them were made, so it's easy to get a working unit for a reasonable price. 

- There's an active community, so it's easy to get information and help and plug in to what's available and what's going on. 

- It doesn't have any critical issues that make maintenance or acquiring a functioning unit problematic or a pain. 

- All the most necessary upgrade items (memory expansion, disk solution and such) are currently available and currently being produced.  Nothing essential is rare or hard to find. 

 

But as I say, that applies to several different platforms.  What makes the TI-99 uniquely appealing, for me, is its status as a weird orphan platform which was abandoned by its maker, but taken up by its community, who was determined to figure out its eccentricities and make it all that it could be.  Though I am definitely biased, as it was my first computer :P

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Welcome.  For me the TI is nostalgic... as I grew up with one.  
 

But there are some great games and current homebrew developers.  You can write games on this system without knowing assembly language, and the community is super active and helpful.  
 

Some of the coolest people I've met in my life are members of this community.  
 

Plus it's a weird computer with a bunch of weird crap going on.  😂 Can't beat that.

Edited by Opry99er
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15 minutes ago, SkyPilot said:

Still pondering because some things about this TI are confusing.

What part of classic computers is your interest? Are you looking at the TI for programming, games, retro in general, or something else?

 

You can get a TI computer, and then an add-on with something like the Sams memory and TIPI/PI combo and pretty much be able to do everything if you get something like the FinalGrom cartridge.  If on the other hand, you are more interested in individual classic games from the 80's, you can probably get away with just the console and individual game cartridges.

 

There is a lot of capability in the computer, it really just depends what your desires are.  From there, we can suggest options to enhance your experience.

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1 hour ago, 9640News said:

What part of classic computers is your interest? Are you looking at the TI for... or something else?

The Kexas Instruments 99/4a Home Computer...

 

Whether you already have a plan for world-domination, or are just considering...

 

Spoiler

TI-99-KSP-800.thumb.png.6f38732777e4c740dcb1b8a5a00e4ca3.png

 

...This is the one!

;-)

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2 hours ago, SkyPilot said:

Still pondering because some things about this TI are confusing.

Many things about the TI are confusing. You have to embrace that! :)

 

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On 6/11/2021 at 1:35 PM, Tursi said:

Best reason would be you like odd architectures and brushed aluminum. ;) 

SEXY brushed aluminum.

 

sexy-994a.JPG

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2 hours ago, SkyPilot said:

Still pondering because some things about this TI are confusing.

If you have ever taken accounting courses on double-entry bookkeeping, you will do just fine.  The confusing things are part of the beauty.

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12 hours ago, SkyPilot said:

Still pondering because some things about this TI are confusing.

Maybe we can clarify some specifics?

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Call me stupid, but I have become quite fond of the beige console recently.... I have both but have been using the beige one more lately and am enjoying it immensely. Just sayin :)

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I find the TI-99 to be quite easy to get into, in regards of tinkering with Basic and general programming.

Take Extended Basic for example, there's stuff you can do with that, that is quite good.  Graphical commands are easy to learn, there's no POKE commands for example.  Try this in normal TI BASIC ... 10 CALL HCHAR(8,1,42,32) ... right there you got a line of asterisks.   What more fun could you ask for?!

 

There's some great software coming out for the TI lately.  I'd recommend stuff from Rasmus , Sometimes99er, Airshack, PeteE, Bleepbit, TIBASIC, Nanochess, LAsooner, David Vella, Francesco Ugga, Keith Bergman, Tursi, Opry99er.  Don't bother with any from Retrospect though, they're shite.  :)

 

Enjoy!

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Posted (edited)

I’ve only recently acquired a (dead) TI99/4a. Can’t wait to delve into the world of this fascinatingly odd computer :) 

 

p.s. I can’t be the only one who thinks the beige TI looks better than the aluminum one can I?

Edited by bluejay

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37 minutes ago, bluejay said:

I can’t be the only one who thinks the beige TI looks better than the aluminum one can I?

Well it's all a question of personal preference. Just to note though; the "real" look of a TI-99 was always meant to be aluminium.  If they hadn't had to compete with other computer's prices they would never of made a beige cost-reduced model.  But if you like it, well, fair play.

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"Try this in normal TI BASIC ... 10 CALL HCHAR(8,1,42,32) ... right there you got a line of asterisks.   What more fun could you ask for?!"  😃

 

Things only a programmer can love. :) 

Should be on a T-shirt.

 

 

(Note for the absolute beginner:  Type RUN to start Restrospect's program)

 

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5 hours ago, mnielsenau said:

Call me stupid, but I have become quite fond of the beige console recently.... I have both but have been using the beige one more lately and am enjoying it immensely. Just sayin :)

 

3 hours ago, bluejay said:

p.s. I can’t be the only one who thinks the beige TI looks better than the aluminum one can I?

 

Yes... yes... welcome to the dark side!

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Here's a TI-Basic program for you to type in.  It will display a large picture of a space invaders player command base, firing it's weapon.

 

10 CALL CLEAR
20 CALL CHAR(42,"FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF")
30 CALL HCHAR(2,14,42,3)
40 CALL HCHAR(3,12,42)
50 CALL HCHAR(4,17,42)
60 CALL HCHAR(5,7,42)
70 CALL HCHAR(6,10,42)
80 CALL HCHAR(6,15,42,4)
90 CALL HCHAR(7,14,42)
100 CALL HCHAR(7,19,42)
110 CALL HCHAR(8,9,42)
120 CALL HCHAR(8,14,42)
130 CALL HCHAR(8,19,42)
140 CALL HCHAR(9,14,42)
150 CALL HCHAR(9,19,42)
160 CALL HCHAR(10,8,42)
170 CALL HCHAR(10,15,42)
180 CALL HCHAR(10,18,42)
190 CALL HCHAR(11,15,42)
200 CALL HCHAR(11,18,42)
210 CALL HCHAR(12,15,42)
220 CALL HCHAR(12,18,42)
230 CALL HCHAR(13,11,42,3)
240 CALL HCHAR(13,15,42)
250 CALL HCHAR(13,18,42)
260 CALL HCHAR(13,20,42,3)
270 CALL HCHAR(14,10,42)
280 CALL HCHAR(14,14,42,2)
290 CALL HCHAR(14,18,42,2)
300 CALL HCHAR(14,23,42)
310 CALL HCHAR(15,9,42)
320 CALL HCHAR(15,24,42)
330 CALL HCHAR(16,9,42)
340 CALL HCHAR(16,24,42)
350 CALL HCHAR(17,9,42)
360 CALL HCHAR(17,24,42)
370 CALL HCHAR(18,10,42)
380 CALL HCHAR(18,14,42)
390 CALL HCHAR(18,19,42)
400 CALL HCHAR(18,23,42)
410 CALL HCHAR(19,11,42,3)
420 CALL HCHAR(19,15,42,4)
430 CALL HCHAR(19,20,42,3)
440 REM * MUSICAL NOTATIONS FOR SUBROUTINE *
450 DU=300
460 NT=2250
470 GOSUB 1000
480 NT=1900
500 GOSUB 1000
510 DU=150
520 NT=2500
530 GOSUB 1000
540 DU=300
550 NT=2250
560 GOSUB 1000
570 DU=600
580 NT=1900
590 GOSUB 1000
600 GOTO 600


1000 REM * SUBROUTINE TO PLAY NOTE *
1010 CALL SOUND(DU,110,30,110,30,NT,30,-4,0)
1020 RETURN

 

RUN

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6 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

 

 

Yes... yes... welcome to the dark side!

Beige wedge blasphemers unite!

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7 hours ago, TheBF said:

"Try this in normal TI BASIC ... 10 CALL HCHAR(8,1,42,32) ... right there you got a line of asterisks.   What more fun could you ask for?!"  😃

 

Things only a programmer can love. :) 

Should be on a T-shirt.

 

(Note for the absolute beginner:  Type RUN to start Restrospect's program)

Few kids these days have any idea what it was like to fire up a machine and immediately get it to do something.  When you turn on a Commodore, an Atari, a TI-99/4A (well, after two key-presses,) and others, pretty much right after turning on the power you can enter a command and get an immediate response.

 

Take that sample command, remove the line number, and when you press ENTER a line of asterisks immediately appear on the screen.

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8 hours ago, Retrospect said:

Here's a TI-Basic program for you to type in.  It will display a large picture of a space invaders player command base, firing it's weapon.

 

10 CALL CLEAR
20 CALL CHAR(42,"FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF")
30 CALL HCHAR(2,14,42,3)
40 CALL HCHAR(3,12,42)
50 CALL HCHAR(4,17,42)
60 CALL HCHAR(5,7,42)
70 CALL HCHAR(6,10,42)
80 CALL HCHAR(6,15,42,4)
90 CALL HCHAR(7,14,42)
100 CALL HCHAR(7,19,42)
110 CALL HCHAR(8,9,42)
120 CALL HCHAR(8,14,42)
130 CALL HCHAR(8,19,42)
140 CALL HCHAR(9,14,42)
150 CALL HCHAR(9,19,42)
160 CALL HCHAR(10,8,42)
170 CALL HCHAR(10,15,42)
180 CALL HCHAR(10,18,42)
190 CALL HCHAR(11,15,42)
200 CALL HCHAR(11,18,42)
210 CALL HCHAR(12,15,42)
220 CALL HCHAR(12,18,42)
230 CALL HCHAR(13,11,42,3)
240 CALL HCHAR(13,15,42)
250 CALL HCHAR(13,18,42)
260 CALL HCHAR(13,20,42,3)
270 CALL HCHAR(14,10,42)
280 CALL HCHAR(14,14,42,2)
290 CALL HCHAR(14,18,42,2)
300 CALL HCHAR(14,23,42)
310 CALL HCHAR(15,9,42)
320 CALL HCHAR(15,24,42)
330 CALL HCHAR(16,9,42)
340 CALL HCHAR(16,24,42)
350 CALL HCHAR(17,9,42)
360 CALL HCHAR(17,24,42)
370 CALL HCHAR(18,10,42)
380 CALL HCHAR(18,14,42)
390 CALL HCHAR(18,19,42)
400 CALL HCHAR(18,23,42)
410 CALL HCHAR(19,11,42,3)
420 CALL HCHAR(19,15,42,4)
430 CALL HCHAR(19,20,42,3)
440 REM * MUSICAL NOTATIONS FOR SUBROUTINE *
450 DU=300
460 NT=2250
470 GOSUB 1000
480 NT=1900
500 GOSUB 1000
510 DU=150
520 NT=2500
530 GOSUB 1000
540 DU=300
550 NT=2250
560 GOSUB 1000
570 DU=600
580 NT=1900
590 GOSUB 1000
600 GOTO 600


1000 REM * SUBROUTINE TO PLAY NOTE *
1010 CALL SOUND(DU,110,30,110,30,NT,30,-4,0)
1020 RETURN

 

RUN

LOL! I totally fell for it. :)

 

"Motha said som'uns got to be summonsed..." 

(Albert and the Lion)

 

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11 hours ago, Retrospect said:

Here's a TI-Basic program for you to type in.  It will display a large picture of a space invaders player command base, firing it's weapon.

Truly beats anything you have produced to date.  I await the sequel.

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