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pixelpedant

It's downright vexing how good MSX artists were at designing for 9918 graphics

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20 minutes ago, acadiel said:

From what I heard, the Z80 and TMS9918 woodgrain prototypes that were made ran circles around the 9900.  They only exist in memories at this point.

Would not surprise me, considering the practical examples which exist.

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They're pretty impressive graphics, eh? A nice approach to the problem!

 

I'm less sure how I'm going to compress them...

 

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On 2/9/2022 at 11:11 AM, pixelpedant said:

It will always be my position that the TI-99 was a marketing, manufacturing, distribution and financial mess which computer enthusiasts are insistent on explaining in terms of individual architectural and design decisions, because these interest them far more than any of the things that actually made its long term success impossible.  And because these allow for an appealing (but make-believe) storyline in which there was one critical engineering decision which, were it not for that, might have seen the platform achieve enduring success. 

 

The 99/4 barely achieved anything that could be called mass-production and mass-market distribution in its first year.  The release of its most critical supporting products (PEB expansion, Extended BASIC, Editor/Assembler, Mini Memory) saw chronic delays and disastrous supply issues.  None of those must-have upgrades were released to the mass market until over two years after the TI-99 debuted, and even then, not in sufficient quantities. 

 

People want to explain the poor sales of and lacking interest in products and solutions you literally could not buy in terms of whether the system used one chip or another, or used one memory architecture or another.  And it's downright silly. 

 

The TI-99 was a development, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, and (in the end) financial mess which you cannot "solve" by replacing one chip with another chip, as appealing as that idea might be. 

 

In any case, we can be thankful that the system is as "weird" as it is today.  Because in the end, that's what makes it interesting. 

I'm a little late to this party, just having reacquired a 99/4A system (it was my first "real" computer growing up), I think you hit the nail on the head on a number of problems. I think design decision wise it's pretty astounding how much money they designed into the system relative to its peers. The casework for the 99/4A couldn't have been cheap for one, and two the PEB chassis is equally spendy for not much benefit. Seems to me that they could have designed a whole combination 32K ram expansion, serial/parallel interface, and disk controller for about the same money they'd have had tied up in the PEB costwise.

 

But, I love the system all the same, quirks and all as you say.

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