Jan 24, 2010

the TI99/4A

May I present to you, for your consideration, the height of 1981 home computing technology, the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A.

"The Texas Instruments TI-99/4A was an early home computer, released in June 1981, originally at a price of USD $525. It was an enhanced version of the less-successful—and quite rare—TI-99/4 model, which was released in late 1979 at a price of $1,150. The TI-99/4A added an additional graphics mode, "lowercase" characters consisting of small capitals, and a full travel keyboard. Its predecessor, the TI-99/4, featured a calculator-style chiclet keyboard and a unique style ofASCII that lacked lowercase text."

We have here the console (with keyboard), some game controllers, some monitor cables, a few game cartridges, and a nifty vinyl cover. Not donated were such heavy-duty peripherals as the speech synthesis card, the 5 1/4" floppy drive, the thermal printer, the acoustic coupler, 32Kb memory expansion card, or the amazing tape drive that used standard audio cassettes as media.

This sucker might have costs you $525 in 1981 ($1249.50 in 2010 dollars when adjusted for inflation), but we couldn't sell this sucker for five bucks at the Junk Store this past holiday season. These spoiled kids with their PlayBox 180s and Nintendo X-Stations.

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