The TI 99/4A

Ti 99 4A - Long Version
TI 99/4A, usually referred to (well by us gnomes at least) simply as the Texas Instruments, was the first computer I ever touched and the only computer of mine I just can’t remember where to find. Damn! This Space Invaders cartridge was so utterly amazing, and so unbelievably better than its Atari 2600 version, I’d just love to play it again… Show it to them silly Atari loving kiddies. Take it out for a beer even. Ah, the days, the days…
spacebandits - TI994a game


Nostalgia aside though, the TI 99/4A was also a rather impressive machine for its time. It was 16-bit, could output 256-colour graphics, had an almost proper keyboard, could use Atari’s digital and quite lovely one-button joysticks, could load programmes via tape or cartridge, was immensely expandable and had loads of RAM (that was 16Kb actually). As for the games, well, a visit to the TI-99/4A videogames house should convince you. For the rest, watch this commercial (and please avoid the dreaded Bill Cosby one):


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Konstantinos Dimopoulos

Hi, my name is Gnome, a.k.a Konstantinos and I own the blog Gnome's Lair which is all about gaming in all of its many and varied guises. It is thus about computer & video games, old games, new games, indie games, adventure games, free games, board games, ludology, game creation, RPGs, books on games, games on books, and well the theory of and in games.

24 thoughts on “The TI 99/4A

  • January 24, 2007 at 7:40 PM

    You know, I kinda feel nostalgia isn’t as good as it used to be…

  • January 24, 2007 at 9:35 PM

    beautiful and programmable too…. massive memory…. stupendous..

  • January 25, 2007 at 7:25 AM

    Why would you believe that Mr.FK?

    Stupefying too Mr.Elderly… And its BASIC was quite an extended and very powerful one.

  • January 25, 2007 at 10:05 AM

    That is amazing timing! Just 2 hours ago I was clearing a path in our attic for the guys doing some work on our house and I came across a box with my old TI 99/4A in it.

    Years ago I wrote a clone of Atari Tank Combat in Extended Basic. Lately I’ve been working on porting it to PyGame. Would love to see the original again. Anybody know a way to read the old casettes into one of today’s TI emulators?

  • January 25, 2007 at 10:22 AM

    Hmmm… there is a way of reading from a Spectrum cassete, but TI? Haven’t heard of anything, though t should be possible…

    Wish I could also find my beloved TI. Seems to have just vanished… Damn.

  • January 25, 2007 at 10:30 PM

    …vanished? brilliant!!!!!!

    (runs out of room, runs back in wearing his sherlock holmes outfit…..)

    right! (takes out notebook)

    where were you on the evening of the victims disappearance…?

  • January 26, 2007 at 7:11 AM

    Can’t remember… It was near Sounion at some point… Then I think it enterd a basement n Athens… It’s been years detective… Wooow, nice pipe.

  • January 27, 2007 at 10:36 PM

    (taking clue from the suspects answers…)

    ..were you smoking anything on the evening in question?

  • January 28, 2007 at 9:30 AM

    Don’t believe so…. Besides some PRINCE cigarettes… Was quite a few years ago… ‘t least I think so…

  • January 28, 2007 at 9:28 PM

    aha Prince! thats important…. (rubs chin…) just where in the room did you last see the victim…. now think carefully….. this could be crucial….

  • January 29, 2007 at 11:54 AM

    It was … uhm… no, no… ah!

    Under the TV I believe!

  • January 29, 2007 at 9:17 PM

    a hah…. I knew it!!!!….

    just a few more questions and the we’ll move into the deduction scene….

    …concentrate now mr.gnome, have you changed your TV since the last time the victim was last seen alive……?

  • January 30, 2007 at 6:38 AM

    Uhm.. (concentrating hard) don’t think so… (concetrating harder)… it’s all blurry… (conc…. faints)

  • January 30, 2007 at 9:59 PM

    …(beign a detective the elderly is unsure what to do in situations like this…..)

    erm, well this is a new one on me…. fainted…. right, well… okay

    (ponders on the correct course of action, closes notebook…. leaves the room….)

  • January 31, 2007 at 6:14 AM

    (comes around)

    Elderly? Elderly? Huh?

  • February 2, 2007 at 8:37 PM


  • February 3, 2007 at 10:44 AM

    So, guess I’ll just wait over here, right?

  • February 3, 2007 at 6:35 PM


  • February 4, 2007 at 8:22 AM

    Uhm right… guess I’ll stay for a while…

  • February 5, 2007 at 10:51 PM

    ….cough!……ooops!… (comes out from behind curtain….)

    alright you found me… what’ll we play now?

  • February 6, 2007 at 8:00 AM

    How about “find the ti 99/4a”?

  • December 4, 2007 at 9:44 PM

    There’s a very active Yahoo user’s group for the TI-99/4a. In fact, they have had an active (and sometimes zealous) community since the machine was orphaned in 1983.

    If you’re looking to get a TI again, they’re fairly common on eBay, along with software. Cartridges are easy to get, disk software less so.

    I got some links on my site at I’m working on a vintage-style CRPG for the TI at the moment.

  • December 5, 2007 at 3:32 PM

    Thank you for the info and tips Adam, greatly appreciated. As for your game, well, I’ll soon blog it. Seems brilliant!

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