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):


Interested for more? Great, here are some sites you might just enjoy:

  • fatherkrishna

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

  • The Elderly

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

  • gnome

    Why would you believe that Mr.FK?

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

  • Kevin

    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?

  • gnome

    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.

  • The Elderly

    …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…?

  • gnome

    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.

  • The Elderly

    (taking clue from the suspects answers…)

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

  • gnome

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

  • The Elderly

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

  • gnome

    It was … uhm… no, no… ah!

    Under the TV I believe!

  • The Elderly

    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……?

  • gnome

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

  • The Elderly

    …(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….)

  • gnome

    (comes around)

    Elderly? Elderly? Huh?

  • The Elderly


  • gnome

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

  • The Elderly


  • gnome

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

  • The Elderly

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

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

  • gnome

    How about “find the ti 99/4a”?

  • Adam

    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.

  • gnome

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

  • What a great machine!