[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Finally — The TI-99/4

August 18th, 2008 by Benj Edwards

Texas Instruments TI-99/4 Ad - BYTE 1979Come in and “brouse” our wyde variatee of computur goodz.

Apparently, in 1979, the computer buying public could barely stand to wait any longer for Texas Instruments to ship their personal computer masterpiece, the TI-99/4. (I mean, finally. They actually released it.) Lucky for us, we have this handy “The Computer Factory” group ad to serve as a window through time, if you will, to allow us to observe the public’s overwhelming demand for TI’s hot new PC as it was in 1979. Apparently.

The TI-99/4 — which happened to posses the 7th worst PC keyboard of all time — might have been the one of the first home computers to ship with a 16-bit CPU, but it hardly took off in the marketplace (read more about its failings here and here). TI slowly learned from its mistakes and released the TI-99/4A a few years later to a more receptive audience. The Alpiner-playing world rejoiced. But it wasn’t long before the Commodore 64 crushed TI’s struggling machine (and the rest of the home computer market) in a fierce price war.

[ From BYTE, December 1979 ]

Discussion topic of the week: Have you ever hotly anticipated the release of a certain computer model? Which one got you excited the most?

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5 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Finally — The TI-99/4”

  1. Layne Says:

    I drooled over the Amiga when I first saw it in magazines (the baboon face picture sold me). My parents never would buy it for me, so I had to save up my own money to get one (a 1000; used) and by then it was on the decline. But, I still have it and it still works……


  2. Kitsunexus Says:

    Back in the day SGI ran an ad for their Visual Workstations and O2 workstations, I SALIVATED over the ad, but in my household with limited financial income, no chance in hell. 🙁

  3. Dylan Says:

    In seventh grade I was pretty excited about the 486, CDRoms, and Super VGA monitors. In the present day: Intel based Macs and the iPhone.

  4. Dylan Says:

    oh yeah and the Wii

  5. hertz Says:

    I pored over the late 70’s Radio Shack catalog with its $600 TRS-80 home computer KIT…yes KIT…

    I would say the C=64 was the only computer I really couldn’t wait to have…and when the price dropped by $100 or something, my folks actually got us one…

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