Texas Instruments - TI-99/4A

The Texas Instruments TI-99/4A was an early home computer, released in June of 1981, originally at a price of USD $525. It was an enhanced version of the less-successful - and quite rare - TI-99/4 model released in late 1979 at a price of $1,150. The TI-99/4A added an additional graphics mode, "lowercase" characters comprised of small capitals, and a full travel keyboard. Its predecessor, the TI-99/4, featured a calculator-style chiclet keyboard and lacked any provision for lowercase text.
Model No: PHC004A
Our two units have the rather different serial numbers: '5081255 LTA3782' and 'R047587 40 83 RC1'.
The final digits indicate manufacture in the 37th week of 1982 and 40th week of 1983. 'LTA' indicates assembly in Lubbock, Texas.  Above those numbers on the back of the console is the model number. This will probably be PHC004CP where the P indicates a PAL (European) model with the 9918A chip.
Facility locations on the serial numbers of these machines indicate
  • ATA: Abilene, Texas, America
  • ATD (not used for the TI99/4a): Austin, Texas (D? Too many Texas facilities starting with A)
  • ACH: Almelo, Common Market, Holland.
  • LTA: the main TI99/4a facility, Lubbock in Texas, America.
  • RCI: Rieti, Common Market, Italy.

This facility location (and date of assembly) reference format was also used on TI calculators after 1976.

The modulators were made in France, which caused problems as France did not use the same PAL as the UK.
The 'R' and 'RC' designations on the serial number of the second model in our collection typically indicate that the unit was sent in for repair, repaired and sold again.  The "R" or "RC" meant "Reconditioned" or "Reconditioned Console".  Quite a few of these "R" units were discounted in price and sold in the TI Employee Stores at each TI site.

Thanks to Stephen Shaw and Rick Payne for this information.

'5081255 LTA3782' is on display

'R047587 40 83 RC1' is in Bay 19

Manufacturer: Texas Instruments
Date: 1st June 1981

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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH1344. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Texas Instruments - TI-99/4A

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