Things are tough right now ...

They're tough for everyone :( But when coronavirus hit here in the UK, the museum had to close its doors to the public, and we lost practically all our income overnight.

Please Donate Via Just GivingNo visitors, no workshops, no events, no school visits... no income. We know that things are tough for everyone right now, but if you can afford to help us through these tough times please donate what you can.

There's over 36,000 exhibits here! That should keep you occupied for a bit - get searching!

Or come and get involved on our social media channels ...

      Twitch  Facebook          Online Gift Shop      

Thank you.

Texas Instruments - TI-99/4A

The Texas Instrument TI-99/4 was the world's first 16-bit home computer. The TI-99/4 was released in late 1979 and retailed at $1,150. In 1981 the updated TI-99/4A was released. However, the home computer was not a success and in 1982 a price war with the VIC-20 resulted in Texas Instruments lowering the price of the computer to $49. 

The TI-99/4A featured an updated keyboard and updated TMS9918A video chip. 

Due to its short lifespan and poor sales the TI-99/4 is quite rare today. The later TI-99/4A was much more popular due to its low price tag later in its life. The TI-99/4A was discontinued in November 1983 due to the fact that Texas Instruments were making a loss on the computer.

 
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.

Manufacturer: Texas Instruments
Date: 1st June 1981



Comment on This Page

Texas Instruments - TI-99/4A Articles:

Item Manufacturer Date
Memories - Getting Started with the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A by Stephen Shaw 7 Oct 2013

Magazines RELATED to Texas Instruments - TI-99/4A in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
Your Computer - November 1981 Nov 1981
Personal Computer World - November 1982 Nov 1982

Other Systems Related To Texas Instruments - TI-99/4A:

Item Manufacturer Date
Texas Instruments TM 990 / U89 Texas Instruments Unknown
Texas Instruments TI-990 Computer System Texas Instruments 1975
Texas Instruments - TI-99/4 Texas Instruments 1979
Texas Instruments TM 990 / 189 Texas Instruments March 1982
Texas Instruments TravelMate 4000E Texas Instruments March 1994

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

  Book Archive   [5]
  Games Archive   [51]
  Software Archive   [11]
  Peripherals   [2]
  Promotional Items   [1]

Click on the Image(s) For Detail


Articles

Memories - Getting Started with the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A by Stephen Shaw

Help support the museum by buying from the museum shop

View all items

Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund
Accredited Museum