Texas Instruments - TI-99/4A

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The Texas Instrument TI-99/4 was the world's first 16-bit home computer. It 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

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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:

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Texas Instruments TI-990 Computer System Texas Instruments 1975
Texas Instruments TM 990 / U89 Texas Instruments 1978
Texas Instruments - TI-99/4 Texas Instruments 1979
Texas Instruments TM 990 / 189 Texas Instruments March 1982

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

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