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Texas Instruments TI-99 Personal Computer Line (1979-1984)

Texas Instruments TI-99 Personal Computer Line (1979-1984)

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Texas Instruments

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TI-99/4 & TI-99/4a + Commodore/TI Price War 

The Texas Instruments 99/4 was the first personal computer released by TI. It was released in October 1979 for a price of $1150. Unfortunately, the computer failed miserably, selling only 20,000 units by the time it was discontinued due to its uncomfortable chiclet keyboard and high price. TI decided to re-evaluate and redesign the TI-99/4 for a re-release. The result was the TI-99/4A, which was released in June 1981 for a price of $525 - nearly half the price of its predecessor. This computer featured an updated keyboard design. Facing fierce competition from Commodore’s VIC-20 personal computer, TI realized they needed to lower the price of the 99/4a once more. In order to do that, they redesigned the computer once more, and started offering a lower-cost version. This began a long price war between Commodore and TI which led to the TI-99/4a to be sold for only $49, which was at a loss. TI discontinued the TI-99/4a in 1984, and left the personal computer market altogether. 

Source: Estate Sales, eBay.com

Texas Instruments TI-99 Peripheral Expansion Box 

The TI Peripheral Expansion Box (or PEB) was released in January 1982, to replace the only thread of accessories originally released with the TI-99/4a personal computer. When first introduced, the PEB was quite expensive and in short supply. To buy the fully enhanced system, you had to spend a whopping $1500! Two different PEB's were introduced, with subtle changes to the power switch. It is estimated that at one point, a PEB was being sold for every 10 TI-99/4a's sold. The PEB was discontinued with the rest of the TI-99 line in 1984. 

TI-99 Acoustic Phone Modem

The TI Phone Modem was an acoustic coupler modem that ran at 300 baud. 

Donated by: Joseph Rodomista

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