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99/8 Video Inquiry


Omega-TI
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Not quite - it is a 9118. The difference is that it uses two 16Kx4 DRAMs (instead of eight 16Kx1), and it does not produce a GRMCLK. So it is not pin-compatible (which does not mean it is impossible).

 

Yes, and it is a bit sacrilegious. :) What do you hope to achieve, apart from connecting it to a VGA monitor? There are so few devices out there that we will probably never see any sincere software development for them.

 

(OK, we could have millions of them, if you accepted its MAME emulation in place of the real iron ;) )

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I found this photo elsewhere on the Internet and I'm curious... did this thing use a 9918 for video?

I figured *IF* it did... an F18A might make a great upgrade... or is it sacrilegious to even mention modding such a rare beast?

 

And, by the way, why not replacing the HX5102 hexbus disk controller by a flashdrive and replacing the TMS9995 MP9537 by an overclocked and emulated in a FPGA.

My personal opinion: It's a sacrilege. I think the work of the TI engineers deserves to be respected. :-)

So, for my part, I will never modify my 99/8 prototype that way.

 

About the video: the only modification that I made is to replace the TMS9118 by a TMS9129 to get R-Y, B-Y, Y signals and to be able to use a RVB adapter. The pictures are now crisp and beautiful :-)

Edited by fabrice montupet
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Having been one of the lucky ones to have a 99/8 at one time, I always had wished TI had been able to hold out and release this as their Commodore 64 competitor. It would have been the perfect upgrade path from the 99/4A, you wouldn't have had to replace any of your software or hardware, yet you'd have a much faster machine with a lot more memory for what would have been an excellent price. The keyboard alone was a vast improvement.

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Hi Casey,
I remember your 99/8 prototype (it had a V3.0 ROM and Extended Basic II inside) . You owned it in 2002.

Since many years, I count all the 99/8 surviving and I would like to know (if you remember) the serial number of your prototype?

Edited by fabrice montupet
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The F18A can be used in 9118/9128/9129 systems. Aside from the memory size support, the pin differences are:

      ___________
RAS  =|1   U  40|= XTAL1   9918A    9928A/29A 9118    9128/29 F18A
CAS  =|2      39|= XTAL2   ======== ========= ======= ======= ====
AD7  =|3      38|= ....... CPUCLK   R-Y       CPUCLK  R-Y     HI-Z / CPUCLK
AD6  =|4      37|= ....... GROMCLK  GROMCLK   NC      CPUCLK  GROMCLK / CPUCLK
AD5  =|5      36|= ....... COMVID   Y         COMVID  Y       NC
AD4  =|6      35|= ....... EXTVDP   B-Y       EXTVDP  B-Y     NC

I'm surprised the 99/8 did not have a better graphics subsystem (9938 or something like that). Maybe TI was actually making the computer that the 99/4A should have been. ;-)

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@matthew180: The 9118 was a good choice in 1983 (the year where the 99/8 was developped). It permitted to keep the 99/4A software compatibility.
The enhanced VDP Yamaha 9938 was released later, in 1985

 

@Casey: Thank you! I am waiting news from you.

Edited by fabrice montupet
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This is the reason why I keep saying we're better off this way that TI did not bring the 99/8 to production. It would have become a miserable failure with all the competing systems available. The 99/8 would have become way too expensive with all that built-in memory (at least I can imagine TI would have gone for some premium price). While the C64 already had a full 40 col mode, we would have been stuck with 70s graphics. The peripheral devices of the 99/4A would not have been compatible (as we learned from the MAME emulation; Extended Basic II only runs with a Hexbus floppy). Sorry TI, that console would have pointed in the wrong direction.

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