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What is the Holy Grail of the TI99 4/A World?


Mtlatc

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Impossibly unobtainable: Dimension 1 & 4 (pre-99/4 prototype) 

Almost impossibly unobtainable if you don't already have one: TI 99/8 (99/4A successor prototype) 

 

Among carts, I would say the Arcturus cart from Sunware/Exceltec (only a few out there, and it's a genuinely interesting game). 

 

This all being said, this community is less "collector" oriented than more popular systems.  Most people are coders or hardware developers - not people collecting game carts.  So the "rare collector's item" category isn't all that well defined, just because almost nobody is a "TI-99 cart collector" sort of thing, first and foremost. 

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19 minutes ago, pixelpedant said:

Impossibly unobtainable: Dimension 1 & 4 (pre-99/4 prototype) 

Almost impossibly unobtainable if you don't already have one: TI 99/8 (99/4A successor prototype)

Yes, the 99/8 is almost impossible unattainable but there is a prototype even more difficult to find: the TI-99/5.

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Also impossibly unattainable:  TI-99/2 and CC-40+.  Only prototypes were made.  And one simulated production run box, but still had a prototype in it.  Also, the external GROM boxes that @Ksarul now has (pictures are on Hexbus.com).! Much more.  (EGROM, etc)

 

Hard to find rare stuff, but still shows up?

  • Geneve
  • HFDC
  • SNUG cards

The answer is always “it depends”.

 

Rare carts are the sidecar ones by Exceltec.  Arcturus and Killer Caterpillar.  EPROM proto carts like Tutankhamen.  Limited TI run ones like SMU, DMIII, etc.

 

 

 

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I would add the Scott Foresman School Management cartridge series to the list of nearly impossible to find cartridges, as no more than a half-dozen of each of them are still in circulation.

 

On the hardware side, there are quite a few different rare items out there, like the TI GSIM (GROM Simulator) boxes, the TI MLB (Michael L Bunyard) EPROM programmer for the PEB, the TI Super MODEM card for the PEB, the Foundation 80-Column card, and the Foundation CP/M card all quickly come to mind.

 

I actually have most of the items mentioned as rare in this thread (and quite a few more), so I guess I count as a collector.

 

Note that there are also known (non-vaporware) items that have not turned up in anyone's hands yet, like the Morning Star CP/M card

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1 hour ago, SkyPilot said:

Why I don't post more.  In all honesty this place is a little snobby and cliquish.

Since we are being honest, do you have any examples of your indictments?  As anyone is capable, you are welcome to create a thread of your grievances for honest discussion rather than taking troll-like pot-shots in other peoples' threads.

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Community is built through contribution. If you all don't start the conversation you want to have, you all will never find the others that want the same conversation. 

 

---

As for holy grail, I would think that would be as individualized as the people here. From what I can tell, most of us have very different hobbies. They just share some little piece of the 4A platform.

 

My holy grail is the computer I haven't designed yet.

 

 

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To lean into your question, from my own perspective, the "Holy Grail" in the TI world seems to be based upon your own focus.  We have an exceptionally diverse gathering of people here, in personality and perspective.  In general, since there are so many different ways to do the things we do, there is not much in terms of that one shiny and chrome thing.  In fact, we are one of the more blessed retro computer communities, perhaps to the point of being spoiled.

 

We have programmers in many different languages actively producing.  We have languages and tool kits and chains in active development.  We have hardware being made, and even harder to find stuff being reproduced.  We have entirely new amalgamations of old TI tech and new technology.  Best of all, we have access to the very people making this stuff!

 

There are some here who collect for posterity, and God bless them for it.  It is certainly a (hard) labor of love, and they sink a lot of money into it and have to fight against people who just want the shiny on their shelf for some kind of nerd cred.

 

I use disk media.  My highly-desired item was a DSDD floppy controller, which I came into rather quickly thanks to a generous fellow AtariAge member.  For the most part, my need had been sated, until I came into the next thing I need for whatever reason.  That was a SuperSketch for exhibition at VCF, and I did get one in good condition for a reasonable price.  Since I was a kid, I had my eye on the CorComp Micro Expansion System with 32k and floppy drives -- got one of those, now.  I did spend a lot of time tracking down as many of the original TI cartridges as was reasonable to acquire.  They do not have a lot of value (a lot less than some people on eBay think, especially,) in the face of expansions like the FlashROM 99 and FinalGROM 99, but they are a nice physical item with which many of us first interacted when using the TI.  They look good for exhibition, there is a sort-of satisfaction in holding them, but I do not see a lot of clout in knowing that I own almost all of the original carts.

 

Recently I think the more rare Hexbus peripherals have been things in highest demand, and most of those have been acquired now and are being examined by top men, but again for posterity.  Heck, the Hexbus disk drive has been replicated, now, though not generally available.  But, again, everyone has their own thing.

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17 minutes ago, Duewester said:

The money to buy more and the space to put it.

/thread 😆

 

17 minutes ago, Duewester said:

Seriously, a new in box never opened Ti/99-4a just like I first bought in 1983.

I have to say, a while back I got my hands on a new-old-stock PEB, and it was like time travel opening it up.

 

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Very much agree on how personal holy grails are, in this community.  So while we're talking about those, here are my own, best as I can figure off the top of my head: 

 

Hardware (nearly impossible): CC-40+ 

Hardware (extremely unlikely): P-System Sidecar 

Hardware (merely improbable): Myarc HFDC

 

Software (nearly impossible): CC-40 wafertape software library

Software (extremely unlikely): Arcturus (Exceltec/Sunware)

Software (merely improbable): Legends 1.0 and 1.1 (complete)

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1 hour ago, arcadeshopper said:

nope, or the person with it isn't sharing it with the community either way is the same

In the same way, I wonder if there is someone who owns a TI-99/5 or TI-99/4B prototype. I always hoped to contact him to be able to share information between its unit and mine. I can't imagine (I hope!) that there's nobody.

 

I still have many quests but if I had to choose only two holy Grails: A prototype of the TI-99/4  and a mock-up of the CC70.

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For me, it would be the beige sidecar Hexbus interface and speech synthesizer that were shown on the box of the beige 99/4A but never released.  

 

Several years ago I picked up a NIB beige 99/4A from EBay - it was fun to open that up as I remember receiving the same for Christmas when I was a child.  

 

 

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9 hours ago, Ksarul said:

I would add the Scott Foresman School Management cartridge series to the list of nearly impossible to find cartridges, as no more than a half-dozen of each of them are still in circulation.

 

On the hardware side, there are quite a few different rare items out there, like the TI GSIM (GROM Simulator) boxes, the TI MLB (Michael L Bunyard) EPROM programmer for the PEB, the TI Super MODEM card for the PEB, the Foundation 80-Column card, and the Foundation CP/M card all quickly come to mind.

 

I actually have most of the items mentioned as rare in this thread (and quite a few more), so I guess I count as a collector.

 

Note that there are also known (non-vaporware) items that have not turned up in anyone's hands yet, like the Morning Star CP/M card

Yes! 80 col CP/M on the TI would be high on my list - though, running CP/M in a terminal session on the Ti-PI sort of scratches the itch!  :)

Edited by aftyde
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46 minutes ago, aftyde said:

Yes! 80 col CP/M on the TI would be high on my list - though, running CP/M in a terminal session on the Ti-PI sort of scratches the itch!  :)

When I saw CP/M running in 40 columns on a C64 and later on a C128, I really had hope for a 40 column version running on TI :)

 

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Utterly personal holy grail: I'd love to stumble across some of the software I made in the late 80s-early 90s.  I sold my system back then and gave my floppies to a friend to reformat and reuse.  I can't imagine more than a dozen copies of each ever made it into the world, and I know they probably exist on a disk labeled TIMISC2985 rotting in someone's file cabinet.  It might be more mortifying than exciting to see what kind of code 18-year-old me saw fit to inflict upon the world.

 

The only other real holy grail for me is originals of old third-party disk and tape games.  I have a fondness for the days of plucky, short-lived kitchen-table software "companies" with ads in 99'er and Xeroxed game manuals in ziploc baggies.  I'm more excited to add a new Not Polyoptics or Extended Software tape to my rack than to get a rare cartridge game or piece of hardware.

 

It's easy to get hung up on feeling like a 'double orphan' when not everyone in your already-small scene cares about what you care about.  But that's more a problem with your focus than anyone else's interest.  As sociable as it is to have a forum to share this stuff, it's supposed to be about what personally makes you happy when you carve out that alone time to head down to the basement and be amongst your treasures.  I'm as guilty as anyone of losing sight of that sometimes, but I have the most fun in this hobby when I'm doing things for their own sake.

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