I just bought a Texas Instruments (TI99/4A) computer from a thrift store for less than five bucks. I sometimes find myself in a fit of nostalgia, the kind that makes me spend money on something that may be worth something but probably isn’t. Of all the stuff that this child of the 80’s coveted, I was especially oriented to computers. I had a Vic-20 from my older cousin Rob, which I can still use today because I remember commands like ‘LOAD “*”, 8, 1 — which is light years behind Windows 7 and several steps behind Windows Vista. Of course, I kid.
Now I have this super old computer, still in its original packaging, sitting in the back of my somewhat old Jeep. Oh, they’re a match made in heaven all right. I have been scouring the interweb in order to discover its actual value, which our friends at eBay would put somewhere between “less than five bucks” and “nothing”. That’s okay, because I think it hooks right up to my television AND it came with a BASIC 1.0 cartridge, which means I’ll be running programs in no time. What are the chances that I’ll be writing code that’s not Y2K compliant? Only time will tell.
In all of my exploration, I came across our own Dr. Bill Cosby — yes, of the Jello Pudding Pop fame — presenting his reasoning for buying a TI99 computer. His enthusiasm is contagious / kind of creepy, as seen in this picture:
“ya see, the kids today, with their typin’ and their space bar-in’ and their loading of the games with the spaced invader and the 8 bits o’ this and that… they don’t know what Jazz is!”