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Texas Instruments
TI 99 / 2

The Texas Instruments TI 99 / 2 (in-house named "Ground Squirrel") was intended to compete in a lower price range than the TI 99/4A (i.e. in the same range that the Sinclair Spectrum). But when the price war with Commodore forced TI to slash the price of a 99/4A to that level, there was no market for the 99/2 anymore.
Therefore, this prototype never made it to the shelves of the computer shops.

Harry LittleJohn and Mark Jander, the designers of the TI-99/2, explained its concept in a Byte magazine article:
We beleived a major portion of our market would be first-time computer buyers looking for a minimal investment in the world of computers. We kept the price low to compete directly with low-priced computers such as the Timex/Sinclair 1000.

We felt strongly that the first-time buyer must not be intimidated by the product. The console, we decided, must be simple and the keyboard must be no more complicated than a typewriter keyboard.

To ease the upward migration to more sophisticated computers, we decided to make our computer part of an integrated proct line basec on the 99/4A.
Having identified these requirements, we selected the following characteristics for the TI-99/2:
1 - A computer system for less than $100 including a minimum of 2 KB of RAM and 16 KB of ROM.
2 - A built-in, two-channel black-and-white RF modulator for connecting the system to a standard TV.
3 - A built-in interface for a standard audio-cassette recorder to provide economical mass-storage capability.
4 - A built-in Hex-bus interface to provide compatibility with the line of low-cost peripherals.
5 - An operating system that would be a subset of TI_99/4A TI-BASIC. For cost reasons, the 99/2 would not use the Graphic GROM of the 99/4A and, therefore, 99/4A cartridges would not be compatible with the 99/2.
6 - No sound, color, or joystick capability would be supported again because of cost constraints.
7 - The full system bus structure would be available at an expansion port. This would facilitate memory-expanding Solid State Software cartridges or any other future system expansion.
8 - A nonintimidating 48-key typewriter-like keyboard with only two legends per key top. Lowercase letters would not be supported.

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I have one of these and would like to sell it. Any one interested?

Please contact

Saturday 27th October 2018
Jeremy Benisek (United States)

There''s an interesting site about TMS99xx stuff :

Has quite a lot of stuff on the TI TMS9900/TMS9995 hardware including a breadboard self-build computer based on the TMS9995

Well worth a look !

Friday 18th July 2014
Mark (USA)

I am in posession of a TI99/2. I am looking for an original power supply/wall transformer.
I do not own this machine, but am acting on behalf of the owner.
It might possibly be available for auction if there is enough interest. Please write for pictures for if you have questions. john creviston

Wednesday 19th February 2003
John Creviston (Texas)


NAME  TI 99 / 2
MANUFACTURER  Texas Instruments
TYPE  Home Computer
YEAR  April 1983
KEYBOARD  QWERTY calculator type, 48 keys
CPU  Texas Instruments TMS 9995
SPEED  10.7 Mhz
RAM  4 up (up to 36 kb)
ROM  32 KB
TEXT MODES  32 x 24
COLORS  Monochrome
I/O PORTS  Expansion port, Hex-Bus port, NTSC video out, tape-recorder
POWER SUPPLY  External AC adaptor
PRICE  $99.95 (1983)

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