Company Texas Instruments, Inc.
Product TI-99/4
Cost $1150 with 16K of RAM and color monitor
Graphics Resolution 32h × 24v
Indirect Dot Resolution 256h × 192v
Number of Colors 16
Number of Graphics Characters 128 maximum user programmable
Comments The TI-99/4 is somewhat a disappointment from a graphics programmer's standpoint. The high-resolution 256h × 192v dot matrix is not directly accessible through BASIC, although characters on an 8 × 8 matrix may be created and stored in RAM. TI does not allow access to machine language and no PEEK or POKE statements are provided. TI's plan is to sell programmed ROMs—solid-state software—which are complete application programs written in machine language by TI programmers.* These do not use the high-resolution graphics. Obviously TI wants to be the only one writing programs that access graphics at the high-resolution level—too bad. But not to berate the TI unit, it has one operational feature found no where else: a $150 speech synthesizer that contains 256 preprogrammed words. Also a built-in, BASIC-accessible, four-voice music synthesizer which covers 5 octaves and is capable of 30 volume levels.
* A TI spokesperson says the reason for this is that the market as perceived by TI is software driven, meaning people buy hardware based on what software is available. Since most consumers are not programmers, programming features were given up for other benefits.
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