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Blog posts and video from Steven as he “COMBS” through the minutia to discover tech, retro-computing, physical computing, gadgets and sci-fi.

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Commodore Plus/4 Series

3 October 2021

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Accessories/Games Unboxing Livestream

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.
tags: unboxing - games - ti994a

Followers know a new-to-me Texas Instruments (TI) TI-99/4A now adorns the shelves of my retro computing collection. It’s a long story; however, during the diatribe, I talk about the accessories I purchased. In this blog post and companion video, I share those items. There’s even a special surprise from Jamie, over at Jamie’s Hack Shack. Watch the livestream video below and continue reading to learn more.

YouTube Video: ‌TI-99/4A Accessories, Unboxing, Gameplay, and FUN!

In the livestream video below, I unbox several packages as I pontificate about random items that pop up in the chat room.

Video Supporters:

Special thanks to the viewers below for their support of the livestream:

  1. Jamie’s Hack Shack for the TI surprise unboxing and opportunity to play!!! That was outstanding.
  2. Mislav, who ensured I correctly said his name (pronounced “Miss-Lav”) and supported me with a Super Chat!
  3. Oliver, for his knowledge and tips while playing our TI 99/4A games and for helping me figure out that the TIPI is not pronounced, TIPPY, but T.I. Pi. That makes more sense.

Video Errata

I called the AdaFruit MacroPad the MagTag at one point. That is another device that uses an e-ink display.

Below are the links I mention in the video. All Amazon links are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting the blog and the YouTube channel!

  1. TI Joystick Adapter from TexElec
  2. FlashROM 99 from the Brewing Academy
  3. TIPI from the Brewing Academy - The Whole Enchilada
  4. Hyperkin Ranger Controller
  5. Hyperkin Trooper Controller
  6. retroCombs Supporters Page

Additional Thoughts

Below are additional thoughts from and after the livestream.

Technical Issues

  1. I had issues using the AdaFruit MacroPad to switch OBS Studio screens during the livestream. I need more practice to make it seamless and I’m sure this will come with time.
  2. I love the new IPEVO Document Camera! The autofocus is impressive and the on base controls make zooms and other adjustments easy.
  3. For reasons unknown to me, my capture device for the TI computer would sometime lose audio and I had to switch to another source and back again to get the audio to play during the livestream. I’ll work with it but at least I know how to quickly correct the issue.
  4. I tried the Hyperkin Ranger again on the TI and it would not work. The competition pro worked with every game that supported a joystick. It is odd. I love the Ranger and it works with my MEGA65, Commodore Plus/4 (with adapter), and Commodore 128. I’ll give the Trooper a try later, but I suspect the Ranger has a compatibility issue because of the built-in paddle controller.

Content Comments

  1. This livestream was a “Blasto!” See what I did? I’m sure it was more fun for me than the viewers because I was the one who got to open the boxes and play the games; save for Hangman. Thanks to the folks in chat who helped me figure out the word to win that round. It would have been an embarrassment to not win the first game with a five letter word.
  2. I don’t think Jamie could have timed his surprise box any better. It was TI computer related and the perfect addition to the livestream. Thanks again, Jamie!
  3. I look forward to trying out the 32K memory expander (that came with the whole enchilada), TIPI, and the FlashROM 99. I’ll share the installation and a review of theses products in a future produced video. Might be awhile because I want to get back to MEGA65 content.
  4. Inside one of the boxes was four TI solid-state cartridges:

    • Hangman - We play a round in the chat and if not for Jamie and Oliver, we would have lost to a five letter word!
    • Hunt the Wumpus - Maze madness and that’s not a good thing
    • TI Invaders - Like the original and make sure you have good joystick
    • Blasto - Think tanks meet minesweeper, which could be fun with instructions
    • Jamie’s Gift - I’m not going to spoil it here, but a game he said is maddening and “meh!”
  5. During the livestream, I introduced my newest page; retroCombs Supporters. There are currently three ways to support the channel; Buy me a coffee, click the ♡ THANKS button under a videos, and/or click SUPER CHAT during a livestream. A supporter made a request for a monthly support option and recommended Patreon; however, YouTube has released their own members program and since I use Google Adsense on the site, it makes sense to combine all revenue into a single program. I hope to have membership live toward the end of this year or early next year.

That’s all there is for now. If there’s something I missed, send me an email (see below) and I hope you will join me for my next livestream.

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Help make this content better! Leave your comments, corrections, additions, and thoughts in the comments below. You can email me at retrocombs@icloud.com. Thanks for reading and if you are inclined, please let others know about the blog using the hashtag #retroCombs.

🕹️ retroCombs, OUT!

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