Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: TI 9900 based mystery system - can you identify?

Expand Messages
  • Herb Johnson
    ... Check this Web page of a TI 9900 developer: http://www.cozx.com/~dpitts/ti990.html You might ask this person which model of 990 you have. Online docs for
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 22, 2006
      --- B Degnan <billdeg@...> wrote:
      >
      > Herb's std bus page reminded me that I have a TI chassis I have been
      > unable to locate documentation or for that matter identify what I
      > have exactly. Now that there are more people in this group, maybe
      > someone can help shed some light on the following. .?
      >
      > http://vintagecomputer.net/ti/TI-990-101/

      Check this Web page of a TI 9900 developer:

      http://www.cozx.com/~dpitts/ti990.html

      You might ask this person which model of 990 you have.

      Online docs for the 990 series seem to be at bitsavers:

      http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/ti/990/

      My recollection about some of these small TI systems, is that the CPU
      fit inside a large TI printing terminal. Of course the larger TI 9900
      systems were rack-mounted, but that was older technology than what you
      have. There does not seem to be much on the Web about the TI 990's -
      but in their time they were workhorse minicomputers.

      In a way, your TI system represents what would have happened if Intel
      and others had not produced their early microprocessors. Namely,
      minicomputer manufacturers like TI would have eventually scaled down
      their discrete-chip based minicomputers (the 9900's) into single-chip
      implementations on smaller boards; and ending up with single-board
      applications to support business solutions (point of sale, accounting,
      etc.) or manufacturing (process control, etc.) Software and support
      would have kept (and did, for the TI 990 series) those "mini-mini"
      systems too expensive for individuals or basement developers - the
      people who drove the microprocessor revolution.

      Just a speculation of course, but as history actually unfolded the
      minicomputer companies (TI, DEC, IBM) just could not see how to offer
      "micro" versions of their systems which could compete with the
      microprocessor-based systems that eventually overtook them. Even the
      IBM PC's "success" was not based on IBM legacy software but the fact
      it could run recompiled versions of then-current Intel 8080 and 8086
      based programs. To the point about the TI systems, I don't think much
      TI 990 software made it over to the 99/4 "microcomputers".

      (Note: please don't fuss with me over IBM and their PC and
      controversies around it. I'm making a point, don't bite my finger for
      pointing at it.)

      Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
      <a href="http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/"> web site</a>
      <a href="http://retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/"> domain mirror</a>
      my email address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com
      if no reply, try in a few days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net
      "Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch floppy drives
      S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"
    • B. Degnan
      Herb, Thanks for the links and info. Bill
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 23, 2006
        Herb,
        Thanks for the links and info.
        Bill

        At 03:16 PM 6/22/2006 +0000, you wrote:

        --- B Degnan <billdeg@...> wrote:
        >
        > Herb's std bus page reminded me that I have a TI chassis I have been
        > unable to locate documentation or for that matter identify what I
        > have exactly. Now that there are more people in this group, maybe
        > someone can help shed some light on the following. .?
        >
        > http://vintagecomputer.net/ti/TI-990-101/

        Check this Web page of a TI 9900 developer:

        http://www.cozx.com/~dpitts/ti990.html

        You might ask this person which model of 990 you have.

        Online docs for the 990 series seem to be at bitsavers:

        http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/ti/990/

        My recollection about some of these small TI systems, is that the CPU
        fit inside a large TI printing terminal. Of course the larger TI 9900
        systems were rack-mounted, but that was older technology than what you
        have. There does not seem to be much on the Web about the TI 990's -
        but in their time they were workhorse minicomputers.

        In a way, your TI system represents what would have happened if Intel
        and others had not produced their early microprocessors. Namely,
        minicomputer manufacturers like TI would have eventually scaled down
        their discrete-chip based minicomputers (the 9900's) into single-chip
        implementations on smaller boards; and ending up with single-board
        applications to support business solutions (point of sale, accounting,
        etc.) or manufacturing (process control, etc.) Software and support
        would have kept (and did, for the TI 990 series) those "mini-mini"
        systems too expensive for individuals or basement developers - the
        people who drove the microprocessor revolution.

        Just a speculation of course, but as history actually unfolded the
        minicomputer companies (TI, DEC, IBM) just could not see how to offer
        "micro" versions of their systems which could compete with the
        microprocessor-based systems that eventually overtook them. Even the
        IBM PC's "success" was not based on IBM legacy software but the fact
        it could run recompiled versions of then-current Intel 8080 and 8086
        based programs. To the point about the TI systems, I don't think much
        TI 990 software made it over to the 99/4 "microcomputers".

        (Note: please don't fuss with me over IBM and their PC and
        controversies around it. I'm making a point, don't bite my finger for
        pointing at it.)

        Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.