This site hosted by 99er.net.
|About The Site||
About the Amarillo 99/4A Users Group Tribute Page!
This site was created using Microsoft FrontPage 2000 on a Sony VAIO PCV-RS530G computer with 512MB of RAM and 320GB of storage capability.
My Personal thoughts
When I was a kid growing up in Amarillo, Texas, I remember when my elementary school finally got computers in the classroom in 1981. They were very basic TI-99/4A computer with TI monitors. We did great things with those computers, mainly learning. I recall doing Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Reading and other learning titles.
After elementary school, I never really touched a computer, sure, my friends had computers, but my parents couldn't justify having a computer in the house. So I pretty much dismissed owning one.
My Dad, being a technical school instructor in electronics, brought home a black and silver TI-99/4A console with all the manuals. The school was getting rid of the TIs because they were upgrading all their computers. I was elated! Soon after, my Dad brought home all the accessories I needed to have a complete TI-99/4A system. I remember it vividly. I had a PE Box with all the cards, minus a p-code card (I didn't know what a p-code card was!), a TI Color Monitor, Speech Synthesizer. I even remember getting all the software I needed to have a usable computer.
I was hooked! The only problem was that it was 1987. IBM PCs were the standard and the Macintosh was a close second. Going to the local computer store yielded very little to no results. I was watching the local cable information station that ran classified ads in Amarillo. As I was aimlessly watching this brainless station, an ad popped up that read:
DO YOU OWN A TI-99/4A?
THE AMARILLO 99/4A USERS GROUP IS LOOKING FOR MEMBERS.
CALL SAM BURTON AT 352-4778 FOR MORE INFORMATION.
I couldn't believe it. So, I wrote the number down and called him. Sam and I hit it off. The Users Group met on the second Monday of each month at the downtown library. Of course, my luck being the way it is, I missed that month's meeting by one day.
I was introduced to the local TI scholars in the community, Sam Burton, Fred Dennis, Joe Slutz, and Jere Lawrence. I learned things about the TI-99/4A that I had never known. I learned about the Myarc Geneve 9640, the TI-99/8, Hex-bus peripherals, GRAMKracker's, you name it! Sam and I spent many Friday and Saturday nights, awake until 3 a.m., tinkering with 99/4As, running software, writing software, experimenting with internal 32K and Speech Synthesizer modifications.
In 1988, the users group attended the Texas TI Faire in Dallas. That's where I saw my first Geneve 9640. When I saw it, I wanted one. So, I scrimped and save until I could afford one. I must have been looking through rose colored glasses, I guess. I didn't keep the Geneve very long and sold to a member named Ronnie Sanders. I then went back to to the TI.
The computer I wanted was a TI-99/8. I wanted one because the 99/8 was like the Holy Grail of TI Home Computers. Well, eventually, a got my first TI-99/8 with a Hex-bus Disk Drive Controller from an individual in Lubbock, Texas, the birth place of the TI Home Computer.
I kept that system for a while then eventually parted with it. I still regret doing that. Well, every cloud has a silver lining and I got another TI-99/8 (prototype 80) from an old user group member. I promised myself I would never get rid of it.
I was a long-distance member of the TI-CHIPS user group and they requested my TI-99/8 for the 1996 MUG. I sent it to them for the show. After the MUG, my TI-99/8 sat in a closet packed away. I powered it up every so often. I didn't think too much of the TI computer after that, until the bug struck me again.
In August 2004, I got another working TI-99/8 (prototype 19). Ronnie Sanders parted with his TI equipment and I was the proud recipient of all this hardware, including my Geneve 9640 computer that I sold him in 1988.
So here I am, back in business! I have, what amounts to, a closet full of TI hardware and software, two working TI-99/8 computers, two Armadillo interface cards, TI's 128K RAM card, TI's EPROM Programmer card, TI's IEEE-488 Interface card, the Hex-bus Interface, multiple COMPLETE TI-99/4A systems, a Compact Computer 40, a 504K RAM card for the 99/4A, and MY Geneve 9640 is back home. What I could have only dreamed of having in 1988; I am the now the owner of in 2004. Crazy? Probably.
As I look back at my time in the Amarillo 99/4A Users Group, I realize that it was probably the most fun that I have ever had. We were a tight group of individuals that relied on each other for technical insight, software and hardware. That was when computing was fun!
Former Vice-President / Newsletter Editor, Amarillo 99/4A Users Group
Steve Eggers, May 1988, at the Texas TI Faire, Dallas, Texas.
Steve Eggers, September 2004, at home with TI-99/8, Hex-bus Modem and Hex-bus DS/DD Disk Drive Controller.
This website is dedicated to my father, Ralph Eggers, Jr. 1930-1989
He gave me my first computer, the TI-99/4A, and I have been interested in them ever since.
This page, Copyright 2004, Steve Eggers.
The photos, Copyright 1988 & 2004, Samuel R.M. Burton and Steve Eggers.