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The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/02/2017 3:23 PM
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#1

Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/02/2017 4:44 PM

This is sort of depressing about TI's consumer product division in Lubbock, TX at the time:

"The microprocessor business was based in Houston, whereas TI had moved the consumer products group to Lubbock, Texas. Lubbock is a city where the correct answer to the question, “How do you like living here?” is “The people are wonderful.” The country music singer Mac Davis, who grew up there, once wrote a song whose refrain went “I thought happiness was Lubbock, Texas, in my rear view mirror.”"

Now we have XFab that took over the complex.

The main thing I saw was the complete boner of hanging an 8-bit port off this 16-bit processor chip. That about halved performance. End of story. I still don't get why Motorola's superior 16 bit processor was not selected by IBM, unless they though price would kill them???

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/03/2017 4:58 AM

Wasn't TI eventually taken over by Siemens, as I seem to remember?

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#8
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Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/03/2017 8:39 AM

I don't know about if Xfab is a spin-off of Siemens. I found nothing on their website that would indicate so, although their HQ is in Germany.

They have been a wafer foundry in this location for quite some time now.

I think I heard a news blurb on the radio the other day of another large number of jobs (anything over 50 is large in Lubbock), for a a silicon carbide based foundry start-up in addition to the silicon one.

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#11
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Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/03/2017 2:00 PM

OK thanks

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#2

Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/02/2017 5:15 PM

Hughes Aircraft Company (HAC) Missile Systems Group, Tucson, AZ, engineers actually used TI 99/4A units as development "interfaces" between HAC missiles and systems that used TI 9989 "military" processors, so the TI 99/4A was not just a "game" toy.

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#3
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Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/02/2017 6:56 PM

And that's why their are restriction for shipping electronic games to certain country's.

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#4

Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/02/2017 11:50 PM

I had a TI99/4 home computer. It was a lot of fun to play with and write programs for, back when people actually wrote their own programs in BASIC.

I still miss the versatility of BASIC. There was so much you could do with Math and BASIC's problem-solving abilities that is lost/impossible with the use of spreadsheets.

My wife and son liked playing the games, too. The TI 'Munchman' program was a rip-off of Pacman, but a lot better and more fun.

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#6
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Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/03/2017 7:12 AM

ahhhh, basica and gwbasic... memories.

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#7
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Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/03/2017 8:36 AM

Arduino processors utilize a version of C+, as I believe. I find the coding pretty similar to BASIC, but different in some other aspects. It takes a while to learn the new syntax if you are not a C+ programmer. Matlab also uses something very similar in programming structure for the more complicated operations.

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#9
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Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/03/2017 8:40 AM

Been a while, but as I recall in basic, you have to plan ahead in your line numbering... by making sure you have enough number lines available between the coded line numbers as you are coding for future or unanticipated use.

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#10
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Re: The Inside Story of Texas Instruments’ TMS9900 Microprocessor

11/03/2017 9:21 AM

Yep. Line numbers do not interfere in C+.

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