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"Matching" your classic systems components.


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Recently, photo-thumb-878.jpg?_r=1447862011 Bakerman posted a thread << HERE >> that I thought was really cool.

I've always liked looking at other peoples systems and how all their components 'go together'.  Sure, that can be tough to do these days when many of the components we piece together are not even from the same era.  Flat screen monitors, various joystick, mice, trackballs, printers, etc... it's a hobby so we have plenty of time.. years or even decades to get our classic systems to look 'just right'.

I'd love to see some of YOUR solutions!

Here is what I've done to my classic TI-99/4A...

 

Wico Trackball

gallery_35324_1001_185132.jpg

 

The "RED" color just did not blend in well with the BLACK & SILVER of my TI-99/4A, so... out came the paint!

 

 

Peripheral Expansion Box

gallery_35324_1027_118621.jpg

Nothing is perfect... I was unable to obtain a matching silver case for the external disk drive, but the color was 'close enough' to the fron of the P-Box that I settled.

 

 

Monitor

gallery_35324_1027_1667433.jpg

Since the TI is silver, I thought the monitor should match too.

 

Keyboard

gallery_35324_1027_47656.jpg

When I decided to go with a PS/2  keyboard update, I just had to find one that matched as well.  Ebay can really be your friend when it comes to sourcing the right parts.

 

Let's see what you did!

 

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Damned good show. I'd have to do something similar as I loathe non-matching components.

 

I have a TI-99/4A in storage, computer only, but the brushed metal is quite dinged up on it and some keys are broken/missing, but IIRC, it does still turn on and "work." It was a salvage save out of a dumpster! (actually I saved 2 and got one mostly whole again out of the 2 trashed ones) one of these days I need to restore/refurbish it and start getting peripherals for it.

 

Though I've never cared for adding PC keyboards to vintage computers unless you are moving the entire system an peripherals into a tower or something (which I don't like much anyway). I always thought it looks to "weird" with the original keyboard sitting there and a PC keyboard in front.

 

But to each their own, and everyone has different tastes.

 

I do love your "tower" expansion module, I want to get that for my TI...the only thing I didn't like about TI-99/4A design was attaching all the peripherals to the right side of the computer in a "train." Yuck!

"Slugs, he created slugs?...Is this not the work of a complete incompetent? I would have started with Lasers, 8 o'clock, day one."-Evil (Time Bandits)

"...burn the land and boil the sea, but you can't take the sky from me..."-theme song (Firefly)

"I try to respect him, I really, really do, but he's just such a Smeg-head."-Lister (about Rimmer, Red Dwarf)

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Damned good show.

 

But to each their own, and everyone has different tastes.

 

..the only thing I didn't like about TI-99/4A design was attaching all the peripherals to the right side of the computer in a "train." Yuck!

 

Thanks.  I agree, everyone has different ideas & tastes.  It's all part of the hobby.  I think of it like car guys, some are 'stock-only' types, while others are into 'resto-mods'.  

 

I agree, I did not like that big foot sticking out the side either, so I got a 16" inch extension, and now it's hidden, as you can see in the photo below.

 

gallery_35324_1027_113435.jpg

<<< My YouTube Page >>>

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Isn't that tower you have pictured the original Texas instruments expansion box? (forget the actual name of it)

"Slugs, he created slugs?...Is this not the work of a complete incompetent? I would have started with Lasers, 8 o'clock, day one."-Evil (Time Bandits)

"...burn the land and boil the sea, but you can't take the sky from me..."-theme song (Firefly)

"I try to respect him, I really, really do, but he's just such a Smeg-head."-Lister (about Rimmer, Red Dwarf)

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Thanks.  I agree, everyone has different ideas & tastes.  It's all part of the hobby.  I think of it like car guys, some are 'stock-only' types, while others are into 'resto-mods'.  

 

I agree, I did not like that big foot sticking out the side either, so I got a 16" inch extension, and now it's hidden, as you can see in the photo below.

 

gallery_35324_1027_113435.jpg

Actually, you must have the expansions hidden pretty well, as I can't see them in the photo...unless your talking about the tower. I was referring to the way all the original peripherals would chain together out the side of the computer, not TI's big expansion box, if that's what the tower is...how about a close-up of the tower (lower half with the print)? But, yeah, I'd get a cable and keep them all separated too, like you did with the tower. Still, your set-up is amazing looking and the desk works well, etc. My 1200XL system was very crowded together in those old pictures, I hope to have it a bit more neat and clean looking like what you've done here when I eventually move into my new home out of my RV. I'll have to get a nice plaque of Atari and the Fuji under a light, like you have there too.

 

But I'll be keeping my trusty old custom painted Commodore 1084S CRT monitor until the day it goes belly-up, then I'll get a bigger flat-screen like you are using. I already use my PC (and Xbox 360) with a 36" flat-screen HD TV now, no more VGA monitors. I use my LED/LCD projector for all my vintage consoles (DC, 3DO, Jaguar and CV flashback). I'll post a picture below of my crowed RV set up. 

"Slugs, he created slugs?...Is this not the work of a complete incompetent? I would have started with Lasers, 8 o'clock, day one."-Evil (Time Bandits)

"...burn the land and boil the sea, but you can't take the sky from me..."-theme song (Firefly)

"I try to respect him, I really, really do, but he's just such a Smeg-head."-Lister (about Rimmer, Red Dwarf)

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Here's my crowded set up with visible wires everywhere that I have to live with in my RV trailer for a couple more months. Again, sorry about dark and blurry pictures, but I have no good lighting and only my camera phone with no flash, atm.

post-878-0-90236100-1448239152_thumb.jpg

"Slugs, he created slugs?...Is this not the work of a complete incompetent? I would have started with Lasers, 8 o'clock, day one."-Evil (Time Bandits)

"...burn the land and boil the sea, but you can't take the sky from me..."-theme song (Firefly)

"I try to respect him, I really, really do, but he's just such a Smeg-head."-Lister (about Rimmer, Red Dwarf)

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Isn't that tower you have pictured the original Texas instruments expansion box? (forget the actual name of it)

 

Yep... it usually just called a P-Box because the real name, "Peripheral Expansion Box" is too long.

 

...how about a close-up of the tower (lower half with the print)? 

 

I'll do you one better, here's a video with the text and a close up of how I have the cable hooked up.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLHLsKpNaQM&feature=youtu.be

<<< My YouTube Page >>>

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Very, very cool. that's what I'll do once I get my TI-99/4A fully restored. I also love your floppy emulator with the SD card. I have one of those for my 1200XL, as I mentioned in that thread. It's in the old 1030 modem case seen in my pictures (but that was before it was gutted and put to good use). I also have the MyIDE board in there and a 2G 3.5" HDD (also have the same thing built into the 1200XL).

 

I originally had the cartridge port version of MyIDE, but again, didn't like it and the ribbon cable sticking out the side of the XL, and I had the cable going to the 1030 for housing the HDD, so I sold it and got two internal ones instead. The 1030 has a LCD screen, similar to your floppy emulator, on the top of it too, and a slit cut in the front for the SD cards to be inserted. All done with my handy Dremil. (did I spell that right?) 

 

Actually, I have way too much storage capacity now, I over did it. I think with just about every piece of software ever made for the Atari 8-bit, I'm using less than a half gig of storage! I guess I'm hoping a lot more home-brew stuff gets made for it. :rofl: I'll have to figure something to fill it all up with. maybe when I do the VBXE upgrade it'll all get used more for MP3's and streaming video on my good-old 8-bit. :unsure: And all that storage isn't even counting the unlimited extra SD cards and SIO2PC for file loading from my PC to 8-bit! (which of course can access the HDD and SD/usb memory cards/sticks, etc., etc.on the PC side.)  :o

I guess sometimes I go over-board with upgrading vintage hardware, but it's all part of my hobby and I enjoy it. B)

 

I have an 800XL and 600XL I'm planning on doing full-blown upgrades too as well, and selling, maybe I'll install and sell one of my MyIDE boards and HDD with one of them.

 

By the way, you've got a great picture for that TI, and I see 80 columns too! Is that RGB? RGB to VGA with an upscaler or something? I have an Ambery RGBtoVGA upscaler for use with my Jaguar. Is there an 80 column card in the P-box?

 

I sure miss the good old days with so many great companies having proprietary computers. I hate only having either Windows or Mac OS or Linux/Ubuntu stuff to choose from, and all on computers with basically either AMD or Intel to choose from. There's nothing modern that's fun to hack or mod and upgrade anymore. :(

"Slugs, he created slugs?...Is this not the work of a complete incompetent? I would have started with Lasers, 8 o'clock, day one."-Evil (Time Bandits)

"...burn the land and boil the sea, but you can't take the sky from me..."-theme song (Firefly)

"I try to respect him, I really, really do, but he's just such a Smeg-head."-Lister (about Rimmer, Red Dwarf)

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V

 

Actually, I have way too much storage capacity now, I over did it. I think with just about every piece of software ever made for the Atari 8-bit, I'm using less than a half gig of storage! I guess I'm hoping a lot more home-brew stuff gets made for it. :rofl:

I guess sometimes I go over-board with upgrading vintage hardware, but it's all part of my hobby and I enjoy it. B)

 

By the way, you've got a great picture for that TI, and I see 80 columns too! Is that RGB? RGB to VGA with an upscaler or something? I have an Ambery RGBtoVGA upscaler for use with my Jaguar. Is there an 80 column card in the P-box?

 

 

ROFL!  Yeah, it's easy to go overboard with all this new cheap memory.  Gawd, I remember having a couple hundred diskettes of stuff, 90% I never used.  It's the same way today, I have a bunch of stuff, but I've not messed with most of it in over a year.

 

 

No it's true VGA.  The card (pictured below) is called an F18A... it replaces the TMS9918 VDP chip that is in the TI.

gallery_35324_1027_108768.jpg

 

I did have to make a small modification on the back to facilitate the VGA connector...

sml_gallery_35324_1001_3950.jpg

<<< My YouTube Page >>>

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ROFL!  Yeah, it's easy to go overboard with all this new cheap memory.  Gawd, I remember having a couple hundred diskettes of stuff, 90% I never used.  It's the same way today, I have a bunch of stuff, but I've not messed with most of it in over a year.

 

 

No it's true VGA.  The card (pictured below) is called an F18A... it replaces the TMS9918 VDP chip that is in the TI.

gallery_35324_1027_108768.jpg

 

I did have to make a small modification on the back to facilitate the VGA connector...

sml_gallery_35324_1001_3950.jpg

Awesome! If I do the VBXE upgrade to my 1200XL, it has true VGA out too.

"Slugs, he created slugs?...Is this not the work of a complete incompetent? I would have started with Lasers, 8 o'clock, day one."-Evil (Time Bandits)

"...burn the land and boil the sea, but you can't take the sky from me..."-theme song (Firefly)

"I try to respect him, I really, really do, but he's just such a Smeg-head."-Lister (about Rimmer, Red Dwarf)

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Nope, I bought a cue ball and replaced the original, below is what it looked like before I did the update...

A cue ball with glitter in it???

Brian Matherne - owner/curator of "The MOST comprehensive list of Atari VCS/2600 homebrews ever compiled." http://tiny.cc/Atari2600Homebrew

author of "The Atari 2600 Homebrew Companion" book series available on Amazon! www.amazon.com/author/brianmatherne

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