[NetBehaviour] TI99 "vintage" home computer system.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Tue Jul 4 17:40:25 CEST 2006

The TI99 "vintage" home computer system.

The TI99 is a "vintage" home computer system from 1981 made by Texas 
Instruments. You can probably search all the details about it on the 
wikipedia or google but the main thing to note was that it hooked up to 
your TV and didn't require any sort of special monitor. Over the past 
year I've been messing these computer up by short circuiting their video 
circuitry and adding mods that will do all sorts of crazy things to the 
graphics. Over the past year I have been able to get to TI99 glitch out 
in realtime to audio. First this was acheived by hooking the circuits of 
other sound making devices directly up to it. Second was by adding a 
modification that used little "switches" that glitched the video 
circuits in time with any line level audio signal plugged into it. What 
I have not done is program the device to do any of the things it does. 
The processor is far to slow to render graphics of the complexity and 
rate acheived by direct hard-wire hacking. So to sum it all up: The TI99 
home computer's internal circuitry has been modified to do all sorts of 
strange glitchy things.

"When spring of 2005 rolled around, I had amassed a formidable army of 
circuit bent toys and got the bright idea to start performing with them. 
I started been working with Pure Data as a means of recording samples 
from the bent toys and manipulating both the toys and the samples in 
realtime. It was a distinct move to start performing and to get away 
from the through composed musique concrete style I had been comfortable 
with. Although it was an interesting spectacle to be up on stage with a 
laptop and a table of helplessly tweeked toys, I felt like something was 
missing from the performance. Bobbing about wildy over a table of odd 
electronics resembled some sort of occult ritual and was a little 
removed from the wild sounds coming out of the speakers. I needed to 
have the process visualized to ease people into the subdued madness 
taking place on stage. After watching a few underground electronic 
groups in Denver perform around town I got the hint that live video 
projection was a way to draw people into the performance. I had my own 
ideas about video though and would be damned if I was going to let some 
hack VJ (with all due respect) bust my glitched lo-fi aesthetic with 
some super smooth screensaver eyecandy. I had an old TI computer lying 
about for speech chip bending purposes but couldn't find the right 
cartridge to tap into it. I figured since I wasn't going to use it for 
anything else, that I should pop it open and start prodding about. After 
the first few contacts I had found pure 8-bit pixellated gold. In May 
2005 I had completed my first TI99 bend and life has never been the same 


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