[NetBehaviour] TI99 "vintage" home computer system.

james at jwm-art.net james at jwm-art.net
Fri Jul 7 10:33:10 CEST 2006

Hi Marc, Clemos,

Deviating a bit off topic slightly:

I used to own a clunky looking Amstrad CPC 464 (64kb mem, tape drive)
with a beautiful green monochrome monitor. I first learnt to program on
it (and peek and poke and call) using (it's locomotive basic), and
still used to use it until around 1993. I have a great book called
Making Music on the Amstrad CPC 464 & 664 which came in as a handy
reference when I started writing my Wav Composer Not Toilet
non-real-time modular audio program (in C++ on a PC) ! factoid: I wrote
a game in BASIC which was published in Amstrad Action (for people to
hand type the BASIC!) called Lawnmower Simulator. I also bought a CPC
6128 ROM which plugged onto an external expansion board with 5 other
(unused) ROM slots which did not have a cover so it all got exposed to
dust and ended up a bit glitchy. Unfortunately, in my 2nd year at
university my landlord was a junk antiques dealer and I decided to hide
it under my bed for him or his sidekick Jimmy, to discover ;p


On 5/7/2006, "clemos" <cl3mos at gmail.com> wrote:

>hi marc
>it's more like this one :
>(the keyboard is far better: true keyboard, no rubber keyboard)
>it's a very cool machine, with which you can truly draw directly on
>the monitor (a standard TV) with an "optical pen". there were several
>extensions and cartidges too, including drawing software (I have a
>couple of them...), and even a video incrustation software, with which
>you could draw directly onto a video image (refresh rate=1frame per
>sec, but very funny)
>well, I found mine in the street, near a garbage container, so it's
>already quite glitchy... well, it just freezes, in fact.
>I love those old computers. the TO7-70, especially, was the one all
>french schools had in the 80s (including my country school, of
>it was really a fascinating object, because almost no professor knew
>how it worked, so most of the time, the computer was remaining unused
>in the corner of the classroom, and we were just dreaming about it,
>ignoring what it could do, but feeling that it was a very powerful toy
>which needed some "secret" knowledge that even our teachers had not.
>I have a couple (well, a collection) of old computers like this one
>which I'm quite proud of (even if I know I'll bend and destroy it one
>day), and others like a Yamaha CX5M, which makes very cool MIDI sounds
>(no 8bit, something a bit cleaner), a couple of very old PC laptops
>(the coolest is the amstrad PPC512 (10kg)) which I already managed to
>show in an art exhibition (we had programmed a couple of glitchy BASIC
>apps on them, which made them do crazy sounds and pics)...
>the whole collection comes almost from garbages...
>must make a page about all this one day ...
>when I'll have recorded my LP with all my Yamaha hardware (the CX5M
>computer, the two DD5 digital drums I already bended, and my "new" DD6
>digital drum...)
>On 7/5/06, marc <marc.garrett at furtherfield.org> wrote:
>> Hi clemos,
>> is this the one?
>> http://www.silicium.org/france/thomson/to7-70.htm
>> marc
>> > oh yeah
>> > I love
>> > my thomson TO7-70 will do so one day
>> >
>> > +++++
>> > clemos
>> >
>> > On 7/4/06, marc <marc.garrett at furtherfield.org> wrote:
>> >
>> >> 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
>> >> since."
>> >>
>> >> http://www.art-rash.com/pixelform/media/TI99/index.html
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