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Texas Instruments professional computer questions!

m70b1jr

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Hey! I'm new on the forums here and need some help. I went to an estate sale and found a few old computers. One being a "Texas Instruments professional computer". No model number or nothing, came with the monitor and keyboard, and it works. I cant find any information on it except a short wikipedia article and photos online. How much is something like this worth? Cant find anything on eBay.
 

SomeGuy

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Nice. This is the desktop version rather than the all-in-one portable? Whatever you do, don't seperate the keyboard and monitor, they are proprietary and useless by themselves.

I haven't seen one of the desktop versions on eBay in ages. Really no idea what one would go for today but off hand I'd think at very least a couple hundred. It really depends on how badly someone out there wants one. If you are in no hurry to move it you might start high (although people here might complain) and slowly reduce the price.

What condition is it in? Most I have seen are badly yellowed. A keyboard that is still white would be a plus. Also, is it the mono or color monitor? Obviously color is more desirable. Are there any other expansion options installed? Did you find any software with it?

Anyway, the TI Professional Computer is an 8088 based computer that ran an adaption of MS-DOS but is not at all IBM PC hardware compatible. That means most DOS software had to have special versions designed specifically for this machine, and it can not boot IBM PC DOS or vanilla MS-DOS. It's key feature was higher resolution video than the IBM PC. The system was available as both a desktop and as a portable, both with optional color or mono video.

As a hardware-incompatible, they did not survive long in an IBM PC market. They are rather uncommon, and today they would mainly appeal to fans of Texas Instruments or oddball computers.
 

2icebitn

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Actually the TIPC and TIPPC is at least physically hardware compatible, meaning it uses 62 pin connectors on the motherboard. Not sure which cards will work though. Tecmar made a ram expansion board for it. There were a few other aftermarket cards, mostly IBM compatibility plug in cards, as rare as bear goiters. They were MS-DOS function call compatible and maybe BIOS interrupt compatible, the totality of which means nearly nothing when it comes to running IBM compatible software. Higher resolution modes (640 x 300 I think), faster iirc. Floppy drives aren't interchangeable. The video card uses a 6545, a close relative of the CGA/mda 6845. Missing DMA or something on the mobo side. The color monitor is very very rare it seems. I have a poorly kept TIPC and a color TIPPC. They're pretty seldom seen, but haven't commanded high prices (when last I've seen one). As said nice color graphic capability, but not terribly interesting otherwise. It is rare though. If you have an accompanying TI monitor, it's much more rare.

I have images of dos and most of lotus 123, and a bunch of manual pages scattered about. Haven't gotten around to sorting that all out. The guy who sold me the portable included a CD of junk, including a package called SNOBOL. Ain't that precious and sweet!
 

T-R-A

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How much is something like this worth? Cant find anything on eBay.

Sadly, due to it's "semi-compatible" nature, very little. TI had their own versions of DOS and most apps made specifically for this machine. Had one at one time which had been converted to full compatibility (I used to work at a Siemens plant that was formerly a TI manufacturing facility), but that machine is long gone (as are the bundles of TIPC software).
 

m70b1jr

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Nice. This is the desktop version rather than the all-in-one portable? Whatever you do, don't seperate the keyboard and monitor, they are proprietary and useless by themselves.

I haven't seen one of the desktop versions on eBay in ages. Really no idea what one would go for today but off hand I'd think at very least a couple hundred. It really depends on how badly someone out there wants one. If you are in no hurry to move it you might start high (although people here might complain) and slowly reduce the price.

What condition is it in? Most I have seen are badly yellowed. A keyboard that is still white would be a plus. Also, is it the mono or color monitor? Obviously color is more desirable. Are there any other expansion options installed? Did you find any software with it?

Anyway, the TI Professional Computer is an 8088 based computer that ran an adaption of MS-DOS but is not at all IBM PC hardware compatible. That means most DOS software had to have special versions designed specifically for this machine, and it can not boot IBM PC DOS or vanilla MS-DOS. It's key feature was higher resolution video than the IBM PC. The system was available as both a desktop and as a portable, both with optional color or mono video.

As a hardware-incompatible, they did not survive long in an IBM PC market. They are rather uncommon, and today they would mainly appeal to fans of Texas Instruments or oddball computers.
Its pretty yellowed, and plan on carefully cleaning it. It's the desktop, not the portable one. Also, the keyboard is missing a couple keys, but atleast I have it. Thanks for the information. I'll restore it and post it for sell.
 

2icebitn

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By what means did you convert it to compatibility?

Also note there were 80286 versions of the desktop and portable. I almost scarfed one many years ago. This likely had nothing to do with their fully compatible TI Business Pro.
 

T-R-A

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By what means did you convert it to compatibility?

Also note there were 80286 versions of the desktop and portable. I almost scarfed one many years ago. This likely had nothing to do with their fully compatible TI Business Pro.

I personally did nothing. There were a hand full of machines already converted when I started working there (1994). Most of them landed in the routine scrap sales and I got one (as well as many Business Pros) along with a ton of software. One of the BPs had been converted to a 386sx, but I didn't have the room for all of them, so those (and a ton of TI Omni printers) got given away...
 

2icebitn

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Hi Dave. If you could snap a photo or a few of that board sometime I and likely others would appreciate it. I had a brochure for a board many years ago but never actually saw one.
 

djg

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TI PC. From left to right TI 256k memory, 3 plane graphics, Seeker 512k memory & SASI interface, CSTI board set. Floppy and video pass through board to allow it to provide IBM compatible interfaces.
tipc.jpg
Boards front. Its two boards that are fastened together and take up one slot.
card_front.jpg
Boards back
card_back.jpg
 

ghosthuntergr

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May 7, 2019
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Hi I have found one working but I dont have a keyboard for it. Has someone one to sell or tell me if there is a way to make an alternative?
 
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