Texas Instruments CC40
mcguire at neurotica.com
Thu Apr 24 11:32:19 CDT 2008
On Apr 23, 2008, at 12:04 AM, Jim Battle wrote:
>> I just remembered that I'd wanted to mention this, but things
>> have been busy and I forgot. My mother knows of my fondness for
>> antique computers, and she keeps her eyes open at thrift stores
>> and related places. She picked up a Texas Instruments Compact
>> Computer 40 for me and presented it to me for my birthday a month
>> I had never heard of this machine, but now I've done some
>> reading and I've played with it a bit. It's pretty neat! Has
>> anyone else here messed with one?
> They are pretty common on ebay -- in fact, they often show up NIB,
> often for under $50. Tell your mom to try harder next year. :-)
Well for Christmas, she showed up here with an Osborne-1 with
manuals, software, an external (green-screen) monitor, and an Epson
RX-80, including all cables, all in near-perfect condition!
Apparently she scored that system at a thrift store for something
like ten bucks. One can't argue with that.
> Actually, it is quite impressive that she identified it as
> something interesting.
She has a good eye for stuff like that.
> If you like the CC40, keep your eyes peeled for the TI-74. It is
> basically a CC40 with a few enhancements stuffed into a largish
> calculator format, instead of a miniature laptop.
Hmm, interesting, I'll look for one.
> One thing that is charming about it is TI's BASIC. Microsoft so
> dominated the 8 bit micro world with its BASIC that most such
> machines kind of bore me because they are all so similar. The CC40
> and TI-74 BASIC are highly similar to the advance BASIC of the TI
> 94/A, so I'm told (I've never used one) even though they have
> different uPs.
> What is cool about the BASIC? Long variable names, proper
> subroutines with local variables, good extensability. There is a
> lot more, but I don't have the manual at hand to refresh my memory.
Subroutine-local variables in a BASIC interpreter?? Wow, that's
something I'll need to try. That's cool.
I agree with your take on Microsoft BASIC. I think it is a good
BASIC, but it's just so common, on so many different types of
systems, that it has become "old hat". I have been working (off-and-
on, very sporadically) on extending the BASIC used in Intel's 8051AH-
BASIC chip with some new functionality; I'm interested in studying
unusual BASIC features.
> The hexbus interface is pretty cool too, really well thought out.
> Recently I scored a rare wafertape drive for the CC40, although I
> haven't tried it out yet ... too much work to address first.
Are there specs available for hexbus?
> Going a bit further down the line, some European TI employees
> formed a company to make a microcomputer, called the Exelvision
> EXL100. It contained two 70C20 (or similar) microprocessors, from
> the same family as the CC40 and TI-74. It has an enhanced version
> of the same BASIC. This is a real micro, with a color PAL output,
> IR keyboard and joysticks. I have a EXL100 and a number of games,
> but no floppy subsystem (yet). Perhaps in the distant future I'll
> write an emulator for it if someone doesn't beat me to it. It seems
> like an interesting machine.
Port Charlotte, FL
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