What is it? This is a kit which allows you to convert a (preferably non-working) Texas Instruments TI-99/4A computer from the 1980s into a USB keyboard you can use today. It will appear as a standa...Read More…
This is a kit which allows you to convert a (preferably non-working) Texas Instruments TI-99/4A computer from the 1980s into a USB keyboard you can use today. It will appear as a standard USB keyboard device with all the keys mapped to work correctly without the need to install additional software.
The TI-99/4A has quite a nice keyboard with individual mechanical keys witches, although a limited number of keys. The FCTN key is used to replace missing keys. FCTN + number keys on the top row act like functions keys F1 through F10, FCTN + keys with symbols on the front give those keys, FCTN + keys with arrows on give cursor keys. There is no delete or backspace key marked on the keyboard, so the FCTN + the key on the top right (+/=) is used for backspace.
I repair and refurbish a lot of old computers but inevitably end up with not enough working boards and have some spare cases. These allow the case to be reused and give the look and feel of a classic machine but driving a modern computer, or there is potential to find something like a (very) small PC inside, or a Raspberry Pi or similar.
No soldering or special drivers or configurations are required, just a screwdriver.
The kit includes the USB keyboard controller PC (built, tested and programmed, ready to go), a USB cable, four mounting pillars, and a LED cable. This replaces the original LED on the bottom right of the case which was part of the power supply PCB.
NO TI-99/4A COMPUTER IS INCLUDED you need to supply your own, preferably a non-working computer, but even so, please try and pass on the boards inside to someone who can make use of them.
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I write a blog about old computers, repairing them, upgrading them, replacing them. Read more at blog.tynemouthsoftware.co.uk