PDA

View Full Version : TI994A VS COCO2



Computer Collector
January 26th, 2005, 08:41 PM
Which computer do you think is better? The COCO 2 or the TI?
Personally, I think the TI is better for one main reason. the TI has very good graphics. The graphics are clear, colorful and sharp. However, the COCO has very horrible graphics in my opinion.
Actually, did you ever try to program BASIC on the COCO? When I do, my eyes liturally start hurting from the screen. The screen is a bright neon green screen with black letters. Why did Tandy pick these horrible colors? They should have given it a black screen. In fact, the graphics are so bad that you can barely make out the letters.
However, when it comes to playability, I prefer my COCO over the TI. First of all, I have more COCO games, and they are easier to find, at least for me, anyway. I dont know if the TI has any really great games.
TRS Basic is also easier to learn than Ti Basic, but thats just my opinion, and at this point Im rambeling on a bit. :wink:

Terry Yager
January 26th, 2005, 10:39 PM
I can't vote on this question because it's a tie, and your poll doesn't include that option. I love both systems, but for different reasons. As you have already pointed out, each has it's strengths and it's weaknesses. Have you ever tried using a CoCo 3 with a real RGB monitor? Even a composite monitor is a vast improvement over a TV screen. I also used to love OS-9 L2 on the CoCo. I had the opposite luck with finding games for the two systems. At one time I had over 75 game carts for the TI, but never had more than about 30 for the CoCo.

--T

carlsson
January 27th, 2005, 09:11 AM
Me neither, basically because I only have very limited TI experience and no experience of CoCo. When was the Color Computer released, and did they ever compete against eachother? I'm not even sure the CoCo was sold in Europe, and if it was, it was released much too late (1984ish) to make any impact whatsoever. There was a Welsh semi-clone called Dragon 32, but I don't know exactly how it compares to CoCo.

Technically, I think the TI, if it had not been hampered by the 8-bit bottleneck, TI software licensing scheme and odd expansion solutions, would have been a very good computer. If they also had managed to sell it a little cheaper than the starting $399 ($499 ?), they may have lasted on the home computer market and a follow-up unit had given Commodore, Atari, Apple and all the others a real run for the money. Maybe the CoCo was more "no-frills" and straightforward?

Terry Yager
January 27th, 2005, 10:29 AM
I'm not sure if they ever directly competed for market share, but if they did, it wouldn't have been for long. The CoCo came along about the same time as TI pulled the plug on the 99. BTW, the TI wasn't hampered by the 8-bit bottleneck, it was the first & only 16-bit home computer. The main thing that hampered me is that the keyboard is kinda awkward to use. Almost everything requires the use of a function key combined with a letter key. It can drive you nuts after awhile. The TI has fantastic graphics & sound capabilities (but no sprites) for it's time, in fact, I think it has the best graphics of any of the home computers -- even better than the C= 64, and certainly better than the CoCo 1 & 2 (the CoCo 3 vastly improved upon this tho). The CoCo benefitted greatly from being a Tandy product, since there were Radio Shacks on every other street corner, but I don't think the Dragon 32 had this advantage, did it? How were they marketed in Europe? The TI, OTOH, were sold in every department store on the planet, which made them very visible in the marketplace.

--T

barryp
January 27th, 2005, 03:42 PM
The TI has fantastic graphics & sound capabilities (but no sprites)

The TI computer positively has sprites, lots of them.

Terry Yager
January 27th, 2005, 04:20 PM
The TI has fantastic graphics & sound capabilities (but no sprites)

The TI computer positively has sprites, lots of them.


Oh, sorry! <flogging self> My mind musta failed me...again.

--T

carlsson
January 28th, 2005, 05:08 AM
Yes, isn't the video chip in TI99 and the MSX siblings? For long I thought they were the same, but only similar. MSX definitively has sprites.

I know the TMS9900 is a 16-bit processor, but also there was some 8-bit bottleneck in the memory bus or so, allowing cheaper memory chips, so it would not run on its full power according to Ben Yates etc on newsgroups.

barryp
January 28th, 2005, 06:47 PM
Yes, isn't the video chip in TI99 and the MSX siblings? For long I thought they were the same, but only similar. MSX definitively has sprites.

Yes, the same chip, the TMS-9918A.

animekenji
November 11th, 2005, 02:22 PM
Me neither, basically because I only have very limited TI experience and no experience of CoCo. When was the Color Computer released, and did they ever compete against eachother? I'm not even sure the CoCo was sold in Europe, and if it was, it was released much too late (1984ish) to make any impact whatsoever. There was a Welsh semi-clone called Dragon 32, but I don't know exactly how it compares to CoCo.

Technically, I think the TI, if it had not been hampered by the 8-bit bottleneck, TI software licensing scheme and odd expansion solutions, would have been a very good computer. If they also had managed to sell it a little cheaper than the starting $399 ($499 ?), they may have lasted on the home computer market and a follow-up unit had given Commodore, Atari, Apple and all the others a real run for the money. Maybe the CoCo was more "no-frills" and straightforward?


The Dragon uses the same chipset from Motorola that the COCO does. I know Dragon Data remapped the keyboard to be different from the COCO. They also included a different interface than Tandy did. I don't remember which has which off the top of my head, but one has a serial port and the other has a parallel port. Programs aren't directly interchangeable between between the two systems as there a few other internal differences. The re-writing required to translate programs is supposed to be fairly straightforward. Radio Shack did try releasing computers in the UK, but never really got a toehold there as the competition was really fierce. In addition to Atari and Commodore slugging it out, the Sinclair Spectrum, BBC Micro, Dragon 32/64, Amstrad CPC, Oric Atmos, and a few others were all still viable competitors and Tandy was a bit of a latecomer to the UK.

animekenji
November 11th, 2005, 02:35 PM
Oops duplicate post

carlsson
November 11th, 2005, 04:50 PM
And arguments about it being the best-selling computer in the US (if it even was true - they referred to original TRS-80 when selling the CoCo) didn't make much impact on the British or the rest of Europe. :wink:

animekenji
November 14th, 2005, 01:00 PM
Tandy also didn't hold any patents on it's technology in the UK. It would have been an expensive battle to bring the CoCo to the UK since Dragon Data DID have UK patents on it's machines. Even if Tandy would have won, it would have taken time and a lot of money to dispute Dragons patents, and by then the CoCo would have been far too late to market to gather any significant market share. It is doubtful that the British courts would have sided with an American company against a British company, anyway.

carlsson
November 14th, 2005, 04:25 PM
Did Dragon Data at first try to get a CoCo license from Tandy, but after being denied or charged insane amounts, they built a similar but not identical computer? Given the amount of British computer manufacturers (Sinclair, Tangerine/Oric, Acorn and a few years later Amstrad - I might have forgotten some), it kind of had made more sense to import or under license produce the same computer as being sold in the US, getting a wider selection of software and users.

More or less unlicensed computer clones have we seen a lot of (and even more when browsing some collections), but offhand I can't mention very many big scale almost-clones. Apart from Dragon, I know Micro-Professor II is rather Appleish (but maybe more independent than many other Apple clones) and the computer known as Your Computer / Lambda 8300 was a copy of ZX-81, but with rubber keyboard, sound, joystick and 2K RAM.

carlsson
November 14th, 2005, 04:32 PM
The CoCo benefitted greatly from being a Tandy product, since there were Radio Shacks on every other street corner, but I don't think the Dragon 32 had this advantage, did it? How were they marketed in Europe?
Dragon was marketed as having a long-lasting keyboard. The ads mentioned that the keyboard would last for 50,000 keystrokes (per key?) or something like that. I don't know about Britain and the rest of Europe, but in Sweden, there was a chain of TV stores that imported it. A while ago when I was browsing my old computer magazines, it struck me that the mail order resellers were slashing the price on Dragon 32 by a lot in the end of 1984. When it was introduced in 1983, the price was a little lower than a C64 or Spectravideo, but much higher than ZX Spectrum. One and a half years later, the price was about 1/2 of what a Spectrum cost. Of course other machines had dropped in price too, but not by 2/3rds.

Terry Yager
November 14th, 2005, 06:32 PM
Yah, the TI dropped drastically in price about that time too, and by the end of thier run, the Timex/Sinclairs were going for about fifty bucks over here,

--T

carlsson
November 15th, 2005, 04:27 PM
The topic about pricing got me curious, and of course I went over the top. That means I went through almost all my Swedish computer magazines, looking for advertised prices on various home computers, and put them together in a table.

http://www.cbm.sfks.se/datorpris.html

Some additional comments:

It was in August 1983 that Datatronic/Handic, the Swedish Commodore distributor, slashed their prices by about 30% over night. Many other brands grinded their teeth, called it unfair and hoped that Commodore would vanish in smoke within a few weeks. Within one month, many of the bigger brands had dropped their recommended price by a lot, as you can see from the table.

Around the summer of 1984, Datatronic introduced the localized version of Commodore 64, i.e. with Swedish letters on keyboard and character ROM. I'm not sure if the international version was allowed to be sold, but prices for "VIC-64S" were a few hundred crowns higher than the table shows.

Atari, imported by Vasatronic, seems to have been much more sensitive to the exchange rate towards USD than Commodore was. Some time in early 1984, the Atari prices were raised about 15%, which probably won even more market shares to Commodore 64 over Atari 800XL.

Some computers only appear once or even less. Acorn BBC was reviewed once, a British (!) reseller advertised in Swedish once, and that's it. Acorn had problems getting the computer approved by the Swedish telephone company, and it was way too expensive even after getting the approval.

TRS-80 CoCo was advertised once, supposedly sold by a number of stores around the country. It was reviewed a couple of months later, and then never heard of again. Dragon 64 was only mentioned once, and I think that the distributor gave up sometime between the last regular advertisment and the unexpected sale in November 1984.

billdeg
November 15th, 2005, 04:38 PM
The TI is a few year older than the CoCo II. The TI was a better computer for its time compared with the CoCo II for its time.

Terry Yager
November 15th, 2005, 05:35 PM
The TI is a few year older than the CoCo II. The TI was a better computer for its time compared with the CoCo II for its time.

I dunno, I'm half-tempted to argue the point that the 6809E CPU is pretty damn close to equal to the TMS9900 in performance, even tho it's only a lowly 8-bit as compared to the TI's 16-bit. (Good thing I'm not in an argumentative mood tonight).

--T

Terry Yager
November 15th, 2005, 05:53 PM
The topic about pricing got me curious, and of course I went over the top. That means I went through almost all my Swedish computer magazines, looking for advertised prices on various home computers, and put them together in a table.

OMG! I wish I had the time to do that with my vintage magazine collection...
I notice that the Timex/Sinclair 1000 (ZX-80, 81), etc. are conspicously absent from your table. Were they not marketed in Sveden?

--T

carlsson
November 16th, 2005, 01:38 AM
Err.. ZX-81 is on the third lowest row. ZX-80 was obsolete by 1982 or so, likewise Acorn Atom which actually is the only Acorn I have proof of being sold in Sweden. I left out some Commodore specific magazines and loose price lists.

I have one issue of a Danish computer magazine, Mikro med Hjemmedata from June/July 1984. In this issue, the following home computers are mentioned or advertised:

ZX-81, ZX Spectrum 16/48K, VIC-20, Commodore 64, Oric Atmos, Sharp 721/731, Camputers Lynx 48/96K, Sord M5, Dragon 32/64, Acorn BBC and Electron, Memotech MTX 500/512, New Brain, TI-99/4A, Apple &#93;&#91;c|e|///, MicroBee, Spectravideo and even Alphatronic PC (CP/M compatible from typewriter company Triumph-Adler)

I knew that Denmark had a somewhat richer selection of home computers than Sweden received. I don't know if Danish businessmen are more of entrepreneurs or if they geographically are closer to the continent. Price levels can not quite be compared, as I don't know the relation between DKK, SEK and USD at that time.

By the way, I understood Bill as TI-99 had fewer (poorer) competitors in 1979 than what the CoCo II had in .. 1982 (or 1983 ?), thus making TI better for its time.

Terry Yager
November 16th, 2005, 08:52 AM
I do agree that in 1979, the TI was probably the most advanced computer in it's price range. It was indeed a few years ahead of it's competitors.

--T