Texas Instruments CC-40
Released:March 1983
Weight:22 oz. / 600 grams
CPU:TI TMS 70C20, 2.5MHz
Power Source:4 "AA" batteries
Memory:6K-18K RAM, 34K ROM
Display:31 character LCD display
Peripherals:HX1000 printer/plotter
HX1010 Printer 80
RS232/PIO interface
300 baud modem
Ports:Cartridge port
Proprietary "Hex-Bus" interface

Texas Instruments (TI), once the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer, introduced the Compact Computer 40 (CC-40) in 1983. The CC-40 was very 'cute', and TI's first entry into the portable computer market.

Sales were slow, partly because no mass storage device was available. The promised Wafertape Digital Tape Drive turned out to be far too unreliable for mass production. You can't even save files to a cassette recorder, like most inexpensive computers. The only method of loading files is by inserting a 'Preprogrammed Solid State Software' cartridge, but they are read-only, so you still can't save any data to them.
The Hex-Bus interface allows external devices to be attached, like Hex-Bus printers, modems, and an expansion interface. This RS-232/Parallel expansion interface allows standard printers and modems to be used.

One redeeming feature is that the data stored in memory (RAM) doesn't get erased when you turn off the computer. The CC-40 is efficient enough that the 4 "AA" batteries can maintain the memory for many months. Even when turned on and being used, the CC-40 will run as many as 200 hours before the batteries run down.

Related Links

  • CC-40 from 99er.net
  • CC-40 from Datamath Calculator Museum
  • CC-40 from R/S Programmable Calculators
  • CC-40 from The Pocket Computer Museum

  • History of Texas Instruments' Computers

    • 1954: Texas Instruments produces the first commercial silicon transistor.
    • 1958: TI engineer Jack Kilby co-invents the integrated circuit.
    • 1964: Texas Instruments receives a patent on the integrated circuit.
    • 1967: TI develops the hand-held calculator.
    • 1971: TI develops the first microcomputer-on-a-chip, containing over 15,000 transistors.
    • 1979: June - TI introduces the TI-99/4 personal computer, for an initial price of US$1500, including a color monitor.
    • 1979: November - TI begins shipping the TI-99/4.
    • 1980: January - Production problems haunt TI-99/4 for the first few months of 1980 and TI is selling fewer than 1000 units per month.
    • 1980: TI introduces a 5 1/4-inch mini-floppy disk drive for the TI-99/4. It can store up to 90KB per disk. Price for controller is US$300; price for disk drive is US$500.
    • 1980: TI introduces a 300 baud modem for the TI-99/4 for US$225.
    • 1980: TI introduces a thermal printer for the TI-99/4. It produces 5x7 dot matrix characters, at 30 CPS, on 3 1/2-inch thermal paper. Price is US$400.
    • 1980: TI introduces an RS-232 interface for the TI-99/4. Price is US$225.
    • 1981: June - The new and improved TI-99/4A Home Computer is unveiled for $525.
    • 1982: January - TI introduces a Peripheral Expansion Box for the TI-99/4A for $250. Expansion cards are approximately $300 - $500 each.
    • 1982: February- Unsatisfied at Texas Instruments, three engineers (Rod Canion, Jim Harris, Bill Murto) leave and form Compaq Computers, to build the world's first true IBM clone, the Compaq Portable. It was an incredible success.
    • 1982: June - TI hires Bill Cosby as the ad campaign spokesman for their Home Computer. It costs TI $1 million a year.
    • 1983: January - TI announces the TI-99/2.
    • 1983: March - TI introduces the Compact Computer 40 (CC-40). It runs on four "AA" batteries, lasting up to 200 hours.
    • 1983: June - TI drops plans to market the TI-99/2.
    • 1983: June - TI releases the plastic beige console version of the TI-99/4A.
    • 1983: July - TI ships the 1 millionth TI-99/4A.
    • 1984: January - TI has sold 2.5 million TI-99/4As.
    • 1984: March - TI gives-up and drops-out of the home computer market altogether.
      Source: Chronology of Events in the History of Microcomputers
      TI-99 Home Computer Timeline by Bill Gaskill

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