Umamimi

javarod


Pony Peroration

Potent Pony Perceivings


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Mini-ITX 99/4A
Umamimi
javarod
So, i got one of these at a thrift store: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Instruments_TI-99/4A

The plan is to gut it and stuff a mini-ITX board (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini-ITX) in there. Being an X86 board, that limits my OS choices, no OS X, at least not without a lot of work and iffy results. Android is an option, but its much the same as OS X, and Windows of course (blech) or Linux. As the last entry noted, i've been running Ubuntu on my old laptop and am fairly happy with it, so that'll be the direction we go.

Now, for the problem, one that might scratch the 99/4A as the case. I can't say i have that much attachment to it, it happened to be what i found in a thrift store, and since i wanted to do a retro style mini-ITX computer, it seemed perfect. Plus it was cheap. But, there's a problem, and that's the keyboard. Its small, 9in wide, and missing quite a few keys. Not just function keys, but some punctuation keys. Plus its really too small to put even a compact keyboard in there, i've found one, and i doubt the measurements are accurate. Now if i could find a numeric keypad with some extra keys, i could do something with that possibly, but that's looking unlikely. And the case design foregos cutting a larger opening. If it was a Commodore, which would be my first choice as i had a C64 when i was a kid, the design would allow that.

While this doesn't kill the use of the case, i mean i could use an external keyboard, but that'd defeat the point. It does mean i'm now shopping for a case again, maybe a video game case. Anyone got a non-working system? I'm familiar enough with the 2600 to expect that that would be big enough. And as i said, a Commodore would work too. Game systems have the plus that the controllers are of course not built in, so external keyboard and the like won't look out of place.

Any suggestions out there? Anyone have or know of a system kicking around that i can get cheap (free preferred)?

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