[Coladam] We're #3!

Geoff Oltmans oltmansg at bellsouth.net
Wed Mar 21 08:18:23 EDT 2007

I'd agree with that. The problem with the ADAM was that they had delays 
in production and development and shipped it to market anyway. Microsoft 
did the same thing with the Xbox 360 when it was introduced. I suppose 
that Coleco would have gotten hammered just as bad if they hadn't tried 
to ship in time for Christmas. I haven't seen too many flakey ADAMs, but 
maybe I'm just lucky since I never had one brand-new and all the DOA 
ones were either replaced or chucked in the trash.

The TI 99/4A is a wierd machine. This was the first "real" computer that 
my family had. They had some rather bizarre design constraints which 
crippled that machine. First they put a fairly powerful processor in the 
machine (a 16-bit one too) and only utilized 8-bits of the data bus. 
Then they only put enough real system memory on the machine to handle 
the 9900's external registers and relied on fetching instructions out of 
the video RAM. I've heard it said that the only problem with the 99/4A 
was that it was designed by the calculator division. They thought small 
and built small. The 99/8 looked like it would have been pretty nice though.

If anyone could have beat Commodore at their own game you think it would 
have been TI. They were just as vertically integrated as Commodore was, 
and yet they lost tons of money on every machine once Commodore released 
the 64 and started slashing prices.

Rich Drushel wrote:
> On Tue, 20 Mar 2007, oltmansg at bellsouth.net wrote:
>>It's amazing how many of the anecdotal evidence (much of it unfair) for
>>how "bad" the ADAM was has perpetuated itself for so long. You hear the
>>same old reasons every time.
> 	There are actually much worse reasons that would justify putting
> the ADAM this high (or low), many technical (and business ethical) in
> nature.  The "PC Week" people just didn't dig very far...or now have such
> a dweebie non-tech audience that they didn't want to risk talking over their
> heads.
> 	Same thing for the TI-99/4A:  the reasons given are nothing compared
> to the real hassles of using (or developing for) that system.  But they
> mentioned none of these.
> 	In 5 minutes, off the top of my head, I could write much more
> damning stuff about the ADAM or the TI-99/4A...details if anyone is
> interested.
> 	I own both of them, and I maintain that there is a great computer
> in the ADAM, lots of power, flexibility...I believe that the "shipped dead
> in the box" plus buggy software was the killer of the ADAM.  They needed
> another 6-8 months...but Coleco execs would have gone to jail if they
> didn't ship at Christmas 1983, after what they did to get the stock prices
> up.  I think Neil Wick covered this very well 2 ADAMcons ago.
> 	*Rich*

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