Texas Instruments Compact Computer 40
|Release date||March 1983|
|CPU||TMS70C20 @ 2.5 MHz|
The Texas Instruments Compact Computer 40 or CC-40 is a battery-operated portable computer that was manufactured and released by Texas Instruments in March 1983. Priced at US$249, it weighs 600 grams (22 ounces) and can be powered by four AA batteries or an AC adapter. It was intended as a portable business computer, and uses TI's TMS70C20 CPU, an 8-bit microprocessor that ran at 2.5 MHz.
The CC-40 has 6 kilobytes of on board Random Access Memory (expandable to 18 KB), 34 KB of Read Only Memory, and a 31-character LCD display. It is capable of operating for 200 hours off one set of batteries, and memory is not erased by powering the unit off, so an unpowered unit can retain data for several months. However, no disk or tape drive was released with the unit, and a digital "wafertape" unit depicted on the computer's box was only released as a prototype, reportedly because it proved too unreliable. The inability to store data permanently hurt the CC-40's sales. The CC-40 does have ports for connecting a printer and a modem. Expansion was to be through a Hexbus interface, arguably prototypical to USB, providing Hot swapping plug-and-play functionality. The HexBus interface was also available for the TI-99/4A and was built into the prototype-only TI-99/8.
An improved model was in development which provided a cassette port but the project was canceled when Texas Instruments canceled the 99/4A and left the home computer field. However, this was later revived as the TI-74 BASICALC.
BYTE heavily criticized the CC-40; "there's no clock. No file system. Only one BASIC program at a time can reside in memory, and the user can only work with about 5200 bytes of that. And the keyboard is vile". It also noted the lack of any external storage because the TI wafertape drive was not available, and the complete lack of software. The review suggested that the computer should be considered a "dandy scientific calculator" since good programmable calculators cost about the same as the CC-40's $250 price, but that otherwise "virtually all of its competition vastly outstrips it in power and features", including the $99 TI 99/4A.
- Thomas, David (1983). Learn BASIC: A Guide to Programming the Texas Instruments Compact Computer 40. Texas Instruments, Inc. and McGraw Hill, Inc. ISBN 0-07-064257-5.
- Ramsey, David (September 1983). "Epson's HX-20 and Texas Instruments' CC-40". BYTE. p. 193. Retrieved 20 October 2013.