The Geneve 9640 is an enhanced TI-99/4A clone. It was sold by the company Myarc as a card to fit into the Texas Instruments TI Peripheral Expansion System. Released in 1987, it is in many ways similar to the earlier TI-99/8, which was in prototype form in early 1983. The Geneve 9640 was designed by Paul Charlton, and the graphical swan on the boot up screen was designed by Mi-Kyung Kim.
The Geneve 9640 features a 16-bit TMS9995 processor clocked at 12 MHz. A Yamaha V9938 video display processor (the same one used in the MSX2 family of home computers) provides 256 color graphics at a 256 x 424 resolution, 16 color graphics at a 512 x 424 resolution, and an 80 column text mode. Audio is produced via an SN76496 programmable sound generator, capable of producing three simultaneous square waves at sixteen different volume levels, as well as an additional noise channel that could produce either periodic or white noise in three different frequencies and at sixteen different volumes. An IBM PC XT compatible detached keyboard and a mouse are used for input. The Geneve 9640 is compatible with nearly all software written for the TI-99/4A. An adapter was made by a company named Rave to allow the sidecar-only Speech Synthesizer to be installed inside the Peripheral Expansion System.
The Tutor contains a lot of the same hardware and software, and 9995 processor like the Geneve.. in fact Tomy games have been converted to run on the Geneve.
The Tomy Tutor, originally sold in Japan as the Pyūta (ぴゅう太) and in the UK as the Grandstand Tutor, is a home computer produced by the Japanese toymaker Tomy. It was architecturally similar, but not identical, to the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, and used a similar Texas Instruments 16-bit CPU. The computer was launched in Japan in 1982, and in the UK and the United States in the next year.
Tomy described the Tutor, with 16K RAM, as good for games and education. The company stated that its documentation would let an eight-year-old child use the computer without adult supervision.
One of the major flaws pointed out with the Tutor was not its hardware, but its marketing: the Tutor was announced as a children’s computer when in fact it was practically a cheap, evolved version of the TI-99/4A, even having a similar 16-bit CPU (the TMS9995, closely related to the TI-99/4’s TMS 9900); other competitors in its price range still used 8-bit microprocessors.
The Pyūta Jr. was a console version of the Pyūta, released in April 1983, and similarly was only sold in Japan.
In Japan, Tomy set a sales target of about 90,000 units and ¥5 billion revenue for the first year by selling Pyūta to elementary and junior high school students as a “drawing computer”, having nearly 40,000 units shipped in its first 4 months as of August 1982. However, sales fell sharply when Nintendo released Family Computer (later deployed as Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1983 as a cost-effective option. In February 1985, Tomy ceased its production and withdrew from the market. As of May 1984, a total of 120,000 units were shipped for domestic and export use in Japan.
In the other hand, the Tutor did not sell well against the ZX Spectrum in the UK and the Commodore 64 in other countries outside Japan. It ended up being removed quickly from the market and replaced the following year by the Pyūta mk2 with a standard mechanical keyboard instead of the original “Chiclet”-style keyboard. However, the new model seems to have been sold only in Japan, and even then only for a short period of time.
- CPU: Texas Instruments TMS9995
- Video: Texas Instruments TMS9918 VDP
- Memory: 20 KB ROM built-in, 16 KB RAM (with 256 bytes CPU RAM built-in)
- Keyboard: 56 keys, JIS compliant
- Sounds: 4 onomatopoeia and 3 chords
- Weight: 1.7 kg (3.75 pounds)
- Media: ROM cartridge, cassette
- Expansion: data recorder (optional), game adapter