Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 9, NO. 12 / DECEMBER 1983 / PAGE 70

Cooking with Percom; a recipe for TI disk substitution. (evaluation) Joe Devlin.

Cooking With Percom

A Recipe For TI Disk Substitution

In today's troubled times we are all looking for inexpensive ways to stretch out computer dollars. One of the best ways is to substitute less expensive but nutritionally identical ingredienst for expensive name brand ingredients.

Any TI 99/4A owner who has tried to buy a disk drive for his computer knows that not only does it cost a few bucks to buy genuine TI, but that TI drive takes up a great deal of counter space in the kitchen.

Thank heavens, TI has slashed prices for their tasty disk drives. The current sale includes an expansion system disk drive, a disk controller card, the peripheral expansion box to plug the drive into, and a 32K memory expansion card, all bundled into a $550 disk drive memory system. This is quite a bargain when compared to the $1200 price this combination cost previously, but the smart shopper can save even more.

Percom offers a single density driv that plugs into the 99/4A computer for $349.99. Like the TI disk drive memory system, the Percom Data TX-99 drive takes single sided, 92K, 5.25' floppy disks. Just plug the Percom drive into the side of the computer with the cable included and the Percom is ready for action. You do not need the bulky expansion box the TI drive requires.

Disk drives are rather like food processors. You can do without them, but they do make your life easier, and sometimes the results are more aesthetically pleasing as well.

Disk Advantages

Among the advantages offered by disk drives are:


The Percom drive is housed in a heavy metal enclosure, and comes complete with a controller cartridge. To use the drive, just plug the controller cartridge into the front of the computer, connect the drive to the side of the computer using the cabling included and sit back and whip up some disk delights.

The back of the drive even has an expansion port for an add-on Percom drive when it becomes available. I have used the drive with a variety of disks and have found it reliable and nimble.


The Percom comes with two no-frills manuals, one for the drive and one for the controller cartridge. Beginning disk chefs witll find it difficult to learn to cook with these two books. Both books provide bare bones information served up with few garnishes. There is no tutorial or glossary to explain the vocabulary of disk usage. The beginner might want to search out some more general introduction.

In any case, the beginner will probably have to alternate between the two manuals, delving first into one, and then the other manual when the going gets rough. I suggest that you start with the first two chapters of the disk manual and then move on to chapter three of the disk manager manual for an explanation of the basic functions.

If you have developed a taste for disk storage you may want to add the Percom TX-99 drive to your shopping list. Once you get by the limitations of the manuals, I trust you will find it a worthwhile addition to your computer diet. Bon apetit.

Products: Percom Data TX-99 (computer apparatus)