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The Radio Shack Computers

Updated on February 27, 2013

The Tandy Radio Shack Computer

The Tandy Radio Shack Computer
The Tandy Radio Shack Computer | Source

TRS-80 Tandy

The Tandy Radio Shack Computer


The Tandy Radio Shack computer I first learned on was a TRS-80 back in the 1980s if I remember back, and it was the first home Computer with color. This ran on a Motorola 6809 E Processor and was very advanced for its time .The competition was slim pickings during the 1980 year yet models of the Apple II were available Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, the Atari 400, and 800 models were also an option at this time period.

The Tandy TRS-80 Color computer was a combined effort of Ft. Worth, Texas Tandy Corporation and Motorola Semiconductor, of Austin Texas back in 1977.This was one of the first home computers to hit the market and was a big hit with consumers and businesses alike. The initial launch of these computers was for agricultural needs and allowed the Ranchers and farmers of the era to keep track of daily needs on their farms and ranches. The name of the venture was called the ,”Green Thumb” which stood for a low cost Videotex terminal.

The Videotex terminals was one the earliest uses of delivering information for the end user to view the information on a television type screen as a monitor is for us now. This was a one unit processor and screen attached to each other. The machine was a fascinating product that streamed out data you would have to input using media which was a teletex type using single line data per your television signal.

The Tandy Trs-80 was very appropriate for the time slot and eventual release of this computer coming out in the late seventy’s to early eighties model. The initial model was shipped with 4 k of DRAM or Dynamic Random Access Memory and a Microsoft 8k basic interpreter in ROM. The price was around four hundred dollars for this unit. The unit I remembered having was a 300 baud modem pack included sound and voice synthesizer, and two floppy disk that were 5 and ¼ inch disk, no hard drive memory.

The times have truly come along from the 1980 Tandy Trs-80 unit compared to today, yet the computer was considered such an aid , and I programed in Dos ,which the basic Dos system is still prevalent in today’s machines and the commands are similar to back in the eighties. This was the beginning to an end for the five and a quarter inch floppy’s though , and with the hardrives on a Quad core pc these days would of taken quite a bit of room in your office to have anything as compact as the systems’ now generating the Personal Computer for the year two thousand and eleven.

Just a little bit of reminiscing of the power we thought we had to the ways of today, times change, and the electronics change faster by the day, in these times. The iPads and IPods and all the micro compressors of the year were not even a thought back in nineteen eighty. Progress has never slowed and neither have the people that made the progress. The Radio Shack Tandy TRS-80 is probably in a museum somewhere or stuffed in the attic with the rest of the outdated computers in our century.

Christopher Hyer

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