On August 3, 1977 Radio Shack announced the TRS-80 in New York City.
The TRS stood for “Tandy Radio Shack”, but we all lovingly call it the “Trash-80″
Radio Shack, back when it sold radios, electronics and components instead of cell phones, batteries and cables sold their own line of computers.
Don French a Radio Shack employee purchased an Altair computer kit. He assembled it and afterward he designed his own computer. He decided to bring it to Radio Shack management. After some internal discussion, management decided to go ahead with the project and they hired Steve Leininger from National Semiconductor to put together the TRS-80.
At the time the cost of the computer was $399 and they had a bundle for $599 with monitor and tape recorder.
They expected to see 3000 units a year. They sold over 10,000 in less than two months.
There is a lot more to the story and thus I have provided sources of information below.
Good links on the TRS-80 Model 1
- Ira Goldklang’s TRS-80 Site ***HIGHLY RECOMMENDED***
- Wikipedia’s Entry on the model 1
- OldComputers.net’s entry on the Model 1
- PC World’s listing of the most collectible PCs of all time.
- Tim Mann’s TRS-80 page
- Priming the Pump:How TRS-80 Enthusiasts Helped Spark the PC Revolution
Some original articles & sources on the TRS-80
- The Original Radio Shack brochure online by Radio Shack Catalogs
- Dave Ahl’s article “Tandy Radio Shack enters the magic world of computers“
- Steven Leininger’s presentation to the San Diego’s Computer Society in 1977
- Radio Shack’s $600 computer at Atari Archives
One of the original TRS-80 TV commercials
You tube user RE1974 is a Model 1 enthusiast from Australia and had a number of good videos
TRS-80 Informational video 1 of 2 on setting the unit up
TRS-80 Informational video 2 of 2 on setting the unit up
TRS-80 15meg disk system
TRS-80 Model 1 Voice Synthesizer demo