|Tandy 1000 Series|
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I wish I could say that my first computer
was the TRS-80 Model 4, but it wasn't. As
many my first excursion into the PC world
was on the Tandy 1000. I spend many
days growing hair sitting in a housecoat
ignoring my wife behind this computer.
For those who don't know the Tandy 1000
was the first PC that Tandy actually put
their name on. Until then they were
referred to as the TRS-80 which stood for
Tandy Radio Shack. Even the Tandy
2000 which came a full 12 months before
the 1000 still had the TRS-80 logo.
To say that the Tandy 1000 was a work horse would be an understatement. In PC power it
was on par for the day with an Intel 8088 CPU running at 4.77 Mhz. and 7.16 Mhz.,
(switchable) but the actual craftsmanship in this unit was extraordinary! This unit would
not die, it was like a good set of Henry Kloss speakers. The Tandy 1000 just kept going
To prove my point the following is my actual
experience with the Tandy 1000. I bought my
Tandy 1000 for $2499.00 (Canadian) in 1984
and after about one year I started up a BBS
(Electronic Bulletin Board) system running
Wildcat! For those who know BBS's they task
every aspect of the PC. Power supply is never
turned off, the modem is always cranking and
hard drive is always grinding. My BBS was
called the T.C.S.G. (Tandy Computer Support
Group) out of Camrose, Alberta Canada and
later in Leduc, Alberta. My Tandy 1000 ran
that BBS from September of 1984 until December of 1993. Later I would go into the
computer business and It was turned off because one of my salesman without me knowing
it sold it from off the counter for $600.00. Four years later that same customer would come
back and buy a new IBM Aptiva. I took it back as a trade in for 100.00. It still works today!
The Tandy 1000 went through a few
changes. Later releases were the Hybrid
types, Tandy 1000ex and 1000hx. Basically
the same unit but built into a low profile
(apple) type enclosure. The actual Tandy
1000's later models were Tandy 1000sx,
1000tx, 1000tl and 1000sl and finally the
1000rl. The later models were built on the
Intel 8806 8/8 bit cpu running a 7.16 Mhz.
switchable to 4.77 by hitting the ALT-S keys.
The Tandy 1000TL and TX were built on the
80286 CPU but still had the 8bit architecture.
One myth of the Tandy 1000 was that it was proprietary in all software and hardware. This
is not true. I never found one piece of MS-DOS software that would not run on it. The
8bit ISA bus slots would take any card I could find, with the only exception being an
external floppy controller that conflicted with the onboard controller.
If you have one of these unit don't expect it to quit on you unless lightning strikes it. To
most the Tandy 1000 is what put Tandy into the MS-DOS race.
Images from top to bottom: Tandy 1000, Tandy 1000HX (3.5" 720K Floppy) and the
Tandy 1000EX (5.25" 360K Floppy).
(c) 2004, 2005 Brian K. Hahn
All Rights Reserved.