TRS-80 Computers were the best.

Posted: May 20, 2011. At: 6:03 PM. This was 6 years ago. Post ID: 1436

TRS 80 Computer.
TRS 80 Computer.

The Radio Shack TRS-80 computer shown here is the first computer I ever used. It has a massive 4K of RAM, upgradeable to 16K, a cassette tape drive using standard audio cassettes with programs on them such as games and utilities as well as a monochrome monitor and of course a very good keyboard.

Radio Shack TRS-80

(Model I)

Catalog: 26-1001
Released: August 1977
Price: US $599.95 (with monitor)
How Many: 200,000 (1977-1981)
CPU: Zilog Z-80A, 1.77 MHz
RAM: 4K, 16K max*
Ports: Cassette I/O, video,
Expansion connector*
Display: 12-inch monochrome monitor
64 X 16 text
Expansion: External Expansion Interface*
Storage: Cassette storage*
OS: BASIC in ROM*
* Additional capabilties with Expansion Interface

This computer was fun to use and when you played the cassette tapes containing the data in a standard audio tape player, you got some very loud noise from the speakers. Loading programs took quite a while as you can imagine but that was de riguer for the time and in the 1977-1980`s time it was a very good and usable computer. Nowadays you would laugh at having 64K of RAM in a computer when you can install maybe 8GiB or more of memory, but we are talking about the year 1977 and even having 16K of RAM was a luxury. The Apple II machine could have up to 48K of RAM, a great improvement on the 16K maximum in the ZX-80. The cassette tapes resulted in 10-20 minute load times for programs the user wanted to run on the machine, but the introduction of the floppy disk drive with the newer ZX-80 machines and the Apple II cut that down to 20-30 seconds, which is better, nowadays we get upset if a program takes longer than a second to load, so waiting 20-30 seconds for a program to load would drive you insane. so if you where born recently and have only used modern computers then you are lucky, you have not put up with the use of 51/4 inch floppy disks that were not very reliable and fragile. Thank god for portable hard drives and 8GiB USB thumb drives. But the novelty of having a computer at all was worth the slow load times for software and the small screen. The one thing you do not see anymore is a computer sold as a mainboard and you had to assemble it yourself instead of walking into a store and purchasing a computer off the shelf and putting the whole thing on a table and you are ready to go. Of course there was the Altair computer where you programmed it by flicking switches up and down on the front panel. Those were the days when men were men and did not need a fancy LCD screen and USB keyboard to program their home PC.

This video is one I uploaded last night, a tutorial of software installation in Gentoo Linux using the emerge command. I am using the GNU Windowmaker desktop in this video. I hope you enjoy this video and find it useful. I recorded this with recordmydesktop and encoded it to xvid with mplayer thusly:

mencoder out3.ogv -ovc xvid -xvidencopts bitrate=1950:trellis -audiofile phobos.mp3 -oac copy -o emerge.avi

This gave me a relatively small and high quality video file.

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