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TRS-80, Gone But Not Forgotten

During the 20th century, there was only one major retail chain where you could get gadgets and electronic parts in the United States. It was none other than Radio Shack. The company was known for its distinct and novel products. The wide variety of Radio Shack merchandise resulted in most homes in the United States owning at least one product from the company. As personal computers became increasingly popular, Radio Shack tried its effort and managed to create the masterpiece, RadioShack TRS-80 computer. It was an early PC that changed the game for the company. The Zilog Z-80 microprocessor helped add the number “80” to the computer.


The Radio Shack TRS-80 computer was the first of its kind at that time. Offering a CPU of 1.77 MHz and a Ram of 4K to 16K, the computer came with a monitor. The monochrome text-mode graphics gave it a unique look. Although the graphics meant limited potential for applications, the computer managed to be a huge success. The computer managed to earn substantial income for the company and a color computer was launched thereafter. It provided joystick support, color graphics, and user-friendly media that allowed for better communication.

The generation of Radio Shack users learned how to program using the computer. The processor only cost $25 when it was introduced in 1976. This made it the cheapest option when it comes to high-performing processors. A great thing about the computer was the fact that it had an in-built keyboard which allowed users to take advantage of it. The 12-inch black and white TV screen continues to be the highlight. Since floppy disk readers were expensive at that time, the company offered a cassette recorder/ tape player.

Although the first model did receive some complaints due to its low quality, it managed to dominate the PC market. The international distribution network the company possessed allowed it to quickly market its users and utilize the money to create versatile machines.


During the early 70s, the majority of personal computers were introduced to hobbyists who had a passion for tech gadgets. The Radio Shack TRS-80 computer was introduced with the objective of taking advantage of the existing distribution network of the consumer electronics retail giant. The fully assembled personal computer became a success due to its cassette tapes, power supply, cassette recorder, and video monitor. The first year of the computer saw massive sales. As the computer continued to dominate the market, newer models were introduced by the company.

Is Radio Shack TRS-80 Computer Still Used Today?

Although the Radio Shack TRS-80 computer is no longer well-known, it is still used by enthusiasts. Besides, the company still builds computers for other corporations like Panasonic, Olivetti, Digital Equipment Corp, and AST Research. The TSS-80 computer can still be bought today from certain online stores for thousands of dollars. It is the antique that reminds people of the good old days when everything was a whole lot more exciting.


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