Radio Shack - TRS-80 Model 100

Description

Brand: Radio Shack
Model: TRS-80 Model 100
Type: Laptop computer
Batteries: AA x 4
Lifetime: Introduced: 1983
Terminated: ca. 1985
Notes: Well, I filed this device under "Pocket Computers" but you'd have to have immense pockets to shove this one into. If ever I get more than one of these kind of devices I'll start a new "laptop" section.

This computer, the Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100, introduced in 1983 is still very much alive and kicking in the year 2001. Be amazed at the results of a Google Search (link valid 2006-10-29).

This computer has a huge (in its time extremely huge) 8 lines display, showing 40 characters per line. The screen could also be used graphically.

How to classify it? It has a built-in Word Processor, a Spread Sheet, a Data Base, CommunicationsÉ This is probably one of the world first organisers, with a mini version of Microsoft Office on it.

Indeed, the OS for this one was written my Microsoft, indeed by no other than Bill Gates himself. This is in fact the last product that he wrote any code for himself.

What's so great about this device that people continue to use it in 2001? Well it's extremely robust. But the main thing it runs extremely long (about 20 hours, consuming 0.8W) on just four AA batteries! Try that with any modern laptop. This is still a great machine for journalists.

The machine has quite a number of ports:

  • Port to the built-in 300 baud modem
  • A cassette interface
  • Extension slots
  • Printer port

Memory is preserved using a built-in rechargeable battery. Power to the memory can be switched on and off using a switch at the underside of the calculator.

The built-in clock routines are not millennium-proof, but there are some patches available. See: http://www.muppetlabs.com/~chris/model100/y2000.html (link valid 2006-10-29).

Many thanks, Arnoud Helmantel, for this addition to my collection!

Picture:  Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 picture

Peripherals

There are quite a number of peripherals for this one, including floppy drives, video interfaces, bar code readers, etc...

©2009 Ernst Mulder