This Tech Thursday is dedicated to RadioShack, the once-great Fort Worth* based electronics manufacturer and retailer. As things go from bad to worse for the company, let’s take a moment to remember the good times.
In the late 1970s, just at the beginning of the personal computer boom, RadioShack (then “Radio Shack”) was owned by Tandy Corporation. Tandy Corp. decided to enter the personal computer market and in 1977, released the TRS-80, one of the first mass-produced personal computers. The TRS-80 was sold through Radio Shack stores, and by 1980 Radio Shack dominated the market. In 1983, Tandy bought the rights to the Kyotronic 85, a poorly-selling Japanese portable computer, and sold it through Radio Shack as the TRS-80 Model 100.
Featuring an 8-bit Intel processor, an LCD Screen, and up to 32 KB of RAM, the Model 100 was one of the first notebook-style computers and a big success in the United States and Canada, selling over 6 million units. It came with a hefty price tag, too; $1099-$1299, depending on the features.
It also ran on 4 AA batteries for up to 20 hours!
Its not clear where this particular model came from. There are no Rice property tags on it, and the only metadata I could find for it was a paper display card that seems to indicate the item was bought from or intended for an auction.
by Jeff Warner
*This post originally stated that RadioShack was based in Dallas, Texas. Corrected 2/19/2015