TRS-80 Model 1 (was: Arty computers (was: Re: PDP-11/70 in Yates Center, KS)

Jim Isbell, W5JAI jim.isbell at
Thu Feb 1 13:35:20 CST 2007

The apple was a flop, yes.  The Commodore also was a flop.  Just look at the
numbers.  The apple was a flop because it was marketed as entertainment and
drawing pictures (which it excelled at) while the TRS-80 was a scientific
machine that crunched numbers.  Yes, today the tables are reversed, but back
then, those of us who were into computers (I had been in computers since
1960 on the IBM 7070) were looking for computing power for serious work.
The Apple was just not that.  The Commodore didnt make it because it was
under powered and again was marketed toward using it for games not serious
work.  I still have several of all three and at the time I would use my
TRS-80 whenever I was programming.  The others were FUN machines made for
children while the TRS-80 was capable of programming in BASIC, FORTRAN,
NLOS, FORTH and Assembly to name only the languages that I had  enabled on
my machine.  AND the DOS in the TRS-80 was miles ahead of the others and was
accessible.  When IBM came out with their machine I wished they had licensed
TRS-DOS and then developed that instead of starting with their own.  Yes
IBMs DOS went on to outstrip TRS-DOS, but just think how much faster the
development would have been if they had started with the solid base that
TRS-DOS had set down.

Today I use offshoot of the Apple....which is far superior to
Windows and their "pretend" DOS.  But it wasn't back then.

We have to look at the market and environment of the late 70s when we start
comparing systems.  Today the market is different and the systems are
different.  We cant compare apples to oranges.

On 2/1/07, Chuck Guzis <cclist at> wrote:
> On 1 Feb 2007 at 12:12, Jim Isbell, W5JAI wrote:
> > Well, the TRS-80 Model 1 was the first commercially viable home
> > computer. Whether it is interesting NPW or not is immaterial.  It was
> > the first!
> So the Applie II (went on sale in June 1977, as opposed to the TRS-80
> Model I going on sale in August) was an impractical commercial flop?
> How about the Commodore Pet--demoed in 1976?
> Cheers,
> Chuck

Jim Isbell
"If you are not living on the edge, well then,
you are just taking up too much space."

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