Radio Shack Color Computer
Introduced:July 1980
Price:US $399
CPU:Motorola 6809E @ 0.89MHz
RAM:4K, later 16K
Ports:TV, joysticks, cassette,
serial, cartridge port
Display:192 X 128 graphics
32 X 16 text; 4 colors

The gray/silver color scheme was fetching for the original TRS-80 Model I computer, but it just doesn't work on the Color Computer - it has to be one of the ugliest computers ever.

While the "CoCo" is Radio Shack's first color computer, it is not the first color computer ever. There were others, one of them is the Apple II from three years earlier.

The CoCo has one thing going for it - price, but not much else it seems. It's one of the slowest computers, in terms of CPU clock speed, and it can only display 4 colors. The mediocre keyboard leaves much to be desired.

An Extended Basic version was soon released. This new CoCo has excellent graphics capabilities accessible from BASIC, higher resolution display, and more memory. A floppy drive storage system can be added for fast and easy data storage.

Additional TRS-80 Color Computer models were released over the next few years, each an improvment over the previous.

The model 1 went through three revisions before the model 2 was released, which also went through several revisions before the next and final model 3. In 1983 there was even a "Micro CoCo", the MC-10.

The Dragon computer, sold in England, was advertised as being 98% compatible with the TRS-80 Color Computer.
In 1984, the Dragon 64 was available in the United States as the Tano Dragon.

Related Links

  • Still Co-Co Nuts!
  • The "CoCo" Chronicles
  • Ira Goldklang's TRS-80 Color Computer Page
  • The Tandy Color Computer from Larry's Homepage
  • Greater Pittsburgh Vintage Computer Museum
  • The Tandy Color Computer Resource Site
  • Cloud-9 Tech - Cool stuff for your Coco!

  • History of the Radio Shack Computers

    • 1921: - Radio Shack begins as a one-store retail and mail-order company catering to ham operators and electronics buffs.
    • 1963: - Charles Tandy buys the chain of stores, and within two years turned a $4 million dollar loss into a $20 million dollar profit.
    • 1977: August - Radio Shack announces the TRS-80 Model I microcomputer.
    • 1977: September - One month after launching the TRS-80, 10,000 are sold.
    • 1979: May - Tandy/Radio Shack announces the TRS-80 Model II.
    • 1979: October - Radio Shack begins shipping the TRS-80 Model II to users.
    • 1980: July - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model III, priced from US$700 to US$2500.
    • 1980: July - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Color Computer, and sells for US$400.
    • 1980: July - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer. Price is US$230.
    • 1981: January - Radio Shack ceases production of the TRS-80 Model I, and recalls units from the US market, due to failure to meet new FCC radio-frequency interference regulations.
    • 1982: January - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 16, with 8-inch floppy drives, and optional 8-MB hard drive.
    • 1982: January - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer, Model PC-2, for US$280.
    • 1983: March - Radio Shack announces its TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer. Price is US$799 for 8KB version, to US$1134 for the 32KB version.
    • 1983: May - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 4, for US$2000.
    • 1983: October - Tandy/Radio Shack announces the "transportable" TRS-80 Model 4P, for US$1800.
    • 1983: Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer, Model PC-4, replacing the PC-1, for US$70.
    • 1983: Tandy releases the TRS-80 Model 2000, which uses the Intel 80186 microprocessor.
    • 1983: Radio Shack unveils the TRS-80 Model 12 at the CP/M '83 Show. Price is US$3200.
    • 1985: March - Radio Shack introduces the Tandy 6000 multiuser system. It features Z80A and 68000 processors, 512 KB RAM, 80x24 text, graphics, 1.2-MB 8-inch disk, optional 15 MB hard drive, TRS-DOS, or XENIX 3.0. It supports up to 9 users.
      Source: Chronology of Events in the History of Microcomputers

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