The Tandy 100 was actually a computer made in Japan by Kyocera. All the ROM programs were written by Microsoft, and even a few of them were written by Bill Gates (!) himself ! These programs include a text editor, a telecommunication program, which uses the built-in modem (300 baud), and a rather good version of BASIC (no big surprise there).
Kyocera made this computer for three main companies: Tandy, Olivetti (Olivetti M10) and NEC (PC 8201), these computers are the same except the case and some little differences in the programs and a few physical differences.
The operating system uses 3130 bytes of the 8 KB RAM. So the 8 KB models (Catalog # 26-3801) didn’t sell very well. But there was also a 24 kb model (Catalog # 26-3802), and one year later, Tandy replaced the Tandy 100 with the Tandy 102 (which has 24 kb RAM too), and later with the Tandy 200 (1985).
The Tandy 102 is 1/2 inch thinner and one pound weight different. The "Date-Bug" (random changing of the calendar) is also repaired from the Model 100. But many people still prefer the feel of the Model 100 as there are also more 100-only accessories on the used market than compatible accessories...
The CMOS CPU (80c85) allows to use the Tandy 100 for 20 hours with only 4 AA batteries (5 days at 4 hours/day or 20 days at 1 hour/day)!!
The model 100/102 is still considered and used as an excellent machine, mainly to type texts when you're on the move (you can transfer them to modern computers) and even to send and receive emails !
Fun fact : its CPU was also used on the Mars Pathfinder probe's Sojourner rover !
Special thanks to Charles Harris who donated us this computer !
In 1983, I was a journalist working for a news service in Atlanta when Radio Shack came out with the model 100. Since I was the bureau chief, I bought one for our staff (mostly me) to use.
It only had an 8-line monochrome screen and 16k memory, but the model 100 served me well until Tandy came out with the model 200 in about 1985. It had 32k memory and a 16-line screen (40 characters per line) with the screen on a hinged top that folded down over the keyboard like today''s laptops. The model 100 was more like today''s notebooks.
I would take the Model 100 (and later the 200) to meetings, write my story from the meeting site, find a phone, hook up my portable modem with an RS232 cable, and transmit my copy back to the modem on the office typesetting equipment. It sure beat calling the story in and dictating it by phone to a colleague. Plus, I could cover the news at night and have the story waiting in the office when I went to work the next mornning, and it was in the memory of the typesetting unit. What a technological revolution the Model 100 was for workikng journalists. I loved it.
I liked the model 200 so much that I bought one personally, and still have it in my closet. I even bought a Radio Shack printer and a floppy disc drive for storage of stories I had written, and still have the disc drive for it.
Both the model 100 and 200 were workhorse equipment for journalists in the 1980s. Glad to read about other journalists who loved this little machine. It changed my life.
$ Jim Newton, retired journalist, Clinton, Ms
Friday 17th December 2010
Jim Newton (USA)
VirtualT Is The Only Emulator
Sunday 5th March 2017
I have a T100 now. the 3.6V memory battery has leak. I have to replace that as well as the contrast knob. It willl be fun getting it back up and working
Sunday 16th January 2011
Chulang Searales (Barbados West Indies)
TRS-80 Model 100 / 102
Tandy Radio Shack
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Enhanced version of Microsoft BASIC
Full-size typewriter style keyboard 8 function keys
Intel 80c85 (code and pin compatible with 8085)
8 kb, up to 32 KB (29638 bytes free) by incremental 8 kb RAM pack on PCB
32 kb (up to 64 kb)
40 x 8 (LCD screen)
240 x 64 (Full-Dot matrix)
SIZE / WEIGHT
30 (w) x 21.5 (D) x 4.5 (H) cm.
Centronics Tape Bar Code RS232 Phone System Bus
BUILT IN MEDIA
User RAM battery backup
6v DC - 1.1 w or 4 x AA alkaline-manganese batteries