TRS-80 2000 Personal Computer


The next show has unofficially become a "Tandy" show thanks to a meeting of the CoCo's and the TRS-80 Model 1, so why not bring the others? That means digging the TRS-80 2000 out of deep storage, so let's talk about it!

Devised by Tandy as a means to both break into and simultaneously leapfrog the existing IBM PC, IBM PC XT, and the many PC clones, the Tandy TRS-80 2000 (generally referred to as the Tandy 2000) was designed to be a performance juggernaut. In 1983, Tandy used the then-new Intel 80186 processor chip, and then overclocked it to 8 Megahertz, making it one of the fastest home computers available. Likewise, it offered some serious graphical power for it's time, especially for PC computers. On paper, it should have dominated. It did not for several reasons.

It's biggest problem is that for the wealth of PC software for the IBM PC and IBM PC XT (with the Intel 8088 and Intel 8086 processors) the Tandy 2000 could use almost none of it. The CPU was too fast to run it. The prospect of having to buy not just a new computer, but all the expensive software all over again was too much for many businesses to stomach. Compounding this was that the Tandy 2000 used "quad density" formatted disks- which only the Tandy 2000 could read and write. They offered greater storage capacity, but that was about it.

Finally, IBM rolled out the PC AT, which had the brand new Intel 80286, which was both backwards compatible to the original PC software, while also leapfrogging the 80186. The Tandy 2000 was obsolete overnight.

Today it's most interesting feature is it's market failure processor the Intel 80186- the Tandy 2000 was the only mass-produced computer produced with this processor.

More info at Wikipedia (HERE).
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Bad news. I reached out to the experts over at the Vintage Computer Federation for some guidance on the monitor, and here's what I got back.

So both composite and CGA are out- it does it's own thing. So I either need to track down a very hard to find monitor, an even more hard to find PI-based video adapter, or something else entirely.

The prospects of this one making it to the show aren't great at this point. :(