June 3, 2018 – New Issue of TRS8Bit

Dusty has released the June 2018 issue of the TRS8Bit newsletter on his trs-80.org.uk web site. You can find all of the issues on his downloads page.


PAGE 04 Random Numbers
PAGE 08 Rick Dickinson Obituary
PAGE 12 Frank Durda IV Obituary
PAGE 13 In Mavs Workshop – Lineprinter VII
PAGE 23 Sierpinski’s Sieve – One liner
PAGE 24 The Way We Were – Articles from 80US
PAGE 30 In Mavs Workshop – New products
PAGE 41 Update on M2 Repair
PAGE 43 Competition Page
PAGE 46 EBAY Bargains
PAGE 48 Curing the Model 1 Screen Wiggle

May 23, 2018 – Frank Durda IV

Paul T Schreiber has some information that should be of interest to anyone with an interest in the TRS-80. Everything that says “I” below is Paul … this is a cut and paste …”

Some of you may be familiar with former Tandy R&D engineer Frank Durda IV who recently passed away.

Frank was a SW (and also a bit of HW) genius. Really. A more loyal Tandy employee/fanatic does not exist. And he kept EVERYTHING.

Frank left, most importantly, a wife and 4month old daughter, a daughter he never saw, or got to hold, as he was hospitalized during her birth and died, without regaining consciousness, soon after.

His wife Corrine now has the task to sort through Frank’s “collection”, which by my estimate, is over 300 file boxes of “stuff”. The Tandy stuff appears to range from Model 2/3 up to the AST computers (4000SX). I even uncovered a box of VIS hand controllers [shudder].

Frank and his team wrote the BIOS/drivers for probably 100 things, as well as TRS-DOS/LDOS/XENIX and so on.

It’s going to take MONTHS to get it all sorted (she lives about a 40min drive from me), today I just grabbed the first 12 boxes in the garage I could access (there was a 1964 Teletype machine in the way).

What I plan to go is sort as follows:

a) SW – floppies, SyQuest drives, 8mm tape. You name it, Frank has it.

b) HW – board add-in boards and full computers. I counted about 12 Tandy computers. There may be 50 more, I don’t know. There are 100s (yes 100s) of add-in boards.

c) books/manuals – I spotted several HW Reference manuals, a FORTRAN binder, and a photocopied dBase III manual. About 70% are Tandy originals, 30% copies.

What is the goal? The goal is 2-fold:

1 – Preservation

2 – raise funds for Frank’s wife & baby daughter

Now, as we all are aware, this stuff is HEAVY. I’m in Texas, and have Fed-Ex, UPS, and USPS options. In some cases, I will put individual items/small lots on eBay, but for the most part, this stuff will be sold by weight. Like $15/pound or some such. I some cases I will be specific, other cases might me a “treasure chest of Tandy Wonder”.

Now, I was 100% a HW designer at Tandy, but I have a few ex-R&D folks in my network I can see if they remember this stuff. If you are collecting ‘rare’ Tandy items, the 2nd box I looked in had 2 internal R&D use boards that were the audio and video portions of the Tandy Sensation! PC. Only 3 sets were made (2 for Tandy and 1 for MicroSoft) and Frank has a Tandy set (I even forgot I designed them!). These were used to write the drivers before the ‘real hardware’ was developed, and they were also used for the VIS development.

I hope to have ‘a new batch of stuff’ every 2-3 weeks. Mainly, I want this stuff to find “good homes”, not to be flipped. I want to be able to have a decent amount of $$$ for his family.

Lastly: Frank ran a few ISPs as well. I’m not an ‘IT Guy’ by a LONG shot. But he has 10-20 Cisco doo-dads as well (1U rack routers, etc). I’ll post a few photos for giggles, and next week hope to have the first batch for sale.

For those interested in helping Frank’s widow, please go the her GoFundMe page found at https://www.gofundme.com/thefightforfrank.

May 23, 2018 – PLAYCAS Updated to v2.0

PLAYCAS allows you to connect a TRS-80 cassette input to a PC soundcard so as to capture the software for use in an emulator or archiving. Knut Roll-Lund has recently updated it to v2.0 with the following notes:

  • Old Play CAS unfortunately had a bug of type copy-paste. It could not load read-only cas files. Easy bugfix. This lead to me making a new vesion also changing the user interface a little and adding a feature. The save features was kind of hidden so adding a few buttons for this and removing my entries from the option menu.
  • Save text saves the anaysis content and may be used to detokenize basic for example or recover the source code for edtasm stuff.
  • Save wav saves the prepared wav based on your load (storing programs as wav is not efficient but might be convenient. This wav is kind of perfectly formed and better than anything from real cassette.
  • LNW 1kHz (new feature in 2.0) whenever enabled modifies the wav to go at double speed. So any TRS-80 with zip kit etc. at double speed can now load cassette without dropping to regular speed.
  • PLAYCAS can be downloaded from Knut’s web site here.

    May 16, 2018 – TRS-80 Trash Talk – Episode 23

    TRS-80 Trash Talk # 23 is out. In this episode the Trash Talkers welcome vintage computing podcast pioneer David Greelish as a guest host. Pete, Ian and David discuss how Tandy reacted to the the introduction of the IBM Personal Computer in 1981. Tandy Radio Shack had all the advantages with its massive distribution network, its existing business focused Model II computer and with the forthcoming powerful Tandy 2000 computer. How the company attempted to compete with IBM and eventually failed is the main focus of the discussion.

    The podcast’s home page is http://www.trs80trashtalk.com.

    April 23, 2018 – TRS-80 Model I Free for Local Pickup

    Update: Claimed

    A site visitor located in Alexandria, Virgina has the following hardware, software, and magazines available for free but for local pickup only.

  • •  Two (2) Model 4Ps (not sure of working order)
  • •  Original TRS-80 Model 4 software manual binders and disks (abt. 14, such as Payroll, Dow Jones, Deskmate, Formation, etc.)
  • •  One TRS-80 Mode 1 (not sure of working order)
  • •  One TRS-80 Expansion Interface
  • •  One Quick Printer II
  • •  Complete Set of the TRS-80 Encyclopedia
  • •  Complete Set of Eighty-Micro Magazine (All Issues)
  • •  Almost complete set of Radio Shack Computer Catalogs (1 or two missing)
  • •  Complete Set (I think?) of TRS-80 Microcomputer News
  • •  Many TRS-80 books (abt. 28)
  • •  More…
  • As always, to keep away those would say “hey, would you ship” (when the above states local pickup only), please contact me if you can do a local pickup and I will relay in the order received.

    March 9, 2018 – New Book Covers

    Title: Assembly Language Programming for the TRS-80 Model 16
    Year: 1984
    Author: Dan Keen & Dave Dischert
    Publisher: Tab Books
    Pages: 200
    TOSEC: Assembly Language Programming for the TRS-80 Model 16 (1984)(Tab Books)

    Title: Clean Slate Word Processing for the TRS-80
    Year: 1983
    Author: Henry Melton
    Publisher: Howard W Sams
    Pages: 390
    TOSEC: Clean Slate Word Processing for the TRS-80 (1983)(Howard W Sams)

    Title: Foolproof Guide to SCRIPSIT Word Processing
    Year: 1983
    Author: Jeff Berner
    Publisher: Sybex
    Pages: 212
    TOSEC: Foolproof Guide to SCRIPSIT Word Processing (1983)(Sybex)

    Title: TRS-80 Disk BASIC for Business for the Model II and Model III
    Year: 1982
    Author: Alan J Parker
    Publisher: Reston
    Pages: 292
    TOSEC: TRS-80 Disk BASIC for Business for the Model II and Model III (1982)(Alan J Parker)

    Title: TRS-80 Teaching Aid
    Year: 1984
    Author: Edward Burns
    Publisher: Reston
    Pages: 244
    TOSEC: TRS-80 Teaching Aid (1984)(Reston Publishing)

    Title: Using the Radio Shack TRS-80 in Your Home
    Year: ??
    Author: Kenniston W Lord
    Publisher: Van Nostrand Company
    Pages: 472
    TOSEC: Using the Radio Shack TRS-80 in Your Home (19xx)(Van Nostrand Company)