Wayne Green

Wayne Green (1922-2013)

I was saddened to learn that Wayne Green died on September 13, 2013. Longtime TRS‑80 enthusiasts will remember Wayne Green as the founder and publisher of 80 Micro, the most famous and best remembered TRS‑80 magazine.

Wayne Green had a long history in publishing. He began his first newsletter, Amateur Radio Frontiers, in 1951, reflecting his lifelong interest in amateur radio (his callsign was W2NSD). He became editor of CQ, an amateur radio magazine, in 1955. He started his own amateur radio magazine, 73 (also called 73 Amateur Radio Today), in 1960. 73 was his longest running magazine, continuing until 2003.

Hunt the Wumpus from Creative Computing

Hunt the Wumpus

Hunt the Wumpus, also known as Wumpus 1 or simply Wumpus, was an important early computer game. It was written by Gregory Yob in either 1972 or 1973. Hunt the Wumpus was one of the first games to allow the player to move around a series of interconnected rooms. Although not an adventure game itself, it clearly influenced the text adventure games that followed.

Updated 2012 date patches

LDOS and LS‑DOS: 2012 and Beyond – Updated Patch Files

Garry Howarth recently discovered a bug in my LS‑DOS 2012 date extension patches. He found a particular disk that would crash the DIR command after installing the date extension patches.

As it turned out, displaying a directory of a disk containing a large file with directory extents on different sectors could sometimes overwrite the patch code, leading to a crash. I needed to rearrange the DIR patch code to avoid this potential problem. This required a new version of the LS‑DOS date extension patches.

Cover of the first Radio Shack computer catalog

The Introduction of the TRS‑80 (Part 1)

August 3, 2013 marks the 36th anniversary of the introduction of the Radio Shack TRS‑80 Microcomputer System, a significant date in the history of personal computers. The TRS‑80, later known as the TRS‑80 Model I, was one of the first mass-marketed, fully-assembled computers and it dominated the early microcomputer market.

To Copy or Not To Copy? from 80 Micro

To Copy or Not To Copy?

Software piracy and copy protection were hotly debated issues during the early years of the TRS‑80 software market. Piracy was blamed (not entirely fairly) for lost sales and the decline of the TRS‑80 games market in 1982. As a result, a good percentage of TRS‑80 games were copy protected.

Classical Mosquito! by Robb Murray

Classical Mosquito!

Classical Mosquito! was a record of “neo-Baroque” music played entirely by a TRS‑80 Model I. It was created by Robb Murray in 1983 and was one of the earliest records consisting solely of computer generated music. The Kids’ World Almanac of Records and Facts in 1985 described Classical Mosquito! as “the first commercial record made entirely by computer.”

TRS-80 Micro Computer Technical Reference Handbook

TRS‑80 Micro Computer Technical Reference Handbook

The TRS‑80 Micro Computer Technical Reference Handbook (catalog number 26–2103), more commonly called the TRS‑80 Technical Reference Handbook (even in the Radio Shack catalog), was the official technical reference manual for the TRS‑80 Model I. The first edition, which cost $9.95, was printed in 1978. A second edition, revised to reflect later updates to the Model I, was printed in 1982 (one year after the Model I was discontinued).

News From Kitchen Table Software, Inc.

News From Kitchen Table Software, Inc.

>One of the most popular columns in the TRS‑80 magazine 80 Microcomputing wasn’t about the TRS‑80 at all. In fact, despite appearing to be a news column, it wasn’t about real products or companies. It was “News From Kitchen Table Software, Inc.”, a very amusing humor column introduced by David Busch in the July 1981 issue.

“News From Kitchen Table Software” followed the fictional company Kitchen Table, Inc. (also known as KTI), described as “United States’ largest fictitious supplier of space-age computer products.” Kitchen Table was founded by the equally fictitious Scott Nolan Hollerith.

writingbasic

Writing BASIC Adventure Programs for the TRS‑80

Adventure games were some of the earliest games written for computers and they were incredibly popular at the beginning of the microcomputer revolution. Despite this popularity, there were only a handful of books that showed how adventure games worked in detail or how to write one. In my opinion, the best book of this type was Writing BASIC Adventure Programs for the TRS-80 by Frank DaCosta. Published in 1982 by TAB Books, Writing BASIC Adventure Programs for the TRS‑80 describes two different types of adventure games, with full listings that the reader could type in to the computer. (Both programs were also available through the mail from the author for $19.95 on either disk or tape.)

DaCosta devotes the main part of the book (the first ten chapters) to Basements and Beasties, a classic text adventure in the mold of William Crowther’s original Adventure. After describing how an adventure game works in general, DaCosta lays out the framework needed for a text adventure.