80 Applications

written by Matthew Reed

80 Applications by Dennis Báthory-Kitsz

“80 Applications” was a popular column that first appeared in the January 1980 premiere issue of 80 Microcomputing. Written by Dennis Báthory-Kitsz, “80 Applications” covered a wide range of TRS-80 related hardware projects and ideas.

The first “80 Applications” column was only one page but it soon grew to become one of the most detailed columns in 80 Microcomputing. As that initial column promised:

In the coming months, this column will present unusual applications of the TRS-80 in everyday and not-so-everyday life. Hardware and software extensions and fixes will be described, and some of the fascinating inner workings of this first computer-for-the-people will be revealed.

Dennis Báthory-Kitsz wrote all his articles with a very friendly and understandable style and “80 Applications” was no different. For example, his September 1981 column contains one of the best introductions to digital electronics I have ever seen.

Topics in the column covered a wide range of difficulty, from the simple, such as a February 1980 keyboard debouncing utility, to far more advanced, such as a July 1981 project to add high-resolution graphics to the Model I.

Other topics covered by “80 Applications” included:

  • the basics of hardware ports
  • building a hardware clock
  • connecting a second keyboard to a Model I
  • building a simple music generator, with four separate voices
  • adding a custom ROM to fill the 1K hole in a Model I
  • interfacing a paper tape reader to the Model I
  • adding a Model I keyboard to the Color Computer
  • creating a printed circuit board

Dennis Báthory-Kitsz wrote about some of those same topics in his book The Custom TRS‑80 and Other Mysteries.

“80 Applications” appeared sporadically throughout 1982, before finally ending in January 1983. That final column finished a very detailed two-part series about constructing a LNW80 computer kit.

Categories: Magazines