Posts in the “Books” Category
There were many popular books published back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that examined the TRS‑80 Model I in detail. But there were far fewer books that served the same purpose for the TRS‑80 Model III.
TRSDOS Commented, published by Soft Sector Marketing with “decoding and data entry” by Rick Papo, was one of those few. The book’s cover described it as “a must for every Mod III owner.”
The Custom TRS‑80 and Other Mysteries is one of the best remembered TRS‑80 books. It was written by Dennis Báthory-Kitsz and published by IJG, Inc (also known as the International Jewelry Guild). The first printing sold out in less than a month and the book ended up selling 50,000 copies around the world in three printings.
There were many books written that described and in some cases disassembled the TRS‑80 Model I BASIC ROM. A few of the more famous examples were Microsoft BASIC Decoded and Other Mysteries from IJG, Inc., The B00K from Insiders Software Consultants, Pathways Through the ROM from SoftSide Publications, and Level II ROMs from Tab Books. But there were far fewer books serving the same purpose for the TRS‑80 Model III BASIC ROM.
The TRS‑80 Applications Software Sourcebook, also known as the Applications Sourcebook, was a book containing short descriptions and information about third-party application software for the TRS‑80. It was published by Radio Shack with at least eight volumes from 1980 to 1987.
Any publisher could buy a listing in the TRS‑80 Applications Software Sourcebook. A listing cost $10.
BASIC Computer Games (ISBN 0-89480-052-3) was the first and most popular of a category of books containing games written in BASIC for typing into a computer. It was also the first computer book to sell more than a million copies. Many people took their first steps as programmers by typing in and modifying the programs in this book.
There were many excellent books written for people who wanted to learn about TRS‑80 Model I assembly language programming, such as TRS‑80 Assembly Language Programming by William Barden or Programming the Z80 by Rodnay Zaks. But my favorite book was a less famous one called TRS‑80 Assembly Language Made Simple by Earles L. McCaul.
When most people think of the Radio Shack TRS‑80, they probably think of the TRS‑80 Model I, III, and 4. But Radio Shack also sold another computer line, the TRS‑80 Color Computer.
CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer by Boisy Pitre and Bill Loguidice explores the somewhat forgotten history of the Color Computer line. It tells the story of the Radio Shack Color Computer (fondly nicknamed the CoCo), starting with its development and introduction in 1980.
The TRS‑80 Computer Whiz Kids (later renamed the Tandy Computer Whiz Kids) was a comic book series that was created by the Radio Shack Education Comic Book Program. The series consisted of eleven issues, running from 1980 to 1992, which were distributed for free to schools. Any teacher (writing on school letterhead) could request a free packet of fifty comic books from Radio Shack.
The comic books focused on classmates Alec and Shanna and their teacher, Ms. Wilson.
Alien Defense Commented is an unusual book that contains the complete source code listing for the Soft Sector Marketing game Alien Defense (which was still being sold at the time the book was published). It was written by Larry Ashmun, the author of Alien Defense, and was intended for programmers looking for “details of one approach to game writing.”
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).