Posts in the “Hardware” Category - page 5

The Model 4 Grafyx Solution

The Model 4 Grafyx Solution was the most popular high-resolution add-on for the TRS‑80 Model 4, and probably the most popular Model 4 add-on in general. It was introduced in 1984 for a price of $199.95 by Micro-Labs, creators of the earlier Model III Grafyx Solution. The Model 4 Grafyx Solution provided true high-resolution access to every pixel on the 640 by 240 Model 4 display, yet was easily user-installable in only a few minutes.

The TRS‑80 VOXBOX

The TRS‑80 VOXBOX (catalog number 26-1181) was an early microcomputer speech-recognition product for the TRS‑80 Model I. Introduced in July 1979 by Radio Shack for a price of $169.95, the VOXBOX was described as “electronic ears for your Model I.” The VOXBOX was only available for the Model I; there never was a version for the Model III.

The TRS‑80 “Model 5”

Radio Shack introduced the TRS‑80 Microcomputer System, later known as the Model I, in August 1977. It was the first member of the original line of TRS‑80 computers. Radio Shack followed the Model I with the mostly compatible Model III in 1980 and then the Model 4 in April 1983. But other than the transportable Model 4P in November 1983 and the improved Model 4D in 1985, there were no further members of this computer family.

The Radio Shack Model 4 High-Resolution Board

Radio Shack introduced their high-resolution add-on for the Model 4 (catalog number 26-1126) on October 15, 1983. Just like their Model III high-resolution board, it was never identified by name in any Radio Shack catalog. The official name seems to have been “TRS‑80 Model 4 Computer Graphics” but it was usually referred to as the “Radio Shack Model 4 high-resolution board.”

At $249.95, the Model 4 high-resolution board was $80 cheaper than the Model III version.

The Model III Grafyx Solution

The Model III Grafyx Solution was a high-resolution graphics add-on for the TRS‑80 Model III. Created by Ted Carter, president of Micro-Labs, the Grafyx Solution was introduced in early 1982 for a price of $299.95. There never was a Model I version of the Grafyx Solution.

The Model III Grafyx Solution used a different approach than 80-GRAFIX, an earlier Micro-Labs product for the Model I and III.

The Radio Shack Model III High-Resolution Board

Radio Shack introduced their high-resolution add-on for the Model III (catalog number 26-1125) on December 30, 1982 for a price of $369.95. It was never identified by name in any Radio Shack catalog but the official name seems to have been “TRS‑80 Computer Graphics Package.” Few ever used that name and it was commonly referred to as the “Radio Shack high-resolution board.”

The Model III high-resolution board offered a resolution of 640 by 240.

The Alpha Technology Supermem

The Alpha Technology Supermem was one of the most popular memory expansion options for the TRS‑80.

The TRS‑80 Voice Synthesizer

The TRS‑80 Voice Synthesizer (catalog number 26-1180) was a speech synthesizer unit sold by Radio Shack. Introduced in 1979 for a price of $399.00, the unit was only compatible with the TRS‑80 Model I; Radio Shack never sold a TRS‑80 Model III version.

The TRS‑80 Voice Synthesizer plugged directly into the Model I expansion port and worked with both Level I and Level II BASIC systems.

The FASTLOAD Cassette Interface

The FASTLOAD cassette interface used a novel (and patented) method of speeding up loading cassette programs on a TRS‑80 Model I. By using a specially modified cassette recorder permanently in fast-forward mode (the equivalent of the fast-forward button always being pressed), FASTLOAD increased cassette loading speeds up to sixteen times to as high as 8000 baud. FASTLOAD was introduced in 1981 by Personal Micro Computers, Inc. (also known as PMC) for a price of $188.00.

The Holmes VID-80

The Holmes VID-80 was a popular add-on for the TRS‑80 Model I and III. Introduced by Holmes Engineering, Inc. in 1982, the VID-80 offered two related features:

It expanded the TRS‑80 screen from 64 characters wide by 16 characters high to the larger 80 characters wide by 24 characters wide.
It changed the TRS‑80 memory map to allow running the CP/M operating system.