The Micromint E-Z Color

written by Matthew Reed

Micromint advertisement

Micromint advertisement from the
February 1983 issue of 80 Micro

Micromint sold several products for the TRS‑80 that were based on designs that Steve Ciarcia had presented in his Ciarcia’s Circuit Cellar column in BYTE magazine. The Micromint E-Z Color was a color graphics interface for the TRS‑80 Model I and Model III that was based on his August 1982 column. In addition to the TRS‑80 version, there were also versions of the E-Z Color sold for the S-100 bus and the Apple II.

The TRS‑80 version was available in two configurations:

  • “assembled and tested” for $249
  • a “complete kit” for $219

Also included with the E-Z Color were connecting cables, power supply, manual, the “Super Editor software”, and an animation demo.

The E-Z Color was based on the Texas Instruments TMS9918A graphics controller, the same chip used by the earlier CHROMAtrs TRS‑80 color graphics add-on. Because the E-Z Color and CHROMAtrs shared the same graphics chip, they also shared many of the same features. These included four video modes, prioritized sprites, and a resolution of 256 by 192 with 16 colors (including transparent). Despite the similarities, there was no software compatibility between the E-Z Color and the CHROMAtrs. Unlike the CHROMAtrs, the TRS‑80 version of the E-Z Color doesn’t seem to have included any joystick or sound support.

The TRS‑80 version of the E-Z Color was advertised only briefly during 1983. Although it looked like an interesting product, I don’t know of any TRS‑80 software that was written to support it.

Categories: Graphics, Hardware