Introduction to TRS-80 Graphics

written by Matthew Reed

Title:Introduction to TRS-80 Graphics
Author:Don Inman
Publisher:dilithium Press
Publication date:1979
Introduction to TRS-80 Graphics (catalog number 62-2063), also known as TRS-80 Graphics, was a book describing how to make best use of the block graphics of the TRS-80 Model I. It was written by Don Inman and cost $5.95 from Radio Shack. Like many of the books sold by Radio Shack, there were two editions of the book with two different covers: one was sold by Radio Shack and the other was sold by dilithium Press. (The name dilithium was intentionally lowercase.) Other than the covers, the books were identical.

The focus of Introduction to TRS-80 Graphics was entirely on “understanding the graphics capabilities of the TRS-80 computer using Level I BASIC.” As the book stated: “No attempt is made to teach programming in BASIC.” A dilithium Press advertisement described it this way:

For those who want to do more with graphics, this excellent self-instruction text provides a complete introduction to the basics of graphics programming using dozens of examples.

All of the code examples in Introduction to TRS-80 Graphics worked only in Level I BASIC, but the book contained an appendix that listed all the changes required to make them work in Level II BASIC.

I think an April 1980 review in 80 Microcomputing put it well:

Don Inman’s efforts have produced a worthwhile text that will be useful as a teaching tool and as a reference. It belongs in the collection of every serious TRS-80 owner.

Alternate cover for Introduction to TRS-80 Graphics

What most people probably remember about Introduction to TRS-80 Graphics is the game Sitting Ducks. Sitting Ducks, which was contained in chapter 7, was a very simple game that represented a shooting gallery with targets. Although simple, the game was quite understandable. I’m sure it was the first game that many people felt comfortable modifying. Don Inman invited the reader to make improvements and many did. I have seen quite a few enhanced versions of Sitting Ducks.

In 1982, Don Inman wrote a similarly titled but more comprehensive book called TRS-80 Color Computer Graphics. However, the two books were completely different, other than the core concept of programming graphics in BASIC. (There was no Color Computer version of Sitting Ducks, although there was a similar program called Shooting Gallery.)

Categories: Books