written by Matthew Reed

After the decision by the publishers of 80 Micro magazine to end TRS‑80 coverage, there was a demand for new sources of TRS‑80 information. TRSLINK was first proposed by Luis M. Garcia-Barrio, sysop of a bulletin board system in Philadelphia. In many ways, the concept resembled the old CLOAD magazine. It was envisioned as an electronic magazine for TRS‑80 users, but not as a replacement for existing magazines. Each issue could fit on one 5¼″ disk (although some later issues required a double-sided disk). Article submissions from users were welcomed, and any advertisements submitted were included for free. Unlike CLOAD, distribution was provided for free via bulletin board systems, FidoNet, Usenet, and GEnie.

Title screen for TRSLINK issue #01

TRSLINK issue #01
Table of contents for TRSLINK issue #01

First page of the table of contents

Luis M. Garcia-Barrio edited the first issue of TRSLINK as well as many subsequent issues. Later editors included Peter Besenbruch, Timothy E. Sewell, Mark T. Shutes, Marvin L. Harrison, and Marshall Coffey.

The first issue of TRSLINK (issue #01) was released around November 1987. New issues were released roughly every month, although this varied due to external factors. Because of the decentralized way TRSLINK was distributed, there was never any way to tell how many readers it had, although they probably numbered in the thousands.

Title screen for TRSLINK issue #61

TRSLINK issue #61
Table of contents for TRSLINK issue #61

First page of the table of contents

Each TRSLINK issue included a viewer so you to read the issue on your TRS‑80. The original, written by Luis Garcia-Barrio, allowed you to see see the TRS‑80 graphics embedded in the articles. Later on, David Arcand wrote an improved version which could display high-resolution graphics files and contents of file archives right from within the viewer. One nice feature of his viewer was that the same version ran on the Model I/III/4 and worked with every DOS. Dave Phillips even wrote an MS-DOS version of the TRSLINK viewer that simulated the TRS‑80 graphics.

The final issue of TRSLink that I know of (issue #61) was released sometime around Christmas 1994.

Categories: Magazines

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