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In 1977 Radio Shake made the leap into computers with their TRS-80 Model I. A poor name choice as they were soon nicknamed Trash 80s. The name came from Tandy Radio Shack Tandy being the parent company of Radio Shack. The 80 coming from the Zilog Z80 processor that powered the early TRS-80 computers. The developers originally in envisioned a kit computer much like Radio Shack’s other kits. However, since not everyone could sell it was decided they would go with a completed system. Management, fearful they wouldn’t sell, chose to send just one to every store. This way they could be used by the store if they didn’t sell. Not expecting to sell even 3,000 units a year, Radio Shack was swamped with 10,000 orders in the first month and a half even before they were in the store.
The TRS-80 line grow to include many models to include three generations of the color computer and the pocket computer. The color computers and the pocket computers were not compatible with the original TRS-80 line.
* Part of the All Things DOS collection.