Happy 40th birthday, TRS-80!

Just received a random email notification that the TRS-80 was released 40 years ago today on August 3, 1981. This was one of my first computing experiences, I remember an uncle gave me a hand-me-down and I saved up to buy a cassette drive for storage. Man, the times I had with that thing. Played a bunch of games, probably my first exposure to what they now call IF, or text-based adventures. Pretty much kicked me offf on a lifelong journey. Thanks for the good times!

Look at it in all its glory!


Yeah, we got one in school and I remember all of us elementary kids would fight over who’d get to mess with it during recess. The birth of my nerdiness right there!

  1. I was second-guessing a significant chunk of my childhood for a moment there…

I wrote the epic “Cat Food Company” on a TRS M3 in sixth grade. I’d have to say that these school Trash 80s were my first computers.

Whoops, was discontinued in 1981. My bad.

My first home computer as well, my father had purchased it for work and kind of gave up on it due to lack of understanding to program it. And that’s when I learned how to program.

Yeah, this was my first PC as well. My dad had the “real computer” while I had this. I remember semi-fondly getting books of code so I could write a game. The best part? When the codebook was wrong and we had to figure out together what was up with it. Then when I wanted to change some aspect, I learned what lines to tweak, etc…

I remember clamoring unsuccessfully for a TRS-80 after my mom signed me up for “summer computer class” at one of the local high schools when I was about 11.

Had to walk half a mile to the city bus stop, uphill both ways, but it wasn’t snowing on account of it was a million degrees outside. Then take two buses to the school. The AC in the computer lab is as clear a memory as the actual programming.

The tape drives were a mystery. I couldn’t get my head around how something that recorded sound could record… what? Keystrokes? Lines of type? What was it doing?

I kind of miss tape drives. Not how slow they were, but it was so cool that you could hear your programs load. Just like I kind of miss modems, and hearing your computer making a connection. It’s a weird kind of nostalgia.

Star Trek on the TRS-80. And so it began.

Sure, I get that too. It was audible evidence of something extraordinary happening.

OMG. I got mine in 1982. Man, those were the days. Might y’all have a link to the story?

But you know what? Fuck the Trash 80s. My C=64, acquired a couple years after my TRS80 cherry-popping, just buried that Zilog piece of junk ;)

My first computer was a Prológica CP-400, which was a CoCo clone, so the TRS-80 will always have a place in my heart.

Well, I mean, duh. I went C64 in the mid to late 80s and never looked back myself. But you never forget your first.

My dad went out and got one probably fall of 1977. I was in college at the time so I wasn’t around for the event but I do recall coming home once and seeing the beast in the corner of our downstairs rec room. I have many fond memories of trying to program that machine, cassette drive and all.

Ah the Trash 80! I never used one, but it forms a star in the constellation of early '80s computing options…

Never had one, but the demos in the Radio Shack store were written in BASIC, so I used to enjoy rewriting them or throwing in random new text strings. (Yeah, I added a subroutine in one of the rolling demos at the store that would have it randomly show TRASH-80 instead of TRS-80 about 10% of the time. I was 14, okay???)