Tandy Radio Shack TRS80 - Model 100 Portable Computer, with case, booklet and manuals; in use 1980 onwards.

This portable computer is part of a collection of hardware, software, personal notes, trade literature and promotional material that was donated by their owner to Museum Victoria in 2003. He is representative of the generation that fully embraced computing when it became accessible economically but before general acceptance by the wider community. He used the TRS80 for his hobby in the 1980s. It was his first bought computer.

The donor started to build up his computer system in 1980. The basic set-up consisted of a keyboard, which contained the brains of the machine, a monitor in black and white with only upper case letters, and a cassette recorder for loading available marketed programs or saving one's own. This item turned out to be very temperamental as the volume setting needed to be adjusted for each type of tape used. Initially there was no printer.

After about one year of learning how to program the machine, the donor decided the programs needed to be printed out to find logic errors, as they were too difficult to spot on the monitor alone. Also, there was a need to eliminate the time consuming tape recorder and its idiosyncrasies. Tandy came to the rescue with a device that was a called an EXPANSION INTERFACE, which came with printer, disk drive and extra memory.

He also used the Tandy model 100 (notebook sized) when he was on the move. He could move files from this to the TRS80 for storage.

He stopped using the Tandy system circa 1988 - 1990; but, it was a gradual change to other systems, such as IBM. He changed because Tandy systems were affected by spikes in the power supply, and because Tandy programs were too slow. To counteract the slowness, he adapted Tandy program code to IBM code. He had to change the Tandy BASIC into IBM BASIC (10 times faster) because Tandy and IBM machines were not compatible.

Physical Description

Portable Computer is in black vinyl case with manuals. Unit: combined processing unit, keyboard and display in rectangular plastic case with black base and beige top. Rectangular display above QWERTY keyboard with black keys. Brand and model tag in top right hand corner. Case: rectangular black vinyl case for Tandy Radio Shack Portable Computer TRS-80 Model 100. Case opens along one long side and is closed by a flap with Velcro fastenings. Quick referece guide: small paper booklet, covered in clear contact adhesive. White paper with black text. Manual: spiral bound soft covered, 224 paged booklet. Cover includes image of the portable computer. Technical reference manual: soft covered, 127 paged book. Cover includes image of the portable computer.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Raymond Milton Johnson TRS80 Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Information & Communication

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Mr Raymond M. Johnson, 05 Aug 2003

  • Manufacturer

    Kyocera Corp, Japan, circa 1983

  • Manufactured For

    Tandy Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America, circa 1983

  • User

    Mr Raymond M. Johnson, Toorak, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1983-1990

  • Inscriptions

    Combined unit: Label in rear right hand corner of top of case: "Radio Shack / TRS-80 / MODEL 100 / PORTABLE / COMPUTER" Stickers on underside of unit: 'Radio Shack / CAT NO 26-3802 / TRS-80 / MODEL 100 / PORTABLE / COMPUTER / SERIAL NUMBER. 308012897 CUSTOM MFD. IN JAPAN FOR / RADIO SHACK, A DIVISION OF TANDY CORP., FT. WORTH, TX76102' Label on underside of unit: "NAME: R M JOHNSON" Case: Embossed at bottom left hand corner of case: "Radio Shack / MODEL - 100 PORTABLE COMPUTER" Quick reference guide: Text on front cover: TRS-80 / MODEL 100 / PORTABLE / COMPUTER / Quick Reference / Guide Manual: Text in logo in top left hand corner: Radio Shack / TRS-80 / MODEL 100 / PORTABLE / COMPUTER Text on front cover: TRS-80 / MODEL 100 / PORTABLE / COMPUTER Technical reference manual: Text in logo in top left hand corner: Radio Shack / TRS-80 / MODEL 100 / PORTABLE / COMPUTER Text on front cover: TRS-80 / MODEL 100 / TECHNICAL REFERENCE / MANUAL First page: (handwriting) RM JOHNSON /Sept 1984 / (text)

  • Model Name or Number

    TRS80 - Model 100

  • Brand Names

    Radio Shack (Portable Computers) , Tandy (Portable Computers)

  • Classification

    Computing & calculating, Digital computing, Microcomputers

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    300 mm (Length), 212 mm (Width), 50 mm (Height)

  • Part Dimensions

    302 mm (Length), 214 mm (Width), 52 mm (Height)
    Dimensions of case.

  • Part Dimensions

    156 mm (Length), 98 mm (Width), 4 mm (Depth)
    Dimensions of Quick Reference Guide.

  • Part Dimensions

    282 mm (Length), 230 mm (Width), 22 mm (Depth)
    Dimensions of manual.

  • Part Dimensions

    280 mm (Length), 215 mm (Width), 9 mm (Depth)
    Dimensions of technical manual.

  • Keywords

    Computers, Computing