Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I computer. TRS stood for Tandy/Radio Shack, and the 80 came from the Z-80 processor it uses. The Model I came from Tandy’s belief there would be more than one model ;-)
When the TRS-80 came out in 1977, there were already many kit computers, and a few you could order that were assembled. But, none were widely available at thousands of retail locations across America. The TRS-80 became the first widely available home computer.
And they were made in Texas :-)
Radio Shack was soon outselling Apple, and was truly the number one name in little computers (as the slogan said). Keep in mind, back in the 80s there were more Radio Shacks than McDonalds. It was huge.
Many other firsts would come from Ft. Worth, such as the first IBM PC clone that was under $1000 (the Tandy 1000). It was a historic era in home computer.
But soon the market was flooded with other cheap home computer offerings from companies like Atari, Commodore, and Texas Instruments.
Happy birthday, TRS-80. :)