• Replacing the CPU in a Tandy 1000HX!

    What’s the difference between the Intel 8088 and the 8086? It’s all in the pins! The 8088 used an 8-bit address bus, and the 8086 uses a 16-bit address bus. This can be a big slowdown– you take two data fetches to get as much as just one– and there’s very little you can do about it after the computer is built. But what can you do?

  • Nicole Buys Stuff: The Timex Sinclair 2068!

    It’s the early 1980’s, and you’re in charge of the Timex Corporation. You have a pretty good business with Clive Sinclair, manufacturing his machines for the European market, and reselling his ZX81 in the US as the Timex Sinclair 1000. It’s a primitive machine, with 1K of RAM and only CPU-controlled graphics, but it’s a good introduction to computers and BASIC. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could sell something a little better?

  • Of Floppy Drives and Tandys

    Retrocomputers are often judged by their games, and thus, by the gaming characteristics of graphics and sound. We ignore the fact that Apple ][s were pretty often running VisiCalc on monochrome monitors, because we’d much rather talk about Ultima V in that glorious artifact color. And that’s something that’s hurt the reputation of Tandy/Radio Shack– the TRS-80 Model I was amazing for its time, but lacking colors or even graphics modes, was never going to lead in gaming. But that would change with the Tandy 1000… and wouldn’t you know, I have one of those right here!

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