Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 4th Aug 2012 04:17 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Quick - name the most important personal computer of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Those of you who mentioned the legendary Apple II - that's fine. I respect your decision. Forced to think objectively in 2012, I may even agree. But if you just named Radio Shack's TRS-80, you made me smile. Your choice is entirely defensible. And back in the TRS-80's heyday, I not only would have agreed with it but would have vehemently opposed any other candidate."
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Were TRS-80 clones legal?
by rklrkl on Sun 5th Aug 2012 08:47 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I remember going around to a friend's house in the early 80's and messing around on his Video Genie, which was the European name for a clone of the TRS-80, which could run pretty well all TRS-80 software out there at the time. It still amazes me that a clone like that could be sold (Wikipedia doesn't make it clear if the Video Genie was a licensed clone or not).

I suspect in the UK, the TRS-80's biggest claim to fame was being the development system used by a lot of Sinclair ZX Spectrum programmers to develop for the (frankly awful to code on) Spectrum. I believe they had a high-speed method involving some homebrew hardware to download the code to the Spectrum (i.e. probably something that generated the tape sounds needed for the Spectrum to get the data).

The TRS-80 was a good Z80 system, but once the world's greatest 8-bit micro of all time, the BBC Micro (which destroyed the Apple II that had come out years earlier), it was all over in the UK for the TRS-80 for "serious" 8-bit users, whom I suspect mostly ditched their TRS-80's for the BBC Micro.

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