Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer

The TRS-80 Color Computer, or CoCo, is sometimes left out of the discussion of great 8-bit home computers despite its popularity. Tandy sold millions of them through its network of Radio Shack stores, but a strong retail channel was not the only reason for its success.

TRS-80 Color Computer
Source: Tandy Corp., 1980

The CoCo was a strong performing, inexpensive computer with a solid base of software. Its powerful 6809 processor and support chips enabled color video before many competitors. With the later option of the OS-9 operating system and expanded memory, the CoCo was also a viable development or business system.

The photo here shows a first-generation CoCo, apparently in a law office. Though most CoCos were sold as family computers or to hobbyists, some small businesses did use them and there was enough of a software base to support business use.

Introduced: July 1980
Original Retail Price: $399
Base Configuration: 0.894MHz 6809E CPU; ROM cartridge slot; 4K RAM (16K max); 8K ROM; TV switch box, integral Chiclet-style keyboard; RS-232C, cassette, and two game ports; TRS-80 Color BASIC; operation and Color BASIC manuals; reference card
Video: 16-line x 32-column text, 64 x 32 graphics
Important Options: Multi-Pak Interface, external floppy disk drive, CTR-80A cassette recorder, enhanced graphics, joysticks, Quick Printer II, modem, Extended Color BASIC ROM