TRS-80 Fragmentation

Geoffrey Oltmans oltmansg at
Thu Apr 26 16:25:41 CDT 2018

It is obvious that the TRS-80 line of computers suffered severe
fragmentation with differing architectures:

TRS-80 Model I, III, and 4(P) are all obviously of a mostly compatible
TRS-80 Model II and 16, 68k based "business" machines
TRS-80 CoCo I, II, III (Dragon)
TRS-80 PC-x, various rebadged machines from Sharp, Panasonic, or Casio
TRS-80 MC-10 (a Matra Alice)
TRS-80 Model 100, 102, 200 (rebadged Kyoceras)

So, obviously there were several good sellers in there, and of course for
every good seller there's at least one bad seller. The PC line were mostly
replacements for calculators that were programmable, and the Model 100
derivatives were mostly used as appliances rather than general purpose
machines. Aside from that, it seems like Tandy more than most went off in
the weeds with their own wide variety of machines instead of settling on a
common architecture. Do you think that if they had, say, revised and
extended the Model I system to color/80 column that the rest would have
been mostly redundant?

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