Tandy 1000

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The Tandy 1000 was the first in a line of more-or-less IBM PC compatible home computer systems produced by the Tandy Corporation for sale in its Radio Shack chain of stores.



The Tandy 1000 was followed by a series of models which appended two or three letters to the name, after a space, (e.g. Tandy 1000 EX, Tandy 1000 SX, Tandy 1000 TX, Tandy 1000 RL, Tandy 1000 RLX). In a few instances, a slash and a number or additional letters were appended to these letters (e.g. Tandy 1000 TL/2, Tandy 1000 RL/HD.)

The machine was primarily aimed at the home and educational markets, and it copied the IBM PCjr's 16-color graphics (PCjr's graphics were an extension of CGA video) and 3-voice sound, but didn't use the PCjr cartridge ports. As the Tandy 1000 line outlasted the PCjr by many years (and in fact did not make it to market until shortly after IBM announced the discontinuation of the PCjr) these graphics and sound standards became known as "Tandy-compatible" or (for the graphics) "TGA" (standing for Tandy Graphics Adapter) and many software packages of the era listed their support for Tandy standard hardware on the package.

Tandy 1000 computers were some of the first IBM PC clones to incorporate a complete set of basic peripherals on the motherboard using proprietary ASICs, the forerunner of the chipset. All Tandy 1000 computers featured built-in Tandy video hardware with color graphics (CGA compatible with enhancements), enhanced sound (based on one of several variants of the Texas Instruments SN76496 sound generator), game ports compatible with those on the TRS-80 Color Computer, an IBM-standard floppy disk controller supporting two drives, and a parallel printer port, all integrated into the motherboard. This is in addition to the hardware standard on the IBM PC, PC/XT, and PC/AT motherboards: keyboard interface, expansion slots, memory subsystem, DMA, interrupt controller, and math coprocessor socket. (Hard disks were high end, not standard, equipment for home computers until the late years of the Tandy 1000 line, explaining the absence of an integrated hard disk controller from most Tandy 1000 motherboards.) An IBM PC, XT or AT would require at least 4 expansion cards for similar hardware: one video graphics adapter card, one floppy disk controller (FDC) card, one serial and parallel port card, and one sound card with a joystick port. (A third-party multi-IO card might merge the ports and FDC onto one card.) Therefore, the 5 XT slots of the original Tandy 1000, 1000 TX, 1000 SX, and similar models remained available for other hardware, making them equivalent or better than the 8 slots in IBM's XT and AT models (which had 8 slots because the original PC's 5 proved inadequate.)

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