The Tandy 1000 is a line of home computers designed by the Tandy Corporation to be 100% compatible with the IBM PCjr. It was first released in November 1984, less than a year after the PCjr and sold through Radio Shack with a very competitive price tag. Initially, the system used nearly identical hardware to the PCjr, but where IBM dropped their PCjr line after only a few years, Tandy continued to upgrade the 1000 significantly, improving its on-board graphics and audio. The line lasted 9 years before finally being discontinued in 1993. Because the Tandy 1000 line was based on PCjr, it used the same Intel 8088 CPU, and later upgraded models used the 80286, and 80386.
My uncle had a Tandy 1000 which my cousin and I used to teach ourselves BASIC using the GW-BASIC dialect that came with it. We also played a wide variety of games, especially the Sierra On-Line graphic adventures.
- Like the PCjr, the graphics and audio capabilities were quite impressive for a home PC that wasn't intended to be a dedicated gaming computer.
- Unlike the PCjr, Tandy continued to increase the quality of the hardware, ultimately making it superior even to the IBM AT/XT models as well.
- The system had a lot of built-in hardware on the main board including RGB and composite video output, a serial port, a printer port, and two joystick ports.
- The keyboard had a "hold" button that would actually pause the computer pretty much anywhere.
- The manuals were very impressive, not just giving detailed explanations of the hardware and software, but also including a full programming guide for GW-BASIC and even assembly!
- Audio included the typical PC speaker as well as the Tandy 3 Voice audio, and the PC had a built-in speaker as well as a line-out jack allowing for easy amplification or recording.
- The designers unwisely altered one of the IRQs in a later model breaking audio and joystick backward compatibility with a lot of software.
In general, games were not made for the Tandy 1000 since it used an ever growing compatible CPU architecture. Instead, every game that would work on the Tandy 1000 was originally made for MS-DOS, and then made to be compatible with the Tandy's graphics and audio hardware.
- youtube.com/watch?v=mYHtojsaRkY - The 8-Bit Guy, review.
- oldskool.org/guides/tvdog/documents.html - Additional documentation.