My Tandy Model 102: Ancient Simplicity
Appropriate use. Just solve the problem. The right tool for the right job.
My little Tandy 102 is one of my favorite pieces of electronics. It is an exemplification of the principles that I use to define a good thing: It's simple. It has what it needs. It works for the the user. It transcends its ego.
The M102 was the second generation of the very first laptop computers ever made. It has a 40 x 8 charcters LCD screen, a full size keyboard, built-in BASIC, text editor, and terminal program, RS-232 port, built-in 300 baud modem, a full size keyboard and runs off of 4 AA batteries for 20 hours. (There are more features but those are the parts that are important to me.)
It's the perfect writing machine. With its 16 kilobytes of memory it doesn't hold much, but it's a wonderful alternative to a bulky modern laptop or a keyboard-less palmtop. I've used mine for keeping notes, journals and receipts while traveling and for writing while in the park and on the bus. I stand in awe at its reliability, ease-of-use, and its instant boot-up.
Connecting a Model 102 to a Mac
The process is reasonably straight forward, but it's nice to have some step-by-step instructions. Here are the ones I use.
The Dark Side
Yes, there is a dark side to the M102. Like Luke Skywalker it has an unsavory heritage.
There is an amazing community of "Model T" supporters on the net. Some of the best links are listed below.
All links will open in a new window. (Last reviewed 2004)
- Club 100
- Web 100 (Good Mirror)
- Ira Goldklang's TRS-80 Model 100 Page
- Links from a site that deals with the M100/102/200's cousins
- Interesting list of links found on USENET
- The Machine Room
- The Club 100 Listserv
- The Club 100 Listserv Archive
Dead (?) links:
Specs, Specs, Specs More Specs, Specs, Specs Techno's M100 page