Radio Shack Pocket Computer
Introduced:July 1980
Weight:170g / 6.0 oz.
Price:US $230
CPU:SC43177, SC43178
Ports:Expansion connector
Display:24 X 1 text LCD
Storage:* Cassette storage
Options:* Printer, Tape I/O
* Requires Expansion Interface

This new TRS-80 Computer is another "first" from the company which brought you the best-selling, world renowned TRS-80. A truly pocket-sized Computer (not a programmable calculator). Of course it is an ultra-powerful calculator too... And it "speaks" BASIC - - the most common computer language, and the easiest to learn. You'll soon be impressed by the phenomenal computing power of this hand-held TRS-80 - - ideal for mathematics, engineering and business application.

The $49.00 Cassette Interface is a requirement for the serious Pocket Computer enthusiast, otherwise there's no way to permanently save your data. Power is provided by 3 internal "AA" batteries or by an external power adapter.

For those who prefer hardcopy, the $149.00 Printer/Cassette Interface is superb. It is a miniature dot-matrix printer (not a thermal printer) as well as a Cassette Interface for data storage/retrieval.

Built-in rechargeable Ni-Cd batteries supplies power when the external power adapter is not being utilized. Unfortunately, the printer prints 16 characters-per-line, while the PC-1 display is 24 characters wide.

The TRS-80 PC-1 is the first-ever BASIC-programmable pocket-sized computer! It's actually the Sharp PC-1211, sold by Radio Shack in the US.

It takes deep-pockets to hold the PC-1, but not to buy one. Costing only $230, it was very portable and useful.

A couple of years later, in 1982, Radio Shack released the PC-2. It offers many improvements over the PC-1, but look - it's huge by comparison!

Larger and heavier (400g vs. 170g), it offers a more powerful BASIC and up to 8K RAM when using the RAM/ROM module slot on the back.

"Click" on the PC-2 for more information.

In 1983, the PC-3 appeared at your local Radio Shack store. Ah, now that's a pocket-sized computer!

A new record in computer miniaturization, it is very slim and light, only 105g, or 3.8 oz.

"Click" on the PC-3 for more information.

Related Links

  • TRS-80 Hardware Manual Download Page

  • History of the Radio Shack Computers

    • 1921: - Radio Shack begins as a one-store retail and mail-order company catering to ham operators and electronics buffs.
    • 1963: - Charles Tandy buys the chain of stores, and within two years turned a $4 million dollar loss into a $20 million dollar profit.
    • 1977: August - Radio Shack announces the TRS-80 Model I microcomputer.
    • 1977: September - One month after launching the TRS-80, 10,000 are sold.
    • 1979: May - Tandy/Radio Shack announces the TRS-80 Model II.
    • 1979: October - Radio Shack begins shipping the TRS-80 Model II to users.
    • 1980: July - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model III, priced from US$700 to US$2500.
    • 1980: July - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Color Computer, and sells for US$400.
    • 1980: July - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer. Price is US$230.
    • 1981: January - Radio Shack ceases production of the TRS-80 Model I, and recalls units from the US market, due to failure to meet new FCC radio-frequency interference regulations.
    • 1982: January - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 16, with 8-inch floppy drives, and optional 8-MB hard drive.
    • 1982: January - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer, Model PC-2, for US$280.
    • 1983: March - Radio Shack announces its TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer. Price is US$799 for 8KB version, to US$1134 for the 32KB version.
    • 1983: May - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 4, for US$2000.
    • 1983: October - Tandy/Radio Shack announces the "transportable" TRS-80 Model 4P, for US$1800.
    • 1983: Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer, Model PC-4, replacing the PC-1, for US$70.
    • 1983: Tandy releases the TRS-80 Model 2000, which uses the Intel 80186 microprocessor.
    • 1983: Radio Shack unveils the TRS-80 Model 12 at the CP/M '83 Show. Price is US$3200.
    • 1985: March - Radio Shack introduces the Tandy 6000 multiuser system. It features Z80A and 68000 processors, 512 KB RAM, 80x24 text, graphics, 1.2-MB 8-inch disk, optional 15 MB hard drive, TRS-DOS, or XENIX 3.0. It supports up to 9 users.
      Source: Chronology of Events in the History of Microcomputers

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