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Thread: Tandy Computers "Software Special"

  1. #1

    Default Tandy Computers "Software Special"

    We've discussed the Tandy 10 and the Tandy 150 recently. There was one other significant computer system that was sold by Tandy Computers. Now, this is the early Tandy Computers division, which started before the TRS-80 was introduced. This was the division that released the first (and only) Tandy Computers Catalog in 1978. The primary store was the Tandy Computers Store in Tandy Center in Fort Worth, TX. They sold all the different brands of microcomputers and kits available at the time, from Altairs to IMSAIs to XITANs, including the TRS-80 Model I. In many ways, they were modeled after other computer shops at the time, like Byte Shop. This was Don French's experiment done with the blessing of Charles Tandy to find out what worked and what didn't when it came to selling computers.

    However, in addition to selling microcomputer kits and systems, they also sold assembled turnkey systems, such as the Tandy 10, Tandy 150 and the "Software Special" or SWS.



    The SWS was assembled in Fort Worth from various components sold by Tandy Computers. It consisted of a desk, terminal, S-100 Z80 based computer running CP/M with dual 8" floppy drives and optional Centronics printer. The wholesale cost was around $5000. It was exported to Australia primarily where it was resold by the Small Business Computer Company. Eventually, along with the Tandy 10 and Tandy 150, the SWS was killed, even though it was a successful seller with plenty of potential, as the company pivoted towards the Radio Shack brand and the TRS-80 line of computers once Charles Tandy passed away, Jon Shirley took control and the TRS-80 Model II was ready.

    SWS Australia Newspaper AD.jpg

    If you're interested in hearing more, look out for the next TRS-80 Trash Talk podcast episode where we'll be discussing this early period in the history of Tandy Radio Shack computing, including a fascinating interview with a former Tandy employee and pivotal player at Tandy Computers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Lincolnshire U.K.
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    Default

    Hi Pete
    Is it OK to print a copy of the 1978 advert in the Dec18 edition of TRS8BIT? I've never seen that ad. before and I don't think the SWS was available in the UK.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustym View Post
    Hi Pete
    Is it OK to print a copy of the 1978 advert in the Dec18 edition of TRS8BIT? I've never seen that ad. before and I don't think the SWS was available in the UK.
    Please do share it with the community, Dusty!

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pski View Post
    We've discussed the Tandy 10 and the Tandy 150 recently. There was one other significant computer system that was sold by Tandy Computers. Now, this is the early Tandy Computers division, which started before the TRS-80 was introduced. This was the division that released the first (and only) Tandy Computers CatalogWriteMyEssayin 1978. The primary store was the Tandy Computers Store in Tandy Center in Fort Worth, TX. They sold all the different brands of microcomputers and kits available at the time, from Altairs to IMSAIs to XITANs, including the TRS-80 Model I. In many ways, they were modeled after other computer shops at the time, like Byte Shop. This was Don French's experiment done with the blessing of Charles Tandy to find out what worked and what didn't when it came to selling computers.
    The Tandy was my very first computer. I spent hours of fun on it. back when you had to turn the little switch from TV to computer on channel 3 back then. I wish Ii held onto it now, it''sd be fun to mess around again on it.

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