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Thread: Tandy 5000 - Radio Shack Product Announcement - April 21, 1988

  1. #11

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    Enjoyed the video.
    Were those drives really that fast to justify $1,500 for 40 meg?
    I had an SL in '89 and I think I paid around $230 for an aftermarket 32 meg hard-card. Then again, I remember it wasn't much more than what RS was charging for their 2nd floppy drive.

    I'm not really into collecting PCs but I do have a pair of IBM P70s (luggable with gas plasma display) that I think are a bit older than the 5000 and I'm guessing they'd give the 5000 a run for the money...386-20, i387, 8 mb, 120 mb HD, VGA, 32 and 16 MC slots, etc.
    That's booting in stock mode. Both are equipped with Kingston AOS 486 upgrade kits, 64mb of memory with one system running at 75 mhz and the other at 133 mhz. I believe the copyright at boot up is 1989 which is the same year the 5000 was released. I'd like to find more info on the AOS boards, jamming that much performance on an MC card is impressive and I bet they had a price tag to match.

  2. #12
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    $1,500 does not seem to out of line if that includes the high performance controller card plus hard drive.

    The 5000MC suffered a lot from being late. Had it shipped as originally planned (i.e. well before the Model 70), it would have looked like a better value. Tandy never kept track of the competition and failed to adjust prices and product mix accordingly.

  3. #13

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    I saw this thread and I remember seeing the video awhile back. Micro Channel was doomed from day one. The licensing agreement that IBM wanted to impose on other computer companies that did not have an existing licensing agreement was draconian. You had to pay IBM a 5% royalty for every computer you made since you started producing PCs. Can you imagine what this would have cost a company like Compaq? It was no wonder EISA came out as a result. Interestingly Tandy was part of that group of 9 companies that developed that standard, but they did have an existing license agreement with IBM, so no royalties were imposed on them. It's no wonder IBM completely got out of the PC business in 2004.

  4. #14
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    quite a few problems with the machine... it was quite fast and reliable if you didn’t mess with it. the customer-proof microchannel connectors allowed too much connector slop allowing cards to be inserted off alignment—usually caused catastrophic short circuits requiring a mlb exchange. there were very few microchannel cards available at the time. we ran a couple in technical support and they did fine except for the one we smoked learning about the connector slop. but as others here noted the industry didn’t go down the microchannel road.

    i think the design was good, but i don’t think the industry had evolved to the point where it could provide connectors with the tolerances required for the microchannel—at least at consumer product level and pricing. the t5000 units we had were very fast for the time. this was also a time when the industry was evolving at warp speed. it was difficult to read the tea leaves about where to go in the future—which was coming very quickly.

    the proprietary subway bus mentioned in the video referred to the subway system that ran from the towers out to several remote parking lots. a bit of an inside joke on the vid. logged a lot of hours on that subway until i scored a parking pass for the atrium..

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torch View Post
    Enjoyed the video.
    Were those drives really that fast to justify $1,500 for 40 meg?
    I had an SL in '89 and I think I paid around $230 for an aftermarket 32 meg hard-card. Then again, I remember it wasn't much more than what RS was charging for their 2nd floppy drive.

    I'm not really into collecting PCs but I do have a pair of IBM P70s (luggable with gas plasma display) that I think are a bit older than the 5000 and I'm guessing they'd give the 5000 a run for the money...386-20, i387, 8 mb, 120 mb HD, VGA, 32 and 16 MC slots, etc.
    That's booting in stock mode. Both are equipped with Kingston AOS 486 upgrade kits, 64mb of memory with one system running at 75 mhz and the other at 133 mhz. I believe the copyright at boot up is 1989 which is the same year the 5000 was released. I'd like to find more info on the AOS boards, jamming that much performance on an MC card is impressive and I bet they had a price tag to match.
    Louis (ardent-blue) keeps our repository of knowledge and support files and documents on his site:
    http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/

    Scroll down to the Tandy 5000MC section, or go direct here:
    http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/tandy/Tandy_5000mc.html

    Regarding the Aox MicroMaster/Kingston MCMaster CPU + memory upgrade adapters, go here:
    http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/CPU/cpu_index.html
    I've been responsible for detailed testing and analysis of both types, although I've killed a couple in the process.
    Last edited by WBST; January 17th, 2020 at 09:09 AM.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Towmater View Post
    I felt, at least in California, that the race was two-way between CD-i and 3DO. I recall only ever seeing a Commodore CD console once, in an airport store display window, and being curious, found the store didn't even have units for sale, they just didn't want to to bother changing the window display. I seriously considered a CD-i, but when I saw the store demos - one of a golf game that repeated "You want it on the green, but not just any green" about five times in a row - and one of the Top Gun movie playing, where the ocean rescue consisted of huge checkerboards where the system couldn't handle moving water detail, I quickly decided the $750 3DO was the system of the future. Still have it.
    The CD-i predates the 3DO by a few years. CDTV was released about the same timeframe. I've never actually seen a CDTV in person.

    CD-i was never a huge success anyway.

  7. #17
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    I actually do have a prototype upgrade CPU complex for the T5KMC. It came from a seller in Denton, TX which is at least geographically correct. It is clocked at 25 MHz which is a good step up from a stock 5K. However it is non-functional in my two 5K systems. Some day I'll get around to debugging it.
    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffm3 View Post
    The CD-i predates the 3DO by a few years. CDTV was released about the same timeframe. I've never actually seen a CDTV in person.

    CD-i was never a huge success anyway.
    CD-I did come out first but the major releases of games for both were in the 93-95 timeframe which was also when most of the advertising occurred.

    3DO was the winner in sales volume reaching 2 million units sold compared to about 600,000 CD-I from all manufacturers and about 60,000 CDTV mostly in Europe.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by WBST View Post
    Louis (ardent-blue) keeps our repository of knowledge and support files and documents on his site:
    http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/

    Scroll down to the Tandy 5000MC section, or go direct here:
    http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/tandy/Tandy_5000mc.html

    Regarding the Aox MicroMaster/Kingston MCMaster CPU + memory upgrade adapters, go here:
    http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/CPU/cpu_index.html
    I've been responsible for detailed testing and analysis of both types, although I've killed a couple in the process.
    Thanks for the link on those AOX boards. I've not been able to find much information on them. Do you know of any VCF threads discussing them (don't want to hijack this one)?

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