Historic Photos: A colour computer and women in 1980s computing!

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The TRS-80 Color Computer was launched by Tandy Radio Shack in 1981. There are very few colour photos of computers of that era, and this one was originally used in a Radio Shack catalogue.

Primarily a domestic games machine, in this photo the computer appears to be in use in a US lawyer’s office -- this was no doubt a flight of fancy from the marketing department.

The computer cost $399 (about $1000 in today’s money) and used a domestic colour TV as a monitor which could display 16 lines of 32 characters. The machine used a Motorola 6809E 8-bit microprocessor and came with 4K bytes of memory; the 16K version cost half as much again.

The role and face of the woman in the photograph perhaps tells us something about why women were not rushing to the fore of computing in the 1980s! Thankfully things are changing.

Identifier: CW-TANDY-001

See Historic Photo February 2019: British Rail Computerised ticketing

See also Book of the Month for February 2019 Programming Program for BESM

Each month TNMOC curators highlight an image from the Computer Weekly photo collection held at the museum. The collection contains about 10,000 images of computer scenes and equipment. A selection of images and a link to the catalogue is on the TNMOC Flickr account.

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