Geek Facts for August 3rd – TRS-80 and MessagePad

In 1977, Tandy Corporation announced the TRS-80 Model I microcomputer.

The TRS-80 was the first mass-produced desktop computer. It was based on the Z-80 8-bit microprocessor and featured 4KB RAM. a 12-inch video display, and a cassette-based data recorder. The computer uses the TRSDOS and CP/M operating systems. At $599.95, the “Trash-80” proved to be wildly more successful than Tandy had anticipated. Over ten thousand orders were taken within the first month of its introduction.

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In 1993
, Apple Computer released the Newton MessagePad.

The MessagePad ultimately proved to be unpopular due, primarily, to two factors. It required AAA batteries. Nickel Cadmium batteries lasted about four hours; alkaline about 14 hours. Also, its handwriting recognition software was considered too hard to adapt to for new users.

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About the Author

Judy Novotny

Judy is a computer veteran with 30 years of experience. She has owned everything from a TRS-80, Apple IIe and various Windows-based PCs. She is currently living in her Apple ecosystem at home consisting of an iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Apple TV, iPod nano and two Time Capsules. She is a fan of all things mobile since she got her first Palm Pilot in 1999. Check out her iPad app, Number Wizard, in the App Store. Follow her on Twitter @junovotech or at

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