“Radio Shack’s TRS-80 Computer Is the Smartest Way to Write” (Jan, 1983)

“Radio Shack’s TRS-80 Computer Is the Smartest Way to Write”

Our word processing system changed Isaac Asimov’s mind about writing-and he’s a renowned science and science fiction author! But you don’t have to be an author to use a TRS-80. If you prepare memos, letters and reports-do what Isaac did. It will change your mind, too.

“I may never use a typewriter again!” Isaac likes the time he saves using SuperSCRIPSIT™ (26-1590, $199), our newest word processing program. “For example, I can assign frequently-used words and phrases to a user-defined key. So whenever I press that

key, the word or phrase is displayed instantly!”

“SuperSCRIPSIT gives me the advanced features I need, including true proportional spacing for even right and left margins, and automatic pagination.” For professional-looking letters, SuperSCRIPSIT supports underline, bold face, super and subscripts, and multiple column printing.

“A professional computer, too.”

Add VisiCalc® (26-1569, $199) for fast and accurate planning and forecasting. Or choose from a variety of other personal, management or entertainment programs, too.

“Surprisingly affordable!” This system includes the TRS-80 Model III computer with a built-in disk drive (26-1065), and the new DMP-200 dot-matrix printer (26-1254) that prints your documents correction-free at 520 words per minute and features a word processing mode for superb-looking correspondence. It has a graphics and data processing mode, too! With cable (26-1401), it all comes to just $2687! Try it out today at a Radio Shack Computer Center, store or participating dealer near

you-and be sure to ask to see our other TRS-80S, too.

Radio Shack
The biggest name in little computers


  1. Eli says: August 7, 20088:31 am

    I may be thinking of any number of other writers, but I’d been under the impression that Asimov stuck with a manual typewriter until the end.

  2. fluffy says: August 7, 20089:18 am

    The fact he was gushy about macros certainly explains a lot about the vast majority of his works.

  3. Charlie says: August 7, 200810:00 am

    fluffy: Well, he originally published the Three Laws of Macro Assemblers. Given the amount of spam in my inbox, nobody listened much. I suspect it will be the same with robots.

  4. james says: August 7, 200811:37 am

    Did Apple nicknamed this the “TRaSh-80”? Well, being capaple of runing VisiCalc don’t looks like “trash” to me…

  5. Charlie says: August 7, 200812:51 pm

    james: I don’t know if it was Apple, but that certainly has always been it’s nickname.

  6. Rick Auricchio says: August 7, 20087:35 pm

    I have less hair on my head than he does in those sideburns.

    Jeez, $2687 in 1983 dollars would be $5600 today.

  7. Fred Kiesche says: August 8, 20087:46 am

    Nope, Asimov used the TRS-80. He talked about it a couple of times in either one of the “Opus” books or a volume of his autobiography.

    Plus, after his death, there was a used and new SF bookstore in Greenwich Village that acquired the TRS-80 and his desk. They had it as a display in the window. You could buy it. I don’t recall the price tag, but it was beyond my price range!

  8. james says: August 8, 20084:49 pm

    I know the TRS wasn’t apple’s work, but i got undertod apple coined the nickname in the appleII times.

  9. Torgo says: August 8, 20087:17 pm

    “And let me personally assure you, these computers are not in the least bit nerdy.”

    I think even fans of the computers at the time called them “Trash 80s.”

  10. Stacia says: August 9, 20082:02 pm

    They were indeed called “Trash 80s” back in the 80s. A friend of mine in high school had one which he called a Trash 80 — because he’d upgraded to a Commodore 64. My husband still has his TRS-80 and it works great. For various values of “great”. I think it has 4 whole colors.

  11. Bartholomew Opinionsworth says: August 13, 20083:48 pm

    Every product has a derogatory nickname which is usually a play on its existing name. Such a play-on-words nickname is not rare or unique. At the same time in history, the Apple was referred to as the “Lemon”, as it had its own share of problems.

    TRaSh-80 came about generally due to the initial quality of the interconnect cable between the Model I and its expansion interface. The signal would disrupt and the computer would freeze. This was fixed by a buffered cable.

  12. fluffy says: August 13, 20084:14 pm

    I just called it TRaSh-80 because, as a Commie-64 user, it seemed like the obvious thing to do.

  13. Stan Xhiao says: October 17, 20082:04 pm

    I worked at Radio Shack headquarters and we called them Trash 80s, too. Just not when Management was around.

  14. Tracy B. says: October 31, 200811:46 am

    In the mid 70’s to early 80’s I had sideburns just as thick as Isaac’s. Unfortunately in mid ’82 I had surgery which eliminated the side burn on one side……..

  15. Tim says: March 25, 20098:45 pm

    James Randi, who knew Asimov personally, said he always used a typewriter. Asimov probably had a TRS-80 around the house primarily because he was the spokesman for it.

  16. Nikolay Mihaylov says: July 28, 20101:30 pm

    As long as I know Asimov is one of the first who wrote on computer. Not sure if he used this particular one.

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