The Tandy 1000 is a line of home computers designed by the Tandy Corporation to be 100% compatible with the IBM PCjr. It was first released in November 1984, less than a year after the PCjr and sold through Radio Shack. Initially, the system used nearly identical hardware to the PCjr, but where IBM dropped their PCjr line after only a few years, Tandy continued to upgrade the 1000 significantly, improving its on-board graphics and audio. The line lasted 9 years before finally being discontinued in 1993.
My uncle had a Tandy 1000 which my cousin and I used to teach ourselves BASIC and play a wide variety of games, especially the Sierra graphic adventures.
- Like the PCjr, the graphics and audio capabilities were quite impressive for a home PC that wasn't intended to be a dedicated gaming computer.
- Unlike the PCjr, Tandy continued to increase the quality of the hardware, ultimately making it superior even to the main IBM PC as well.
- The system had two built-in joystick ports.
- The keyboard had a "hold" button that would actually pause the computer pretty much anywhere.
- The manuals were very impressive, not just giving detailed explanations of the hardware and software, but also including a full programming guide for BASIC-A and assembly.
- In addition to the built-in audio speaker, audio could be outputted to an RCA jack (or 1/8" line-out in some models), allowing for easy amplification or recording.
- The designers unwisely altered one of the IRQs in a later model breaking audio and joystick backward compatibility with a lot of software.
In general, games were not made for the Tandy 1000 since it used an ever growing compatible CPU architecture. Instead, every game that would work on the Tandy 1000 was originally made for MS-DOS, and than made to be compatible with its graphics and audio hardware.