TRS-80 strings. (TRS-80 Model 4P, manual on Basic, and new computer programs) (column) Stephen B. Gray Gray.
For the fifth anniversary of this column (which means 60 times 4200-plus words, or a total of more than 2.5 million words), we examine the TRS-80 Model 4P Transportable computer, a book on how to write faster TRS-80 Basic, Color Scripsit for word processing, and the Quikpro + Plus 2 automatic program-writer, request information about a graphics course, and look at a short program that provides a fascinating power-up greeting. TRS-80 Model 4P
Take the disk drives out of a TRS-80 Model 4, squeeze them thin, turn them 90 degrees, and put them back at the right of the screen. Move the power switch, reset button, and screen controls to the left of the screen.
Then saw off the Model 4 keyboard, squeeze it thin, and round off the edges. Put a case (with a handle at the far end) around the screen and drives, and leave room below the screen to store the keyboard. Add a latch-on cover.
Now you have (Figure 1) the new TRS-80 Model 4P, the first item in the RSC-10 catalog that came out last year. The 4P weighs 26 pounds, two pounds heavier than the late Osborne I, or about as much as seven Model 100 Micro Executive Workstations. That is why Radio Shack calls the 4P "transportable," and "a completely portable version of our Model 4 computer," rather than a portable computer.
The 4P, at $1799 for the minimum 64K version, is $155 more than the 64K Model 4 with two disks. The Model 4P modem board is $149.95.
The main selling point of the Osborne I was that the $1795 price included CP/M, WordStart, MailMerge, SuperCalc, CBasic, and MBasic. With the 4P you get Microsoft Disk Basic and the TRSDOS 6.0 operating system.
However, it is just possible that Radio Shack may eventually decide to go after the transportable market in a big way, and offer the 4P "bundled," with a stack of software, perhaps for even less than the current $1799. As one Computer Center salesman said, "At some time in the future, we could look to see who is left standing, and cut them off at the knees."
But don't let these conjectures make you put off buying a 4P, which may well never be offered bundled.