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After several days of gunning down waves of aliens, we both suffered from blurred eye sight, blistered fingers, lack of sleep, and video game burn out. A couple weeks after Christmas, I came across an ad in the New York Daily News for a new Radio Shack computer which, like the Intellevision, had game cartridge capabilities, an important feature because, if I didn't like computing, I could always go back to cleaning up the galaxy. Every attempt was made to ensure an accurate account of the Color Computer's evolution.
For the refund price of the Intellevision (sorry Pam) plus another 0, I had enough money to purchase the new TRS-80 Color Computer. Extensive use of various computer magazine articles and ads were used as the basis for "dating" events.
Radio Shack explained, in the December issue of its TRS-80 MICROCOMPUTER NEWS that, when the machines were ready to ship, the manuals weren't but, rather than keep the Color Computer from us, they sent what was available. It was probably more a case of not wanting to lose out on Christmas sales that prompted the decision to ship with incomplete documentation.
With the only available information found between the covers of the unfinished "Getting Started with COLOR BASIC" manual, for the small and hearty band of early Color Computer owners, the first year was like being in the Dark Ages.
Although it's unclear if the VDG came about because of project "Green Thumb" or Tandy's search for the "low-cost" home computer, in 1978, when it is married to the MC6808 CPU, the Color Computer is born.
The "prehistoric" Color Computer, however, contains too many chips to make it affordable for Tandy's anticipated target market.
Keep in mind, however, that sometimes ads can precede product availability by as much as a month or more.The place to look for information was either from your local Radio Shack store (probably the person who sold you the computer) or from Tandy's customer service.Salespeople, unless they are also "computer people", could offer little if any information.Motorola solves this problem in late 1978 by replacing the network of chips which makes up the memory management circuits with its newly developed MC6883 Synchronous Address Multiplexer (SAM) chip.In December of 1979, about a year after production began on the MC6809 microprocessor, reports circulated that it would be Microsoft, and not Motorola, that will write the Basic interpreter for the new TRS-90.
In 1977, a year after starting talks with Motorola about the possibility of designing a low-cost home computer that could be hooked up to a regular TV set, Tandy is invited to participate in an agricultural experiment.