Talk here of the old Radio Shack TRS-80 computers that reporters lugged around in the 1980s elicited some memories from LAO readers. "Loved that Cranston campaign piece, but I must set the record straight -- the Model 100 was no ordinary TRS-80," emails Scott McAuley of Angel City Press.
See the catalog page here -- aside from being in the TRS-80 product family, the Model 100 was not at all like the boxy CRT-based mainstream "Trash-80" desktop computers. It was made by Kyocera, and integrated -- with built-in modem, RAM-based programs for word processing, address book and terminal emulation for connection to databases and e-mail. It was the size and weight (4 lb), of a dictionary and quite rugged. Cost $1400 for the good model.
"So small it will fit in your in-basket," the catalog crowed. Ken Gurnick writes from Arizona, where he covers the Dodgers for MLB.com: "Still got mine from the Her-Ex days. Last time i tried it, it even worked."
* Add TRS-80: "I just visited the Newseum in D.C. and they were prominently featured in one of their exhibits," emails David Gershwin, VP at Cerrell Associates. And from Dave Lesher: "When the Times got rid of theirs, they gave them away to reporters and I have about 5 of them in my garage."
Joys of 300-baud modems: Sam Farmer, the L.A. Times' NFL specialist, emails: "A trasher was a marvelous piece of machinery, capable of sending your high school football story over a payphone line, provided you could pry loose the receiver from the eighth-grade kid hogging it for the past 15 minutes. Then, you'd attach your couplers and away we g...($*@...!@#!$@#!$$%@#%...!@#!@#!@@$!@$!@$#!@...)