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Old 24-09-2018, 06:42 PM   #2
Super Freak

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lerida, Spain
Posts: 153

The Tandy 1000.

The Tandy 1000 was an economic PC clone developed by Tandy Corporation and sold in their Radio Shack stores. It's hardly known outside the United States.

The first models were presented in november 1984. Since they were built around the IBM PCjr architecture and that computer was a flop, Tandy soon dropped any mention to the IBM PCjr. in their advertising. Early Tandy 1000 computers kept using the same components (CPU 8088 @ 4.77 MHZ, a CGA graphics adapter with some extra 16 color modes and a three-channel PC speaker) while newer models added a sound DAC, 80286 and 80386 CPUs and even VGA and SVGA graphic cards.

Many games from the era claim to be "Tandy compatible" or include mentions to "TGA Graphics".

The Tandy 1000 computers usually shipped with a customized version of DOS and Tandy Deskmate, a program environment. In many models the OS runs from ROM rather than from disk.

Tandy Deskmate v3.05.

In a way, the Tandy 1000 were what the PCjr should have been. They ignored the cartridge ports, added more RAM and made the computers easier to expand. Between this, the ubiquity of the Radio Shack stores and a prize of $1.200 (higher than the IBM PCjr, but lower than the rest of PC compatibles) the Tandy 1000 line of computers was successful until 1990, when the game developers started moving towards VGA graphics.

The last Tandy 1000 models were discontinued in 1993.

Tandy 1000 legacy and emulation.

Unlike the PCjr, there isn't much Tandy-specific software. Also consider that games designed for the PCjr won't necessarily run on a Tandy 1000. They are, after all, different systems.

On the other hand, given the popularity of the system many games before 1990 offer some kind of support for the Tandy 1000 or claim to be "Tandy compatible".

The lower spectrum of these games are those which, upon detecting a Tandy computer, will run in 16 color mode mode and little else. This is the case of "Secret of Monkey Island" or "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". These games were launched in 1989-90 in separate 16 and 256 color versions. Tandy 1000 users had to use the 16 color version.

"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" shows the same graphics under EGA and Tandy 1000 computers.

Other games will play better sound if a Tandy 1000 is detected. Better sound than a plain PC speaker, that is. That's the case of "Arkanoid" or many early Sierra Online games, such as "King's Quest" I to III, the first "Leisure Suit Larry" and the first two "Space Quest" games. All these make good use of the three channel PC speaker.

And finally, there are a few games with that acknowledge Tandy 1000 users with extras such as 16 color graphics (as opposed to plain CGA), different palettes and extra sounds.

A few of these are "Arcticfox", "Shangai" (which show 16 color graphics for Tandy users only), "Falcon" (which had an specific Tandy version), and "Outrun" (extra voices).

"Shanghai" and "Arctifox" running under CGA and Tandy modes.

As for emulation options, DOSBox is easily the best one. Use the setting machine=tandy and you are all set. Even the Tandy DAC of later models is emulated.

PCem also offer good Tandy emulation, but in this case you are limited to the models with 8088 and 8086 CPUs.


MobyGames list of PCjr cartridge games.

MobyGames list of games with PCjr / Tandy graphics support.

MobyGames list of games with PCjr / Tandy sound support.

MobyGames list of games with Tandy DAC sound support.

VOGONS thread about games with PCjr / Tandy support.

Nerdy Pleasures: IBM PCjr and Tandy 1000 games.

Last edited by Neville; 16-10-2018 at 03:11 PM.
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