model 4

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Bill Loguidice's picture

The MSX Lode Runner TRS-80 Model 4/4P Bootleg Project

Mark McDougall, of The Space Invaders TRS-80 'Bootleg' Project fame, has taken another big leap with a port of the MSX version of Lode Runner to the TRS-80 Model 4/4P equipped with a MicroLabs/RadioShack hires graphics board. While it would be cooler without the need for a hardware add-on that few collectors have (I sure don't), it's still a great technical accomplishment and a very interesting story. Be sure to check out this awesome bitmap image of all the levels in the game! (Thanks to Matthew Reed for bringing this project to my attention.)

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Bill's Quick Video Look at the Official Frogger and Zaxxon for the TRS-80

As requested, here's Chatty Cathy's (aka, Bill Loguidice's) casual, single take look at the official TRS-80 versions of Frogger and Zaxxon, shown on a 128K TRS-80 Model 4 with a black and white monitor. Of course I talked too long yet again, so yet again it won't fit on Youtube.

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Casual Photos: Boxed Dragon and TRS-80 Software

As a sequel of sorts, I have more casual iPhone photos of boxed Dragon (Tano Dragon, Dragon 32/64) software, as well as TRS-80 software, including an improbable official conversion of Sega's classic Zaxxon arcade game. See below:

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Looking at the TRS-80 Model x Series - Part 4 (Familiarization)

(Part 3 here) Welcome to Part 4. I've still been busy with the book and related stuff (Gamasutra bonus chapters, bonus images, documentary), as well as the usual family thing and a lingering illness (a four week "cold" that my wife and I are still suffering with), so I really haven't had the time or energy to get downstairs much to mess with the TRS-80 collection again until last night. Needless to say, even though I only spent about an hour down there, it was very educational. I hope to be able to devote a small block of time each night to making progress and formally blogging with images and/or video when there's something particularly interesting happening.

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Looking at the TRS-80 Model x Series - Part 3 (Temporary Working Location)

(Part 2 here) Welcome to Part 3. Instead of doing text and photos here in Part 3 of this TRS-80 slog, I thought I would just shoot a quick (unedited) video tour of the stuff that I moved into the office, which gives a better view of the entirety of that particular part of my collection and what I'll be going through in various forms starting with Part 4. For those that care, I captured this with my Canon PowerShot SD790 IS Digital Elpha camera in its movie mode, which does 640x480, 30FPS, AVI format. Quick and dirty, but a very large file for such a short video (in fact 464.3MB), so it's not really practical for longer format work without conversion, particularly since YouTube only allows maximum 1GB single video files regardless of whether it's HD or SD, like this is. In fact, YouTube again thwarted my attempts to use it (multiple hung uploads), so I went to, which seems to work better with larger uploads, though it degraded the quality considerably. So much for "quick"...

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Looking at the TRS-80 Model x Series - Part 2 (Present Location)

(Part 1 here) Welcome to Part 2. In the interest of keeping these things short and manageable, I'll start with photos of the present location of my TRS-80 Model x series stuff before I move it into the office for easier access and further detail - which will be Part 3 - so I can start doing interesting things with it all (which will be future parts after 3). Let's begin...

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Looking at the TRS-80 Model x Series - Part 1 (The Ground Rules)

In the interest of continuing to organize my all eras videogame and computer collection of 300+ systems and countless software, accessories, add-ons and literature, and learning about them all on the most fundamental level possible, as time permits I am hoping to pull out my complete collection of an individual platform and do all kinds of things with it, including cataloging, photography, videography and most-of-all, using, particularly when it comes to games. I still haven't worked out all the details or how much detail I'll actually go into, but I'm envisioning a series of blog posts as frequently as my time and energy allows. I'm going to pull the bulk of a particular collection off the shelves and into my office, and leave it in there until every item is cataloged and used, where possible. I was going to start small, but in this case I'll be starting big, first with my TRS-80 Model x collection, which represents the TRS-80 Model I, III, 4 and 4p (the II was an unrelated business-centric system that used high capacity 8" disks), of which I own a Model I, 4 and 4p, and just the mostly empty shell of a III. It's a big task, but a helpful one for me and I hope a fun one to read/hear/watch.

Since I'll be using the real hardware, I would LOVE IT if someone were interested in going at it from an emulation standpoint. There are some fine emulators and plenty of available ROMs. It's not the most attractive of systems from an audio-visual standpoint, but it does have some nifty stuff and it was among the "holy trinity" of original "true" personal computers along with the Apple II and Commodore PET.

In the mean-time, here are some helpful links to learn more about the TRS-80 series of computers:

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The Space Invaders TRS-80 'Bootleg' Project

This looks a bit old, but this person apparently successfully ported the real Space Invaders arcade game to a TRS-80 Model 4/4P with hi-res board (the board being the x-factor here and something few of us with TRS-80 collections have (I don't)).

Pretty extraordinary stuff and as the author says, probably the first of its kind ever attempted. As we know, someone did something similar on the far more capable (though no less impressive of a technical achievement) TRS-80 Color Computer 3 with arcade Donkey Kong.

Keep in mind that the Model 4 came out in 1983, based off of a platform first released in 1977, and the Color Computer 3 came out in 1987, based off of a platform first released in 1980!

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