Priming the Pump: How TRS-80 Enthusiasts Helped Spark the PC Revolution
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
Although people persist in crediting Apple or IBM with inventing personal computing, the idea was in the ether much earlier. In the early 1970s, electronic hobbyists began tinkering with the new microchips which spawned a modest business in mail-order computer kits. Hand-built, these computers required patience, skill, and a burning desire to learn arcane programming techniques.
The introduction of the TRS-80 Model I in August 1977 changed this. It was the first completely assembled, off-the-shelf microcomputer, available to anyone for $599.95 through 3500 Radio Shack stores nationwide.
David Welsh, one of those hobbyists-turned-programmers, created a word processor for TRS-80 which was sold worldwide to enthusiastic fans who were eager to throw away their typewriters. David and his wife Theresa were part of the leading edge of the software business, joining hundreds of other small entrepreneurs selling software out of garages, basements and whatever space they could rent cheap.
David and Theresa wrote this book because no one else had told the story of these years. They interviewed legendary pioneers who told amazing tales as well as forgotten pioneers whose work paved the way for today's computer-saturated society. This book, with over 100 illustrations, is their stories and the story of the computer revolution of the late Twentieth Century.
This amazing book allowed me to remember the joy of the early days of personal computing. I never owned a Radio Shack computer but that doesn’t matter when reading this historical reference.
Thanks to the authors for all the hard work putting this together.