Introduction to System 80 (and TRS-80 Model 1) Software
There were a few programs commissioned by Dick Smith written specifically FOR the System 80. The included photo shows one. All avoided using the TRS-80 Model 1 arrow keys thereby negating the missing right-arrow key problem. As they are part of System 80 history, they are given special mention on this site. EACA also produced a few of their own demo programs. Most users however, fired their machines up with software developed for the TRS 80 Model 1, and a lot of good software there was! It's inappropriate (and impossible) to review them all on this site, so I've just written brief notes on just a few of the games and packages that were popular "down under" and that I grew to love. These are described in the Favourite Software sections.
All of these programs (plus a lot more) can be found in the Disk Image and Cassette Image Archives on this site. They can be run in downloadable emulators as instructed or even on the web. The latter is a site produced by Willus.com which links to some of the programs.
Before you check out the programs, it's worth placing these TRS 80/System 80 programs in context. Looking at them now they seem lame and primitive. The graphics are clunky, there is no colour and the user interface is often cryptic. Before being too dismissive though, consider that they were written for 1978-80 technology, where the contemporaries of the System 80 (and TRS 80 Model 1) were the Apple II computer and Commodore Pet. Typical memory to play with was 16-32 Kilobytes of RAM. By today's standards that is tiny! Also everything was done by the CPU (running at only 1.76 MHz). There were no custom graphics or sound chips. Set in that light, many programs are remarkable and a feat of coding excellence.