• Tag Archives Radio Shack
  • K-Power (November/December 1984)


    Source: K-Power – Issue Number 8 – November/December 1984

    In the early 1980s, there were several computer magazines oriented towards kids. Most of them didn’t really last very long. K-Power, despite incorporating another short-lived kids computer magazine, didn’t survive much longer than a year. The November/December 1984 issue includes:

    Features

    • Space: The Fun Frontier – A look at computer games for Trekkies!
    • Let Your Computer Organize Your Hobby! – Need help sorting out your collection? Here it is! Plus, a look at hobby software. And a program to help you organize your hobby!
    • Computer To Go – K-POWER’s guide to buying a portable computer. And a chart of portables you might go for.

    Departments

    • Editor’s Note – How to make your computer part of the holidays.
    • Logon – Pen pal information, reader requests, and a coconut!
    • Compuzine – The lowdown on new computer TV shows. Plus, an exclusive repot from a computer trade show, Silicon Alley, and Scrolling Dough.
    • Dr. Kursor’s Klinic – The Dvorak keyboard, and big news for Timex owners.
    • K-Net – How to battle on-line frustration.
    • Screening Room – Reviews of Amazon, Cell Defense, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein, Jack Attack, and Castles of Dr. Creep.
    • Strategy – Zork hints! And, how to survive fantasy/role playing games.
    • Classified
    • Contest – What’s the use of computers?

    Hacker Heaven

    • Programs – Palindrome Construction Kit, Music Gizmo, Amazing Drumulator, and Melodies from Mars. Plus, the winners of the Word Twister Contest.
    • Pixel That! – Take off with the E-Z Flight Simulator.
    • Compucopia – Encoder/Decoder Contest winners.
    • Microtones – Musical Stings – mini-routines that play tunes! For the Apple, ADAM, CoCo, and more.


  • Dungeons of Daggorath (TRS-80 Color Computer)

    Dungeons of Daggorath (TRS-80 Color Computer)

    http://darth-azrael.tumblr.com/post/177285712699/dungeons-of-daggorath-trs-80-color-computer

    While many games released for the TRS-80 Color Computer were mediocre and derivative, if not direct rip-offs of more popular games, Dungeons of Daggorath is an exception. This early role-playing game was among the first to offer a real-time, first-person point of view. This game has made an impact on popular culture including appearances in “Ready Player One” (the book…apparently it didn’t make it into the movie) and as album cover artwork.

    Dungeons of Daggorath was quite sophisticated for its time (released in 1982), featuring a number of complex mazes to navigate, various weapons and items to use and a variety of monsters. Instead of numbered stats, the game featured a heartbeat that got faster the more at risk the player was. The game was played by typing in simple commands (turn, move, attack, etc.) The goal is to ultimately defeat the wizard at the end of the last level of the dungeon (level 5).

    Dungeons of Daggorath was one of the best selling games for the Color Computer. Tandy produced a sequel titled Castle of Tharoggad but the original team was not involved and the game was not as good and sold poorly. In 2001, Dungeons of Daggorath was released as freeware by the author and the source code became available for a small fee. This led to ports for Windows, Linux, PSP and other platforms. The original Windows port was done way back in 2003 but there is a newer Windows 10 port available for free on the Microsoft store as well. Of course, there is always the option of using original hardware or emulation as well.


     


  • Tandy TRS-80 MC-10

    The Tandy TRS-80 MC-10 was Tandy’s attempt to compete with the Commodore VIC-20. Released in 1983 and based on the TRS-80 CoCo 1, this machine retailed for a paltry $119.99, which did not give you much at all. It used a Motorola 6803 CPU clocked at 890KHz (that’s under a megahertz!) with 4K RAM and 8K ROM featuring BASIC. It could do color video with the same MC6847 found in the proper CoCo system, and be upgraded to 20K RAM with an addon.

    However, it was a complete and total mess. In 1983, a new microcomputer was expected to have things like:

    • Full travel keyboards
    • Disk drive support
    • Medium resolution graphics
    • 64K of memory

    This system has a chiclet keyboard, only used cassette tapes, low resolution graphics, and barely any memory. It also has really bad RS-232 serial functionality. The 6803 CPU has a built-in UART, so it SHOULD be able to do it without needing any special hardware or hacks. But the engineers only provided one timing crystal – a 3.58 MHz TV colorburst crystal to properly generate video – which did not divide correctly for serial communication timing. Instead, all serial communications are done manually in software, which results in a very unstable and difficult-to-use connection. The MC