Tandy 1000-series FAQ

Version 2.52

October 25, 2005


I. Introduction

I.A. Sources and Credits

I.B. What is comp.sys.tandy?

I.C. Where is comp.sys.tandy archived?

I.D. What is an FAQ?

I.E. Where can I get the latest version of this FAQ?

I.F. How can I contribute to the FAQ?

I.G. Help me with my 1000! [no model given] ... And how to tell 1000's apart.

II. Hardware Questions

II.A. Memory

II.A.1. How do I add additional DOS memory to my system?

II.A.2. I added 128k of RAM to my 1000TL, but DOS only gave me 32k more. What happened to the other 96k?

II.A.3. When I boot, it tells me I have 640k of RAM, but Chkdsk says I only have 576k. What gives?

II.A.4. How do I add additional expanded memory to my system?

II.A.5. How do I add additional extended memory to my system?

II.B. Video

II.B.1. Can I install VGA on my system?

II.B.2. I installed VGA, but most programs still think I have CGA. How to I get VGA to work right?

II.B.3. Can I emulate EGA with Tandy video?

II.B.4. What is the difference between a CM5 and a CM11 (or a CM2 or ...)?

II.B.5. What is this weird video Tandy has?

II.B.6. Can I emulate Tandy video with EGA or VGA?

II.C. Floppy Disks

II.C.1. Can I upgrade the BIOS to add high-density floppy drives?

II.C.2. Can I take a floppy drive out of <insert machine here> and use it in my 1000?

II.C.3. Can I take a floppy drive out of my old 1000 and use it in my new 100MHz Pentium?

II.C.4. There's a port on the back for an external floppy drive. Where do I get those?

II.C.5. Where do I get a replacement floppy drive?

II.C.6. My 720k floppy drive formats disks at 360k. What can I do?

II.D. Hard Disks

II.D.1. How can I install a hard drive?

II.D.2. I have a 1000TL/2 with Smart Drive connector on the motherboard. How can I install a drive larger than 40 Meg?

II.D.3. Can I chain two Smart Drives together?

II.E. Keyboards

II.E.1. My keyboard died. Where can I get a new one?

II.E.2. Can I replace my old 90-key Tandy keyboard with a 101-key keyboard?

II.E.3. I can get a standard XT keyboard real cheap. Can I buy/make an adapter to attach it to my old 1000?

II.E.4. How can I make my old keyboard more compatible?

II.E.5. What are the scan codes for the old Tandy keyboard?

II.F. Processors, Coprocessors and Motherboards

II.F.1. How can I increase the speed of the main processor?

II.F.2. Can I install a math coprocessor?

II.F.3. Can I replace the motherboard?

II.F.4. I want to slow my computer down so an old game will run. Where is the turbo switch?

II.G. Serial Ports, Modems, and Mice

II.G.1. Can I use a fast modem with my 1000?

II.G.2. Windows doesn't recognize the mouse on my RLX. What's wrong?

II.G.3. My system doesn't have a serial port. Can I add one?

II.G.4. Can I add another serial port?

II.G.5. What kind of mouse is this, and where do I get a driver for it?

II.H. Parallel Ports and Printers

II.H.1. My printer keeps double-spacing. How do I make it stop?

II.H.2. What kinds of printers can I use with a 1000?

II.H.3. What is the pinout for the card-edge printer connector?

II.H.4. Can I connect my old Tandy printer to my new computer?

II.H.5. Can I use a parallel-port peripheral (other than a printer) with my card-edge printer port?

II.I. Expansion Slots

II.I.1. How can I get standard expansion slots on a 1000HX or EX?

II.I.2. How can I add additional expansion slots?

II.I.3. What kinds of cards will work in the slots on a 1000?

II.I.4. What is the pinout for the Plus expansion connector in the 1000HX and EX?

II.J. Game Ports, Joysticks, and Sound

II.J.1. Can I use a standard joystick?

II.J.2. Can I emulate SoundBlaster with the Tandy DAC?

II.J.3. Can I install a Tandy DAC or 3-voice chip in a normal PC?

II.J.4. What is the pinout for the Tandy joystick?

II.K. Miscellaneous

II.K.1. Radio Shack no longer sells parts for my Tandy. Where can I get them?

II.K.2. When I turn my computer on, it just beeps a lot and refuses to boot. Why does it do that?

II.K.3. Where can I get diagnostic software for the 1000's?

II.K.4. What is this connector marked "light pen"?

II.K.5. I just got a 1000 at a yard sale, and it didn't come with disks or manuals or anything. Where can I get some?

II.K.6. What are the jumper/switch settings for my 1000 or my Tandy adapter card?

II.K.7. I just got a 1000 secondhand, and it has some expansion card in it that I can't identify. How do I find out about it?

II.K.8. When I turn the system on, it just displays the memory size and sits there. What's happening?

III. Software Questions


III.A.1. My system has DOS in ROM. How do I upgrade the DOS version?

III.A.2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of upgrading DOS?

III.A.3. How can I change CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT?

III.A.4. I screwed up my CONFIG.SYS on my hard drive, and now I can't boot the system to fix it - it ignores bootable diskettes!

III.B. DeskMate

III.B.1. My system has DeskMate in ROM. How do I upgrade?

III.B.2. I recently upgraded from my old 1000, and I really miss DeskMate! How can I get it back?

III.B.3. I upgraded my DOS version, and now DeskMate is gone. How do I get it back?

III.B.4. DeskMate Sound and Music won't work when the printer is connected but not turned on. What gives?

III.B.5. How can I write my own programs for DeskMate?

III.B.6. I upgraded my video to VGA, and now DeskMate refuses to run. What do I do?

III.B.7. Is there a program for DeskMate that does (x)?

III.B.8. Where can I get a DeskMate driver for printer (x)?

III.B.9. I just got a 1000. What is this @#&$ "DeskMate" thing it boots into, and how do I get rid of it and run DOS?

III.B.10. I've been using DeskMate on my trusty 1000 for many years, but now it's time to upgrade. How do I transfer the data to Windows?

III.B.11. DeskMate is asking me for a password, and I don't know it. How do I get in?

III.C. Windows

III.C.1. Can I run Windows on my 1000?

III.C.2. Can I run DeskMate under Windows?

III.C.3. Where can I find a Windows driver for my Tandy printer?

III.D. Unix and Other Operating Systems

III.D.1. Can I run Unix on my 1000?

III.D.2. What other operating systems are available?


III.E.1. What is the key combination to bring up the CMOS setup on a 1000?

III.E.2. How do I upgrade the ROM BIOS on a 1000?

III.F. System Setup Programs

III.F.1. I just got an old 1000 secondhand, with no disks or anything. Where can I get the system setup program for it?

III.F.2. What are the options to the system setup command?

III.F.3 Why does my 1000 RLX say I have an invalid configuration?

III.G. Applications

III.G.1. Some compilers do not detect my hardware. Is there an explanation for this?

III.G.2. What C compilers will work on my Tandy 1000?

III.G.3. Where can I find a program for the Tandy 1000 that does (x)?

III.G.4. What games are there for the 1000's?

III.G.5. How can I access the Internet with my 1000?

III.H. Basic

III.H.1. What are the Basic patches?

III.H.2. How do I get information on Basic programming?

III.H.3. What is the "Child of Basic" problem?

IV. Miscellaneous Information

IV.A. How do I contact Tandy?

IV.B. FTP sites, Web pages, BBS's, etc.

IV.B.1. What FTP sites are there for the 1000's?

IV.B.2. What WWW sites are there for the 1000's?

IV.B.3. What BBS's are there for the 1000's?

IV.B.4. What online services had 1000-related areas?

IV.C. What magazines and newsletters are there for the 1000's?

IV.D. What are some good books about the 1000's?

IV.E. What other newsgroups are of interest to 1000 owners?

IV.F. Where can I get other FAQ's?

IV.G. Where can I get upgrade/replacement parts for my 1000?

IV.H. Why is this @#$%!! machine so incompatible?

IV.I. I'm thinking of selling my old 1000, what is it worth?

IV.J. What happened to Tandy?

I. Introduction

I.A. Sources and Credits

The maintainer of this FAQ is Jeff Hayes <tvdog_site@sbcglobal.net>. My sources include the Delphi Tandy forum, the CompuServe TRS-80 Professional forum, the America Online DeskMate and Tandy forums, the comp.sys.tandy newsgroup (and the many knowledgeable people there), some of the books listed in section IV.D, and a few back issues of PCM magazine. Antony D. Gordon was the maintainer for a while, but he's no longer involved with the FAQ. Other contributors' names appear next to their contributions, but I'm afraid I left some people out.

None of this information is guaranteed to be accurate or complete. If the information in this FAQ causes you to reformat your hard drive, blow out your power supply, replace all occurrences of "the" in your dissertation with random expletives, or remember how you were abused as a child and must therefore murder your parents, I am not responsible. Suing me is not a wise proposition anyway since I am poor as a pauper.

I.B. What is comp.sys.tandy?

comp.sys.tandy is a Usenet newsgroup for discussion of any and all Tandy computers, both hardware and software. To get access to the group, you will generally need to have an account at an Internet site that carries the group and some newsreading software. If your site does not carry the group, ask your system administrator or news administrator about adding it.

It is also possible to access Usenet via WWW. Go to this site:


It is appropriate to post any of the following to comp.sys.tandy: system-specific questions about your 1000 or any other Tandy model; discussions of solutions and workarounds you have found for your Tandy-specific problems; announcements of Tandy-specific hardware or software you have privately for sale, or requests to purchase the same; or basically anything else that is Tandy-specific.

It is not appropriate to post any of the following to comp.sys.tandy: general questions about DOS, Windows, or an application that are not Tandy-specific; general questions about programming PC-compatible computers or using your compiler; and general questions about IBM PC hardware. There are other newsgroups for discussion of those things (and plenty of books on them). If you have a problem and are not sure whether it is due to a compatibility problem with your machine, you can ask in comp.sys.tandy; if your problem is a general one, you will probably be referred elsewhere.

Bear in mind that some TRS-80 owners flat don't like PC's. They will often say that something can't be done when it can, just because they hate the 1000's. They will insult the PC-compatible Tandy's for no reason (comp.sys.tandy is probably the only group where participants actively discourage people from using the hardware the group is devoted to). It may be better to go to the Yahoo group to ask your question:


I.C. Where is comp.sys.tandy archived?

Google has messages going back to 1987:


I.D. What is an FAQ?

An FAQ (short for "frequently asked questions") is a compilation of information frequently asked for and given in a newsgroup. It also usually states the newsgroup's purpose and the etiquette to be followed when posting. Its purpose is to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in the group by reducing repetitive threads and eliminating flame wars caused by breaches of etiquette. The FAQ is usually in question-and-answer format.

comp.sys.tandy does not have a bandwidth problem, but an FAQ for the 1000's is still useful, just to keep all this information in one place.

I.E. Where can I get the latest version of this FAQ?

You've got it. There are no plans to make a newer one.

I.F. How can I contribute to the FAQ?

Send your corrections and additions to <tvdog_site@sbcglobal.net>. Where possible, refer to the section number that contains the mistake or omission. Note, however, that there might not be any more updates except to correct something that is glaringly wrong.

I.G. Help me with my 1000! [no model given] ... And how to tell 1000's apart.

You won't get much (useful) help if you post a question in comp.sys.tandy saying, "Such-and-such won't work on my Tandy 1000, what do I do?" The 1000-series range from the original 1000, which came standard with a 4.77MHz 8088, PCjr-compatible graphics, and 128k RAM, to the 1000RSX, which came standard with a 25MHz 80386SX, SVGA graphics, and can be upgraded to 9 megabytes of RAM (1 meg standard). You have to tell us which model 1000 it is. The choices are (in more-or-less chronological order): original 1000 (no letters), 1000A, 1000HD, 1000EX, 1000SX, 1000AX (rare, mostly the same as the SX), 1000HX, 1000TX, 1000SL, 1000PC (rare, mostly the same as the SL), 1000TL, 1000SL/2, 1000TL/2, 1000TL/3, 1000RL, 1000RL-HD, 1000RLX, 1000RLX-HD, 1000RLX-B, 1000RLX-HD-B, 1000RSX, and 1000RSX-HD. In the following, I often refer to "TX and earlier" and "SL and later." The later ones are much more compatible with the IBM PC - the earlier ones are more compatible with the IBM PCjr (see section IV.H.). I will also abbreviate the names - "TL" means 1000TL; "TL/2" means 1000TL/2; and "TL's" means 1000TL, 1000TL/2, and/or 1000TL/3.

II. Hardware Questions

II.A. Memory

II.A.1. How do I add additional DOS memory to my system?

On the 1000 and 1000A, you need to add an expansion card. This card will contain both additional RAM and a DMA chip, improving the speed and compatibility as well as the memory size. Tandy used to sell such a card, as did many other companies.

The EX and HX will also need an expansion card, one made for their slots. One or more additional PLUS-type slots may also come with the memory expansion. Tandy used to sell a memory card for these systems too.

The other systems will only need standard DRAMs. It is OK to use faster chips than required (i.e., 100ns instead of 120ns).

The SX will take 8 256k x 1 150ns DRAM chips. The chips go behind the other RAM chips near the front of the machine. You also need to remove the jumper labelled E1-E2.

The TX uses 4 64k x 4 120ns DRAM chips. The chips go in the sockets labelled U54-57. Remove the jumper labelled E9-E10.

The TL uses 4 64k x 4 120ns DRAMs. The chips go in the sockets labelled U36-39. There is no jumper to move.

The TL/2 uses 4 64k x 4 120ns DRAMs. The chips go in the sockets next to the other RAM chips, in front of the expansion slots. There is no jumper.

The TL/3 uses 4 64k x 4 100ns DRAMs. The chips go in the sockets labelled U4-7. There is no jumper.

The SL uses 8 64k x 4 120ns DRAMs. They go in the sockets next to the other chips. There is no jumper.

The SL/2 uses 4 64k x 4 120ns DRAMs. They go next to the other chips. There is no jumper.

The RL and RL-HD use 2 256k x 4 100ns DRAMs. They go in the sockets labelled U19 and U23. There is no jumper.

The RLX uses 4 256k x 4 100ns ZIP DRAMs. This not a common type of chip. They go in the sockets labelled U23-26. There is no jumper.

The RLX-B uses 4 256k x 4 100ns ZIP DRAMs. They go in the sockets labelled U2, U4, U5, and U9. There is no jumper.

The RLX-HD, RLX-HD-B and RSX's came from the factory fully populated with conventional RAM.

ZIP DRAMs for the RLX are hard to find. You are looking for Samsung chip #KM44C256AZ-8. For regular DRAM chips, see section IV.G.

II.A.2. I added 128k of RAM to my 1000TL, but DOS only gave me 32k more. What happened to the other 96k?

II.A.3. When I boot, it tells me I have 640k of RAM, but Chkdsk says I only have 576k. What gives?

All of the 1000-series except for the 1000RLX's and RSX's have special video controller circuitry that allocates some of the video memory for DOS if there is less than 640k of conventional RAM installed. The video controller has 128k or 256k (depending on the model), which is more than it really needs under most circumstances, since CGA programs only use 16k, and even most programs that use the special Tandy video modes only use 32k (Hercules mono graphics also requires 32k). About the most that is ever used is the 64k that the special 640x200x16 video mode on the 1000SL's, TL's, and RL's requires. (All video RAM could conceivably be used by some programs for animation.)

The original 1000 was a clone of the IBM PCjr (see section IV.H.). The PCjr came with 128k RAM that was both video RAM and system RAM - whence the 128k attached to the video controller. Among other things, this enabled IBM to leave out the DMA controller the IBM PC had, since the RAM was continually being refreshed by the video controller. The original 1000, 1000A, 1000EX, and 1000HX have no DMA controllers on the motherboard either (one is included with the memory expansion card). Tandy added a DMA controller to later systems, but the video stayed the same, at least at the BIOS and memory-mapping level, up till VGA was added with the RLX. On Tandy's with PCjr-compatible video, that 128k or 256k is still both video and system RAM - and since not all of it is normally needed for video, part of it is normally "stolen" by DOS, up to a limit of 640k system RAM.

When the BIOS displays the system memory at bootup, it's telling a little white lie, since it includes the video memory in the total. There is, after all, no way to know who owns what memory, DOS or the video, so it is all lumped together. You can change the amount that the video keeps for itself with the /A option on your system setup program, if you have it (see section III.F.2.). (There is also a shareware program called Adjmem that can change the amount at runtime.)

When you install additional conventional memory in your system, whatever video memory was being "stolen" by DOS goes back to the video, if DOS has 640k. The amount of DOS RAM you gain by the upgrade thus may not be equal to the amount of RAM you install, since whatever was stolen before is lost. There is no way to make the Tandy BIOS allocate more than 640k for DOS, and no way to do it by programming either.

If you are still using the built-in video, the memory upgrade is definitely worthwhile since every byte of conventional RAM counts. If you upgrade the video, though, all of the motherboard video RAM will go to DOS to make up whatever is missing from 640k. VGA (and EGA) cards have their own memory, so they don't need what's on the motherboard. With VGA, in a sense it is useless to expand your total system RAM beyond 640k on these systems; as far as I know, there is no program available that will make any use of the motherboard video RAM on a 1000TL with 768k and VGA (my program Vswitch will allow you to use both VGA and the motherboard video).

One thing to note, however: some programs (such as Windows 2.11) and expansion cards (such as Acculogic and Intel EMS cards) may not work properly without the extra 128k memory upgrade, even if VGA is installed. There are two causes for this: First, the RAM that is "stolen" by DOS from the video is actually accessed through the video controller, making it slower than the rest of system RAM; time-critical things like sound programs are affected by that. Second, an LIM 4.0 EMS driver may "see" that there is, say, 576k system RAM, and erroneously conclude that the memory between 576k and 640k is available to be mapped as EMS, when in fact part of it is double-mapped video memory (the double-mapping is another PCjr fossil). Hence, it is a good idea in any case to add as much motherboard memory as your system will take - which on most 1000's is quite cheap to do these days.

II.A.4. How do I add additional expanded memory to my system?

On older 1000's (i.e., pre-SL) with standard slots, four EMS cards will work: the Micro Mainframe 5150T, the Intel Matched Memory Classic, the Intel Above Board ISA, and the InvisiSOFT Invisible EMS board. The latter three are hardware LIM 4 and can be used for upper memory blocks with DOS 5 or 6 (possibly requiring Qram or equivalent); the 5150T does not supply upper memory blocks. Upper memory blocks may not be available on systems with DOS in ROM, even if DOS is upgraded, because the memory segment (E0000h) that would be used as an upper memory block by the EMS card is already occupied by the ROM drive (whether the ROM drive is accessed or not).

A few multifunction cards were made for the original 1000, A, and HD that had expanded RAM as an option. The PBJ XRAM card was another EMS card that would work in those systems.

The EX and HX will need a special EMS card because of their nonstandard slots. (With those systems, conventional RAM and EMS may be added on the same card.)

Lloyd W. Kuhn writes:

Some years ago I put an Intel expanded memory board in my TL, but I had a heck of a hard time getting the Intel software to configure the board to the computer. I called Intel and although they they tried, they couldn't help me. Because the TL has an 80286 processor, the software tried to make the computer out as an AT clone. But when the software sensed the 8 bit expansion slots, it was sure the computer was an XT clone. Therefore I couldn't configure it as an AT nor as an XT. However out of frustration, I tried configuring the TL as an IBM model 30. That worked and the board has been working ever since.

The SL's, TL's, RL's, and RLX's can use any 8-bit expanded memory card that is 10" or less in length. The RSX's do not need expanded memory; use extended.

II.A.5. How do I add additional extended memory to my system?

The RLX's can have 384k of extended RAM, installed at the same time as you upgrade the conventional RAM (see section II.A.1.). The RLX-HD and RLX-HD-B came fully populated with 1M system RAM, though.

You add RAM to the RSX by putting either 2 70ns 1Mx9 SIMMs or 2 60ns 4Mx9 SIMMs in the empty sockets. See section IV.G. for sources. You have to run Setuprsx after installing to make the system recognize the new memory.

If HIMEM.SYS does not recognize your extended memory, use the /M:2 option.

None of the other 1000's can have extended RAM.

II.B. Video

II.B.1. Can I install VGA on my system?

On the original 1000, 1000A, and 1000HD, no. On those systems, the BIOS will not scan for a video ROM or disable the onboard video. Matthew Electronics once manufactured a special EGA card for the original 1000, A, and HD, but it is no longer available. That said, it is generally possible to get a standard EGA card to work to some degree if you make a program for AUTOEXEC.BAT to enable it; see file

One other problem you are likely to have is that an EGA card will want to use IRQ 2 for vertical retrace, which conflicts with the hard drive; you need to have a hard drive controller that does not use an IRQ (or do without a hard drive). Upgrading the video on the original 1000, A, or HD is definitely a "hacker upgrade."

The EX and HX can have VGA but will need a special card because of their nonstandard expansion slots. The SX and TX need to have DIP switch 1 turned off. The SL's, TL's and RL's won't require any hardware changes; just plug in the card.

The RLX's and RSX's came standard with VGA. Both can accept upgrade video cards as well.

All 1000's that don't come standard with VGA will require that a special program be placed in AUTOEXEC.BAT to make sure the new video is recognized (see section II.B.2.).

II.B.2. I installed VGA, but most programs still think I have CGA. How do I get VGA to work right?

The Tandy BIOS fails to set the Video Configuration Code byte at 0040:008A. The default value of this byte is 3Fh. The correct values are: 0Bh, for a single VGA color card; 0Ch, for a dual-monitor system with VGA color and MDA mono; 0Dh, for a single VGA mono board; and 0Eh, for a dual-monitor system with mono VGA and MDA. The solution is to put a short program in your Autoexec.bat file that will set this byte to the correct value. Without the fix, the VGA card will function, but some programs will misidentify it as EGA or CGA. There are various programs around to do this. Radio Shack included one with their version of the Paradise card, and if you got your VGA card from a place that specializes in 1000's, they would have given you one.

There are free programs available to fix these problems. Get vgafix.zip, for example. (See section IV.B.1. for a site).

II.B.3. Can I emulate EGA with Tandy video?

No. Although the SL's, TL's and RL's have a 640x200x16 video mode that is similar in resolution to EGA, the register programming and memory mapping are different. The same applies vis-a-vis the 320x200x16 video mode that all 1000's (except the RLX's and RSX's) have.

II.B.4. What is the difference between a CM5 and a CM11 (or a CM2 or ...)?

The CM5 and CM11 are both CGA monitors. The difference is the resolution. The CM11 is much clearer due to its smaller dot pitch (and was about half again as expensive as the CM5). Some say the CM5 can't display 640x200 graphics. That is a function of the controller, though, not the monitor. The CM5 will work in all Tandy graphics modes. Whether it looks good is another story. The CM2 and CM10 are older versions of the CM11. The CM4 is an older version of the CM5.

The CM1 is another animal entirely. It was a color monitor made for use with the Tandy 2000 and had a resolution of 640x400. Tandy made at least three video cards that would permit the CM1 to be used with an IBM PC. With the Deluxe Text Display Adapter, catalog number 25-3046, the CM1 displays only text. With the Deluxe Graphics Display Adapter, catalog number 25-3047, the CM1 can display CGA-compatible 640x200 graphics, or 640x400 graphics with special software. With the Enhanced Graphics Adapter, catalog number 25-4037, the CM1 displays 640x350 EGA graphics. The VM1, a monochrome monitor for the 2000, works with the same cards.

The CM8 is only for use with the Color Computer; there is no adapter card for an IBM PC.

The VM2 and VM4 are monochrome composite monitors made to plug into the composite CGA port on the original 1000, HD, A, HX, EX, SX, and TX.

The VM3 and VM5 are monochrome TTL (MDA/Hercules) monitors. They can be used with the 1000SL's, TL's, and RL's.

The EGM1 is an EGA monitor. VGM* are VGA or SVGA monitors.

You do not have to use a Tandy monitor; any CGA monitor will work. If you have problems centering the screen with a non-Tandy CGA monitor, try "MODE 200" at the DOS prompt (Tandy DOS only). One non-standard thing that Tandy did was to use 225 scanlines for text modes in CGA, giving somewhat clearer text. IBM standard is 200 scanlines.

II.B.5. What is this weird video Tandy has?

The original 1000 was a clone of the IBM PCjr (see section IV.H.). The PCjr video is BIOS- and memory-mapping compatible with CGA, though not register-compatible. It also has 160x200x16, 320x200x16, and 640x200x4 video modes that CGA does not have. Most programs using CGA video modes use the BIOS to interface with the video adapter (except for setting pixels) and will work. Pre-SL systems have this type of video, also known at Tandy Video I, TGA, TCGA, or ECGA. Digital or composite CGA monitors can be used (the composite output can also be connected to the RCA jack on a TV set). Some of the books in section IV.D. contain programming information on Tandy 1000/PCjr video.

The video on the SL's, TL's, and RL's is known as Tandy Video II or ETGA. The video adapter takes either a digital CGA or Mono TTL monitor; pressing <alt>-<control>-<shift>-V reboots the system and switches monitor types, saving the type in EEPROM. When a Mono TTL monitor is used, the video is compatible with the Hercules adapter. When a CGA monitor is used, the video is register-compatible with CGA and BIOS- and memory-mapping compatible with PCjr. Any program using CGA will work, and most (but not all) programs using PCjr video will work. This adapter also has the 160x200x16, 320x200x16, and 640x200x4 modes of Tandy Video I, as well as a 640x200x16 mode (the BIOS does not support this mode - you need to program controller registers to get it or use a TSR such as grafix.zip (see section IV.B.1. for a site)). The technical reference manual for your system has information on ETGA (see section IV.D.).

The RLX's have basic (256k) VGA built in; it is not upgradeable. The RSX's 256k VGA is upgradeable to 512k and can display 1024x768 with an appropriate monitor. Both can display Hercules graphics on a VGA monitor.

Most systems can also take upgrade video cards (see section II.B.1.).

II.B.6. Can I emulate Tandy video with EGA or VGA?

Yes, if you have a 386 or above. Get the Tand-em emulator from the emulators directory on the Tvdog site (make sure you get the ROM image also). There are other Tandy 1000 emulators out there as well. (If you're trying to make DeskMate work with EGA or VGA, see section III.B.6.)

II.C. Floppy Disks

II.C.1. Can I upgrade the BIOS to add high-density floppy drives?

The TL/3, RLX's, and RSX's can take high-density drives, though the TL/3 did not come with one. The RLX will not take low-density drives.

Other models require that a secondary controller be installed in an expansion slot to add high-density drives. There was a rumor that an AMI or Phoenix BIOS upgrade for the IBM XT could be used in a Tandy 1000-series, permitting high-density drives to be used with the built-in controller, and providing BIOS support for hard drives. The rumor was false. In most 1000-series, the built-in controller cannot support high-density drives because the data separator will only run at 250k bps. In the SL and TL, the data separator is capable of running at 500k bps, but the data rate pin is hard-wired to 250k and the drive speed pin on the floppy cable is not connected. In addition, an IBM BIOS chip would not support Tandy-specific features such as the weird video memory mapping and the digitized sound functions on the SL/TL. Tandy says:

Tandy Corporation/Radio Shack does not support installing a high density drive in your Tandy 1000TL computer as the on-board Floppy Drive Controller (FDC) circuitry is not designed to work with this type of drive. The FDC circuitry only has the capability of recognizing a low density disk drive.

As well, since the FDC circuitry has no option for being disabled through jumpers or dipswitches, this circuitry cannot be changed to setup as the secondary address. The BIOS ROM does not support a secondary FDC address, thus precluding the installation of a controller card set to the secondary address.


Of course, this is just another case of "we don't sell it, therefore it can't be done." In reality, there were secondary cards available that contained their own BIOS, providing either bootable or non-bootable high-density drives (see section IV.G.). These would have been specially made for Tandy.

If you have a (standard) controller with its own BIOS, the following program can disable the onboard controller (on SL and later systems only):


Obviously, you need to have a hard drive for this to work, since the I/O port conflict with the built-in controller will prevent the floppy drive from working until the built-in controller is disabled from AUTOEXEC.BAT.

The TX and earlier systems may require special secondary controllers to add a high density drive.

II.C.2. Can I take a floppy drive out of <insert machine here> and use it in my 1000?

If it's a 5-1/4" drive, generally yes. Note that the data connector may be upside down. It needs to be the right-density drive for the machine.

For 3-1/2" drives, maybe. The HX, TX, SL/2, TL's, RL's, RLX's, and RSX's use a special floppy drive that draws power through the data cable. Connecting a standard 3-1/2" drive not designed to do that can damage both the drive and the computer. If your existing floppy drive does not have a four-wire (red, red, black, yellow) power cable going to it, you MUST NOT replace it with a standard drive (unless you modify the floppy cable, see below). Tandy-style drives were made by Panasonic, Teac, and Sony. Here are some low-density ones:

Sony MFD-63W-70D
Sony MP-F11W-71
Sony MP-F11W-72
Sony MP-F11W-72D
Sony MP-F63W-01D
Teac FD235-136U
Teac FD235F-105U
Teac FD235F-106U

And here are some high-density drives:

Panasonic JU-257A213P
Sony MFD-17W-72
Sony MP-F17W-70D
Sony MP-F17W-71
Sony MP-F17W-72
Sony MP-F73-70D
Teac FD235HF-106U

Tandy continued using the drives long after the 1000-series ended (my 4033LX had one in it - high density of course).

In the case of systems with drives that draw power through the data cable, you can connect a standard drive if you modify the cable. You need to punch holes in the data cable to cut the power; look at the 5-1/4" cable in the same machine. Specifically, +5V is supplied on pins 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11, and +12V is supplied on pins 29, 31, and 33. All of these are ground pins on a standard floppy cable, so you need to cut them. Use a Tandy-style (straight-through, not twisted) floppy cable, like the original that came with the machine. NOTE: If you don't feel confident about modifying your floppy cable in this way, don't. If you make a mistake, you can blow out your power supply, your motherboard, your floppy drive, or all three.

To fix the cable, extract the wires you need to cut by cutting the cable lengthwise between the wires with a utility knife, taking care not to cut the wires themselves. Pin 1 is marked on the cable in red. On a standard floppy drive, all the grounds are connected together, so you don't need to worry about connecting an actual ground wire to the pins you cut. If you want to continue to use a Tandy drive in the same machine, place the standard drive at the end of the cable and the Tandy drive in the middle, and make the cuts above the connector for the Tandy drive, so that the power coming from the motherboard gets to the first (Tandy) drive but not to the second (standard) drive. Of course, you need to connect a power cable to the standard drive.

Another problem you might have with 3-1/2" drives is that the drive may not physically fit in the machine due to the placement and length of the eject button, since the drive bezel is built in to the case. If that is so, some people cut away the built-in drive bezel with a hacksaw to make a "standard" drive bay.

Finally, note that unlike most every other PC, the floppy cable in the 1000-series is not twisted, so you need to set the drive select jumper or switch on the drive. Be aware that some newer drives don't have a drive select jumper (in a Tandy, you could only use them as drive A:). Also, if you put a high-density 3-1/2" drive in a machine that doesn't support one, it works, but only as a low-density drive.

II.C.3. Can I take a floppy drive out of my old 1000 and use it in my new 100MHz Pentium?

Some 1000's use special floppy drives that draw power through the data cable, so it may take some hardware hacking to do this. The 3-1/2" drives are the culprits. See section II.C.2. A dead giveaway for a Tandy drive is that it has no power connector (there are some that do have a power connector, however - beware).

What you would need to do to put a 3-1/2" Tandy-style drive in a standard machine is cut out the wires in the data cable that the Tandy drive wants power on, disconnecting them from the motherboard, then solder the wires to a power cable. The red wire on the power cable is +5V, the black is ground, and the yellow is +12V.

II.C.4. There's a port on the back for an external floppy drive. Where do I get those?

The 1000EX and HX had this port. There was a 360k external drive, catalog number 25-1060, and a 720k external drive, catalog number 25-1061. Check eBay for them and see section IV.G.

II.C.5. Where do I get a replacement floppy drive?

The following systems use special 3-1/2" 720k floppy drives that draw power through the data cable: 1000HX, RL's, RLX's, RSX's, SL/2 (drive A: only), TL's, and TX. You must replace those drives with another Tandy-style drive. No company, to my knowledge, has Tandy-style floppy drives for sale any more. As with systems that use the old Tandy keyboard (see section II.E.1.), probably the best way to get a replacement is to buy another whole system that has the drive you need in it; 1000-series systems are found for sale on eBay routinely.

The original 1000, A, HD, EX, SX, and SL use standard 360k floppy drives. Computer Reset still sells them; see section IV.G. You might need to replace the floppy cable if you replace the drive.

The RLX's and RSX's use 1.44M floppy drives that draw power through the data cable. Like the 720k versions, these Tandy-style drives are no longer available. Tandy used these type of drives in many later models, so you can probably find a system for sale on eBay that has the drive you need (check the Radio Shack support site to find out the specifications for a given system).

II.C.6. My 720k floppy drive formats disks at 360k. What can I do?

This can happen if you upgrade the DOS version (see section III.A.2.), or after adding a 720k drive to an older system that didn't come with one. Use the DRIVPARM command in CONFIG.SYS:

DRIVPARM=/D:0 /F:2 /H:2 /S:9 /T:80

(For drive A: - drive B: is /D:1, etc.) If that doesn't work, try DRIVER.SYS instead:

DEVICE=DRIVER.SYS /D:0 /F:2 /H:2 /S:9 /T:80

DRIVER.SYS will create a new drive letter, while DRIVPARM will not - see your DOS manual. There are also third-party utilities to deal with this situation, for example:


Note that you must be running DOS 3.2 or later for any of the above to work. If you are still using 2.11, it is time to upgrade. Get the SX disk set from the system directory on the Tvdog site for Tandy DOS 3.2.

II.D. Hard Disks

II.D.1. How can I install a hard drive?

It depends on which model 1000 you have.

The 1000RSX has a built-in AT IDE interface, a very common type of drive. An IDE drive of 504MB or less should work. You could also use one of the two 16-bit expansion slots for a SCSI controller and install a SCSI drive up to 8GB. Larger drives might work too, perhaps with partitioning software provided by the drive manufacturer.

The TL/2, TL/3, RL's, and RLX's have a built-in XT IDE ("Smart Drive") interface. These drives are hard to find nowadays and don't come larger than 40MB. AT IDE drives (what everybody means when they advertise IDE drives for sale) do not work with the built-in interface. Tandy once sold a full line of XT IDE drives. Other vendors also once carried the drives. Here is a list of some XT IDE drives:

Miniscribe M8225XT
Miniscribe M8450XT
Seagate ST351A/X (combination XT/AT IDE)
Seagate ST325X
Seagate ST325A/X (combination XT/AT IDE)
Seagate ST351X
Western Digital WD93028
Western Digital WD98028
Western Digital WD93038-X
Western Digital WD93044-X
Western Digital WD98044-X

If your drive doesn't appear to fit in the drive bay of your RL or RLX, remove the drive bracket and turn it upside down. There can be a problem with 40MB drives in the RL, in that it refuses to recognize more than 20MB of the drive (a 40MB drive worked with no problems in my RL, however).

If you bought your XT IDE drive at Radio Shack, it would come with an installation diskette. Systems with "Smart Drive" interfaces also came with various programs to simplify installation. The normal way to install a hard drive on these systems was to run HINSTALL.PDM from inside DeskMate and follow the prompts. I think if you just plug it in and use FDISK and FORMAT like a normal drive it will work, though. These systems have DOS in ROM. If you want to boot from the hard drive, you will need to run the system setup program and set the computer to boot from DISK with MS-DOS as the startup program.

Tandy DOS comes with a program called HSECT. Do not use it on XT IDE drives; it will render them unusable. AUTOFMT, another Tandy DOS program, is a front end for HSECT and should not be used either.

Tandy provides the following information on adding an XT IDE "Smart Drive" to a 1000RLX that did not come with one (the information should be relevant for other models):

If you choose to add a SmartDrive to your floppy RLX computer later, you'll find the installation a very easy task. The 20 (25-1047) and 40 (25-1048) Megabyte SmartDrives feature the HINSTALL initialization program that runs under DeskMate. Four keystrokes and you're finished. Even a labeled blank diskette is included! The MS-DOS/GW-BASIC diskette installs to the SmartDrive under DeskMate as well. Just start DeskMate, press <F7>, highlight INSTALL, put your MS-DOS/GW-BASIC diskette in Drive A, and MS-DOS is installed in its own directory. It even creates or modifies the AUTOEXEC.BAT file and sets the ROM.

You can install another type of controller in an expansion slot if you have a built-in Smart Drive interface but can't find a drive for it. MFM and RLL controllers will not work in the TL/2. Only Seagate MFM/RLL controllers will work in the TL/3. Only Western Digital MFM/RLL controllers will work in the RL or RLX's. The ADP50T will work in any model with built-in Smart Drive controller (see below). Some 8-bit SCSI controllers will probably work also, though the Seagate ST01 will not (it works in other 1000-series models). An add-in controller installed in a 1000TL/2 or TL/3 should have its ROM address set to CC00h or CE00h to avoid conflict with the built-in controller at C800h.

Radio Shack sold a hardcard with an 8-bit AT IDE controller for the 1000's, catalog number 25-1095, for $99. The card does not conflict with the built-in controller in the TL/2, TL/3, RL's, and RLX's. Regarding the RL, a poster in comp.sys.tandy wrote:

For the RL, you have to <argh> cut away a little of the bracket that comes with it or it will hit the motherboard. It says that it is not recommended for the RL, but that is only because of the size problem ... about 5 minutes of cutting, and it will work just fine.

Like other hardcards, the 25-1095 card is very wide and needs to be placed in the innermost expansion slot, or it will take up two adjacent slots. It will not fit in a 16-bit slot.

The 1000SX, TX, SL's, and TL can use most standard 8-bit hard drive controllers. The SX and TX will need DIP switch 2 on the motherboard turned off to allow the hard drive to use IRQ 5 as is standard for XT-class systems. The Western Digital WD1004 will not work in the SL or SL/2. Otherwise, most any MFM or RLL controller will work.

Tandy marketed an XT IDE controller card that could be used in an 8-bit slot, cat. no. 25-1088, but that's really not a practical way to go unless you already have the drive for it (see list above). The card will not work in the TL/2 or TL/3 (which have a built-in XT IDE interface and don't need it anyway).

The Silicon Valley ADP50T ("T" for Tandy BIOS, ADP50 is not the same) is good 8-bit AT IDE card that cooperates with your existing XT IDE drive, if any, and can chain two AT IDE drives (if they are from the same manufacturer). It works in all models of the 1000-series, including the original 1000 with BIOS version 01.00.00. It does not work with Quantum drives, however. The Tandy version of the ADP50 card has BIOS version 2.18T on it. There are some instructions for the ADP50T and a list of drives compatible with it here:


The original ADP50 will also work in the 1000's, but only with Conner and Fujitsu drives (refer to list above). It is jumpered differently than the Tandy version; see:


Acculogic also made an 8-bit AT IDE controller (the 1/16). It required a special modification to work in the 1000-series (according to Upgrading Your Tandy), but if so modified it worked well (see below). Also, as noted above Radio Shack once sold an 8-bit AT IDE controller for the 1000's. Never low-level format an IDE drive.

8-bit SCSI controllers can be used also; check eBay for them. You shouldn't try to connect too large a drive to an 8-bit SCSI controller (check to see how large a drive it will support). And don't low-level format a SCSI drive either.

As with the TL/2, TL/3, RL, and RLX's, if you want to boot from the hard drive in the SL's or TL you will need to use the system setup program to configure the system to boot from DISK and have MS-DOS as the startup program.

The original 1000, A, and HD have a standard 8-bit slot connector but use IRQ 2 for the hard drive interrupt. Only controllers that can be set to IRQ 2 can be used, and these are few and far between. (The 1000SX and TX are also set to use IRQ 2 for the hard drive as they come from the factory, but in their case you can turn DIP switch 2 off on the motherboard and use a standard controller - see above.)

The original 1000 and 1000A will need to have the memory expanded above 128k to add DMA to the system before a hard drive can be installed. The DMA chip is included on the memory expansion card.

The original 1000 may need a BIOS upgrade before installing a hard drive - see section III.E.2. FYI, the problem is that the BIOS programs the DMA controller for extended write cycles rather than normal write cycles, causing timing problems. Two changes to BIOS version 01.00.00 would correct the problem:

   Address              Current byte            Correct byte
   F000:C7B7                 24                      20
   F000:C7FC                 20                      00

(All numbers are hex.) Alternately, two instructions added to the hard drive controller BIOS would work around it:

   XOR    AL,AL
   OUT    8,AL

Tandy once offered to take the Memory Plus expansion adapter back and replace the PAL chip (U14) to correct the problem. Tandy no longer sells either the BIOS upgrade or the PAL chip. If you have the old BIOS version, you can still have a hard drive, it just won't be bootable (you will have to boot from floppy).

T.J. Harrell says that he had an Acculogic sIDE 1/16 controller that worked in the original 1000 with 128k and with BIOS version 01.00.00. He writes, "The card was supposed to have jumpers to select between IRQ2 and IRQ5, but the jumpers were missing and the board wired for IRQ5. Cut that trace, short the IRQ2 jumper pads, and *bingo*." The card also worked in the 1000TX. He used it with a Conner IDE drive.

The Seagate ST11M was an MFM controller that would work on IRQ 2; the ST11R was the RLL version. The 1000's Tech Notes and Jumper Manual says they required modification to be used on the original 1000, while Upgrading Your Tandy says they didn't, so I'm not sure what to think. There were several BIOS versions for these autoconfigure controllers, so perhaps that is it. The ST11M/R seem to be the only MFM/RLL controllers that might work without modification, though there were several Western Digital controllers that could be modified to use IRQ 2: WD1002-WX1, WD1002-WX2, WD1004A-WX1, WDXT-GEN2, and WD1004-27X. In some cases a special Tandy ROM was also required, and of course you can't get those any more, but if the card came out of a Tandy, it would already have the mods applied. Tandy sold several different "hard cards" for the original 1000 and 1000A using the above controllers as well as IDE; these hard cards come up for sale on eBay occasionally:

25-1029/A/B (20MB MFM)
25-1032/A/B (20MB MFM)
25-1032C/D/E/F (20MB IDE)
25-4059/A (40MB RLL)
25-4059B (40MB IDE)

The Silicon Valley ADP50T AT IDE controller will work on IRQ 2, as will the original ADP50, though the latter supports fewer drives; see above.

The 1000EX and HX have Plus-type expansion slots rather than a standard 8-bit slot connector and use IRQ 2 for the hard drive interrupt. They can use the same hard drive controllers as the original 1000, A, and HD, but you will need to make a slot adapter for them first - see section II.I.1. Some companies sold controllers for the EX and HX with a slot adapter already attached. Like the original 1000 and 1000A, the EX and HX will need to have the memory upgraded above the base configuration (256k in their case) to install a hard drive since the required DMA chip is included on the memory expansion card.

The EX does not have space in the case to install a hard drive; it will have to be mounted externally and grounded to the case with a grounding wire. You can get power to the drive by attaching a power splitter cable to the 5-1/4" floppy power cable. The HX has an available drive bay that can be used for a 3-1/2" hard drive, but it has no power cable. You can wire one up by cutting into the motherboard power leads and soldering in a connector. Various companies sold external drives for the EX and HX to overcome these problems.

Regardless of which model 1000 you have and which controller you use, it is important to remember that any controller will need a drive appropriate for it. On an XT-class system, the BIOS hard drive support is on the controller card, not in the system BIOS. Any drive you use with a given controller will have to be supported by that controller. Check the controller's documentation online to find out what drives it supports (cylinders, heads, sectors), then find a drive to match. AT IDE and SCSI controllers tend to support more different drives than MFM or XT IDE. If at all possible, buy the drive and controller at the same time from the same company or person to make sure they will work together.

Various hard drive utilities may be used to set up a hard drive; some came with Tandy DOS, some on a separate utilities disk included with the drive:

AUTOFMT: This program used with Tandy hard cards low-level formats the drive, then high-level formats it. It is a front end for several other programs (HSECT, FDISK, and FORMAT). Don't use it unless you are told to.

HFORMAT: The Tandy DOS 2.11 FORMAT program can only format floppy drives. To format a hard drive, use HFORMAT. It came on a separate "hard drive utilities" disk, not with DOS.

HSECT: This is a low-level formatting utility for Tandy drives. Use it only if the drive's installation instructions tell you to. It is only used with certain MFM and RLL drives.

LLFORMAT: Tandy DOS 3.2 has LLFORMAT instead of HSECT as a low-level formatting utility. Don't use it unless you are told to do so.

MLPART.SYS: MS-DOS prior to 3.3 does not support multiple hard drive partitions. Tandy DOS 3.2 does. First use FDISK to create the C: partition, then use MLPART.COM to create addtional partitions. MLPART.SYS (loaded in CONFIG.SYS) provides access to partitions other than C: on a hard drive with multiple partitions. MLFORMAT was the program used to format the additional partitions.

The low-level formatting utility may offer an option to "virtually" partition the drive for use with DOS 3.2 and below that do not directly support multiple partitions. Tandy DOS 3.3 will run on any model and supports multiple hard drive partitions with standard FDISK and FORMAT. If you are installing a hard drive and have a lower DOS version, you might consider upgrading - get the TL disk set from the system directory on this site.

It is reported that some software will not work properly with Tandy hard cards if you have Tandy DOS below 3.2.

Some people think they can't install a drive and controller and need a "hardcard" instead, because the owner's manual mentions the latter and not the former. A hardcard is just a controller and drive combination mounted on a card, though, and some companies sold brackets that enable a person to make their own hardcard out of a controller and a 3-1/2" hard drive. Beware that the 1000's have shorter slots than the IBM XT - if you get a hardcard, it needs to be specially made for the 1000's. In some cases you may find that the system doesn't supply enough power to operate a hard drive through the expansion bus (i.e., using the power connector on the controller card) - connect power to the drive directly from the power supply.

If you are out of drive bays, it may be possible to install a hard drive by attaching it to the bottom of an existing bay with Velcro. A hard drive can be installed externally as well, but you must use a ground wire to ground it to the computer's case; you will get errors if the drive isn't properly grounded.

If you get a hard drive, you should make it bootable even if you don't plan to boot from it, in case you decide to upgrade your DOS version later (see section III.A.1.).

II.D.2. I have a 1000TL/2 with Smart Drive connector on the motherboard. How can I install a drive larger than 40 Meg?

Put an AT IDE or SCSI controller in a slot and attach a drive to it. See section II.D.1.

II.D.3. Can I chain two Smart Drives together?

No. XT IDE drives cannot be chained.

II.E. Keyboards

II.E.1. My keyboard died. Where can I get a new one?

On the EX and HX, the keyboard is built in and can't be replaced. You will need to replace the system (you might be able to remove the keyboard from another EX or HX if you have one, but those systems are a pain to take apart).

The original 1000, 1000A, HD, SX, and TX have a nonstandard keyboard interface. They will need a special "Tandy-style" keyboard. These keyboards are pretty scarce. Probably the best way to get one nowadays is to look for a 1000, A, HD, SX, or TX for sale that comes with keyboard and buy the whole system.

The 1000SL, SL/2, TL, and TL/2 use an XT (or XT/AT switchable) keyboard with a standard 5-pin DIN connector. While this is a standard keyboard type, it is no longer very common. Computer Reset sells them; see section IV.G. You can also find them on eBay.

The RL's, RLX's, and (probably) the TL/3 use an XT keyboard with a PS/2 connector. You won't find one (the original keyboard was probably XT/AT autoswitching). Get an XT keyboard with standard connector (above) and use an AT-to-PS/2 adapter with it.

The RSX's use a standard PS/2 keyboard. You can get those anywhere.

Keyboards can be taken apart and cleaned; just make sure you don't lose any of the tiny parts. Let the keyboard air dry for 3 days before you put it back together and use it.

II.E.2. Can I replace my old 90-key Tandy keyboard with a 101-key keyboard?

On the EX and HX, no. On other systems, yes, at least once upon a time, but you would need a special 101-key keyboard made for the 1000's. Two such keyboards where the Northgate Omnikey and the Datadesk Turbo 1000. (SL and later systems came with a 101-key keyboard.)

II.E.3. I can get a standard XT keyboard real cheap. Can I buy/make an adapter to attach it to my old 1000?

Don't know. Tandy used to sell such an adapter (Enhanced Keyboard Adapter 25-1030), but not any more. It would not be a straightforward wiring job, since the signals are different.

II.E.4. How can I make my old keyboard more compatible?

There are a couple of TSR's that will remap your keyboard to make it more compatible; see the utilities directory on the Tvdog site. Some Tandy DOS versions come with such a utility (KEYCNVRT.SYS); also see section IV.B.1.

II.E.5. What are the scan codes for the old Tandy keyboard?

Keyboard ASCII/Scan codes

The first table in this appendix lists the keys on the Tandy 1000 keyboard
in scan code order, along with the ASCII codes they generate. For each key,
the following entries are given:

SCAN CODE - A value in the range 01H-5AH which uniquely identifies the
physical key on the keyboard that is pressed.

KEYBOARD LEGEND - The physical marking(s) on the key. If there is more than
one marking, the upper one is listed first.

ASCII CODE - The ASCII codes associated with the key. The four modes are:
  NORMAL - The normal ASCII value when only the indicated key is pressed
  SHIFT - The shifted ASCII value
  CTRL - The control ASCII value
  ALT - the alternate ASCII value
  REMARKS - Any remarks or special functions
The following special symbols appear in the table:
  x - Values preceded by an "x" are extended ASCII codes, preceded by null
  - - No ASCII code generated
  * - No ASCII code is generated but the special function described in the
      remarks column is performed.

The ALT key provides a way to generate the ASCII codes of decimal numbers in
the range 1 to 255. Hold down the ALT key while you type ON THE NUMERIC
KEYPAD any decimal number in the range of 1 to 255. When you release ALT,
the ASCII code of the number typed is generated and displayed.

NOTE: When the NUM LOCK light is off, the NORMAL and SHIFT columns for these
keys should be reversed (referring to the keypad).

All numeric values in the table are expressed in hexadecimal.

"!" means the scan code is different from the standard. Note that the ASCII
codes may still be different if not marked with "!".

QWERTY (USA) - Tandy 1000

    Scan   Kybd
    Code  Legend     normal  shift  ctrl  alt  remarks
    01    ESC          1b      1b    1b   x8b
    02    1 !          31      21   xe1   x78
    03    2 @          32      40   x03   x79
    04    3 #          33      23   xe3   x7a
    05    4 $          34      24   xe4   x7b
    06    5 %          35      25   xe5   x7c
    07    6 ^          36      5e    1e   x7d
    08    7 &          37      26   xe7   x7e
    09    8 *          38      2a   xe8   x7f
    0a    9 (          39      28   xe9   x80
    0b    0 )          30      29   xe0   x81
    0c    - _          2d      5f    1f   x82
    0d    = +          3d      2b   xf5   x83
    0e    BACK SPACE   08      08    7f   x8c
    0f    TAB          09     x0f   x8d   x8e
    10    q            71      51    11   x10
    11    w            77      57    17   x11
    12    e            65      45    05   x12
    13    r            72      52    12   x13
    14    t            74      54    14   x14
    15    y            79      59    19   x15
    16    u            75      55    15   x16
    17    i            69      49    09   x17
    18    o            6f      4f    0f   x18
    19    p            70      50    10   x19
    1a    [ {          5b      7b    1b   xeb
    1b    ] }          5d      7d    1d    -
    1c    ENTER        0d      0d    0a   x8f  MAIN KEYBOARD
    1d    CTRL          *       *     *     *  CONTROL MODE
    1e    a            61      41    01   x1e
    1f    s            73      53    13   x1f
    20    d            64      44    04   x20
    21    f            66      46    06   x21
    22    g            67      47    07   x22
    23    h            68      48    08   x23
    24    j            6a      4a    0a   x24
    25    k            6b      4b    0b   x25
    26    l            6c      4c    0c   x26
    27    ; :          3b      3a   xf6   xf8
    28    ' "          27      22   xf7   xf1
!   29    UP ARROW    x48     x85   x90   x91
    2a    SHIFT         *       *     *     *  LEFT SHIFT
!   2b    LEFT ARROW  x4b     x87   x73   x92
    2c    z            7a      5a    1a   x2c
    2d    x            78      58    18   x2d
    2e    c            63      43    03   x2e
    2f    v            76      56    16   x2f
    30    b            62      42    02   x30
    31    n            6e      4e    0e   x31
    32    m            6d      4d    0d   x32
    33    , <          2c      3c   xf9   x89
    34    . >          2e      3e   xfa   x8a
    35    / ?          2f      3f   xfb   xf2
    36    SHIFT         *       *     *     *  RIGHT SHIFT
!   37    PRINT        10       *    72   x46  SCR PRINT TOGGLE
    38    ALT           *       *     *     *  ALTERNATE MODE
    39    SPACE BAR    20      20    20    20
    3a    CAPS LOCK     *       *     *     *  CAPS LOCK
    3b    F1           x3b    x54   x5e   x68
    3c    F2           x3c    x55   x5f   x69
    3d    F3           x3d    x56   x60   x6a
    3e    F4           x3e    x57   x61   x6b
    3f    F5           x3f    x58   x62   x6c
    40    F6           x40    x59   x63   x6d
    41    F7           x41    x5a   x64   x6e
    42    F8           x42    x5b   x65   x6f
    43    F9           x43    x5c   x66   x70
    44    F10          x44    x5d   x67   x71
    45    NUM LOCK       *      *     *     *  NUMBER LOCK
!   46    HOLD           *      *     *     *  FREEZE DISPLAY
    47    7 \           37     5c   x93     *
    48    8 ~           38     7e   x94     *
    49    9 PG UP       39    x49   x84     *
!   4a    DOWN ARROW   x50    x86   x96   x97
    4b    4 |           34     7c   x95     *
    4c    5             35    xf3   xfc     *
    4d    6             36    xf4   xfd     *
!   4e    RIGHT ARROW  x4d    x88   x74   xea
    4f    1 END         31    x4f   x75     *
    50    2 `           32     60   x9a     *
    51    3 PG DN       33    x51   x76     *
    52    0             30    x9b   x9c     *
!   53    - DELETE      2d    x53   x9d   x9e
!   54    BREAK        x00    x00     *     *  CTRL BREAK is the ctrl brk
                                               ALT BREAK is the scroll lock
!   55    + INSERT      2b    x52   x9f   xa0
!   56    .             2e    xa1   xa4   xa5  NUMERIC KEYPAD
!   57    ENTER         0d     0d    0a   x8f  NUMERIC KEYPAD
!   58    HOME         x47    x4a   x77   xa6
!   59    F11          x98    xa2   xac   xb6
!   5a    F12          x99    xa3   xad   xb7

Keyboard layout:

    F1  F2  F3  F4      F5  F6  F7  F8      F9 F10 F11     F12            +       -    break
   esc  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   0   -   =   backspace  alt  print   7   8   9
    tab   q   w   e   r   t   y   u   i   o   p   [   ]           hold  numlk   4   5   6
   control  a   s   d   f   g   h   j   k   l   ;   '    enter     up   home    1   2   3
 caps  shift  z   x   c   v   b   n   m   ,   .   /  shift  left  down  right   0   .  enter

II.F. Processors, Coprocessors and Motherboards

II.F.1. How can I increase the speed of the main processor?

You can replace the 8088 in the original 1000, A, HD, EX, or HX with an NEC V-20, and you can replace the 8086 in the SX or SL's with an NEC V-30. Both chips are extremely cheap and will provide about a 30% speedup. The V-20 will work in about 70% of original 1000's and 1000A's; in the other 30%, the machine will either fail to boot or behave erratically with the V-20 installed. There is no way of knowing in advance which machines the V-20 will work with. The 8086 in the RL's is surface mounted and can't be replaced. Jameco sells V-20's (see section IV.G.). A quick Web search as I am writing this turns up a guy in Europe selling V-30's. A side advantage of the V-20 and V-30 is that they can execute some 80286 instructions, if you need to run software that requires a 286.

The 1000 and 1000A can take a daughterboard called the "PC Sprint" that doubles the clock speed. The upgrade comes with both V-20 and 8088-2 processors, since as noted above it may be necessary on some systems to stay with an Intel chip. The speedup from the PC Sprint is up to 100%, depending on the application and whether the NEC chip can be used. DCS Industries used to sell the PC Sprint. There is a file describing how to wire up the board yourself, but it doesn't look like something you should try unless you're an engineer ;-).

There was a "286 Express" card made by PC Technologies for the 1000, 1000A, and 1000SX and sold by Tandy. Those cards were incompatible with some programs and expansion cards, and the SX tends to lock up a lot with one. Other 286 or 386 in-circuit emulator cards will not work. Results with the 286 Express card are reportedly better when using the card's TSR driver in AUTOEXEC.BAT rather than the CONFIG.SYS driver. It may be necessary to disable 286 mode on the card to load some TSR's, such as a mouse driver, and to run some programs.

For 286's, Evergreen made 386 and 486 daughterboards that you can replace the 286 with. The daughterboards will fit in the TL, TL/2, and TX, but not in the TL/3, RLX, or RLX-HD. Improve Technologies made similar daughterboards (theirs were called "Make it 386" and "Make it 486"). Nowadays, these daughterboards are scarcer than hen's teeth.

The Cyrix 486SRx2 was a clip-on upgrade for 386SX's that should work in the 1000RSX - if you can find it, which is not very likely.

There are programs to speed up the system by reducing the RAM refresh rate. You can get 10-20% speedup with them, but be careful: setting the refresh rate too low makes the memory unstable - and since the memory in the 1000-series (except the RSX) is not parity checked, the only sign that the rate is too low is inexplicable system crashes.

II.F.2. Can I install a math coprocessor?

On the EX, HX, RL's, and RLX's, no (there's no socket). On the original 1000, you have to add a socket before you can add a chip (see below). Otherwise, yes. You can find 8087, 80287, and 80387 chips for sale on eBay from time to time; people collect them nowadays. Make sure you are getting a working chip, though - collectors don't care, but you do.

To install a math coprocessor in the original 1000, you had to remove the 8088 and plug a daughterboard in in its place. The 8088 and 8087 were plugged into the daughterboard. The daughterboard was manufactured by Trionix, 3563 Roosevelt #B, Carlsbad, CA 92008 and sold by Tandy. You probably won't find one.

II.F.3. Can I replace the motherboard?

Blasphemy! :-) Seriously, this is a definite "maybe." You need to make sure (a) that the board is small enough to fit in the case, and (b) that the slots in back line up with the openings in the case. You are likely to have trouble with (b). DCS Industries used to sell 486 and Pentium replacement motherboards for the SL's, TL's, RL's, RLX's, and RSX's. You are unlikely to be able to fit a replacement motherboard in the EX or HX. Frankly, at current prices it makes more sense just to get a whole new system.

Replacement motherboards for the 1000's were reviewed in the December 1992 issue of PCM (see section IV.C.).

II.F.4. I want to slow my computer down so an old game will run. Where is the turbo switch?

Some of the 1000-series have two speeds, usually normal speed and half-speed, but there is no hardware turbo switch. Instead, additional parameters to the DOS Mode command are used: MODE SLOW (for half speed) and MODE FAST (for normal speed). This is a special feature of Tandy DOS and will disappear if you upgrade the DOS version (see section III.A.2.).

If you've already upgraded (so it's too late), you can try this program:


It was written for the 1000SX, but it works on the 1000TL and might work on other 1000's as well.

On older 1000's, the speed may be toggled by pressing a key at boot time. Ryan Davies writes:

At least on the Tandy 1000 TX, you can slow down the system by pressing F4 (I think that's the key) at startup to slow it down for the whole session. This is necessary for DOS upgraders (I did to 6.2 -- big mistake, I think). It changes mine from 8Mhz to 4Mhz.... [I]t says right above the four function keys what they do at startup. Just remove the writeable tab covering them.

There are also TSR's around to slow down a PC that you can use; check any large FTP archive.

II.G. Serial Ports, Modems, and Mice

II.G.1. Can I use a fast modem with my 1000?

Upgrading Your Tandy (see section IV.D.) reports that the original 1000 may have trouble with an internal modem. You can install a serial port and use an external modem. T.J. Harrell confirms the problem, and the workaround.

If it's a Winmodem, no. Winmodems are brain-dead crap that only work under Windows (and not Windows 3.x). Rockwell RPI modems are also brain-dead crap, almost but not completely useless, and generally to be avoided.

Otherwise, if it's an internal modem, generally yes (make sure it is an ISA card, not PCI). A problem can arise with external modems in that the serial port on (most?) of the 1000's has an 8250A UART, which is not suitable for high-speed data transfers; you will need to install another serial port with a 16550 UART chip (see section II.G.4.).

On early models with 8088 or 8086 processors, you might not be able to use a 28.8k modem at its full rate. Marc Williams writes the following:

One BBS I call I set PCPLUS up at 115K and the board works fine. Checked with the W2 command and the connect is either 26.4K or 28.8K.

When I got this present batch of mail the connect was 28.8K but the modem did what I expected. On only two boards in the past my modem had the habit of its CD light blinking like crazy. Sometimes for only a few seconds, sometimes so long the board will disconnect for inactivity. At present when it does happen with the ISP (like today) I'll be disconnected immediately.

Anyhind, back to the rate. Depending on the board I'm calling I usually get 21.6K or 24K (IIRC) and with the internet stuff it's 26.4K with no problems.

He has a 1000HX with a 16550 UART and an external 28.8k modem.

14.4k modems should work fine in any system.

II.G.2. Windows doesn't recognize the mouse on my RLX. What's wrong?

The mouse driver that comes with Windows expects the PS/2-type mouse on the RLX to use IRQ 12. The RLX doesn't have IRQ's above 7. The solution is to use a serial (Microsoft) mouse.

To use the PS/2 mouse port on the RLX (with DOS or DeskMate), you also have to enable it with Setuprlx.

II.G.3. My system doesn't have a serial port. Can I add one?

II.G.4. Can I add another serial port?

The original 1000, 1000A, HD, EX, HX, and SX did not come with a serial port. Of these, the original 1000, 1000A, HD, and SX can take a standard 8-bit serial port card. The EX and HX need a special card because of their nonstandard slots.

You can add a second serial port to any system, but the BIOS may not recognize more than two. Again, the EX and HX need special cards. Having the BIOS not recognize the port may not really be a problem, depending on the software for the serial device involved (i.e., communication programs usually program the port directly rather than through the BIOS). There are also programs available to "manually" patch the BIOS serial port list in low memory if need be, and you could easily make one with Debug. On my 1000TL, I found that a third serial port on COM4: would work, but COM3: would not; the BIOS does not recognize the third port, but that's OK.

Be careful with multi-function cards that come with game ports and hard drive or floppy drive controllers. If your system has built-in joystick ports, you will have to use them instead of the ones on the card, since they can't be disabled. Likewise, if the card comes with a hard drive controller, you will have to disable it. None of the 1000's can use the "el cheapo" AT IDE controllers that come on an I/O card. The floppy drive controller on the card will also have to go. You can add a secondary floppy controller, but you will need one with a built-in BIOS (see also section II.C.1.).

II.G.5. What kind of mouse is this, and where do I get a driver for it?

Tandy sold at least 5 different types of mice for the 1000-series. First, there was the standard Microsoft (serial) mouse. Second, the RSX's came with a port for a standard PS/2 mouse. You can use the standard MOUSE.COM or MOUSE.SYS for those two. Third, the TL/3, RL's, and RLX's have a connector for a PS/2 mouse, but it needs a special mouse driver because it uses a nonstandard interrupt. CuteMouse v1.9 works. Fourth, the DigiMouse is a bus mouse using a special controller card, which was available both as a standard 8-bit card (cat. no. 26-5144 or 25-1010) and as a PLUS card (25-1015). There is a driver for it here.

The Color Mouse is a joystick made up to look like a mouse (it plugs into a 6-pin joystick port). It is so called because it was the mouse used on the Color Computer (see section IV.H.). DeskMate directly supports the Color Mouse without an external driver; select "joystick" as the mouse type in Setup. Otherwise, the DOS driver for this mouse was called JOY.SYS. The Tandy support site talks mainly about using the Color Mouse as a joystick replacement in games, however.

The mouse port on the TL/3, RL's and RLX's may also need to be enabled using the system setup program - see section III.E.1. If the mouse is enabled but not working, try disabling it, rebooting, then reenabling and rebooting again; that sometimes "wakes it up." DeskMate that came with those systems has a built-in driver for the mouse, so you can use DeskMate to check whether the mouse works independently of whether you have the right DOS driver.

II.H. Parallel Ports and Printers

II.H.1. My printer keeps double-spacing. How do I make it stop?

According to Tony Gordon:

Well, on some Tandy printers, specifically the DMP models that I have used (DMP 130, 130A) there are a bank of dip switches that control various functions of the printer. One of them controls the LF/CR signals. You can set it to LF=LF or LF=LF/CR (double spacing) LF=LF just interprets the line feed. It will interpret the carriage return when it is sent. LF=LF/CR means that when a LF is sent, the carriage is also returned to home position, and since most lines come to the computer with a CR/LF, you get double spacing.

Some people are hesitant about modifying dip switches and such, so you can run LPINST and it will ask you a couple of questions about your printer (whether it double spaces when you want single spacing or if it prints on the same line without advancing the paper). It then creates/updates an AUTOEXEC.BAT file with the correct DOS commands, (i.e. LF and MODE) for your printer so that it will space properly.

Using the wrong printer cable may cause this problem - see section II.H.4.

II.H.2. What kinds of printers can I use with a 1000?

Most types of printers can be used with a Tandy 1000 provided you use an appropriate printer cable to connect to your computer. Be careful of laser printers that expect a bidirectional parallel port, however (see section II.H.5.). The printer port on the TL/3, RLX's, and RSX's is a standard 25-pin port. The system setup program controls whether it is bidirectional or not. The RL and RL-HD also have a standard 25-pin port; it is unidirectional.

A veteran programmer with Tandy writes:

WARNING: Some newer printers can be blown out (or blow the computer out) by connecting them to a TRS-80 model I, II, III, 4, 4P, 12, 16, or 100; or a Tandy 6000, 1000, 1200, or 2000. These systems used a Centronics-standard printer interface and newer printers usually have a IBM-PC printer interface. Trust IBM to not follow an existing industry-standard and to use the same connector and 95% of the same signals. Don't get burned.

The following information was provided by:

William K. Walker
North Valley Digital
P.O. Box 1941
Kalispell MT 59903-1941
+1 (406) 257-2306

                COMPUTER TYPE     "OLD": Any Tandy 1000 series except 1000RL's,
PRINTER         "OLD"   "NEW"            RLX's, RSX, and TL/3. (These systems
-------         -----   -----            have a card-edge printer port.)
CGP 115           A       C       "NEW": All other IBM compatibles, including
CGP 220           A       C              laptops. (These systems have a
DMP 100           A       C              normal 25-pin printer port.)
DMP 105           A       C       Tandy cable catalog numbers:
DMP 106           A       C                 6 foot   12 foot
DMP 107           A       C            A   26-0225   26-0222
DMP 110           A       C            B   26-0289   26-1259
DMP 120           A       C            C   26-0227   26-0223
DMP 130           A       C            D   26-0288   26-1258
DMP 130A          A       C            E   26-1416
DMP 132           A       C
DMP 133           A       C
DMP 134           B       D
DMP 135           B       D
DMP 136           B       D
DMP 137           B       D
DMP 200           A       C
DMP 202           B       D
DMP 203           B       D
DMP 204           B       D
DMP 205           B       D
DMP 206           B       D
DMP 207           B       D
DMP 2100          A       C
DMP 2100P         A       C
DMP 2102          A       C
DMP 2103          B       D
DMP 2104          B       D
DMP 2110          A       C
DMP 2120          A       C
DMP 2130          B       D
DMP 2200          A       C
DMP 240           B       D
DMP 250           B       D
DMP 300           A       C
DMP 302           B       D
DMP 310           B       D
DMP 400           A       C
DMP 420           A       C
DMP 430           A       C
DMP 440           A       C
DMP 442           A       C
DMP 500           A       C
DWP I (Qume)      A       C
DWP II            A       C
DWP 210           A       C
DWP 220           A       C
DWP 230           A       C
DWP 410           A       C
DWP 510           A       C
DWP 520           A       C
FP 215            A       C
JP 250            B       D
Line Printer I    A       C
Line Printer II   E
Line Printer III  A       C
Line Printer IV   E
Line Printer V    A       C
Line Printer VI   A       C
Line Printer VII  A       C
Line Printer VIII A       C
LMP 2150          A       C
LP 400            B       D
LP 410            B       D
LP 800            B       D
LP 950            B       D
LP 990            B       D
LP 1000           A       C
Plotter Printer   A       C
Quick Printer II  E
Screen Printer    E
TRP 100           A       C
IBM type printers B       D
EPSON type        B       D
Panasonic type    B       D
(I've added some to the above.) Printers that use cable types "B" or "D" have a standard port. Printers that use cable types "A" or "C" have a port that looks like a standard one but isn't. Printers that use cable type "E" have a card edge connector.

Cable type "D" is the standard cable that you can get from your local computer store. If you need one of the other cable types, you need to get (or make) the special Tandy cable. If your Tandy printer is not listed, contact Radio Shack customer support to find out which cable you need (see section IV.A.). If your non-Tandy printer is not listed, use cable "B" or "D", depending on what type of computer you have.

It is possible to make your own printer cable. There was a good article on the subject by David P. Miller, "Talking to Your Printer," in Computer News PC, vol. 3, no. 12, pp. 12-14.

Here are the pin connections for cable type "A" (26-0225/0222):

   |                                                     |
   |  1  3  5  7  9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33  |
   |                                                     |
   |  2  4  6  8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34  |
        female card edge printer connector (pin side)
|                                                           |
|    1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18   |
\                                                           /
 \  19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36  /
         male Centronics printer connector (pin side)

            Card edge pin       Centronics pin(s)
            -------------       -----------------
                  1                     1        
                  2                    19
                  3                     2
                  4                    20
                  5                     3
                  6                    21
                  7                     4
                  8                    22
                  9                     5
                 10                    23
                 11                     6
                 12                    24
                 13                     7
                 14                    25
                 15                     8
                 16                    26
                 17                     9
                 18                    27
                 19                    10
                 20                    28
                 21                    11
                 22                    29
                 23                    12
                 24                    30
                 25                    13
                 26                    31
                 27                    14
                 28                    32
                 29                    15
                 30                    33
                 31                    16
                 32                    34
                 33                    17
                 34                    35
                 n/c                 18, 36

And here are the pin connections for cable type "B" (26-0289/1259):

   |                                                     |
   |  1  3  5  7  9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33  |
   |                                                     |
   |  2  4  6  8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34  |
        female card edge printer connector (pin side)
|                                                           |
|    1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18   |
\                                                           /
 \  19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36  /
         male Centronics printer connector (pin side)

            Card edge pin       Centronics pin(s)
            -------------       -----------------
                  1                     1        
                  2                    19
                  3                     2
                  4                    20
                  5                     3
                  6                    21
                  7                     4
                  8                    22
                  9                     5
                 10                    23
                 11                     6
                 12                    24
                 13                     7
                 14                    25
                 15                     8
                 16                    26
                 17                     9
                 18                    27
                 19                    10
                 20                    28
                 21                    11
                 22                    29
                 23                    12
                 24                    30
                 25                    13
                 26                    n/c
                 27                    14
                 28                    32
                 29                    n/c
                 30                    31
                 31                    16
                 32                    34
                 33                    17
                 34                    35
                 n/c                 18, 36

And here are pin connections for cable type "C" (26-0227/0223):

        |                                          |
        |   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13  |  
        \                                          /
         \   14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25  /
              male DB-25 connector (pin side)
|                                                           |
|    1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18   |
\                                                           /
 \  19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36  /
         male Centronics printer connector (pin side)
              DB-25 pin       Centronics pin(s)
              ---------       -----------------
                  1                   1        
                  2                   2
                  3                   3
                  4                   4
                  5                   5
                  6                   6
                  7                   7
                  8                   8
                  9                   9
                 10                  10
                 11                  11
                 12                  12
                 13                  18
                 14                  n/c
                 15                  32
                 16                  33
                 17                  n/c
                 18                  23
                 19                  24
                 20                  25
                 21                  26
                 22                  27
                 23                  28
                 24                  29
                 25                  30
                 n/c          13-17, 19-22, 31,

You might find one on eBay from time to time, but most likely if the cable you need didn't come with your printer, you will need to make it, using the pinouts above.

You can install a standard parallel port in an expansion slot, if you have a system with a card-edge printer port. You will need to jumper the card for LPT2: to avoid conflicting with the built-in port.

The serial ports on older Tandy printers are for connecting to the Color Computer. They are not compatible with an IBM PC serial port.

II.H.3. What is the pinout for the card-edge printer connector?

Tandy once made cables to connect various printers to the card-edge port. See section II.H.2.
      34 32 30 28 26 24 22 20 18 16 14 12 10  8  6  4  2
        male card edge printer connector (finger side)

Pin      Designation          Direction      Notes
---      -----------          ---------      -----
  1      *Strobe                 out
  2      Ground                  out
  3      Data 0                  out
  4      Ground                  out
  5      Data 1                  out
  6      Ground                  out
  7      Data 2                  out
  8      Ground                  out
  9      Data 3                  out
 10      Ground                  out
 11      Data 4                  out
 12      Ground                  out
 13      Data 5                  out
 14      (not connected)         n/a
 15      Data 6                  out
 16      Ground                  out
 17      Data 7                  out
 18      Ground                  out
 19      *Acknowledge            in
 20      Ground                  out
 21      Busy                    in
 22      Ground                  out
 23      Paper End               in
 24      Ground                  out
 25      Select                  in          Jumper controlled.
 26      (not connected)         n/a
 27      *Auto Feed              out         Original 1000, A, HD: Ground. 
 28      *Error                  in
 29      (not connected)         n/a
 30      *Initialize Printer     out
 31      Ground                  out
 32      (not connected)         n/a         Original 1000, A, HD: Auto Feed.
 33      Ground                  out
 34      +5V                     out         Original 1000, A, HD: not connected.
* = active low
As noted, the card edge printer port in the original 1000, A, and HD is slightly different from later models. On several models, the Select signal is by default wired high rather than connected to the printer; a jumper must be installed to connect it (see section II.H.5.). All the ground pins shown above are wired together on the motherboard.

II.H.4. Can I connect my old Tandy printer to my new computer?

The short answer is "yes," as long as you use the right cable; see section II.H.2. If you want the gruesome details, read the following.

Tandy confirmed (in a user newsletter) that permanent damage to the computer can result when attaching old Tandy printers (DMP 133, 440 and 107, the LP 1000, and older models) to newer clones, particularly the Packard Bell. The problem results from +5V being supplied by the printer on Centronics pin 18, which is not standard for IBM.

There is a problem with double-spacing on old Tandy printers when connected to newer machines. This problem is solved by covering pin 14 on the printer cable at the computer end with Scotch tape (or by using a Tandy cable). The problem can also be handled by a MODE LFOFF command at the DOS prompt, but this will not work with all programs, particularly those with their own printer drivers.

Old DMP's use Centronics pin 33 as the INIT line, while the IBM standard is to tie that pin to ground. This places the DMP's in a permanent INIT state, so they do not work.

Some old Tandy printers do not support the IBM/Epson control code set. Reportedly, they can be upgraded to do so by replacing the printer's ROM chip (the only such ROM upgrade that I know of is for the DMP 2110).

Wayne Day writes:

A.D. You obviously saw the PC-to-Tandy cable comparison. Here it is, again, so you can put it into the FAQ. Note, one of my members on CompuServe did the work, and I don't know who it is, so please don't credit me with this. [Sorry, Wayne ...]
.    IBM Cable                  Tandy Cable
. 25pin      36 pin          25pin      36 pin
.   1 --------- 1              1 --------- 1
.   2 --------- 2              2 --------- 2
.   3 --------- 3              3 --------- 3
.   4 --------- 4              4 --------- 4
.   5 --------- 5              5 --------- 5
.   6 --------- 6              6 --------- 6
.   7 --------- 7              7 --------- 7
.   8 --------- 8              8 --------- 8
.   9 --------- 9              9 --------- 9
.  10 -------- 10             10 -------- 10
.  11 -------- 11             11 -------- 11
.  12 -------- 12             12 -------- 12
.  13 -------- 13             13 -------- 18
.  14 -------- 14             14 --
.  15 -------- 32             15 -------- 32
.  16 -------- 31             16 -------- 33
.  17 -------- 36             17 --
.  18 ----*--- 16             18 -------- 23
.  19 ----|--- 19             19 -------- 24
.  20 ----|--- 20             20 -------- 25
.  21 ----|--- 21             21 -------- 26
.  22 ----|--- 22             22 -------- 27
.  23 ----|--- 23             23 -------- 28
.  24 ----|--- 24             24 -------- 29
.  25 ----|--- 25             25 -------- 30
.         |--- 26                      -- 13
.         |--- 27                      -- 14
.         |--- 28                      -- 15
.         |--- 29                      -- 16
.         |--- 30                      -- 17
.         *--- 33                      -- 19
.           -- 15                      -- 20
.           -- 17                      -- 21
.           -- 18                      -- 22
.           -- 34                      -- 31
.           -- 35                      -- 34
.                                      -- 35
.                                      -- 36
Look at pins 13, 14, and 16, from the 25 pin side, and you'll find the culprits. These three signals go to different places in the 36 pin connector. All of the signals that are tied together in the IBM cable are grounds, and the grounds in the Tandy cable are separate, so that grounding takes place after the cable is hooked up. But pin 33 in the Tandy printers is the initialize printer signal, and with the IBM cable, it's hooked to ground, and knocks the printer off line.

Chances are that swapping pins 31 and 33 (at the printer end of the cable), plus disconnecting pin 14 will probably do the job. If necessary, also swap pins 13 & 18.

Instead of modifying an existing cable, you could make your own from scratch (see section II.H.2.).

II.H.5. Can I use a parallel-port peripheral (other than a printer with my card-edge printer port?

Probably not. It will only work if the device is unidirectional (output only). You will need an adapter to convert the card-edge parallel port to a standard one (a company called PC Enterprises used to sell them). John B. Sandlin gave instructions for making a parallel port adapter on his Web site. Here are the connectors for the two port types:
        |                                          |
        |  13 12 11 10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1  |
        \                                          /
         \   25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14  /

             Pin Orientation of DB-25 Connecter
           looking at the side away from the cable

   |                                                     |
   |  1  3  5  7  9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33  |
   |                                                     |
   |  2  4  6  8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34  |

         Pin Orientation of 34 pin Card Edge Socket
           looking at the side away from the cable
This is how you wire it:
     DB-25      34 pin socket
     -----      -------------
       1               1      
       2               3
       3               5
       4               7
       5               9
       6              11
       7              13
       8              15
       9              17
      10              19
      11              21
      12              23
      13              25
      14              27
      15              28
      16              30
      17              N/C
      18        2, 4, 6, 8, 10
      19              12
      20              14
      21              16
      22              18
      23              20
      24              22
      25          24, 31, 33
      N/C       26, 29, 32, 34

See John's Web site for detailed instructions on making the adapter.

Be aware that some devices cannot be used with a unidirectional port and will damage your machine if you try. Ryan Davies writes:

Please make mention to users wanting to attach other peripherals (especially laser printers) to the existing card-edge printer port on all Tandys with that kind of port that it is 4-bit (not bi-directional) and any bi-directional attempt on this port can possibly even damage the motherboard and fry the peripheral's system board. (not like I'm speaking from experience or anything....)

He adds that "my Tandy's parallel port is dead." He has a 1000TX.

It is preferable to get a bidirectional parallel port on an expansion card and use that, if you have a slot available. Be sure to jumper the card for the secondary address to avoid conflict with the built-in port. Otherwise, on some models you can disable the built-in parallel port using the /A option on the system setup program.

II.I. Expansion Slots

II.I.1. How can I get standard expansion slots on a 1000HX or EX?

DCS Industries used to sell a slot box you could use to add standard slots. The slot box comes with four additional drive bays and a 200-watt power supply.

Otherwise, you can make an adapter. As with any project where you're modifying your computer's electronics, do this at your own risk.

The "PLUS"-style expansion slots in the 1000EX and 1000HX are not quite electrically the same as an 8-bit IBM-standard expansion slot (see section II.I.4.). One major difference is the lack of DMA in the EX and HX as they came from the factory. A DMA chip is included on the expansion cards that increase memory above 256k.

Unfortunately, expansion cards that use the "PLUS" connector tend to be a lot more expensive than the same cards that use the standard card-edge connector - and there are a lot fewer of them available.

I got this third hand; a gentleman named Jay Wigginton originally posted this on some online service, perhaps America Online, in 1989. You need the following parts:

(1) Radio Shack Plus Adapter Board, catalog number 25-1016. It was $14.95 in 1989. This was a standard 8-bit card to which one of the special "PLUS" cards made for the 1000EX and HX could be attached - essentially the reverse of the adapter you're making.

(2) Female "PLUS" header connector, part number 8519257. This is a part off of the 1000EX/HX "PLUS" memory expansion card referred to above. Get it from Tandy National Parts (see section IV.G.). (You still need to have the memory card itself if you want to get DMA, as noted above.)

(3) 31/62 pin edge connector, part number 8519236. This is a part off of the 1000SX. It comes from Tandy National Parts also. It is the female (motherboard) side of a standard 8-bit slot connector.

According to Mr. Wigginton, you first remove the male PLUS connector (by desoldering) from (1), "being careful not to damage the board." Next, cut the top off of (1) down to just above where the "PLUS" connector was. Cut the "edge finger" (male edge connector) off of the bottom of (1), "leaving about 1/8 inch of the gold fingers exposed below the solder mask (the green covering on the board)" (Wigginton notes that that cut is optional - the cutting is probably best done with a grinding wheel).

Now solder the female edge connector (3) to the holes left when you removed the "PLUS" connector from (1). "It will be necessary to bend the pins so that they fit," Wigginton notes. The connector should be attached on the side of (1) with printing.

Finally, solder (2) to the edge fingers on (1). "Check all pins for shorts to other pins. Use a continuity checker. This is very important; it will not function if any pins are shorted together."

OR ... you could do it the easy way. Just get some 62-pin ribbon cable and crimp-on connectors, 62-pin female to connect to the Plus memory card and 62-pin card edge to plug standard cards into. Crimp them together and you have your adapter. As above, check for continuity on all pins and shorts on adjacent pins. Keep the length of the cable to 9" or less.

II.I.2. How can I add additional expansion slots?

At one time you could buy a slot box. If you're handy, you may be able to modify an old XT to work as a slot box; otherwise, ISA expansion chassis can still be purchased, but they are very pricey - over $1000 each.

There were also "add card" riser cards made. These were standard 8- or 16-bit cards with 3-4 additional slots on the side of the card. There are companies that still make them. Check out this site, for example:


II.I.3. What kinds of cards will work in the slots on a 1000?

The EX and HX will require special cards made for them, unless you make an adapter (see section II.I.1.). Other systems can use most standard 8-bit cards. The cards will need to be 10" in length or shorter to fit in the case ("1/2 length" or "3/4 length"). The types of cards to watch out for here are hard cards and EMS cards - it's mostly very old cards that are too long (the original 8-bit IBM VGA card is too long, as is the original Xebec hard drive controller). Only the RSX's can take 16-bit cards - though some 16-bit cards will work in an 8-bit slot (some ISA VGA controllers, for example).

The slots on the original 1000, A, HD, SX, and TX are physically the same as a standard 8-bit slot, but differ in some signals. On the original 1000 and 1000A, there is no DMA unless a memory expansion card is installed. Models up to the TX also use IRQ 5 for vertical sync and will require a hard drive controller that uses IRQ 2 (on the SX and TX you can flip a switch on the motherboard to disable IRQ 5 on the motherboard and use a standard controller, but not on the original 1000 or 1000A). See section II.D.1. regarding hard drives.

Space inside some models is particularly tight, the RL and RLX for example. It would be a good idea before you buy a card to open up the case and see the lay of the land, maybe even take a picture.

II.I.4. What is the pinout for the Plus expansion connector in the 1000HX and EX?

           (Back of machine)
   A1    NMI             B1   Ground
   A2    D7              B2   BRESET
   A3    D6              B3   +5 Volts
   A4    D5              B4   IRQ2
   A5    D4              B5   N/C
   A6    D3              B6   FDCMRQ
   A7    D2              B7   -12 Volts
   A8    D1              B8   N/C
   A9    D0              B9   +12 Volts
   A10   RDYIN           B10  Ground
   A11   AEN             B11  MEMW*
   A12   A19             B12  MEMR*
   A13   A18             B13  IOW*
   A14   A17             B14  IOR*
   A15   A16             B15  N/C     
   A16   A15             B16  N/C
   A17   A14             B17  N/C
   A18   A13             B18  N/C
   A19   A12             B19  REFRESH*
   A20   A11             B20  CLK
   A21   A10             B21  RFSH*
   A22   A09             B22  BREQ*
   A23   A08             B23  N/C
   A24   A07             B24  IRQ4
   A25   A06             B25  IRQ3
   A26   A05             B26  FDCDACK*
   A27   A04             B27  DMATC
   A28   A03             B28  ALE
   A29   A02             B29  +5 Volts
   A30   A01             B30  OSC
   A31   A00             B31  Ground
For reference, here is the pinout for a standard 8-bit slot:
           (Back of machine)
   B01   Ground          A01  IOCHCHK*
   B02   RESET           A02  D7
   B03   +5 Volts        A03  D6
   B04   IRQ2            A04  D5
   B05   -5 Volts        A05  D4
   B06   DRQ2            A06  D3
   B07   -12 Volts       A07  D2
   B08   NOWS*           A08  D1
   B09   +12 Volts       A09  D0
   B10   Ground          A10  IOCHRDY
   B11   MEMW*           A11  AEN
   B12   MEMR*           A12  A19
   B13   IOW*            A13  A18
   B14   IOR*            A14  A17
   B15   DACK3*          A15  A16
   B16   DRQ3            A16  A15
   B17   DACK1*          A17  A14
   B18   DRQ1            A18  A13
   B19   REFRESH*        A19  A12
   B20   CLK             A20  A11
   B21   IRQ7            A21  A10
   B22   IRQ6            A22  A09
   B23   IRQ5            A23  A08
   B24   IRQ4            A24  A07
   B25   IRQ3            A25  A06
   B26   DACK2*          A26  A05
   B27   DMATC           A27  A04
   B28   ALE             A28  A03
   B29   +5 Volts        A29  A02
   B30   OSC             A30  A01
   B31   Ground          A31  A00
Side "A" is the component side on a standard XT card. Note that the Plus card slot is electrically identical to a standard XT slot on the "A" side, but there are several differences on the "B" side. DMA signals on B15-18 are added by the memory expansion card if installed. Pins B06, B21, B22, B26, and B27 are actually the same but with different names. -5 volts is often not implemented on a standard slot.

Most cards will work if you make an adapter (see above), especially if you have a memory card installed. Some expansion cards used in the 1000-series have the same connector.

II.J. Game Ports, Joysticks, and Sound

II.J.1. Can I use a standard joystick?

On the RSX and RSX-HD, yes. You need to get an expansion card with game ports on it. Otherwise, no, since you have built-in game ports that cannot be disabled. The following systems have two 6-pin DIN (round) joystick ports: original 1000, 1000A, HD, EX, HX, SX, TX, SL's, TL's, RL's, and RLX's ("A" versions). To install a joystick on those systems, you need to use a Tandy-style joystick; they turn up on eBay from time to time (the Color Computer uses the same joysticks). The RLX-B and RLX-HD-B have two 8-pin mini-DIN joystick ports. There was an adapter available from Tandy for connecting a 6-pin joystick to the RLX's ports, part 26-0284.

The Tandy 1000 game ports are not 100% compatible with standard ports, but they work most of the time, with most software.

If you have built-in game ports and try to use a standard joystick with an expansion card, the new joystick will only work with some software, or only when a joystick is connected to the built-in port, or only when it isn't - or only when the moon is full on a Friday. (It seems to work on my 1000TL, though - not that I've given it much tryout.)

It is possible to make an adapter to attach a standard joystick to the 6-pin port (see section II.J.4.).

II.J.2. Can I emulate SoundBlaster with the Tandy DAC?

No. There are some programs for the Tandy DAC at the tvdog site (see section IV.B.1.).

If you want SoundBlaster compatibility, you can install a SoundBlaster or SoundBlaster Pro in an expansion slot. If you do so, you will have to stop using the Tandy DAC, since the SoundBlaster drivers will be confused by the DAC BIOS routines.

It is possible to emulate the Covox Speech Thing (dumb DAC) with the Tandy DAC, if your program supports that. Get file:


II.J.3. Can I install a Tandy DAC or 3-voice chip in a normal PC?

Probably not. Tandy once made a PSSJ expansion card ("PSSJ" is the name of the sound chip), but they are very rare. If you find the card, you will need to jumper it for IRQ 7, DMA 1, as software for the Tandy DAC expects those settings. The "SayIt" card from Roar Technology of Canada may be the same (see section III.B.7.).

There are emulators for the 3-voice chip if you want to play your old Tandy games on a newer PC. Check out the Tandem emulator, for example.

II.J.4. What is the pinout for the Tandy joystick?

The pinout for the 6-pin joystick connector is:

    5  X  1
    4     2
   1 is Y-axis
   2 is X-axis
   3 is Ground (0V)
   4 is Button 1
   5 is +5V
   6 is Button 2
The pinout for a standard joystick is:
          \ 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 /
           \ 9  10 11 12 13 14 15 /

    pin     assignment
    1       +5V
    2       stick 1 button 1
    3       stick 1 X-axis
    4       ground (0V)
    5       ground (0V)
    6       stick 1 Y-axis
    7       stick 1 button 2
    8       +5V
    9       +5V
    10      stick 2 button 1
    11      stick 2 X-axis
    12      ground (0V)
    13      stick 2 Y-axis
    14      stick 2 button 2
    15      +5V

II.K. Miscellaneous

II.K.1. Radio Shack no longer sells parts for my Tandy. Where can I get them?

See section IV.G.

II.K.2. When I turn my computer on, it just beeps a lot and refuses to boot. Why does it do that?


It is normal for a XT or AT clone to beep once or twice during the POST test. More that this indicates a severe error. Beep codes are issued as a sequence of three sets of beeps. For example, BEEP {pause} BEEP BEEP {pause} BEEP BEEP is the code represented as 1--2--2. The Phoenix ROM name is listed by each beep code.


      2--1--1  BIT 0 FIRST 64K RAM FAILURE
      2--1--2  BIT 1
      2--1--3  BIT 2
      2--1--4  BIT 3
      2--2--1  BIT 4
      2--2--2  BIT 5
      2--2--3  BIT 6
      2--2--4  BIT 7
      2--3--1  BIT 8
      2--3--2  BIT 9
      2--3--3  BIT 10
      2--3--4  BIT 11
      2--4--1  BIT 12
      2--4--2  BIT 13
      2--4--3  BIT 14
      2--4--4  BIT 15 FIRST 64K RAM FAILURE


      4--2--1  TIMER TICK FAILURE
      4--2--3  GATE A20 FAILURE
Tandy beep codes might not really look like the above, but you still have some kind of hardware problem.

II.K.3. Where can I get diagnostic software for the 1000's?

You can get generic PC diagnostic software at Garbo or Simtel. See section III.G.3. At one time, you could get diagnostic disks from Tandy National Parts.

II.K.4. What is this connector marked "light pen"?

The original 1000, 1000A, HD, and SX had a connector for a light pen. This is not a serial port. It is pretty useless since there are very few light pens around to plug into it. Remember the cassette port on the original IBM PC? Another useless port.

There were two light pens sold for the 1000. The CPT/S color/monochrome light pen (Radio Shack cat. no. 90-2085) sold for $179.95. It could not be used to emulate a mouse. The CPT/S was made by The Light Pen Company, 12500 Beatrice Street, Los Angeles, CA 90066. The WS-250 light pen (cat. no. 90-2069) sold for $199.99. There was a Penmouse program available for it that might enable it to emulate a mouse. Penmouse was originally sold separately for $49.99, though later it was included with the pen. The WS-250 was made by Warp Speed Computer Products, 555 S. Inglewood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90230.

If you have a light pen, it is software-compatible with the PCjr light pen. There are not very many programs around that support a light pen, but there are some. I don't have a list. Consult a book on the PCjr for programming information (the light pen is programmed through the video controller).

II.K.5. I just got a 1000 at a yard sale, and it didn't come with disks or manuals or anything. Where can I get some?

There are some disk sets in the system directory on the Tvdog site and some manuals in PDF format in the documents directory on that site. Tandy DOS 3.2 or 3.3 from the SX or TL disk sets will run on any 1000-series model. MS-DOS 6.22 will run on the later models at least (SL and later), though Tandy DOS may be better (see section III.A.2.). Otherwise, watch eBay for a while or ask in comp.sys.tandy.

II.K.6. What are the jumper/switch settings for my 1000 or my Tandy adapter card?

Some of them may be given in your owner's manual. Check Tandy's support WWW site to find out about the others (see section IV.B.2.).

1000's Tech Notes and Jumper Manual, Volumes 1 and 2 contains jumper/switch settings for all 1000's and Tandy adapter cards (see section IV.D.).

II.K.7. I just got a 1000 secondhand, and it has some expansion card in it that I can't identify. How do I find out about it?

If it's a Tandy card, check Tandy's support WWW site for information (see section IV.B.2.).

Note that the 1000's can use most any expansion card that works in an IBM XT, so the possibilities are nearly endless.

For the original 1000, 1000A, and 1000HD, which were less compatible than later models, several companies marketed custom cards, and those companies are long gone now. Since those systems only had 3 expansion slots, multifunction boards were popular. The boards commonly included a DMA chip, memory upgrade to 640k, a serial port, a clock chip, a PLUS connector for an additional PLUS-type expansion card, and/or EMS memory. Some of these were:

PBJ MFB-1000, sold by PBJ, 5725 Kennedy Boulevard, North Bergen, NJ 07047 (the manual for this one is available online)

TanPak, sold by Hard Drive Specialist, 16208 Hickory Knoll, Houston, TX 77059

Micro Mainframe 4N1, sold by Micro Mainframe, 120 Blue Ravine Road #2, Folsom, CA 95630

Zuckerboard Multifunction Board, sold by Advanced Transducer Devices, 1287 Lawrence Station Road, Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Matthew Electronics Master/Card, sold by Automation Facilities Corp., 6383 Rose Lane, Carpinteria, CA 93013

PCA Multiboard, sold by PCA Technology, 2512 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93308

Z Multifunction Board, sold by Howard Medical Computers, 1690 Elston, Chicago, IL 60622

PIC DMA Half Megaboard, sold by PIC (no address known - phone was (714) 261-0503)

Several of the above companies also sold other cards for the original 1000 and 1000A, as well as PLUS cards for the EX and HX.

The FCC has database you can search to get the name and address of the manufacturer of any item with an FCC ID number on it. Go to this site:


Use the second form on that site for older parts. Once you determine what card it is, see if the manufacturer has a WWW or FTP site; also check out Total Hardware 99 at:


II.K.8. When I turn the system on, it just displays the memory size and sits there. What's happening?

(On some systems, the BIOS version is displayed rather than the memory size.) If you're not getting a beep code indicating a hardware problem (see section II.K.2.), then the EEPROM is seriously messed up. If you have a hard drive, try unplugging the data cable and see if it boots then; also try removing all the expansion cards. If it still doesn't work, try removing the EEPROM from the machine and placing it pins down on a flat metal surface for a day or so.

For the 1000RLX, here is another method of wiping the EEPROM from the 1000's Tech Notes and Jumper Manual: "If the system will not boot, then turn power off. Connect a 150 ohm, 1/4 watt resistor to pin 4 and pin 8 on chip U3 (the EEPROM). Make sure the resistor does not come in contact with any other pins. Turn power on, once the system is at the A>, then remove the resistor and run the SETUPRLX program." (This works. Pin 1 is left of the notch, pins are numbered counterclockwise.)

If you can get your system to boot somehow, run SETUPxx /F afterwards to reprogram the EEPROM to factory defaults. (Some setups don't have /F; look for a "restore defaults" option instead.)

Some 1000's have a lithium coin battery in them, but that battery is not connected to the EEPROM - it operates the (nonstandard) clock chip. Hence, it is useless on these systems to remove the battery and wait for the EEPROM to discharge, which will never happen.

Note that one way to mess up the EEPROM on a system with DOS and DeskMate in ROM is to install and run a DeskMate runtime program outside of DeskMate. If you have DeskMate, you must use it to run DeskMate programs. (This generally won't make the machine unbootable, however.)

III. Software Questions


III.A.1. My system has DOS in ROM. How do I upgrade the DOS version?

If you're using a hard drive, run FDISK to make sure the first partition is marked "active" (bootable), then install the DOS upgrade on the drive.

Run the system setup program. Set PRIMARY START-UP DEVICE to DISK (not ROM or MEMORY), and set INITIAL START-UP PROGRAM to MS-DOS (not DESKMATE).

You also have to specify where to look for CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT. There are three options. If you tell SETUPxx to look for the files on C:, then the machine will always use the files on C:, regardless of whether there is a floppy in the drive at startup. If CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT on C: get messed up, the machine becomes unbootable (see section III.A.4.). Likewise, if you tell SETUPxx to look for CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT on A: it will check the floppy drive for the files, and if there is no diskette in the drive it will not use CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT. The best choice is to leave CHECK FOR CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT set to NO, which will cause your Tandy to boot from a floppy if one is in the drive or from the hard drive if not, and use the files on whichever drive it boots from - like a normal PC.

If you don't have a hard drive and you set PRIMARY START-UP DEVICE to DISK, you will have to use a bootable floppy. It is, of course, invalid to specify that CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT are on C: in that case. Even if you have a hard drive, you should make a bootable diskette with the new version of DOS and the system setup program on it for emergencies (see section III.A.4.).

Note that your ROM drive disappears when you upgrade DOS (see section III.A.2.).

III.A.2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of upgrading DOS?

The advantages are pretty much common knowledge. Upgrading DOS can give you upper memory blocks (saving conventional memory), online help, task switching, Interlink (for transferring files between computers), and hard drive compression. Many people have upgraded successfully.

Here are the disadvantages, according to Tandy:

The early 1000's up to and including the 1000TX computer have problems formatting and reading floppy drives to their fullest capacity with any DOS higher than DOS 3.2. These formatting and reading problems show themselves as a 720K drive behaving as a 360K drive. The 1000's have also shown problems with hard drive FAT tables being scrambled or corrupted by DOS version higher than 3.2, thereby rendering the hard drive inoperable!

The 1000's ROM DOS-Based systems will lose the use of Deskmate if any other version of DOS is loaded other than the one it was shipped with. The Tandy 1000 ROM DOS based computers are either 8088, 8086, or 286XT's, because of this they can't load DOS into high memory. Therefore all of DOS must reside in base memory, (640K) leaving less of it free for programs to run in. The original DOS 3.2 or 3.3 leaves between 557K to 575K of free memory for programs to run in. Installation of DOS 5.0 or 6.0 may scramble the EEPROM chip beyond recoverability on the Tandy 1000 ROM-DOS based computers. This will [cause] the computer to lock with the 640K memory size displayed on the screen and fail to boot any further. To correct this problem the computer will have to have it's EEPROM chip replaced at a repair depot.

The Kernel of DOS 6.0 is the same size as that of DOS 5.0 but 17K larger than that of DOS 3.3. After the DOS kernel and a mouse driver have been loaded into memory you are left with approximately 538K to 545K of free memory. If you use DoubleSpace to increase the hard drive size, DOS 6.0 will automatically load a 42K driver to support the compressed drive. This will leave approximately 496K to 503K of free memory for software to run in. As most programs for these machines require between 540K to 580K of free memory, this will leave insufficient base memory for these programs to run in.

Here's more:

MS-DOS 4.01

This operating system is exclusively for use on true (i.e. AT Compatible) 80286, 80386 and 80486 computer systems. It is not to be used on any Tandy 1000 computer available as of this date. It will not work properly on any Tandy 8088 or Tandy 8086 based computer system. We will not support this configuration and will recommend the immediate return to and re-installation of MS-DOS 3.2 or 3.3 depending on the particular Tandy 1000 involved. In addition to this, MS-DOS 4.01 is significantly larger and consumes more conventional memory than any other version.

MS-DOS 5.0

Tandy 1000, 1000A, 1000SX, 1000TX, 1000HD, 1000SL, 1000SL/2, 1000HX, 1000EX, 1000TL, 1000TL/2, 1000TL/3 and 1000RL only have 640K of RAM available maximum for MS-DOS and therefore will result in less available memory for software if MS-DOS 5.0 is installed. This is a major limitation and in most cases more than offsets the benefits listed above.... If one complains of software not loading we will recommend a return to the original MS-DOS version. This will likely mean the potential loss of data on the hard drive since it is extremely difficult to move large data files to an earlier version of DOS.

One final consideration concerns the 'ROM based computers' that we recently and currently sell with MS-DOS Version 3.3. If these computers are 'upgraded' to MS-DOS 5.0, then DeskMate becomes unavailable. Since MS-DOS 5.0 does not recognize a DOS 3.3 ROM, one will be forced to purchase a generic version of DeskMate (25-1351) and may not be able to transfer the related files to the new version.... In addition some systems, even with the generic version of DeskMate, may require further hardware upgrades to allow even this version to load with MS-DOS 5.0.

There is a problem reported with frequent lockups on the 1000SX, corrected by upgrading the DOS version from Tandy DOS 3.20.00 to 3.20.22. Tandy does not support any higher version than this on the SX; they are said to be unstable. In addition, the task swapper in DOS 5 Dosshell will lock up a 1000SX.

DR DOS 6.0 is reported not to recognize a second floppy drive on a 1000TL. DRIVPARM, DRIVER.SYS, and SETUPTL/A were all tried without success (there is a workaround). There has also been a problem with reformatting the hard drive to make it a single partition. It is also reported that 720k disk access is very slow with DR DOS; this was corrected (4/92) by an update disk from Novell. Intermittent problems occur in reading diskettes formatted with the "quick" format option in DR DOS on Tandy machines. The standalone version of DeskMate is incompatible with the SuperStor disk compression bundled with DR DOS; DeskMate must use an uncompressed disk partition.

Older-model 1000's have problems when the DOS is upgraded, in that 720k drives are seen as 360k drives. That problem can be fixed by using DRIVPARM or DRIVER.SYS in CONFIG.SYS; see section II.C.6.

Kevin Kramer reported the same problem (720k formatted as 360k) with MS-DOS 2.0 on the 1000HX, so the problem apparently exists with any version of DOS other than one designed for the machine. Kevin is using a shareware program called "make720" to solve it.

The book, Upgrading Your Tandy (see section IV.D.) reports that TX and earlier systems (particularly the original 1000 and 1000A) have problems with DOS later than 3.3 due to their nonstandard keyboards.

IBM PC-DOS 7 is recommended over MS-DOS for older computers. PC-DOS comes with REXX, the powerful batch-programming language used on IBM mainframes, and PC-DOS works well on even the oldest PC-compatible. As far as Microsoft goes, MS-DOS 3.3 is probably the best version for XT-class systems (the entire 1000-series, excluding the RLX's and RSX's.)

Ryan Davies reports that DOS 6.2 will not run at 8MHz on the 1000TX (see section II.F.4.).

It is often necessary on the 1000-series to use the /I option with the DOS 6 Setup program to disable hardware detection.

The internationalization features of MS-DOS 3.3 were sold separately for Tandy DOS 3.3. The catalog number for the internationalization disk was 700-4109. Tandy DOS 3.3 was 25-4109. On the 1000TL with the original DOS and video, it is possible to change the code page (character set) to European characters with SETUPTL /A.

Given the disadvantages, you may choose to add third-party utilities to get the new DOS features you want, rather then upgrading the DOS version. For example, there is a shareware task switcher called Back and Forth that works very well with Tandy DOS 3.3. 4DOS is a replacement shell (it runs instead of COMMAND.COM) that provides many of the features of newer DOSes with your existing DOS (4DOS is now freeware; you can download it from the WakaWaka BBS - see section IV.B.3.). Norton Commander is also said to be a good shell.

If you do upgrade your DOS, you should save the disks for the original DOS, since it contains some customized features for your machine. The MODE command can often be used to change the CPU speed or the screen colors, for example. The customized GW-Basic is another thing you need to keep, since it includes support for Tandy graphics and sound that the Basic in the DOS upgrade will not. You need to keep the HINSTALL program as well on systems that support an XT IDE drive.

III.A.3. How can I change CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT?

On systems with DOS in ROM, these files (if they exist) are, by default, on the ROM drive and so cannot be modified. To get a modifiable CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT, you need to run your system setup program and tell it to look for CONFIG.SYS and/or AUTOEXEC.BAT on the hard drive or on the first floppy drive.

One note though: on the 1000HX, CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT on A: are ignored unless the system is set to boot from DISK, even if I say to look for them on A:.

III.A.4. I screwed up my CONFIG.SYS on my hard drive, and now I can't boot the system to fix it - it ignores bootable diskettes!

On a system with DOS in ROM, there are at least three ways of making the machine unbootable. First, if you have a hard drive and you're set up to boot from DISK, the first partition on the hard drive needs to be a valid bootable partition. If it does not contain valid copies of the MS-DOS system files, the machine will not boot. Second, if you have a hard drive and you set up the machine to look for CONFIG.SYS and/or AUTOEXEC.BAT on C:, those files, if they exist, need to be valid. If they are not, there is no way of overriding them, so if the commands in those files mess up the machine so it won't run, you're locked out. Third, it is possible to mess up the EEPROM to such a degree that the BIOS can make no sense of it at all. The symptom of that is that the system freezes at the memory size display and refuses to boot further. The only way to fix that is to replace or wipe the EEPROM (see section II.K.8.).

For the first two problems, you need to open up the machine and physically disconnect the hard drive, for example by disconnecting the data cable at the controller - with the power off, of course. Close the machine back up and turn it on.

Depending on your setup, one of two things may happen. If you have the machine set up to look for CONFIG.SYS and/or AUTOEXEC.BAT on C:, the BIOS will complain that the setup is invalid and boot from ROM into DeskMate (the factory default). Hit <esc> to exit DeskMate and get to a DOS prompt. Otherwise, the machine will ask you to insert a bootable floppy. Do so.

How you proceed from here depends on what kind of problem you're trying to fix. If the problem is that CONFIG.SYS and/or AUTOEXEC.BAT on the hard drive is messed up, run SETUPxx from a floppy and tell it to look for CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT on A:. Save the changes. Unplug the machine and reconnect the hard drive data cable. Close the machine up again, put a floppy with valid CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files on it in the drive, and turn on the machine. Fix CONFIG.SYS and/or AUTOEXEC.BAT on the hard drive. If your hard drive is not bootable (so you are booting from ROM), run SETUPxx again and tell it to look for CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT on C:. Otherwise (if you are booting from DISK), set CHECK FOR CONFIG.SYS ON DRIVE and CHECK FOR AUTOEXEC.BAT ON DRIVE to NO, which will cause the system to boot from A: if there is a bootable floppy in the drive or C: if there is not, and use the files on the boot drive, whether it is A: or C: - like a normal PC, in other words.

If you are running the original version of DOS, and the problem is that you are set up to boot from DISK but the hard drive is not valid for booting for some reason other than a messed up CONFIG.SYS and/or AUTOEXEC.BAT, run SETUPxx from a floppy and tell it to boot from ROM. Save the changes. Unplug the machine and reconnect the hard drive data cable. Close up the machine again. If you have it set up to look for CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT on A:, put a floppy with valid files in the drive. Turn on the machine and fix the hard drive, then run SETUPxx again and set it up the way you want.

If you have upgraded your DOS version, and the problem is that the hard drive is not valid for booting for some reason other than a messed up CONFIG.SYS and/or AUTOEXEC.BAT, run SETUPxx from a floppy. Tell it to boot from ROM and not to use CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT (i.e., set "CHECK FOR CONFIG.SYS ON DRIVE" and "CHECK FOR AUTOEXEC.BAT ON DRIVE" to NO). Save the changes. Unplug the machine and reconnect the hard drive data cable. Close up the machine again. Turn it on; it will boot from ROM into the original DOS. Put a bootable floppy with your current version of DOS, whatever device drivers you need, and valid CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files in the floppy drive. Locate the ROM drive, which may be C:, D:, or E:. Run RESTART.COM from the ROM drive. Press F1 to restart from the floppy, booting your current DOS. Fix the hard drive. Run SETUPxx again and tell it to boot from DISK. Leave CHECK FOR CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT set to NO - when booting from DISK, that will cause the machine to use files on the boot drive, whichever it might be.

Not every 1000 with ROM DOS comes with RESTART.COM. If you've upgraded your DOS, but you don't have RESTART.COM, you might have to repartition and reformat your hard drive. I'm sure this doesn't cover all the possibilities, but you get the general idea.

III.B. DeskMate

III.B.1. My system has DeskMate in ROM. How do I upgrade?

Download the generic PC-compatible version of DeskMate 3.05 from the Tvdog site. It's in the deskmate directory.

III.B.2. I recently upgraded from my old 1000, and I really miss DeskMate! How can I get it back?

Download the generic PC-compatible version of DeskMate 3.05 from the Tvdog site. It's in the deskmate directory. This version runs from disk and does not require a ROM.

DM 3.05 would not run on my Tandy 4033LX (386DX/33), owing to an apparent incompatibility between 3.05 and DOS 6.22 EMM386. DeskMate 3.05 ran fine with DOS 5.0 on my 386. Anyway, after upgrading to DOS 6.22 I had to use the PC-compatible version of DeskMate 3.03, catalog number 25-1350. This older version of DeskMate is prone to trouble with hard drive partitions larger than 32 megabytes, but in my case that was not a problem, since while my drive was larger than that it is not large enough to trigger the arithmetic miscalculation in the DeskMate get_free_space() function that causes the trouble. I surmise that the problem is due to the fact that DeskMate 3.05 will attempt to use expanded or shadow RAM if available, and that that access is somehow in conflict with DOS 6.22 EMM386 (but not DOS 5.0 EMM386). DeskMate 3.03 does not use either expanded or shadow RAM, and like DM 3.05, you can download it from the deskmate directory on the Tvdog site.

III.B.3. I upgraded my DOS version, and now DeskMate is gone. How do I get it back?

I've written a device driver to reenable access to the ROM drive where DeskMate resides after the drive has been rendered invisible by a DOS upgrade. The driver is here:


Romdrive is known to work on the 1000TL and TL/2. If you try it on another system, let me know whether it works. There may be an older version of Romdrive floating around out there. That version does not work. Get the one from the site above. The correct version is dated May 1997 or later.

DeskMate earlier than 3.05 has trouble with hard drive partitions larger than 32 megabytes, so if you reformatted your drive when you upgraded DOS you may have trouble with the original DeskMate.

If Romdrive does not work, or you don't want to use it, you can get the generic PC-compatible version of DeskMate 3.05; see section III.B.2.

III.B.4. DeskMate Sound and Music won't work when the printer is connected but not turned on. What gives?

Ken Udut provided the following information:

Re: Deskmate sound/music doesn't work with printer turned [off].

I will find the offical Tandy explanation. But it has to do with the fact that the digitial chip is also used with the printer (as well as the joysticks). I don't know how/why they did it, and the official explanation says more.


1) Make certain that your printer is on before you boot the computer up. This usually works.

2) Unplug the printer cable from the back of the computer, or the back of the printer. This always works.

NOTE: If you boot up the computer without the printer on, and Deskmate Sound/Music or other programs using the Tandy DAC don't work right (plays only a portion then stops, doesn't play at all, or makes an awful bleep-bleep-bleep-bleep while playing the music), turn the printer on -now-, and see if that helps it.

Here is the official Tandy explanation:

Does your sound sometimes fail to work when you have a printer connected to your 2500 XL? There's a simple answer. There is a single chip that controls printer, sound and joystick. If you have a printer connected to your 2500 XL, it should be powered on before you boot the computer. If it's connected and not powered up, the chip will get confused. Turn the printer on, and reboot. Everything should work fine. If the printer is disconnected, of course, it will also work fine.

(The 2500XL has the same PSSJ chip as the 1000SL's, TL's, RL's, RLX's, and RSX's.)

III.B.5. How can I write my own programs for DeskMate?

You need to get a copy of the DeskMate Software Developer's Kit for DeskMate 3.0x (there is no SDK for DeskMate 1, 2 or Personal DeskMate). The SDK was originally sold by Tandy for $299. There is a copy in the wares directory on the Tvdog site:


Probably nobody owns the rights to DeskMate any more; see section IV.J.

The SDK includes libraries, a dialog box editor and other utilities (with varying degrees of bugginess), and 2 8.5x11" manuals. It supports Microsoft C, Microsoft Macro Assembler, Turbo Assembler, Turbo C, and Borland C (or any compiler that supports Microsoft libraries - which is most). The compiler needs to be ANSI-compliant, unless you want to edit all the header files to delete the formal parameters in the function prototypes. Each version of the SDK comes with that version of DeskMate and supports that version's features (any version can make programs that run under any version of DeskMate 3). The DeskMate runtime (used if you want your programs to be able to run under bare DOS) was available free of charge to licensed owners of the SDK but not distributed with it; it is on the Tvdog site with the SDK itself.

The best compiler for DeskMate is probably Microsoft C 6.0 Professional Edition; that compiler contains "altmath" libraries which are compatible with DeskMate's task-switching scheme. (Otherwise, you use floating-point math in a DeskMate program at your own risk - DeskMate will not swap the coprocessor emulation vectors on a task switch.) The DeskMate libraries only support the small and medium memory models, though one could make other models work with appropriate use of the "near" keyword.

According to Steven Lindell:

I called Star software (800) 443-5737, the last developer to market a DeskMate product (Outliner and Graph companions: they are multiwindowed!). The person there said that they did not recommend the developer's kit, but that they might be willing to sell their copy for $200. It is C-based, has poor documentation, some bugs, and does not offer good support in that Star claimed they had to write most things themselves anyway. However, the decision to get and use this should be up to the individual. If anyone does get and use it, the rest of us in TandyLand would like to know your impressions."

III.B.6. I upgraded my video to VGA, and now DeskMate refuses to run. What do I do?

You need to get the DeskMate VGA driver. The driver is either DMVDVGA.RES (for DeskMate 3.00 to 3.02) or DMVSVGA.RES (for DeskMate 3.03 or later). For DeskMate 3.05, you also need DMVEVGA.RES for font support. You can get a copy from the Tvdog site (see section IV.B.1.). Note: DMVSVGA does not mean it's for SVGA; all the video drivers for DM 3.03 or later are DMVS*.RES. There is no SVGA driver for DeskMate (the VGA driver will of course work).

You might actually have the video driver you need under another name, if you have any third-party applications for DeskMate. Most (if not all) third-party DeskMate applications came with a DOS runtime version that includes all the video drivers, but runtime versions 3.02 and earlier use different names for resources - resource.RRS instead of resource.RES. The runtime video resources are the same as the DeskMate resources and will work under DeskMate 3.02 or earlier if you change their names.

In the meantime note the following. By default, DeskMate will detect the video present in the system and use the appropriate video driver, DMVD*.RES. There is a program to alter this behavior, however: DMVID.EXE. DMVID can cause DeskMate to use a particular video driver without going through the autodetect routine. Note that without running DMVID, DeskMate will not run unless it finds the driver it thinks it needs. Thus, if you have an EGA driver but not VGA, you could go DMVID EGA at the DOS prompt to get you by till you get the right driver. (You will need to run DMVID AUTO when you have the driver.)

III.B.7. Is there a program for DeskMate that does (x)?

Kenneth Udut furnished the following list:

Here is a list of previous Deskmates and their approximate dates. I would like information on the CoCo and Model IV Deskmates, as I don't know much about them.

Deskmate 1
Versions bundled with Tandy 1000/A/HD/EX/SX
[The SX actually came with DeskMate 2, but it was not Personal DeskMate or Professional DeskMate. The EX came with Personal DeskMate.]
Deskmate 2
Included Personal Deskmate and Professional Deskmate. Bundled with Tandy 1000 HX, TX. Look and feel are VERY similar to Deskmate 3, and the programs will almost ALL work with Deskmate 3. Some third party applications were written for Deskmate 2, but I don't know what they were. Anyone know?

Deskmate 3
Versions bundled with Tandy 1000 RL/SL/TL/RLX, 2500SX, and available for the 1000 RSX, the most mysterious and last Tandy 1000. Was also available standalone to work with any computer (version 3.05). Each version bundled with the Tandy computers was different.

on ROM chip in SL/TL
Mysterious "SWITCH.EXE" is really Deskmate 3.01.
on ROM chip in SL/2 TL/2
on ROM chip in TL/2
on ROM chip in RL
on ROM chip in 2500SX, 1000RSX(?).
on ROM chip with RLX(?). Includes some VERY customized programs.

Main program. Includes many programs. Friendly! Made by Tandy Corp.

Checkbook balancer, personal accounting program. Made by INTUIT.

Freeform database program. Allows you to store an unlimited amount of text and other things and search through it all at will. I (Ken) have been using this program since 1988, and I have to say that I will be using it forever. All of my little scraps of notepaper go into MemoryMate, and I use it. I could not live without it. Oh, and you can make HyperText documents with it very very easily. All of my important E-mail is kept in MemoryMate, and linked together with buttons. Made by Broderbund.

Business Plan writer. Includes it OWN text editor, as well as schedulers, and others for the small businessman. Made by Star Software.

Home Legal Advisor. It allows you to create professional legal documents without a lawyer. Bill of sale, letters to creditors, and other things adults unfortunately need to do once in a while. Made by ?

Word processor. Uses printer fonts. Includes ability to mailmerge in more flexible ways than TEXT. You can edit much larger files. Made by Symantec.

Word processor. WYSIWYG. Made by Sierra.

I may have the wrong name of this. Corrects grammar mistakes. Made by ?
[This is probably a reference to RightWriter, see below.]

How could I forget this? Online nationwide service. Requires modem. I was a member for about 2/3 years before running low on money and leaving. Still active. It runs right along with America Online - it is the same service, but two different pricing schemes, and one uses Deskmate, the other uses Geoworks.

Messages appear in pretty, scrollable screens and it is a whole other universe. Online games such as Neverwinter Nights, take full advantage of your Tandy 1000's enhanced graphics and sound capabilities (no digital sounds though). Made by Quantum Computer Services, Now known as America Online Inc.
[PC-Link has now been folded into America Online, see below.]

Terminal Program for Deskmate. Hard to find, but I've heard it is excellent! Does not include Zmodem protocol, but includes all of the others. Made by Sierra.

Desktop Publishing program that set certain standards and formats in the IBM world. Prints at 75dpi, but allows you to use laser printer downloadable fonts!

Desktop publishing program. Has stricter requirements than any other Deskmate program I've seen. Requires 580K to be FREE, which is easy enough using MS-DOS 3.30, but if you've moved up to MSDOS 5/6 you may not have enough free memory on your 1000. It prints at the highest resolution of the printer. Uses Deskmate 3.05 fonts (Atech fonts), and includes lots of clip art. It's not nearly as speedy as First Publisher, but it does the trick. Requires hard drive, unlike most Deskmate programs. Made by ?

If you fill out forms repetatively, like UPS forms, federal documents, etc., Form Finisher helps you create a reproduction of forms in Form Finisher, and then you treat it like the paper form, only it's on the computer now! Say goodbye to the thrice copied-by-the-time-you-got-it EPA forms! Put it in Form Finisher, and you have something nice to send back, with less work. Prints on all printers. Made by Power Up! Software Corporation.

Sophisticated music creating/editing/printing program. Allows multiple staffs, and plays over Tandy 3-voice sound (and digitized, if the *L series). Compatible with Roland MPU and some other MIDI systems! Not compatible with SoundBlaster, unless someone has an emulator for the Roland/other systems listed. Includes its OWN sound editor, and the sounds are compatible with Deskmate's SOUND.PDM.

Many many songs are available for this on PC-Link/AOL. Made by Activision.

Surpurb Database program! Import/Export Deliminated ASCII, Lotus 1-2-3, and Dbase III/IV formats! The Query screen is the same as the Form (which is RARE, and something I wish Paradox for Windows here at work had!). It is very fast, and includes a very sophisticated Screen Painting program, which allows you to made your data entry/data viewing screens look just like you want them to. And, as always, you can copy to the clipboard from DRAW, and paste it in filePro!

A friend of mine on Delphi uses filePro to keep track of milk on her dairy farm. Made by The Small Computer Company, Inc.

*LOTUS 1-2-3
Home version of Lotus 1-2-3. Completely compatible with regular Lotus 1-2-3 except for Macros and Add-ons. Spreadsheet, graphing, database functions. Made by Lotus.

Surpurb typing tutor! I've watched my speed go from 55 wpm up to 85 wpm in a matter of months! Accurately! The original disks are copy protected. Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing is its official name. Made by The Software Toolworks.

Another excellent typing tutor! I bought and installed it in the local Cerebral Palsy center where I once volunteered. I started some of the older kids on the tutor, and watched them go from being only able to play games on the computer, to being able to type accurately! Includes Letter Invaders, a game that is rather like Missle Command. Letter Invaders also comes with the Tandy 1000 RLX Deskmate. Made by ?

The Deskmate Software Development Kit! Includes everything you need to write programs in Deskmate. Requires Microsoft C compiler (version 4.0 is fine) Includes sections on programming with the Tandy sound chips and special graphics modes. Tandy was the first company to put out a development kit for their integrated environment (Deskmate).

Available from Tandy Corp @ $299. You may be lucky enough to find a used copy, but not too likely! Made by Tandy Corp.
[see section III.B.5.]

Directory/File management program. Allows you to run most common MS-DOS commands from within Deskmate! Look in PCM Magazine or 1000 Magazine for advertisements. Made by Bob Jack Software. Independently sold.
[PCM and 1000 are both defunct now; see section IV.C.]

There are also tons of education software made under Deskmate's Interface. Can anybody help me with the names/what they do?

DESKMATE COMPANIONS: Programs that require Deskmate 3 to be installed.

I'm at work and without Deskmate & spell checker, so I probably spelled it wrong. Look up alternative words in Deskmate TEXT - one of the handiest things I've used! Made by Tandy Corp.

15 extra programs, originally bundled with RL, offered separately due to HUGE customer request. It carries the Goodhousekeeping Seal of Approval! Made by Tandy Corp.
[Home Organizer was bundled with the RL's, RLX's, and RSX's. It is still available from Tandy - see section IV.A.]

For making boilerplates, running everyday tasks, you can automate them with Macros. When installed, it's found either under F10 or under F10 | SETUP | F2 Very simple to use! Made by Tandy Corp.

Make colorful graphs using data generated by anything, as it imports Deliminated ASCII, as well as other formats. Includes special color printer driver that only works with GRAPHS for the Citizen/Tandy color dot matrix printers/emulators! Made by Star Software.

Make complex calculations easily! Even Amortization! Made by Star Software.

Networks school computers together, provides special Deskmate programs for teachers and students. Includes a DeskMate BBS (internal) and E-Mail. Made by Tandy Corp.

Workgroup Companion. Connect two computer together with serial cable, or many computer with LAN cards. Run Deskmate software from another computer! A Tandy 1000 HX, for example, hooked with a TandyLink card, can run the Deskmate programs off of a Tandy 1000 TL/3, even if the HX only has floppy drives!! Includes Deskmate BBS (internal), chat modes, and E-Mail. Also a special shared calender and address book, so that many people can access their stuff, but not yours! Made by Tandy Corp.


Recipe Importer
allows you to import recipes into the recipe database in Home Organizer.

Convert DRAW files into .CLP art! Both made by Tandy Research and Development. Available on PC-Link/AOL, as well as ftp site musie.phlab.missouri.edu under pub/trs/Tandy1000.

*Test Drive of LOTUS 1-2-3
Available on PC-Link/AOL

*Test Drive of Q&A WRITE
Available on PC-Link/AOL

Mysteries - Deskmate programs that might have existed, but I just don't know.

I haven't tracked it down, but I've spoken to people who have used it in the past. DacEasy made a version of their fabulous personal/business accounting software for Deskmate. If anyone tracks it down, please let me know.

I may have the name wrong, and it may not have ever truly existed. In the 1990 catalog, there exists a painting program for Deskmate. You can create .GIF and .PCX with this program, save them, print them, contort them, etc. Tandy has no record of anything ever having existed with its catalog number, and software replacement (which has EVERYTHING!) from Tandy hasn't heard of it.

Everything regular filePro does, but with absolutely NO limits. filePro allows unlimited records, but limits you to 99 fields (as if that's a limitation!). But filePro Professional allows an unlimited amount of fields, which is a rarity indeed! Includes many many extra features. Unfortunately, it never made it to the stores. A listing on the back of filePro's box is all that I know of it.

NOTE: A * before name means it can run standalone - without Deskmate.
      A ? somewhere means I'm not sure, or I don't know.  It also
          means, if you know - please tell me :-)
PC-Link was a separate service of America Online and is now defunct (AOL offered DOS software that will run on the 1000's; it will not work with CGA, though - it works with Hercules, EGA, or VGA). I don't know of any third-party applications for DeskMate 1 or 2, and I doubt they existed. Tandy did not publicly release a software development kit for DeskMate 1 or 2, so if there are any third-party apps they are bound to be few and far between. There were some DeskMate-related applications that ran under DOS for DM 1 or 2, though.

Here are a few more programs for DeskMate 3 known to have existed:

RightWriter from RightSoft, Inc. This program uses artificial intelligence to correct your grammar, style, punctuation, and usage.

Utilities! from POP Computer Products. A sort of Norton Utilities for DeskMate. (The real Norton Utilities will of course run.)

Alge-Blaster Plus from Davidson. Interactive program teaches algebra to schoolchildren.

DeskMate Outline Companion from Tandy. "Organizes reports, essays, speeches, with up to ten user-defined levels of detail."

Print Magic from Epyx. A desktop publishing program. "Create cards, flyers, certificates, stationery and banners."

Your Personal Trainer for the SAT from Davidson. Drills students to prepare them for the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Instant Pages from Electronic Arts. Over 100 ready-to-use forms and newsletters.

KidsTime PC from Great Wave Software. Three games for the kiddies: connect-the-dots, a musical game, and a reading game.

Backup Pro from The Software Toolworks. A hard drive backup utility.

CheckFree 2.0 from CheckFree. This is a service that pays your bills automatically for a monthly fee. The DeskMate program was to access the service. Later CheckFree software required a 386 with Windows 3.1, VGA, and 2 meg RAM. Don't know whether the old DeskMate software will still work.

Solitaire/Poker from Star Software. If you wanted Windows for the solitaire program, here you go :-).

John Ball mentioned these two:

Quick Start from Roar Technology. A DeskMate companion voice recognition program - adds voice command capability to DeskMate. Requires Tandy DAC.

TalkMate from Roar Technology. A DeskMate companion program that allows networked Tandy's with the DAC to exchange voicemail messages.

Brian Evans states that Cliffs StudyWare was still available in computer stores as of January 1997. These are electronic Cliff's Notes (test review aids); the programs are:


They sold for $19.95 each and included the printed version of Cliff's Notes. Later versions of Cliffs StudyWare used Gem or Windows rather than DeskMate.

I guess since I'm the maintainer I can plug my own DeskMate programs :-):

Dmgif is a .gif/.jpg viewer. It supports rescaling, dithering, panning, zooming, and color adjustment on all supported video cards. It can also print or copy small parts of the picture to the clipboard. Includes online help.

Dmsound is a sound file player. You need either a 286 or above, or a soundcard with DMA (SoundBlaster-family or Tandy DAC). Plays several formats, including some compressed formats. Can also convert files to .wav or Tandy .snd.

Some of the programs listed above are on the Tvdog site in the wares directory. Others are in the deskmate directory; Dmgif is in the graphics directory, and Dmsound is in the sound directory. Otherwise, they turn up in eBay now and then, or you can ask in comp.sys.tandy if anybody has a used copy for sale.

There were several versions of DeskMate prior to DeskMate 3. The first versions of DeskMate were character-based application suites activated by hotkeys, without menus or dialog boxes. DeskMate 1 for the original 1000 and DeskMate 2 for the 1000SX fell into this category. The SX's version of DeskMate added task switching between a DM and DOS application and networking support. Next came Personal DeskMate, the first graphical version. Personal DeskMate 1 came with the 1000EX; Personal DeskMate 2 came with the 1000HX. It included the Paint drawing program and several accessories; internal support for common DOS functions such as disk copying, directory listing, and running DOS programs; and an improved user interface very similar to DeskMate 3. Professional DeskMate was available as an add-on product for $149.95; it added networking capability to Personal DeskMate, as well as support for video cards other than TGA. (The network supported by Professional DeskMate and the Workgroup Companion, above, was 3Com 3+Share.)

There were DeskMate versions for other Tandy computers as well. DeskMate's origins go back at least as far as the TRS-80 Model II, which had a version available for $299, according to <dairylady@delphi.com>. There were also versions for the Model 4P and the Color Computer. The CoCo version was graphical.

As an aside, there are some sites on the Internet purporting to distribute DeskMate "3.69." There is no such version. The version they have is DeskMate 3.05, which came with DESKTOP.PDM version 3.68 or 3.69.

There were also generic PC-compatible versions of DeskMate 3.02 (cat. no. 25-1250) and 3.03 (25-1350), but the 3.05 version is preferable in that it deals correctly with drive partitions larger than 32MB (however, see section III.B.2.). DeskMate 2.0, 3.00, 3.03 and 3.05 can be downloaded from the deskmate directory on the Tvdog site.

III.B.8. Where can I get a DeskMate driver for printer (x)?

Most, if not all, of the available DeskMate printer drivers are at the FTP and WWW sites listed in sections IV.B.1. and IV.B.2. DeskMate supports the IBM Graphics Printer (and compatibles like the IBM Proprinter); Epson 9- and 24-pin dot matrix printers (and compatibles); the HP LaserJet (and compatibles); and various Tandy printers. Color printing is only supported on certain Tandy printers.

There was a DeskMate Printer Developer's Kit to be used with the DeskMate 3.03 SDK (see section III.B.5.), but it is nowhere to be found.

III.B.9. I just got a 1000. What is this @#&$ "DeskMate" thing it boots into, and how do I get rid of it and run DOS?

Some Tandy 1000-series have an enhanced ROM that contains the DOS kernel and the DeskMate kernel. They were set up at the factory to boot into DeskMate, a proprietary GUI (graphical user interface) from Tandy. A number of programs were written for this GUI (see section III.B.7.), but it isn't an operating system, it runs under DOS, and you can run DOS programs from inside DeskMate (use the Run... option in the File menu - you can also make icons for DOS programs you frequently use via the F7 menu). Think of DeskMate as a sort of "Windows lite." If you're missing the DeskMate disks (which have the apps on them), check the system directory on the Tvdog site to see if there is a disk set for your machine.

To get out of DeskMate to the DOS prompt, just hit <esc> or select "Exit" from the File menu. You may or may not be asked for confirmation. You can reenter DeskMate (if it's in ROM) by pressing the F12 key at the DOS prompt.

To change the setup so that you boot into DOS rather than DeskMate, you need to get a copy of the system setup program (see sections III.E.1. and IV.B.1.). If you have the original disks, the program is called SETUPxx, where xx is your model, ex., HX, SL, SL2, TL. The program runs from the DOS prompt. Just tell it you want to boot into DOS rather than DeskMate, and save. You will still be booting from ROM, which is fast and virus-proof. If you want to boot from disk instead (perhaps because you want to upgrade the DOS version), select that option.

On some systems, it is also possible to reboot the system from a floppy, even if you normally boot from ROM. Systems with DOS and DeskMate in ROM have a ROM drive with a couple programs on it - C: if you don't have a hard drive, D: if you do. (If you upgrade the DOS version, the ROM drive disappears entirely.) Check the ROM drive for a program called RESTART.COM. If you have it, it reboots your system, but looks for DOS on the floppy drive. Among other things, this is a way of running some old games that came on bootable disks on a system that usually boots from ROM.

III.B.10. I've been using DeskMate on my trusty 1000 for many years, but now it's time to upgrade. How do I transfer the data to Windows?

Unfortunately, this is more easily said than done. If you were using DeskMate 3.0x, the easiest thing to do is just get a copy of DeskMate 3.05 and run it under Windows (see section III.C.2.).

For Filer or Address Book databases, I've written a program to convert them to dBase III format, which most programs can import:


Lotus-DM (Lotus spreadsheet for DeskMate) comes with a program called TRANSLAT.PDM which can convert DeskMate 3 worksheets to Lotus 2.x format, which again most programs can import. Lotus-DM is here:


DeskMate sound files (created by SOUND.PDM) can be converted to .wav with this program:


They need to be loaded into SOUND.PDM and saved without compression first. If you don't have DeskMate any more, and your .snd files are compressed, Dmsound can convert some of them to .wav. See:


DeskMate Q&A Write can import some DeskMate Text files with minimal formatting (it cannot import files with embedded Draw graphics, though). There were also versions of Q&A Write for DOS and Windows, so perhaps that would work if you had both versions. You can download the demo version of Q&A Write from:


(The full version is in the wares directory.)

Michael A. Banks (author of Getting the Most out of DeskMate 3, see section IV.D.) offers the following tips on converting a DM 3 Text file to ASCII:

   Formatting Text Files for Export to ASCII
        When you are going to print a document to a disk file, you
   should first use the To ASCII command to eliminate formatting
   codes, then set these parameters in the Page Setup dialog box:
        * "portrait" (up and down) printing
        * a left margin of 0 and a right margin of 80 or less (65 is
        * number of lines per page and number of lines printed per
          page at the maximum of 84 (this prevents page breaks being
          inserted in the file)
        * single spacing and no pause between pages (these are
          defaults, so all you have to remember is to not check
          either of the check boxes at the bottom of the page)
DM 3 Text saves ASCII-format files (converted with the "To ASCII" option in the File menu) with the end-of-line sequences reversed (i.e., 0Ah, 0Dh, instead of 0Dh, 0Ah), but they are otherwise standard ASCII files. If your word processor is smart enough, you will be able to read them in with no trouble.

With most DeskMate applications, you can print the data to a file. This program will adapt the result of that so that it's a regular editable ASCII file (when you print using the ASCII printer in Setup):


Prn2file deletes empty lines, so you may have to edit the resulting file some.

For Draw graphics, QuickLink II is a shareware fax/communications program that might help. Set up QuickLink II for DOS on your old 1000. Set the printer type to HP Laserjet in DeskMate, load your graphics into Draw, and print. When QL2 is resident, the printer output will not be printed but saved instead as a fax document in QL2's proprietary format (QFX). Run QL2FAX and select Convert Documents / Export from the Fax menu. You will have the option of converting to PCX or TIFF. QuickLink II is on the Tvdog site:


Unfortunately, there is currently no way to convert the data files from Calendar, Home Organizer, or Music.

If you have a DeskMate runtime program (there are a couple on the Tvdog site), and that program has a "Run..." option in the File menu, you can run your old DeskMate 3 programs using those programs. For example, if you had some schematic diagrams that you created in Draw a long time ago (and your Tandy is long gone), you could install the DOS version of Dmgif v1.2, then run Draw (assuming you have your old Tandy disks) from the "Run..." option in Dmgif's File menu. It's not something you want to be doing on a regular basis, but it would work.

Anybody who has the DeskMate SDK (see section III.B.5.) could create DRAW.EXE, TEXT.EXE, WRKSHEET.EXE, etc., to enable you to run your old DM applications under DOS, in about 5 minutes. In fact, it is possible without much trouble to patch any DM runtime application so that it runs the DM DeskTop. (Rename <app>.EXE to <app>.BIN, load it into Debug, and change the application name near the beginning of the file to DESK. Rename it back to <app>.EXE and you're done.)

If you have DeskMate 1 or 2, there are a couple programs on the Tvdog site (see section IV.B.1.) that you can use. The programs are in the tandy1000/deskmate directory. filer.zip converts a DM 1 or 2 Filer database to an importable ASCII format. undesk.zip converts DM 1 or 2 Text documents to ASCII. There were also commercial programs written for converting DM 1 or 2 data files to more common formats; I don't know where you'd get them now.

III.B.11. DeskMate is asking me for a password, and I don't know it. How do I get in?

Some older versions of DeskMate (as on the original 1000 and 1000SX) had a password option that, if activated, would require the user to enter a password before DeskMate would start. The password was set by hitting F6 at the main DeskMate menu. With DeskMate II on the 1000SX at least, the password can be cleared by deleting file TWSAVE.TWS.

DeskMate Home Organizer (for DeskMate 3.0x) also has a password option. Tandy produced a program to clear the password:


III.C. Windows

III.C.1. Can I run Windows on my 1000?

All 1000-series models can run Windows up to 3.0 in real mode if they have 640k RAM and a hard drive (6MB or more is required). For adequate performance with Windows 3.0, a 286 processor and at least 2M of expanded RAM is recommended. EGA or better graphics is also a plus. Minimum, though, is only 8088, 640k, CGA, no EMS. (On the TX and earlier, select the 83-key keyboard in setup.)

There are two things to consider in running real-mode Windows 3.0: video and applications. Generally, any application written for Windows 2.x will run under real-mode Windows 3.0, while most applications written for Windows 3 will not run. You will be hunting for used copies of older versions. As far as video, if you have an XT-class Tandy with Tandy/PCjr Video (TGA) or Tandy Video II (ETGA) (both versions of enhanced CGA), you will have to use either the Windows CGA driver, which gives a pretty crappy display, or the Tandy video driver from Windows 2.x (see below). If you have Tandy Video II (the SL's, TL's, and RL's have it), you can plug in a mono TTL monitor and run Windows in Hercules mode for a much better screen.

There is a Tandy video driver for Windows 2.x or 3.0 at:


One other thing. Real-mode Windows 3.0 will use EMS RAM if you have it (no later version of Windows will). It needs to be LIM 4.0 EMS, preferably hardware, but software 4.0 EMS will do. If you have the old Micro Mainframe EMS card that was formerly sold by Tandy (it is hardware 3.2), there is a freeware 4.x driver for it at the Tvdog site (see section IV.B.1.). (The driver identifies itself as 4.1 to distinguish it from Micro Mainframe's 4.0 driver, which is no longer available.)

James S. Blackmon installed Windows 3.0 on his 1000TX and said: "I just got Windows 3.0 on my computer and it works fine. The only thing is that it is in black and white." (The Windows CGA driver is black and white.)

The RLX's can run Windows 3.1 in standard mode only, if they have the RAM upgraded to 1M. The RLX just barely meets the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 3.1, however, and performance will be poor. Windows will not recognize the built-in mouse (see section II.G.2.). One user says of Windows 3.1 on the 1000RLX:

Windows' performance is tolerable on a 486DX2/66. I like it on the RLX because I can start a program, go to the bathroom, and when I come back only have to wait a few minutes before I can actually use the #@$% thing.

The RSX's can run Windows 3.1 (or 3.11) in 386 enhanced mode if the memory has been upgraded to 2M or more. There is a Windows sound driver for the RSX's built-in sound at the Tvdog site and at Tandy's support WWW site (see sections IV.B.1. and IV.B.2.).

Tandy did not officially support the use of Windows on any model of the 1000-series. The RSX could theoretically run Windows 95 (if its memory is upgraded to 9MB), but Microsoft does not recommend Win95 for 386's.

III.C.2. Can I run DeskMate under Windows?

To run DeskMate under Windows 3.1, create a .PIF file for DESK.EXE. Try these settings in your DESK.PIF:

   Video Memory:  High graphics
   Memory Requirements:  KB Required 512  KB Desired 640
   EMS Memory:  KB Required 0  KB Desired 1024
   XMS Memory:  KB Required 0  KB Desired 0
   Display Usage:  Full screen
   Execution:  Exclusive
      Reserve Shortcut Keys:  Check if any are used by your DeskMate
         applications - probably not.
The PC-compatible version of DeskMate 3.05 uses approximately 90k of LIM 4.0 EMS to load the core, if available. Other programs written for DM 3.05 may also use EMS. My programs Dmgif and Dmsound will use XMS as well if there is insufficient EMS available, but that is not standard for a DeskMate program.

If you have a newer version of Windows, DeskMate will probably just run out of the box. If you have trouble, create a shortcut for DESK.EXE, right-click and select Properties, and refer to the above.

III.C.3. Where can I find a Windows driver for my Tandy printer?

There are no special drivers for Tandy printers. Instead, you select the driver for the IBM, Epson, or Hewlett Packard printer with which the Tandy printer is compatible. You will generally have to set DIP switches on the printer to enable the desired emulation mode; refer to the printer's manual (Tandy's WWW site also has the DIP switch settings - see section IV.B.2.). The following information was provided by Bill Walker:
Windows/Tandy Printer Compatibility List

[This] is a Windows 3.1 printer driver compatibility list for Tandy
printers. It cross-references the various Tandy printers and printer
modes with the printer driver support available under Windows 3.1. Note
that support under Windows for printers set to Tandy mode is limited to
plain text-only output via the "Generic/Text-Only" driver. As far as I
know, no one has written a driver that supports Tandy mode.

The driver information is based on a MOM ["Radio Shack Computer
Merchandising Memo of the Month"] published in May(?) 1992. It has also
been updated somewhat.

Please notify me of any corrections or additions.
    William K. Walker
    North Valley Digital
    P.O. Box 1941
    Kalispell  MT  59903-1941
    +1 (406) 257-2306


The following is list of Tandy printers with their appropriate Windows
drivers. In many cases, the Windows driver you will use depends on the
printer mode. For example, if you are using a DMP 440 in Tandy mode, you'd
use the "Generic/Text Only" Windows 3.1 driver; if it's set up for IBM
mode, use the "IBM Graphic Printer" driver.

-------     ----------      --------            ----------      -----
DMP 100     Generic/Text
DMP 105     Generic/Text
DMP 106     Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 107     Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 110     Generic/Text
DMP 120     Generic/Text
DMP 130     Generic/Text
DMP 130A    Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 132     Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 133     Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 134                     Proprinter
DMP 135                     Proprinter II       FX-850
DMP 136                     Proprinter II       FX-850/FX-80
DMP 200     Generic/Text
DMP 202                     Proprinter X24
DMP 2100    Generic/Text
DMP 2100P   Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 2102    Generic/Text    Proprinter XL24
DMP 2103                    Proprinter X24/XL24 LQ-1050/LQ-850
DMP 2104                    Proprinter XL24E    LQ-1050
DMP 2110    Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 2120    Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 2130                    Proprinter XL
DMP 2200    Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 240                     Proprinter X24      LQ-850/LQ-2550
DMP 300     Generic/Text    Proprinter X24
DMP 302                     Proprinter X24      LQ-850
DMP 310                     Proprinter X24
DMP 400     Generic/Text
DMP 420     Generic/Text
DMP 430     Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 440     Generic/Text    IBM Graphic
DMP 442     Generic/Text    Proprinter XL
DMP 500     Generic/Text
DWP II      Generic/Text
DWP 210     Generic/Text
DWP 220     Generic/Text
DWP 230     Generic/Text
DWP 410     Generic/Text
DWP 510     Generic/Text
DWP 520     Generic/Text
LP  950                     Graphic/Proprinter  FX-80           HPLJII (1)
LP  990                     Graphic/Proprinter  FX-80           HPLJII (1)
LP  1000    Generic/Text    Proprinter                          HPLJ+ (2,3)
Note 1: HP Laser Jet II driver
Note 2: HP Laser Jet plus driver
Note 3: The current HP Laser Jet II driver (HPLJII) supports the LP 1000.
        It can be downloaded from the HP Peripherals Forum (HPPER).

   Bill Walker
   North Valley Digital
The DMP 133 reportedly works better with the Proprinter driver than with IBM Graphic. Tandy says that the DMP 134 works best with the Proprinter II driver. For the DMP 430, try the Epson FX-850 driver. For the DMP 130 and 130A, try the IBM Graphic, Epson FX-185, or Epson FX-85 driver. For the DMP 136, try the driver for the Epson JX-80 or IBM Proprinter III; the Epson FX-86e driver might also work. The DMP 137 emulates an IBM Proprinter III or Epson FX-850 or EX-800. The LP 950 can use the driver for the Diablo 630 or 630 ECS in addition to the above. The DMP 2130 can also use the driver for the Epson FX-286e.

There are several sites for Windows drivers; here is one:


Also check Epson's WWW site:


And Hewlett-Packard's WWW site:


III.D. Unix and Other Operating Systems

III.D.1. Can I run Unix on my 1000?

Probably yes. The following is from Kenneth Udut:

> I have an old TL2 w/40MB HD and 640RAM sitting upstairs gathering
> dust...
> [...]                         What about the possibility of loading
> LINUX?  Any help would be appreciated!
Linux won't work on the TL2 [...]

But you can run Minix, which includes a C compiler, and other C compilers are available for it.

The latest version of Minix is free, and runs on the TL2. Subscribe to comp.os.minix and ask questions (they're a friendly group like comp.sys.tandy is).

You can find it at: ftp.cs.vu.nl under [/pub/minix/2.0.0/*]

There are plenty of README files on that site, so read up and it will show you how to install it onto 720K diskettes, then the hard drive.

FYI: Linux is a product of Minix source code. The only reason Linux was able to use the Minix source code is that Linux is completely free.

The current version of Minix is 2.0 (C compiler is now ANSI, yay!). Here are the sites:


You might have to modify Minix for your machine, especially if you have a pre-SL system. Get file


... and check with the experts on comp.os.minix.

I had Slackware Linux v1.2.8 on my Tandy 4033LX, and it required at least 2MB RAM to run, preferably 4, and if you wanted to run X Windows, 8. It also needed at least 200MB of hard drive space. Today's major distributions take a lot more RAM than that (and are much easier to use), but there are many flavors of Linux, including some optimized for small size. In any case, Linux requires at least a 386 with extended, not expanded, RAM, so the only 1000 that can run Linux is the RSX. You will want your machine maxed out to its full 9 meg to improve your chances of success (see section II.A.5.). Here is a site that talks about a "small footprint" Linux that might work on the RSX:


There is a subset version of Linux for the 8086 called ELKS ("Embedded Linux Kernel Subset") currently under development. Read about it at:


And download it from:


If your system boots from ROM, you will need to set it to boot from disk. See section III.A.1.

III.D.2. What other operating systems are available?

Some people have had success with Geos (sometimes called Geoworks). It is a GUI like Windows and DeskMate that runs under DOS. For most 1000's, you will have to use Geos v1.2.x or earlier; the RSX's and possibly the RLX's can run Geos v2.x. Marc Williams says that most shareware for Geos requires 2.x.

James S. Blackmon writes:

Though I have only recently gotten Pc/Geos and have yet to test it's full potential I am sure I can point out some advantages. One of my favorites is the construction and viewing of batch files. The combination of Play3voi.exe (a program by Jeffrey Hayes), a bunch of wave files, and a custom made batch file, kept A handfull of College students thoroughly entertained for hours. (Strangely enough some had their own Pentium 133 and were still in there.) A lovely thing about PC/geos is that I have not had any software conflicts. (Although I generally keep all of the large complex programs in separate directories to keep this from happening.) Its speed on my Tandy 1000 TX, which has not been suped up yet (same 640K ram as when it was built), is comparable to that of Windows 3.1 on a 386 or 486. Safe to say it is much more stable than running from DOS 3.2.

It has its own communication software which is VT-100 compatible. Personally I prefer to use Procomm. It has Tetris, and Solitaire on it like the ones that you will find on Windows 3.1.

You can get more information on Geos from this site:


Geos is discussed in the Usenet newsgroup comp.os.geos.misc and in the Yahoo group geos-talk.

Greg T. Bzdell says Gem is another alternative OS option - "make your Tandy 1000 look like a MAC." Check this site:


"I think at least version 2 of GEM will work on the Tandy 1000, but I am not sure," Bzdell says.

OS/2 v2.x or Warp will run on the RSX's, if the memory is upgraded to 4M or more (6M+ recommended). IBM said:

OS/2 Warp is explicitly supported on non-IBM PC compatibles. IBM is offering a money back compatibility guarantee in the U.S. Should OS/2 Warp fail to work on your compatible within the first 90 days of use, and should IBM be unable to fix the problem, your purchase price will be refunded. To date over 2000 non-IBM models have been tested in IBM's own labs.

 Here are some OS/2 sites:



III.E.1. What is the key combination to bring up the CMOS setup on a 1000?

There isn't any. The system setup information is stored in an EEPROM, not CMOS. To change the EEPROM, you run the system setup program from the DOS command line (or sometimes from a bootable floppy). Each model and submodel in the 1000 line has its own specific setup program. The original 1000, 1000A, HD, EX, SX, and TX have neither EEPROM nor CMOS (treat them like old XT's, which don't have CMOS either, and use jumpers and switches on the motherboard for setup).

III.E.2. How do I upgrade the ROM BIOS on a 1000?

You generally do not need to upgrade the BIOS. Because of the proprietary features of the 1000-series, only Tandy BIOSes made for the particular model can be used. Here are the latest BIOS versions. Nowadays, this information is basically academic since Tandy doesn't sell parts any more. If your system has problems with the ROM-based DeskMate, you can simply install and use disk-based DeskMate 3.05 instead; it is on the Tvdog site in the deskmate directory.

If you just got a 1000 secondhand, you might notice a chip underneath the ROM chip. That is not a BIOS upgrade. It's a clock chip with an internal lithium battery, called a Smartwatch. If the battery is dead, you can remove the Smartwatch and replace it with another (see section IV.G.).

Model      Latest Version      Problems Corrected
-----      --------------      ------------------
1000          01.01.00         Upgrade required for most hard-drive
1000A         01.01.00         none (original version)
1000HD        01.01.00         none (original version)
1000EX        01.02.00         none (original version)
1000HX        02.00.00         none (original version)
1000SX        01.02.00         none (original version)
1000TX        01.03.00         none (original version)
1000SL        02.00.01         Upgrade to DeskMate v.3.05.* **
1000SL/2      02.00.01         Upgrade to DeskMate v.3.05.* ***
1000TL        02.00.01         Upgrade to DeskMate v.3.05.*
1000TL/2      02.00.01         Upgrade to DeskMate v.3.05.  Also corrects
                                 possible loss of sound with VGA installed.*
1000TL/3      02.00.01         Upgrade to DeskMate v.3.05.*
1000RL        02.00.01         Lockups in DeskMate due to mouse driver bug.
1000RL-HD     02.00.01         Lockups in DeskMate due to mouse driver bug.
1000RLX       02.00.00         none (original version)
1000RLX-HD    02.00.00         none (original version)
1000RLX-B     02.00.00         none (original version)
1000RLX-HD-B  02.00.00         none (original version)
1000RSX       01.10.00         none (original version)
* The BIOS upgrade to DeskMate 3.05 sold for $99.95 in 1991; Kenneth Udut told me it was still available as of 1995. DeskMate 3.05 provides scalable fonts, unlike older versions. Manual and diskettes were included with the upgrade. As noted above, if you want DeskMate 3.05, you can download it from the Tvdog site.

** There are two different versions of the BIOS upgrade for the SL. To determine which you need, look at the three-letter CPU configuration code on the bottom of the computer:

    SYSTEM      CPU CONFIG CODE(S)             PART
    1000 SL     UAA, UAF, UAG, UBF, UBG, UBI   70B-1360
                UAB, UBB, UBH, UBJ             70D-1360
*** There are two different versions of the BIOS upgrade for the SL/2. To determine which you need, look at the three-letter CPU configuration code on the bottom of the computer:
    SYSTEM      CPU CONFIG CODE(S)             PART
    1000 SL/2   UAA                            70B-1360
                UBA                            70C-1360
**** If you have the two-chip version of the original 1000 BIOS (version 01.00.00), you also need to upgrade the PAL chip when you upgrade the BIOS. The PAL chip goes in the socket labelled U9. The new one is part number MXP-0081. Tandy has been out of the PAL chips for a while. If you have this BIOS version, there are still ways to install a hard drive, but your options are more limited (see section II.D.1.).

III.F. System Setup Programs

III.F.1. I just got an old 1000 secondhand, with no disks or anything. Where can I get the system setup program for it?

The original 1000, 1000A, HD, EX, SX, and TX do not have a setup program (they tend to use jumpers on the motherboard instead). For other models, see section IV.B. for sites.

III.F.2. What are the options to the system setup command?

It depends on the system; all of them are undocumented. On the 1000TL, there are three. Entering, say SETUPTL without options will give you access to only one screen of setup options - only "safe" things. SETUPTL /A will give access to several additional screenfuls of setup. /A is mainly useful for controlling the amount of video RAM (see section II.A.2.). SETUPTL /B will display the actual binary EEPROM contents and allow you to change individual bits. It is not much use since nobody has mapped the EEPROM. Beware of /A and /B: it is possible to mess up the EEPROM so as to make the system unbootable. Finally, SETUPTL /F will reset the EEPROM to the factory defaults; this option is sometimes useful if you've messed up the setup so that there isn't any screen output. It is also useful if your DeskMate DeskTop is messed up and you can't fix it from inside DeskMate (you should also delete DESKTOP.CFG, and you will have to rebuild your DeskTop).

III.F.3. Why does my 1000 RLX say I have an invalid configuration?

Anexsia posted in comp.sys.tandy:

I have a tandy 1000 rlx that upon start up tells me that I have an invalid configuration, and tells me to run the start up utility, which I have. The message will not go away. The computer seems to run otherwise fine.

When a Tandy with EEPROM setup boots up, the BIOS does a sanity check on the EEPROM contents, and if the check fails, it uses some built-in defaults instead of the information in the EEPROM. The message is the BIOS telling you the EEPROM makes no sense and warning you that it's using the defaults.

The solution to the problem is to run Setuprlx, as the BIOS tells you to do. When you do that, Setuprlx will examine the hardware installed in the system. If you then exit the program and "Save changes," the EEPROM will be updated to match the actual hardware. On the other hand, if you exit Setuprlx without saving, the EEPROM will not be changed and your problem will recur. Since the RLX is bootable, you can use SETUPRLX to set it back to the factory defaults, if you need to.

If you did "Save changes," and you still have the same problem, try mouse on COM1: and modem on COM2:. The BIOS may be upset that you're not using the COM: ports in order [note: this user had mouse on COM1: and modem on COM4:].

Frank Durda IV writes:

You didn't mention if you did this, but I'll say it. If the CMOS has a checksum error, it will also say there is an invalid configuration and that you should run setup.

However, on some systems, running setup is not enough! You must change something, anything to get setup to write the good values back to the CMOS. For example, change the type listed for drive B, then change it back, then hit F2, or whichever key is correct to store the settings.

Running setup and saying "yep, its all correct" will not update the CMOS even if you press F2, unless you change something, at least on a lot of the older systems. I think the RLX was in this category.

Later Tandy SETUPs would consider fields to be "changed" if you simply moved the cursor to them (they changed color), so all you have to do there is move the cursor around and hit F2 to write new CMOS values.

The CMOS settings on ISA systems don't care about IRQ or DMA settings (it does matter on EISA, PCI and Plug And Play systems), so changing those settings on boards isn't going to make the CMOS happy. Memory-mapped devices can also cause problems if there isn't a gap between real memory and the addresses used by the memory-mapped adapter.

CMOS on ISA systems is concerned with memory size, video type (Mono, CGA or EGA/VGA) floppy type and number of hard drives. Most systems CMOS checks can't tell if you got the hard disk drive type settings wrong, but they will know if the count is wrong or the floppy count or type settings are wrong.

Verify these things, make a pointless change and then put things back correctly, and then save the settings and see if it shuts up.

If it still doesn't work, write down your configuration information, then select "factory defaults" in setup. After resetting to the defaults, change back to your original configuration, then save and reboot.

III.G. Applications

III.G.1. Some compilers do not detect my hardware. Is there an explanation for this?

Borland languages may not be able to detect an 8087 coprocessor on a Tandy 1000-series. WATFOR-77 has a similar problem on the 1000TL; it indicates that the 287 is not generating interrupts (the coprocessor error interrupt, Int 16h, is rerouted to Int 2 on the TL). Other than the above, all (older versions of) Borland and Microsoft languages will run in the 1000-series, although lockups have been reported with Microsoft Quick C. Programs compiled with QC (version 1.x) may not run on the 1000-series due to a bug in the graphics library.

III.G.2. What C compilers will work on my Tandy 1000?

The following C compilers will run on an XT: Turbo C v.1.0, 1.5 and 2.0, Turbo C++ v1.0, QuickC up to v2.5, Microsoft C up to v6.0 (works but is slow), Zortech C/C++, Mix Power C. Mix Power C is still available new:

Mix Software
1203 Berkeley Drive
Richardson, TX 75081-5932
ph. (972) 783-6001

Mix Power C has been highly recommended in the Delphi Tandy forum.

Old Borland compilers (Turbo C, Turbo C++, Turbo Pascal) are available for download from their web site:


EMS Professional Software sells old compilers:


Pacific C is in the misc directory on the Tvdog site; it is mainly for embedded systems but it should work on the 1000's as well.

III.G.3. Where can I find a program for the Tandy 1000 that does (x)?

Generally, you don't need a Tandy-specific program. The vast majority of DOS programs for the IBM PC or XT will work fine. You only really need or want a Tandy-specific program when you're trying to take advantage of special features the 1000's have, like the 640x200x4, 320x200x16, or (on some models) the 640x200x16 video modes. Programs to play sounds on the SN76496 3-voice tone and noise generator or the Tandy DAC (PSSJ) are another exception. You can find a couple nice GIF/JPG viewers and a couple nice sound file players at the Tvdog site (see section IV.B.1.). Tandy video is largely compatible with CGA, and programs that play sound on the PC speaker will work on the 1000's too.

There are several good DOS sites with programs to meet practically every need. Try these:


If you prefer FTP, try these sites:


The index for the Simtel site is on Garbo:


The PC-Blue archive at


has a lot of very old programs that will run in very limited memory (if you have one of the older 1000's with 256k or less RAM).

To find copies of old commercial programs, check here:


III.G.4. What games are there for the 1000's?

Most any game for the original IBM PC or XT will work (see section III.G.3.). The only thing different about the Tandy joystick is the plug; it is programmed exactly the same. In action games, it is of course best if you can find a game that supports your video and sound, but games that only require CGA and the speaker will work.

Sierra (Sierra Online, Coarsegold, CA 93614) made several games that took advantage of the 1000's video and sound. Some of these have remained popular and continue to be put out in new versions (King's Quest is one that comes to mind). Other Sierra games were The Black Cauldron and Space Quest (Sierra also produced the Homeword word processor for DeskMate). Other companies that made games for the 1000's were Spinnaker (Fraction Fever and Kindercomp), Infocom (Infocom Sampler), Microsoft (Flight Simulator), Broderbund (Lode Runner and Carmen Sandiego), Electronic Arts (Star Flight, One-on-One, and Pinball Construction Set), Epyx (Rogue), Columbia Pictures (Ghostbusters), and Microprose (F15 Strike Eagle and Silent Service).

Per Jim Leonard <trixter@oldskool.org>, Mobygames lists commercial games using Tandy 1000 graphics and sound:

http://www.mobygames.com/attribute/sheet/p,2/attributeId,31/ (graphics)
http://www.mobygames.com/attribute/sheet/p,2/attributeId,32/ (3-voice sound chip)
http://www.mobygames.com/attribute/sheet/p,2/attributeId,33/ (Tandy DAC)

Used DOS games are constantly for sale on eBay. There are also hundreds of games available for download on dozens of sites, try starting at the DOS games Webring.

There are a few games that take advantage of 1000-series video and sound at the Tvdog site (see section IV.B.1.). One of them, Stormovik, is now commercial, and the (shareware) Tandy version is quite impressive.

III.G.5. How can I access the Internet with my 1000?

According to Will Baldwin:

There are 3 main ways to access the net using DOS text-based programs:

1) Thru a shell account to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). You can usually do this using any standard DOS terminal program.

2) Thru a SLIP connection directly to the Internet backbone.

3) Thru a PPP connection directly to the Internet backbone.

There are some freeware and shareware software available to take care of 2 and 3 above. To use them, you have to be able to access a SLIP or PPP gateway on your ISP. On your computer, you have to use a packet driver or packet driver emulator. If you are a standalone computer wishing to communicate through a modem, you need a packet driver. If your computer is part of a LAN, chances are your server already has a packet driver, in which case you need to have a packet driver emulator on your machine. I have found the most widely used freeware/shareware packet drivers are UMSLIP (for SLIP), and Etherppp (for PPP).

Once you have a SLIP or PPP driver, you then need a client program. I have found YARN, PINE, Minuet, DOSLynx, and SLippper. Despite its name, I believe Slippper can be used with either SLIP or PPP. I prefer Minuet and Etherppp on a Tandy 1000 through the Compuserve PPP gateway. Minuet offers Ftp, Gopher, Telnet, WWW, etc., all in one program. [...]

Also available [...] is a utility program I wrote, MYIP.zip, which makes it easier to use Etherppp w/Minuet (and other internet software) with PPP hosts that assign new IP addresses at each logon, by automatically passing the IP address to the client software, making it unnecessary for the user to type it in each time. It also helps software take full advantage of unattended mode features.

For hints and tips about using the above, there are mailing lists for Minuet and DOSLynx, and usenet newsgroups for PINE (comp.mail.pine), and PPP (comp.protocols.ppp). Instructions to subscribe to the DOSLynx mailing list are in the documentation. Instructions to subscribe to the Minuet mailing list are available from the Minuet.FAQ file accessible at the URL shown in the opening screen.

Good luck. I'm no expert, but feel free to netmail me on Fido, or send email to my internet box at Will.Baldwin@nemspa.org.

Marc Williams has the following notes on DOS Internet programs:

Packet Drivers:
Quakeppp works fine.
Uses Klos Technologies PPP drivers/software. Dialer/terminal program can connect via scripts or manually.

Etherppp works fine too but it's a memory hog.
Causes some programs to error out like PC-Pine and Minuet.

Slipper/Cslipper work flawlessly.
Need dialer program or terminal software to connect first.

Integrated tools. Telnet, mail, gopher, ping, finger, news, web, ftp. Web does not support forms. Can't use News as it doesn't work on Stacker drive. Minuet is my main program for mail, gopher and ftp.

Requires dial-up program. Companion UMSlip/phone package works fine. I use phone to load cslipper.

Integrated tools. Telnet, mail, ping, web, news, ftp. Built-in PPP using scripts or dumb terminal mode.

I'm using XT/286 version which does not support graphics/sound. Web leaves a lot to be desired. Reader module allows for offline newsgroup reading. My main program for usenet. You can download only subject headers so you can then pick which full messages to download for reading. Pretty cool.

Three versions available: 386 (graphics, sound, fonts), XT/286, and Palmtop (no graphics/sound on last two).

NCSA Telnet w/FTP.
Very good package. Also includes whois, finger, rsh/rexec, etc.

CUTCP Telnet w/FTP.
Based on NCSA work. Includes printing utilities like lpr/lpq/etc. TN3270 also.

Cool nntp news reader. Not offline but windowing/menuing.

World Wide Web browser. Not a port of Unix Lynx. Too bad. Uses Borland Turbovision interface (like Minuet/Trumpet). Slow, buggy, crash prone. In alpha and doesn't seem to be supported.

New note: DosLynx is being worked on by a private party and is now at [0.26] (UKansas' last version was 0.8a). It fixes some bugs. It can be had from [http://members.nccw.net/fmacall/]

Pre-Minuet. No longer supported. Incorporated into Minuet. Includes Webster module (not in Minuet). Includes telnet, finger, ping.

PC-Gopher III.
Pre-Minuet. No longer supported. Incorporated into Minuet. The version I use(d) is pretty fast with windows opening all over the place with no memory problems. Later version (1.1.x?) had major memory problems.

POP mail. Based on Minnesota code (POPMail/PC-Gopher/Minuet). Telnet, ping, finger, and quite a few more. Will call external programs like Trumpet, html viewers, graphics viewers, etc.

Those are some of the cool programs that work (except DOSLynx). Minuet, NuPOP, POPMail, PC-Gopher III, Trumpet, and DOSLynx use the Borland Turbovision interface so they're full windowing/mouseable programs.

Tried PC-Pine but couldn't get it to work. Probably since Annex doesn't use the unix box/pine to receive mail anymore.

Experimenting with Yarn (usenet SOUP) offline reader but haven't got it to work yet. Need the correct programs to import the packets.

Most of the above (and a few more) can be found at the Tvdog site:


The programs on that site have been tested on the 1000HX and 1000TL. Oh, and PC-Pine doesn't work because it requires 600 kilobytes of free RAM ;-).

Obviously, if the 1000RSX is running Windows, OS/2 Warp, or Linux, there are Internet access programs for those environments.

III.H. Basic

III.H.1. What are the Basic patches?

There is a bug in GW-Basic 3.20.20, which came with the SL, TL and TL/2. After a syntax error, the <up arrow>/8 key on the numeric keypad stops working until Basic is exited. The executable can be patched to fix the problem; the fix appeared in the December 1990 issue of PCM, page 138. Enter the following at the DOS prompt:

PATCH BASIC.EXE,96A2,A483C702,FCA44747

GW-Basic v01.01.00, included with the original 1000, has a bug that causes the sense of the BEEP ON and BEEP OFF commands to be reversed. The fix is to patch the program with Debug as follows, as described in the October 1986 issue of PCM. First rename BASIC.EXE to BASIC.TMP. Go DEBUG BASIC.TMP, then type:

   E 6AA9 74
Rename BASIC.TMP back to BASIC.EXE. Tandy GW-Basic v01.01.01 or later does not have the bug.

III.H.2. How do I get information on Basic programming?

With newer models, there may be a Basic command reference in the manuals that came with the system. On older models, the Basic documentation may have been sold separately. GW-Basic didn't change much between the original 1000 and the 1000RL, so a command reference from another model will probably work. See also section IV.D.

PCM magazine used to publish a lot of Basic programs for the 1000's - see section IV.C.

III.H.3. What is the "Child of Basic" problem?

The "Child of Basic" problem was caused by a bug in the Microsoft QuickBasic v1.0 compiler. Programs compiled with QB 1.0 would display the message, "Cannot execute as a child of BASIC" and refuse to run on the Tandy 1000. The solution was to run a program beforehand that would set a byte in the BIOS data area to the value that QB expected. There is a program available to do this:


It is also possible to make a program to fix the problem with the following Debug session:

   push ds
   push dx
   mov dx,0050
   mov ds,dx
   mov dl,00
   mov [000f],dl
   pop dx
   pop ds
   int 20

   f0111 0180 00
Note the blank line after "int 20". The program QBFIX.COM is produced.

The "Child of Basic" problem was Microsoft's fault, not Tandy's, and it had nothing to do with Tandy's GW-Basic interpreter. QuickBasic v2.0 or later does not have the bug.

IV. Miscellaneous Information

IV.A. How do I contact Tandy?

Tandy can be reached by mail, phone, or e-mail.

Tandy can be reached by mail at:

Radio Shack Corporation
200 Taylor Street, Suite 600
Ft. Worth, TX 76102
Attn: Product Support

The various phone numbers at Tandy have all been consolidated into 1-800-THE-SHACK (1-800-843-7422). Call this number to order Tandy products or obtain support. Outside North America, call Tandy International at 1-817-390-3475.

Call the Radio Shack telephone order center to ask about the availability of old Tandy products: (800) 433-2024.

Tandy publications used to be obtained by calling the toll-free fax-back service at (800) 323-6586 with a touch-tone phone. It doesn't really work any more since you can't get a catalog listing the available documents. The documents on the fax-back service can be obtained via WWW from Tandy's support site (see section IV.B.2.). If you have a question about jumpers, switches, and that sort of thing, this is one way to get it answered.

To send email to Tandy, go to this page:


IV.B. FTP sites, Web pages, BBS's, etc.

IV.B.1. What FTP sites are there for the 1000's?

The following site has setup programs, documentation files, and free/shareware programs for the 1000's, as well as Internet access software for old PC's. The latest version of this FAQ is also to be found there:

The vast majority of DOS programs will run on the 1000's, though they may not take advantage of the video and sound capabilities. See section III.G.3. for some sites.

IV.B.2. What WWW sites are there for the 1000's?

Tandy's site has a lot of support documents as well as most of the setup programs and utilities for Tandy computers. Get to the support page via:


There is a Yahoo group for discusssion of the 1000-series:


Check out Trixter's Oldskool Shrine to the IBM PCjr and Tandy 1000:


The Tvdog site has links to the above as well as this FAQ and access to files in the FTP archive:


The above site is a member of the Tandy 1000 Webring, which has links to several Tandy-related WWW sites:


The Tandem emulator enables you to run your old Tandy 1000 programs on a newer PC:


A Google search for "Tandy 1000" turns up over 11,000 hits.

IV.B.3. What BBS's are there for the 1000's?

This BBS has some of the files on the Tvdog FTP/WWW site. It is generally a gay-oriented BBS, and you have to be 18 to enter; the Tandy stuff is a hobby:

Paul's Waka Waka BBS
Seattle, WA, USA
1-206-783-7979 or Telnet to wakawaka.dns2go.com
Sysop: Paul Casey <wakawaka@serv.net>
Running Searchlight v5.1 at 2400-33600 baud

Paul writes: "You must register as a NEW User to be able to download files. The BBS is totally 'FREE' with no time limits. No Registration Form is required." To find Tandy stuff, go to the files section and look in the TANDYCPU directory.

IV.B.4. What online services had 1000-related areas?

CompuServe and America Online used to have Tandy areas; don't know if they still do. CompuServe's was the biggest - GO TRS80PRO. Delphi and BIX had Tandy areas too, but they don't exist any more. I have heard that AOL has deleted many old files, but I'm not on AOL, so I can't check that.

IV.C. What magazines and newsletters are there for the 1000's?

There are none. There were several.

There was a bimonthly newsletter called Computer News PC published by the same people who publish Computer News 80, a newsletter for TRS-80's (which is still around). There are a few issues online in the documents directory. I am on the lookout for more and will scan them if I can find them.

The major magazine for Tandy 1000 owners was PCM. It is now out of print. The publisher has no back issues for sale but refused my request for permission to scan them. From time to time you will see these offered for sale in comp.sys.tandy, and some libraries may have copies. The best years for PCM were 1988-1991. Delphi used to have back issues of PCM available for download for an extra charge ("PCM on Disk"). PCM published an index to the previous year's articles in each July issue.

There was another, smaller magazine for the Tandy 1000-series, called 1000 Magazine. I have never seen it. It is out of print as well.

IV.D. What are some good books about the 1000's?

Upgrading Your Tandy, from DCS Industries. An excellent reference, like the Tech Notes and Jumper Manuals, below.

1000's Tech Notes and Jumper Manual, Volumes 1 and 2, from Micro Systems. Volume 1 covers the 1000's themselves; volume 2 covers various adapters and accessories sold by Tandy for the 1000's. These books are a highly recommended.

You do still have your owner's manual, don't you :-)? Well, if not the manuals for several models are available in the documents directory at Tvdog.

The technical reference manual for your system is your best source of hardcore technical data. There are several technical reference manuals in the Tvdog documents directory also.

The technical reference may assume you are already familiar with commonly-used (or emulated) Intel chips. If not, the Intel Microprocessor and Peripheral Handbook (ISBN 1-55512-041-5) contains the data sheets for the 8088, 8086, 80286, 8259A, 8254, etc. The technical reference manual for the original 1000 (above) includes most of these, however, and I have added them to the manual for the TL also.

The IBM PCjr Technical Reference Manual can be helpful. It contains BIOS listings for that system and documentation on the Tandy 1000/PCjr video system and 3-voice chip that is a bit more complete than what is in Tandy's manuals. There is a copy in PDF format available online.

Many of the 1000's are intermediate between the IBM PC and the PCjr (see section IV.H.). From that point of view, a good book to get is Compute's Mapping the IBM PC and PCjr (ISBN 0-942386-92-2), which covers both systems. It covers programming the machines in Basic and assembler, including Tandy 1000/PCjr video and the 3-voice chip.

A service manual, Computerfacts Technical Service Data, was produced for some early 1000-series models by Howard W. Sams & Company. These manuals are aimed as service technicians and include detailed schematics, replacement part lists, and service procedures.  The manuals available are:

CSCS-19 Tandy 1000SX
CSCS-21 Tandy 1000EX
CSCS-30 Tandy 1000TX

The manuals are available through the Sams copy service - call 1-800-428-SAMS.

There was a manual sold with the Tandy 3000HL, catalog number 25-4109, MS-DOS/GW Basic, covering Tandy DOS 3.3. There was a book, Tandy MS-DOS Reference Manual, catalog number 25-1501, that came with the SX (DOS version 3.2). Other models had similar manuals. Radio Shack also sold a book by David A. Lien, Learning Basic for the Tandy 1000/2000 (ISBN 0-932760-31-7). It is a good tutorial to Basic but contains little that is Tandy-specific. There are some Tandy DOS manuals in the documents directory at Tvdog and some Basic manuals in the basic directory there.

David Lien also wrote DOS books for Tandy: MS-DOS Volume 1: The Basics (cat. no. 25-1506, ISBN 0-932760-45-7) and MS-DOS Volume 2: Advanced Applications (cat. no. 25-1507, ISBN 0-932760-42-2). The two DOS books and the Basic book by Lien were sold as a unit, cat. no. 25-1508. I have the Advanced Applications book; it really isn't all that advanced, but it explains some of the nonstandard features of Tandy DOS.

The Complete Guide to the Tandy 1000 (cat. no. 25-1505, ISBN 0-912677-57-0) by Eric Grevstad and Jim Heid covers the original 1000 and 1000HD. It is a combination of basic and technical information and might serve as an introduction to the "good old days" of computing for someone who has only ever used Windows.

A useful book is Getting the Most Out of DeskMate 3 (ISBN 0-1320233-4-2) by Michael A. Banks, published by Brady. Contains whatever is left out of the DeskMate manual.

DeskMate 3 Made Easy (ISBN 0-07-881633-5) by Ramon Zamora and Bob Albrecht. This one is pretty basic.

The First Book of DeskMate (ISBN 0-672-27314-4) by Jack Nimersheim is another basic text, though it has some interesting sections on the Autoconfig box, Lotus-DM, and Q&A Write.

Radio Shack once sold a software package called "Fundamentals of the TL" containing introductory information on the 1000TL. They bring you into a town, called "Tandyland". You have a set of software packages with you. You go to each store, and each merchant has a problem they want to solve. You have to give them the right software. It also teaches you how to use MS-DOS, as well as how to use DeskMate, ver 3.01. There were also "Fundamentals" programs for other systems, including the original 1000, SX, EX, and SL. The version for the original 1000 is in the game and demo directory on the Tvdog site. It is very fundamental (this is how you format a disk, this is how you copy a file, this is how you run a program ...), but it nicely demonstrates Tandy 1000 graphics and sound.

Ken Udut provided the following information:

From Ramon Zamora & Laran Stardrake in One Thousand Magazine, October 1991

"Your DeskMate Backpack - the ShareBook

We are writing a sharebook called Your DeskMate Backpack in 8.5" by 11" loose-leaf format. This sharebook may be freely copied and distributed. The first 10 pages are free. To get them, send a SELF-ADDRESSED, STAMPED (29 CENTS) ENVELOPE, to:

Your DeskMate Backpack
PO Box 1635
Sebastopol, CA 95473-1635

If you do, please tell us about your computer and what you would like to learn about DeskMate."

I do not know if they are still providing this service. They also wrote a DeskMate book, which I used to have but gave away to a friend who received a used Tandy 1000 TX and wanted to learn more about DeskMate. I will find out the name of it. (I think my local library has a copy).

Radio Shack once sold a book called Graphics and Sound for the Tandy 1000 and PC Compatibles by William Barden, Jr. (catalog number 25-1512, ISBN 0-915391-27-9) for $7.95 (as of 1990). It was primarily oriented toward Basic but contained useful appendices. The information in the technical reference manuals for the various models is more complete.

There are many general books about the IBM PC and MS-DOS available - check your local library. For programmers, the Microsoft MS-DOS Encylopedia (ISBN 1-55615-049-0) is an excellent reference. It covers DOS up to 3.3.

IV.E. What other newsgroups are of interest to 1000 owners?

There is a DeskMate group, sort of:


comp.sys.tandy is much more widely read, so it is better just to post your DeskMate-related messages there.

For general IBM PC-related information, check out these hierarchies:


It must be said that Web groups have gotten more popular than the newsgroups above. Check this URL:


Search for other groups on these sites:


There are groups for DOS, programming, hardware, whatever. Of course, you can access regular newsgroups through the Web as well:


IV.F. Where can I get other FAQ's?

FAQ's for many newsgroups were periodically posted to news.answers. Also check comp.answers for comp.* newsgroups and alt.answers for alt.* newsgroups.

FAQ's are also available by FTP from:


A list of available FAQ's is to be found at:


Via WWW, check this site:


IV.G. Where can I get upgrade/replacement parts for my 1000?

Parts are no longer available from Radio Shack:

We regret that hardware and software, including drivers for installation in the Tandy 1000 series system are no longer available as stock items at the warehouse.

Hence, it is doubtful that Radio Shack would have a part you need - unless it's Zener diode #26J3347. If you want to check anyway, search the faxback documents on the support WWW site for the part number (see section IV.B.2.), then call 1-800-THE-SHACK.

The following company sells memory chips for most models of the 1000-series. Check the list in section II.A.1. or consult the Tandy support site to find out what type of chips you need first:

Jameco Electronics
1355 Shoreway Road
Belmont, CA 94002-4100
ph. (800) 455-6119
email: info@jameco.com
WWW: http://www.jameco.com

Go to category IC's & Semiconductors/Memory/DRAM on their Web site to see what they have; be sure to get a couple more chips than you need in case some are bad. They have the V20 upgrade chip also.

If you need to replace the lithium coin battery in your system, Radio Shack has a pretty good selection. Make sure you bring the original battery to match it. (If Radio Shack doesn't have the battery, they can order it.)

This company still sells 8-bit cards, MFM, RLL, and old IDE drives, XT keyboards, low-density floppy drives, and CGA monitors. If your system can take a standard XT part, look here:

Computer Reset
P.O. Box 461782
Garland, TX 75046-1782
ph. (214) 348-6484
fax (214) 343-3140
email: sales@c-reset.com
WWW: http://www.c-reset.com

This company also sells old computer parts:

ABC Resellers
2760 F.M. 726 South
Gilmer, TX 75644
ph. (903) 797-4992
fax (903) 797-4993
email: webmaster@abcresellers.com
WWW: http://www.abcresellers.bigstep.com

The original 1000, A, HD, EX, HX, RL, SL's, SX, and TX do not come with a real-time clock. To get one, you can install a Smartwatch under a 28-pin ROM chip (the SL's have a special socket instead). The Smartwatch is Dallas Semiconductor part number DS1216E, and you can get it from:

Allied Electronics
P.O. Box 2325
Fort Worth, TX 76113-2325
ph. (800) 433-5700
WWW: http://www.alliedelec.com/

You will often find upgrade parts for older PC's on eBay, as well as complete 1000 systems. 30-pin SIMMs for the RSX can be found there. Search Google for "computer liquidators" to find companies that still sell 8-bit cards and other old upgrade parts. Some cities have junk shops that sell all kinds of old electronic equipment (there is one in Virginia Beach); check locally. Another possibility if you need something specific and no substitutes are acceptable is the places that sell "rare electronic equipment" - but their prices may be quite high.

There used to be several places that specialized in parts for the 1000's; unfortunately, they are all gone now.

Generally, whatever works in an IBM XT can be made to work in a Tandy 1000. There are quite a few exceptions, though. If you are in doubt (and this FAQ didn't tell you), ask in comp.sys.tandy or, better yet, get one of the books listed in section IV.D.

IV.H. Why is this @#$%!! machine so incompatible?

The original Tandy 1000 was introduced to compete with the IBM PCjr, and it is compatible with it in most respects. Shortly before the 1000 came out, the PCjr was discontinued, and it is largely forgotten now. The 1000-series, by contrast, were quite popular, and Tandy continued to produce new models for a decade, adding enhancements and gradually improving compatibility with the IBM PC.

The keyboard on the original 1000 through the 1000TX is an improvement on the original 83-key IBM PC keyboard, and most of the scan codes are compatible with that, though not with the later 101-key keyboard. The PCjr's poor keyboard was a principal reason for its demise.

The joystick ports on the original 1000 were made compatible with the Color Computer, to enable owners of those machines to use their old joysticks and Color Mice with the new machines.

Reducing manufacturing cost was another reason for some of the incompatibilities.

By the way, you could be even worse off - you could have an IBM PCjr. PCjr owners frequently modify their machines to be more compatible with the 1000:


IV.I. I'm thinking of selling my old 1000, what is it worth?

Not much. While some older computers are now becoming valuable as collectors' items, that is unlikely to happen with the 1000's. To a collector, scarcity is the main source of value, and the Tandy 1000-series, on the whole, are simply not scarce. For a time during the late 1980's the 1000's were the number one selling computer line in the U.S.; hundreds of thousands were made, and very well at that, so that many remain in working order today. So for every person that wants to buy a 1000, there are probably several machines sitting in attics, closets, and garages waiting to be put back in service.

If you want to sell your 1000, your best bet is to sell it intact, with the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and all software and manuals. CGA monitors have gotten hard to find, and Tandy-style keyboards are impossible. Set it up and take a picture of it working. Weigh it all, locate boxes to put it in, and find out how much it will cost to ship it to the other side of the country. Then advertise it on eBay. For a complete system as described, I have seen prices in the $10 to $25 range, sometimes more.

The EX and HX are worth less than other models; they are the most common because they were the cheapest, and their nonstandard expansion makes it a hassle to deal with them. The original 1000 is somewhat desirable for its historical value, especially if you have original boxes. But your old 1000 is not going to make you rich.

IV.J. What happened to Tandy?

Tandy Corporation has changed its name to Radio Shack. See section IV.A. for ways to contact them.

In May 1993, Tandy sold its computer manufacturing facilities and the rest of its computer business to AST Research, which quickly closed the plants down. For a while, the desktop computers sold in Radio Shacks were made by AST, using Tandy's old engineering staff, who had been transferred to the new company.

Tandy's laptops were mostly made in Japan, most by Panasonic, some by Seikosha, often with custom ROM's. Tandy printers were generally made in Japan as well, generally with custom ROM's.

In May 1996, AST terminated its in-house software development efforts, and the remaining Tandy programmers scattered to the four winds (some were still left from the DeskMate days at that time). AST Research dissolved in 1999, and a new company called AST Computers, LLC acquired the intellectual property rights. AST Computers, in turn, is out of business now, so effectively nobody owns the rights to DeskMate any more.

Currently, Radio Shack is selling HP/Compaq models (yecch - how the mighty have fallen).