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Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
12-01-2019, 05:37 PM
Post: #1
Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
Blog Link here: http://edspi31415.blogspot.com/2019/12/r...puter.html

Model: Tandy PC-4
Company: Tandy/Radio Shack
Type: BASIC Programming Calculator
Based Off Of: Casio PB-100, Radio Shack TRS-80 Pocket Computer PC-4
Memory: 544 bytes or 1,544 bytes with OR-1 RAM card
Years: 1982 (PB-100) - approximately 1986
Display: One line, scrolling display, 12 character screen
Batteries: 2 CR 2032
Program Slots: 10
Other Clones: Olympia OP-544
Peripheral Devices: 12 pin expansion port for FP-12 thermal printer, FA-3 audio cassette recorder

I have the calculator from Ghostbusters. OK, technically the Radio Shack TRS-80 Pocket Computer PC-4 (an earlier version of the Tandy PC-4). However Tandy computers were sold through Radio Shack. Close enough.

Verdict

This is a really basic, programming calculator. I really like the PC-4 as a beginning level programming tool. If you get the PC-4, (or TRS-80 PC-4 from Radio Shack or Casio PB-100), make sure you get it with the RAM card installed or part of the package. There are probably many Android and iOS apps that emulate a PC-4.

The PC-4 is a pleasure to use and the keyboard is responsive.
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12-01-2019, 05:49 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2019 06:03 PM by StephenG1CMZ.)
Post: #2
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
Just be careful when buying one of these...you might need bigger pockets Smile
This is the TRS 80 I recall...
https://www.google.com/search?q=trs80+co...e&ie=UTF-8
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=w...5222765202
More of a desktop than a pocket computer.
Available late 1970s/early 1980s.

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
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12-01-2019, 06:11 PM
Post: #3
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
Hi Eddie. Good article about Tandy PC4 that here in Europe was sold as Casio PB-100.
Casio PB-100 is the beginning of a very good series of calculators.
Casio PB-110 has hidden commands as
MODE 18(A,B): something like B=PEEK(A). Loads in B the content of address A
MODE 19(A,B): something like POKE A,B. Insert in address A, B content.
I`m afraid this calculator didn't have those useful commands.

Calculadoras programables BASIC años 80-90:
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12-01-2019, 06:32 PM
Post: #4
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
Eddie, to clear the program, most BASIC's use NEW. Try that and see if it works.
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12-01-2019, 07:29 PM
Post: #5
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
(12-01-2019 06:32 PM)Don Shepherd Wrote:  Eddie, to clear the program, most BASIC's use NEW. Try that and see if it works.

Thanks Don, NEW does clear the program. An undocumented command. Mind if I mention this on my review? Credit will be given.
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12-01-2019, 07:54 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2019 10:02 PM by ijabbott.)
Post: #6
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
We had Tandy stores in the UK (sadly, they went bust) and they used the Radio Shack brand for calculators and computers, so maybe the PC-4 was branded as a "Radio Shack" rather than a "Tandy" over here.

EDIT: Having written that, the desktop TRS-80s were still called "Tandy TRS-80"s over here, even though it said Radio Shack on the badges.

— Ian Abbott
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12-01-2019, 08:17 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2019 09:29 PM by xerxes.)
Post: #7
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
(12-01-2019 06:11 PM)foroplus Wrote:  Casio PB-110 has hidden commands as
MODE 18(A,B): something like B=PEEK(A). Loads in B the content of address A
MODE 19(A,B): something like POKE A,B. Insert in address A, B content.

Are you sure, that MODE18(A,B) works on the PB-110? AFAIK it should be MODE18(A,B$). Please check this thread: http://www.silicium.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18389
Even if MODE18(A,B) works, the result is written as HEX in B$.

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12-02-2019, 12:49 AM
Post: #8
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
A nice Android emulator can be found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai...i.pokecom2

This program is eelf contained: there is no need for external rom images. The same author has also a Sharp pocket pc emulator that does require roms,which I've been unable to find.
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12-02-2019, 02:34 PM
Post: #9
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
I bought a Radio Shack version back in my college days (1984 if I remember correctly). I had a printer and cassette interface for it, as well.

Only issue I had with it over time was that the on/off switch started acting up. Looking inside, I could see that the switch had metal contacts that slid on the circuit board traces to complete the circuit. Over time, the switch contacts had worn the circuit board traces through and made it difficult to turn on.
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12-02-2019, 04:30 PM
Post: #10
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
What a coincidence Eddie!

I am currently playing with a NOS Tandy PC-7,

No interface for printer or tape drive and etc, but a unique foldable calc. Of course the ribbon on the folding cover will probably be its failure point.

Great seeing you at HHC2019.

Cheers, Geoff
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12-02-2019, 05:35 PM
Post: #11
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
(12-01-2019 07:29 PM)Eddie W. Shore Wrote:  
(12-01-2019 06:32 PM)Don Shepherd Wrote:  Eddie, to clear the program, most BASIC's use NEW. Try that and see if it works.

Thanks Don, NEW does clear the program. An undocumented command. Mind if I mention this on my review? Credit will be given.

that would be fine, Eddie, thanks

Don
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12-02-2019, 06:30 PM
Post: #12
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
(12-02-2019 05:35 PM)Don Shepherd Wrote:  
(12-01-2019 07:29 PM)Eddie W. Shore Wrote:  Thanks Don, NEW does clear the program. An undocumented command. Mind if I mention this on my review? Credit will be given.

that would be fine, Eddie, thanks

Don

On page 57 it says CLEAR clears the program from the current program area (P0, P1, etc.), CLEAR A clears programs from every area. Some BASICs also use SCRATCH, SCR or START to clear the program area.

Tom L
I think therefore I am-Descartes
I think therefore you are-Gorgias
You're not here to think-Army Sergeant
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12-02-2019, 07:38 PM
Post: #13
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
The PC-7 refers to the PC-4 and adds command to the PC-4 list. All programs are upward compatible with the PC-7.

NEWALL is the command to clear all P0 - P9 in one go.

NEW clears the current program.
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12-02-2019, 09:47 PM
Post: #14
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
(12-01-2019 08:17 PM)xerxes Wrote:  
(12-01-2019 06:11 PM)foroplus Wrote:  Casio PB-110 has hidden commands as
MODE 18(A,B): something like B=PEEK(A). Loads in B the content of address A
MODE 19(A,B): something like POKE A,B. Insert in address A, B content.

Are you sure, that MODE18(A,B) works on the PB-110? AFAIK it should be MODE18(A,B$). Please check this thread: http://www.silicium.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18389
Even if MODE18(A,B) works, the result is written as HEX in B$.
Yes, I'm sure, and even I tested a lot
http://basic.hopto.org/basic/pb110.php
On the FX-730 is the other way: MODE18(A,B$)
Also texted on
http://basic.hopto.org/basic/fx730P.php

(Sorry, that pages are in Spanish, haven't enough time to translate)

Calculadoras programables BASIC años 80-90:
http://basic.hopto.org
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12-02-2019, 10:03 PM
Post: #15
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
(12-02-2019 09:47 PM)foroplus Wrote:  Yes, I'm sure, and even I tested a lot
http://basic.hopto.org/basic/pb110.php
On the FX-730 is the other way: MODE18(A,B$)
Also texted on
http://basic.hopto.org/basic/fx730P.php

Thanks for the note. I didn't notice the difference.

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12-02-2019, 10:57 PM (This post was last modified: 12-03-2019 08:54 AM by Csaba Tizedes.)
Post: #16
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
http://pb-100.blogspot.com/
Treasures there, like this: http://pb-100.appspot.com/game/Toronekos...re4/1.html, the program list: http://pb-100.appspot.com/game/Toronekos...re4/3.html

Screen: [Image: GL-T4-01.gif]

Clearing programs: As per manual the CLEAR command clears the actual program and CLEAR A all program memory. I will check the NEW command on my unit, as I can remember it is not works, but yes, on later units implemented NEW and NEW ALL (I am sure on my 850P both available).

Csaba
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12-03-2019, 04:48 PM (This post was last modified: 12-03-2019 04:49 PM by foroplus.)
Post: #17
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
(12-02-2019 10:57 PM)Csaba Tizedes Wrote:  Clearing programs: As per manual the CLEAR command clears the actual program and CLEAR A all program memory. I will check the NEW command on my unit, as I can remember it is not works, but yes, on later units implemented NEW and NEW ALL (I am sure on my 850P both available).
Csaba
According to casio pocket computer's history.
On the old FX-702P and FX-801P the commands were CLR and CLR A
On the PB-100, 300, Tandy PC-4, FX-700P, 710-P and maybe PB-80 were CLEAR and CLEAR ALL
On new models the commands are NEW and NEW ALL, and CLEAR has a different functionality cause clears the content of variables instead of deleting programs.

On some machines you can use A and ALL.
There's a superb compilation sheet by Marcus Von Cube that reflects all the commands in a comparative way.
You can check it out on http://basic.hopto.org/basic/manual/basic-compare.pdf
Alas some mochines are left like the PB-80 or the FX-801P......

Calculadoras programables BASIC años 80-90:
http://basic.hopto.org
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12-04-2019, 02:12 PM
Post: #18
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
(12-02-2019 06:30 PM)toml_12953 Wrote:  
(12-02-2019 05:35 PM)Don Shepherd Wrote:  that would be fine, Eddie, thanks

Don

On page 57 it says CLEAR clears the program from the current program area (P0, P1, etc.), CLEAR A clears programs from every area. Some BASICs also use SCRATCH, SCR or START to clear the program area.

I might be the particular machine I got but CLEAR didn't clear anything, but NEW did.
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12-04-2019, 05:36 PM
Post: #19
RE: Retro Review: Tandy PC-4
(12-04-2019 02:12 PM)Eddie W. Shore Wrote:  
(12-02-2019 06:30 PM)toml_12953 Wrote:  On page 57 it says CLEAR clears the program from the current program area (P0, P1, etc.), CLEAR A clears programs from every area. Some BASICs also use SCRATCH, SCR or START to clear the program area.

I might be the particular machine I got but CLEAR didn't clear anything, but NEW did.

Are you using a PC-4 or PC-7? The PC-4 manual says CLEAR and CLEAR A clear the program memory. The PC-7 uses NEW. Of course, the manual could be wrong. It's happened before where the actual specs change after the manual is printed.

Tom L
I think therefore I am-Descartes
I think therefore you are-Gorgias
You're not here to think-Army Sergeant
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