In response to the questioner's concern, I just created a tag for . (See Did Radio Shack initially attempt to get a monopoly on commercial software for the TRS-80 Model I?) He specifically mentioned in a comment that he had lacked the privilege to create a tag. The tag he was suggesting paralleled a pre-existing tag, . However, I saw that the Model III tag has only ever been used once. I also noted that the TRS-80 Color Computer already has a separate tag, , which is used for many questions.

For my new tag's description, I wrote that it was to be inclusive of the z80-based TRS-80 computers, the Model I, II, III, and 4. The other TRS-80 computers (Color Computer, Pocket Computer, Model 100, Model 2000) all have very separate designs and IMO should use some other tag.

I suggest that the pre-existing tag be either retired or made into a synonym, and its question be edited to include the new tag.

After a little more research, I see that the Model II, while a z80-machine, was an outlier in the Model I, III, and 4 family. It was designed for the business market and had a built-in 8" floppy drive. It had its own business-centric descendents, including the Model 12, Model 16, Model 16B, and Tandy 6000. From Model 16-up, the machines added a 68000 cpu and could switch to run Unix. So I probably should remove the Model II from the description for , but will wait for feedback.

  • I always think of the Model I and Model III together as I used both back in my pre-teen days before I was able to own my first computer. But in those days I don't recall ever seeing a Model II or Model IV other than in the Tandy catalog. I suppose I must've seen them at a local Radio Shack too. I used to go with a friend to a TRS-80 club or two and in my memory there were I's and III's aplenty but not the others. Commented May 29, 2020 at 15:29

5 Answers 5


Raffzahn has already covered what I intended to post as an answer... pretty much exactly, actually! However, there is one point which I would like to add to:

Having a generic Tandy tag might be a good idea as well, so questions can be tagged tandy + trs-80 model 1 family allowing a more generic selection and a specific.

We already have a meta question about this: Manufacturer tags. From a comment on that question:

While it may not be the case here due to the differing scope, note that Super User has been in the process of removing Manufacturer/Company tags as they do not represent a single area of expertise (unlike specific product tags like [microsoft-word]). [...]

Tandy made too many machines unlike each other for a tag to be useful in this way. As per current policy (established on that question), these tags should only be used for when there is no machine-specific tag.

  • Well, isn'T that exactly the case with all these different machines Tandy did? It wouldn't make a lot of sense to create one for every variation.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 21:19
  • @Raffzahn Clarified.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 21:20
  • Well, I can live with not using two tags in one posting (still weired, as multiple tags enable varying search filters), But I definitly would prefer the 'Family' tag structure, as for example The Model 1/III/4 family also would include many clones (EACA, LNW, MAX-80) as well - machines where a seperate tag would be not only rather lonely, but also hampering a search.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 21:39
  • In the Stack Exchange rules it specifically states somewhere that each tag should be able to stand alone. No tag should require the presence of another tag. That's not to say how users will choose tags, just about what tags should be created. I always thought of tags as a growing fractal. In the early days with few questions, a few broader tags is fine. After a couple of years with more questions, more detail is good and more specific tags should be answered. But not before there's a number of questions specific to the potential new more specific tag. Commented May 29, 2020 at 15:33
  • 1
    @hippietrail Specifically, no tag should require the presence of another tag to be meaningful. We can require by convention that, say, all questions about various versions of Windows should have windows in addition to the version, but the version should be like windows-95, not 95.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented May 29, 2020 at 21:47

You're right, 1/3/4 is one family, while 2/12/16 is another. Also, it's, at least as of now, useless to have tags for every model. So maybe two tags (plus CoCo) will do it.

There is one caveat about the writing, as the Model 1 was writen using an arabic numeral, not a roman. Only later on (*1) Model II and II used roman designators, while Model 4 and everything thereafter used again arabic ones. So for our purpose of a clear reading, esecially since tags are lower case, using arabic numbers for all would be apropriate.

Having a generic Tandy tag might be a good idea as well, so questions can be taged tandy + trs-80 model 1 family allowing a more generig selection and a specific - as well as using tanyalone for more exotic Tandy hardware.

*1 - One may guess it was inspired by the Apple II where the same switch from arabic to roman was done before

  • Ok. If I understand correctly, you propose a group of tags: [tandy], [trs-80-model-i-family], [trs-80-model-ii-family], and [color-computer]. The descriptions of the latter 3 would include the specific models for the tag in question. Each tag would include a description naming the specific models included in that family. Sounds good. It might also be useful to provide [tandy] with a synonym [radio-shack] since I'm not sure everyone would think of using [tandy]. My new [trs-80] tag would be eliminated. I'll wait a day for further feedback, then implement.
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 13:53
  • I see that there is a pre-existing tag, [tandy-1000], used 3 times, described to be used for IBM compatible Tandy 1000 family of computers. This fits fine within the set of tags being discussed.
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 14:08
  • @RichF Yes, having the Tandy 1000 as another grouping Tag for the 'somewhat' compatible PC line would fit great.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 18:15
  • 1
    Raffzahn, I just noticed I was using Roman numerals while you had suggested Arabic. I'm not opposed to Arabic, but I do think in general a good idea to call something by its "official" name. You make a good point vis-à-vis Tandy's own inconsistency (Model III but Model 4 and Model II but Model 12). "Model I" seems to be a 20-20 hindsight name; it was originally marketed as simply the "TRS-80", since there were no other models. Once the Model II came out, distinguishing the two became necessary. I cannot find a definitive source as to Tandy eventually naming it the "Model 1" or "Model I".
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 20:18
  • You're right, as even Tandy's own documentation uses both. But it's more about the usage im RC. While it's common to use the upper case letter i ('I') as a replacement for the roman numeral one (much like the letter O was used as zero on typewriters without a distinct zero), there is no lower case roman numeral one looking like lower case i. Now tags are all lower case, so I can not be used as replacement. This might be to soem degree acceptable in the US, but not worldwide. Using U+2160 might aswell be no good idea. Thus only arabic numerals work as provide unambiguous identifiyeers.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 21:30
  • Or in a more technical way: Tags are not good if they try to reflect graphical games some designers made to promote the uniqueness of a machien, but help to group and find questions. So they need to be clear.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 21:41

As a frequent shopper and consumer at Radio Shack back in the day, I never heard the word "Tandy" up until they started coming out with PCs. The company never promoted the name.

While "TRS" of "TRS-80" may stand for "Tandy Radio Shack", even that wasn't popularized. It was TRS-80 and Radio Shack.

TRS-80 represents a vast range of early computers form the original form, to the later business models, portables, and pocket computers.

The CoCo was the "TRS-80 Color Computer", but even enthusiasts of both would never call it a "TRS-80", and especially not a "Tandy". It had it's own identity in the culture outside of however Radio Shack was promoting it.

There's a camaraderie of the TRS-80 models (1, 2, 3, 4), sharing the TRSDOS OS, and love of gray paint and MS BASIC. The Model 100 is it's own world, along with the CoCo.

When the Tandy PCs came out, honestly I don't know how they differed from most any other off the shelf branded PC. They were striving for commonality and compatibility, and Tandy was late to the market in contrast to things like the Victor-9000 and other "not quite compatible" machines. A Tandy PC would likely as not fall under "MS-DOS" or any other generic "PC" term.

So, were I emperor, the tags I'd suggest would be at most mutually exclusive: TRS-80, CoCo, Model 100, Tandy.

  • 1
    I think for a long time they downplayed their Tandy connection so as not to confuse people with their original, Tandy Leather, stores. // I agree that very few people would refer the the CoCo as a "TRS-80 Color Computer". I suggest trs-80-color-computer as being primary so that we maintain a manufacturer-model naming scheme. // My first act on this was actually to create trs-80 which I imagined to be inclusive of models 1-4. Upon realizing that the Model 2 was a different animal, and the CoCo was a TRS-80 too, any naming scheme became a "conundrum".
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 22:00

If we look at the other computer tags we see that they are all in the format . For example there is the , , etc. This would suggest that for the TRS-80 and CoCo we should have something like and (and maybe as a synonym) and so on.

  • 3
    Erm... There isn't an apple-appleii and there's already a coco. The only ones in that format are the ones where the names wouldn't make sense otherwise (e.g. 64 would be useless).
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 19:31
  • 2
    Thanks for the feedback. Tandy pretty much took care of this by including their name in almost every computer model. "TRS" is an acronym for "Tandy Radio Shack". So [tandy-trs-80-model-i-family] would be both redundant and unnecessarily long.
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 19:40
  • ... That said, perhaps we should improve the current [color-computer] tag. Keep that as a synonym, but make the actual tag match what Tandy called it, [trs-80-color-computer]. (I don't know why they kept the "80", which everyone assumed was for "z80". The CoCo has a 6809 instead.) I don't think we need to add the "family" suffix, though. That would probably be a case of consistency for consistency's sake.
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 19:53
  • 1
    'cause it was a well known brand name - and since many perhiperals could be shared, they also shared the brand that way. Then again, in case of the Color-Computer I would realy prefer if that could be changed to CoCo or TRS-CoCo. Because Color-Computer is a very generic term. even Commodore did call the VIC20 that way.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 21:34
  • @RichF New question?
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 21:46
  • @wizzwizz4 ?? I don't know what you are asking. Would you like to meet in chat?
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 22:08
  • @RichF Do you want to ask a new question about the Coco tagging?
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 22:10
  • @wizzwizz4 I could, but I have no problem with this thread handling a tagging scheme of entire TRS-80 brand, which included the Color Computer.
    – RichF
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 22:13
  • @RichF It's probably better to ask a new question, so people can vote separately on the tag suggestions.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 22:15
  • @wizzwizz4 Oops, yep. There's no apple-appleii. That should be apple-ii, along with apple-iic, apple-iigs, etc. Its still the manufacturer-model format though.
    – mnem
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 1:27
  • @wizzwizz4 Thats a rather senseless idea. As of now, the discusion is about a scheme to structure (at least) the tandys. For this case the decision can only be about a certain structure - and with a structure any additional discusion about individual tags is obsolete, as they will be formed according to the structure decided upon.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 17:09
  • @Raffzahn But the structure won't necessarily work. This is something really hard to decide.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 17:10
  • @mnem Not realy. The various apple2 work fine under a single tag. Beside that multiple tags do reduce the usefullness, the differences between the models are rather minimal - even the IIgs and the IIc+ are still not far from their grandgatehr, the straight 2. In fact, as an old time Apple fanatic (just digged out a J-Plus to learn about the differences - plus.google.com/u/0/b/116750583705518879987/+Computeum/posts/… ) I am as well concerned about the 'ii' in the tag. It'S either Apple II or apple2, but not ih-ih that sounds more like steping in dog poop.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 17:14
  • @wizzwizz4 Prove that it don't work, then we need to rethink the structure. Just naying doesn't bring us anywhere. It's about data structure for a real world project.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 17:15
  • @Raffzahn Prove that this works better than what we seem to have as our current implicit consensus please. If it works better then we should replace the existing tags... but I don't think that it does.
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 17:35

I was about to post a new question on this topic asking permission to create a or .

What was decided in the end? I see we still have the generic and the one specifically for the Model III, but still none for the Model I even though the number of questions specifically about it have grown.

Isn't it about time to either rename the Model-3 tag to include at least the Model 1, or change it to Model-1-family? Or otherwise just go ahead and make a new Model-1 tag to go with it since there are enough questions.

Just leaving it as it is now seems like a "tagging smell" to me (-:

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