March 26, 2023

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine


via HACKADAY: Emulating All the TRS-80 Software

Even if you didn’t own a TRS-80, the widespread footprint of Radio Shack in malls meant that if you are old enough, it is a good bet you have seen one and maybe even played with one. The games were crude, but state-of-the-art for 1982. If you wanted business software, that was there too, just don’t expect much on any of the personal computers of the day. My old TRS-80 Model III doesn’t boot anymore and is waiting for me to find time to pull it apart. But it turns out you can run all those old programs with almost no effort. If you’ve experimented with emulators before, you know there are two major problems. First, you need to install the sometimes-fidgety emulator. Second, you need to find the software you want to run and probably convert it into some format the emulator will read. The website named The Big List of TRS-80 Software solves both problems.

You are probably thinking this doesn’t solve any problem because it is just a list of links to software. That’s a reasonable thing to think, but we think the website really needs a new name. There are 15,873 pieces of software on the site, although some of them are duplicates or multiple versions of a single program. You can download them in a format that is useful for some emulators or, in some cases, the original files. But here’s the kicker. You can also click to launch a virtual TRS-80 in your browser and start the program.

Sounds great, right? Well, for the most part, it is. However, some of the programs are finicky and don’t run well in the browser. There’s also the problem of finding the documentation, but you can’t have everything. If you want a quick run of a very common game from back in the day, try Flying Saucers.