The Tandy 1000 SL series of computers were an update of the Tandy 1000 SX. They came in a redesigned case and, in the case of the TL/2 and above, featured onboard XT IDE hard disk controllers (These controllers are not AT IDE compatible and thus will not work with modern ATA hard drives).
The Tandy 1000 SL boasted an Intel 8086 processor running at 8 MHz. The 8086's 16-bit bus gave it a small but definite performance advantage over the earlier 8088-based Tandy 1000s. The SL came with 384 KB of memory preinstalled, whereas the SL/2 offered 512 KB. Both machines could be expanded to 640 KB.
The Tandy SL model was equiped with a 5.25" floppy disk drive (360 KB) whereas the SL/2 featured a 3.5" floppy disk drive (720 KB). It was possible to add a second disk drive or even a hard disk.
The SL series offered two innovations over the earlier SX series. One is high resolution (640x200) 16 color graphics; the other is an improved sound circuit, using an 8-bit mono DAC alongside the PSSJ 3-voice sound source. The DAC gave the SL series digital sound output capabilities not much unlike those of the early 8-bit SoundBlaster line of audio cards: 3 PCM voices, 8-bit DMA up to 22050 KHz, audio mono output, audio mono inputs (mic + line), sampling at 5512 KHz, 11025 KHz and 22050 KHz.
One interesting feature was the 512 KB BIOS, from which 350 KB where available as a read-only C: drive. DOS 3.3 and the main component of Deskmate 3 where stored on it. This was excellent as you could access DOS and start to work only within a few seconds (an unreachable dream nowadays).
There is no internal clock but one called "SmartWatch" was available as an option. There was thus a socket on the electronic board reserved for it.
Ray Jewhurst comments:
The SL and SL/2 both came with Deskmate 3 not Deskmate 2 I know this because I used to be a Radio Shack store manager in the early 90's and Deskmate 3 was one of improvement over the SX.
We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system,
please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
I remember my 1000SL... My first computer also. I was out of college and found this thing in 1991, two years after it came out, so it fit the budget, but was definitely an extravagance back then. I bought the acoustic coupler modem and eventually sprung for a hard disk... I was told I''d never fill up the whole thing, a whole 20 MB! I remember the Deskmate software, my version of which was not capable of doing "lozenges" when a box was empty, and I remember both PC-Link and the free trial to Compuserve... boy did that get me in some financial trouble! I was very happy to find Prodigy, however, because that''s where my wife and I met. So thank you, Radio Shack and Prodigy. Because of you both, my wife and I met, and I''m about to become a grandfather. :)
Friday 12th September 2014
Medic26 on PC-Link
Amaizing. this was my first computer. I''ll never forget the day that I took it out of the box, turned it on, and it played "Cannon in D" through the MIDI. It changed my life. We had some amazing times together. I wish to god I still had him.
Tuesday 12th March 2013
Jonavan Barnes (United Kingdom)
My church had two SL/2''s in the Christian school we had. (I completed K-3rd grade and afterwards the school was too small to stay open any longer.)
I played many hours of "The New Math Blaster Plus!" and Reader Rabbit 1 $ 2 on these computers!
I would have both of them in my possession now, but sadly they perished in a building fire. $ All of the Deskmate disks were stored in another building, so I was able to acquire them as well as the original owner''s manual and advertisement brochure!