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.
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!
I rescued this computer from my high school when it was no longer needed. I liked that it had a 3.5-inch floppy drive, since my other computers at the time only had 5.25-inch floppies.
I used this machine for about three years, during my senior year in high school and two years in college. It had a hard drive installed on an expansion card, and the graphics were a lot better than regular CGA graphics. However, once I added an EGA card to the system, I freed up the system memory that was being used by the onboard adapter.
Later on, I took the EGA card and hard drive out and installed them in another machine. Overall, though, the 1000 served me well and I enjoyed it very much.
Wednesday 1st February 2012
Robert Wiggins (USA)
1000 SL & SL/2
Tandy Radio Shack
full stroke keyboard with numeric keypad and function keys (102 keys)
Intel 8087 optional
SL: 384 KB (up to 640 KB) SL/2: 512 KB (up to 640 KB)
512 KB (DOS 3.3 on drive C: + main Deskmate 3 program)
80 x 25 / 40 x 25
CGA/TGA, 160 x 200, 320 x 200, 640 x 200
3 voices & 1 sound channel + 8-bit mono DAC
SIZE / WEIGHT
354 x 394 x 140 mm / 7.8 Kg
keyboard (DIN 5), 2 x joysticks (DIN 6), monitor video output, composite video output, lightpen, parallel port, serial (RS232c) port, 5 internal expansion slots (ISA XT), audio mono output, audio mono inputs (mic + line)
BUILT IN MEDIA
SL: one 5.25'' floppy disk drive (360 KB) SL /2: one 3.5'' floppy disk drive (720 KB)
MS-DOS 3.3, DeskMate 3 and GW Microsoft Basic included with the system