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T > TANDY RADIO SHACK  > 1000 SL & SL/2   

Tandy Radio Shack
1000 SL & SL/2

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.


Contributors: Derek McDonald (aka “Skel”)
Sources: Wikipedia,

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.
NAME  1000 SL & SL/2
MANUFACTURER  Tandy Radio Shack
TYPE  Home Computer
YEAR  ? 1989
KEYBOARD  full stroke keyboard with numeric keypad and function keys (102 keys)
CPU  Intel 8086
CO-PROCESSOR  Intel 8087 optional
RAM  SL: 384 KB (up to 640 KB)
SL/2: 512 KB (up to 640 KB)
VRAM  Unknown
ROM  512 KB (DOS 3.3 on drive C: + main Deskmate 3 program)
TEXT MODES  80 x 25 / 40 x 25
GRAPHIC MODES  CGA/TGA, 160 x 200, 320 x 200, 640 x 200
COLORS  16 colours
SOUND  3 voices & 1 sound channel + 8-bit mono DAC
SIZE / WEIGHT  354 x 394 x 140 mm / 7.8 Kg
I/O PORTS  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)
OS  MS-DOS 3.3, DeskMate 3 and GW Microsoft Basic included with the system
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply
PRICE  1000 SL/2 = 9990 FF (France, 1990)

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