The Tandy MC 10 (MC means Micro Color) was designed as an "initiation" computer to compete with the Timex Sinclair 1000, the american version of the Sinclair ZX-81. It was more expensive than the Sinclair machine, but outpassed it in every category. It had sound, color, more memory and even a better keyboard.
In fact, the MC-10 is basically a cut down version of the Tandy "Coco" computers, but didn't have as much success as its big brothers.
It is fully compatible with the first version of the Matra Alice (a French computer). Actually both are the same computer (except for the case color, the Alice is red and the Tandy is white).
Richard Vermeulen adds:
The Tandy MC-10 micro color computer was not a commercial success. Tandy did
not support this machine. In Basic you could only use 8 color and a graphic
resolution of 64x32 dots. However, the MC-10 had much more
capabilities: 2 color 256x192 graphics, 4 color 128x192 graphics and the
sound-chip had synthesizer posibilities. If all these extra functions were
mentioned in the manual, I bet that these machine would have sold much more.
I have one of these that I recently acquired from Ebay. I just installed a composite video interface in it (replacing the RF output). There''s an expansion called the MCX-128 for this that adds 128K static RAM, updated ROM with greatly upgraded BASIC, and it ads the ability to use drive space on a host computer (Mac or Windows) over serial / USB. This stuff is all available from here: https://sites.google.com/site/thezippsterzone/
This was a short-lived, uncommon machine. When I worked at a Radio Shack Computer Center in 1985 (admittedly, it was in a business district so home machines were not our focus) there was no MC-10s in our inventory whatsoever. We had some crazy number of the 16K RAM modules, maybe 30 of them... we kept them for a year or so until they were finally struck from the inventory. I think we threw them out.
Tuesday 13rd January 2015
After my T/S 1000 got boring, I gathered enough saving to buy one of these in the summer of 1983 along with a 16k RAM pack. This gave 20k of memory (~18k after OS overhead). I wrote tons of game software for this in Color BASIC and machine code (poke it into memory and then exec it. No assembler or even monitor here (though I did eventually write a monitor program in BASIC to save debugging and coding time). This machine was head and shoulders above the TS/1000 and had undocumented graphics modes that you could use by directly manipulating the video chip in machine language. Unfortunately BASIC didn''t have any native commands to use the higher res modes (Just the 64X48 mode).