Click Here to visit our Sponsor
The History of Computing The Magazine Have Fun there ! Buy goodies to support us
  Mistake ? You have mr info ? Click here !Add Info     Search     Click here use the advanced search engine
Browse console museumBrowse pong museum


ZX81 T-shirts!

see details
Ready prompt T-shirts!

see details
ZX Spectrum T-shirts!

see details
Spiral program T-shirts!

see details
Atari joystick T-shirts!

see details
Arcade cherry T-shirts!

see details
Battle Zone T-shirts!

see details
Vectrex ship T-shirts!

see details
C64 maze generator T-shirts!

see details
Moon Lander T-shirts!

see details
Competition Pro Joystick T-shirts!

see details
Elite spaceship t-shirt T-shirts!

see details
Atari ST bombs T-shirts!

see details
Pak Pak Monster T-shirts!

see details
BASIC code T-shirts!

see details
Breakout T-shirts!

see details
Pixel adventure T-shirts!

see details
Vector ship T-shirts!

see details

T > TANDY RADIO SHACK  > 2000   

Tandy Radio Shack

The Tandy 2000 was launched in December 1981, a full year BEFORE the 1000, and proved to be a mistake on the part of Tandy, but to their credit they weren’t alone, many manufacturers who built systems based on the Intel 80186 CPU suffered the same fate.

On the surface the computer was quite the catch: The “T-2000” featured new instructions and new fault tolerance protection over the TRS-80 and COCO lines. Tandy built the 2000 with advanced color graphics, Intel 16bit processing at 8 Mhz and 2 720K 5.25” Floppy disks; and a CPU that was out performing even the 80286 computers of the time! It was a robust computer with excellent features but that 80186 CPU would come back to haunt it. The Tandy 2000 by many was considered the first AT style computer in North America, a bold and risky move by Tandy.

Despite all the advancements, the 80186 CPU was not popular with software developers, so few wrote software for the 80186. More to the point, however, the Tandy 2000, while touted as being compatible with the IBM XT, was different enough for most software beyond purely text oriented to not work properly. It differed by having a Tandy-specific video mode (640x400, not related to or forward-compatible with VGA), along with the new concept of keyboard scan codes, and the proprietary 720kb 5-1/4" floppy format: no other computer used this disk format, which was single-sided high-density, using standard 1.2Mb double-sided high-density disks; the drives could read and write 360kb floppies, but be careful when doing so if the disks were to be subsequently used in an IBM-compatible; there were hardware hacks to use 720kb 3.5" floppy drives, but it was unclear whether disks formatted in this way were compatible with standard PC-compatibles.

In addition: The Tandy 2000 was nominally BIOS-compatible with the IBM XT, which allowed extremely well-behaved DOS software to run on both platforms. However, most DOS software is not so well behaved and many PC programmers would bypass the PC-BIOS to achieve higher performance, rendering the software incompatible with the Tandy 2000. Microsoft provided a special version of MS-DOS that could combat these problems, but it was a proprietary programming venture. All other units, including the later Tandy 1000, operated on what was essentially the standard PC-DOS (IBMs version) or MS-DOS. The Tandy 2000 was further killed by the arrival of the 80286 CPU 2 months after its release.

In fairness, Tandy wasn't the only casualty of the 80186. Other computers that were built on that format, mostly from Europe, such as the Compis and the Dulmont Magnum were marketed with the CP/M operating system suffered the same fate. If you had a machine based on those systems the only thing that could realistically run on them was the CP/M operating system, but software was scarce, at least with MS-DOS you had some options with software.

In the end the computer was poorly supported by Radio Shack; eventually the remaining unsold computers were converted into the first Radio Shack Terminals (which, oddly enough, had been one of the original backup plans for the original TRS-80 Model 1). The Tandy 2000 computer was the only computer sold by Radio Shack that had both logos on the case "Tandy" and "TRS-80". The Tandy 2000 computer was the first to have the "Tandy" logo on it.


Contributors: Derek McDonald (aka “Skel”)
Sources: Switchtec's Virtual PC Museum, Emperor Multimedia Electronic Archives, Wikipedia, 8-Bit Micro, Tandy 1000 PC Museum

Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


Your release date is off by two years. It was released in September, 1983, not in 1981. The 80186 didn''t exist in 1981, came out in 82. The PC/XT had just barely come out in 1983 as well, and the Tandy came several months later.

Wednesday 7th September 2022
Joe Duarte (United States)

I loved my Tandy 2000 with its 3 volumes of instructions, including one for Basic, one for MSDos and one for Multimate.
It also had an Edline program for making a simple data base.
A program on one disc allowed for converting Multimate files to simple ASCII which allowed me to convert to be usable on a later computer. It was a workhorse. I was not interested in games, but more important was the ease of typing and editing a document. The printer did a nice job. It certainly beat using a typewriter!

Wednesday 21st August 2019
N. Fleschy (USA)

There are some incorrect data in this article.

The drives are merely 5-1/4 double density 80 track, 720 KB capacity. These drives had been used for years earlier on the TRS-80 Models I and III. Nothing special, they DO NOT require the high-coercivity 1.2 MB floppy media as used on the IBM AT. In fact, the format is identical to that used by the later 720 KB 3.5 inch drives introduced with the IBM PS/2. The Tandy 2000''s 5-1/4 inch drives can in fact be replaced with the 720 KB 3.5 inch drives and freely exchange data on the very same disk format as used by any IBM compabibles using the 720 KB 3.5 inch drives. NOTE this DOES NOT include the later high capacity 1.44 MB disks!

As for the "80186" having done in the Tandy 2000 as a viable product in the computer market, this is hogwash. This article fails to mention that ALL software programs that run on the IBM''s 8088 run with no problem on the 186. The 80186 is a fully-compatible superset of the 8088/8086.

Probably what this author actually means is that the Tandy 2000''s hardware is not fully compatible with the IBM PC, and this was the reason it ultimately did not succeed. While probably true, the Tandy 2000 did survive in the market for 4-1/2 years, much longer than any of the other "workalikes" that were not fully compatible. Many of the bestselling software titles for the IBM like Lotus 1-2-3 and AutoCAD were published in versions customized for the Tandy 2000. For a full list see the Wikipedia article on the Tandy 2000, alot of which I wrote.

Wednesday 22nd March 2017
Jeff Joseph (Norfolk VA)


NAME  2000
MANUFACTURER  Tandy Radio Shack
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  September 1983
KEYBOARD  full stroke keyboard, 90 keys
CPU  Intel 80186
CO-PROCESSOR  optional Intel 8087 math. co-processor
RAM  128 KB (up to 768 KB)
the BIOS checks for up to 896k of RAM, although it's not clear if add-on boards were ever made to support that much
VRAM  Unknown
TEXT MODES  40 x 25, 80 x 25
GRAPHIC MODES  640x400 with 16 colours
COLORS  16 colours
SOUND  Beeper
SIZE / WEIGHT  19 x 16 x 6 / 26.5 lbs
I/O PORTS  4 internal expansion slots, monochrome video output (DIN8), Serial connector (DB25 F), Centronics/Parallel connector (34 pin header)
BUILT IN MEDIA  one or two 5.25'' disk-drives (720 KB, DS 80 Track)
OS  MS-DOS 2.0
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply
PERIPHERALS  hard disk, RAM card, Graphics cards, 10 MB Disk Cartridge System
PRICE  $2999 (USA, 1983)

Please buy a t-shirt to support us !
Ready prompt
ZX Spectrum
Arcade cherry
Spiral program
Atari joystick
Battle Zone
Vectrex ship
C64 maze generator
Moon Lander
Competition Pro Joystick
Atari ST bombs
Elite spaceship t-shirt
Commodore 64 prompt
Pak Pak Monster
Pixel Deer
BASIC code
Shooting gallery
3D Cubes
Pixel adventure
Vector ship

Related Ebay auctions in real time - click to buy yours

see more Tandy Radio Shack  2000 Ebay auctions !

Click here to go to the top of the page   
Contact us | members | about | donate old-systems | FAQ
OLD-COMPUTERS.COM is hosted by - NYI (New York Internet) -