Anyone know if this is the real deal? I never heard of such a thing and it doesn't seem like a typical Tandy stunt. IMHO, without some sort of provenance it's really no more valuable than your standard TRS-80 that someone had taken the case to a chrome plater a few years ago. What do you think?
Highly suspicious of that being authentic. I don't doubt where he got it from (tent sale), but it just doesn't look right and I would imagine if it was authentic it wouldn't have ended up in the wild. .
The feet are missing from what I can tell.
Sticker looks suspicious as well, top left corner looks like it was folded back when removing, and a few other things just don't smell right.
Interesting that in the ebay description, seller states that
"I acquired this computer around 20-25 years ago at a tent sale by the Radio Shack Outlet store. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the computer in the tent for sale! I grabbed it up, paid for it and locked in in the trunk of my car before I went back in the tent looking for other treasures. I have NO idea how the computer ended up in a tent sale but I was thrilled to find it as I had heard about it when it was made and presented. I had only seen the computer one time prior to the tent sale."
I would think a verifiable certificate of authenticity would have been created for such a milestone device.
I have done that using unisolve or similar materials to remove adhesive. There's material that can remove a postage stamp from an envelope and use it on another without leaving a sign of use. I haven't seen it in years, but I think it was called "goo gone".
You'd think if there was something this special, that it would be gold plated and presented to a VIP. Chrome plating seems so cheap for a milestone. At any rate, there's probably someone still around from Tandy who would remember this thing.
Believe the seller or not, I think this thing is cool as hell. I never liked the metallic silver/black color combo was so popular in the late 70's. Want to get my Model 1 chrome plated today, the I/E too....
New in the box monitor as well? If its the one on eBay, NIB doesn't have the sticker peeled off the back. That monitor does not look pristine enough to say its never been used and new in the box. Its in good shape.
Hopefully I can help you guys with the authenticity of this computer as I am the person who owns it!
In short, I was the manager of the computer repair center in Tandy Tower I for a short time in 1979, the regional computer tech rep for Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, and later was the manager of Computer Technical Support and Training until I left Tandy/Radio Shack in 1982. Please read my profile for my background with Tandy/Radio Shack.
When Tandy Advanced Products created the S/N 100,000 Model I there was an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram newspaper about it being presented to an executive of Tandy. At one point in time I found an archive of that article but I have searched and searched and have been unable to find it. The best I can remember, it was presented to Bernie Appel who was at that time the VP of Computer marketing. I saw the computer in 1979 and several times after that as I worked in both Tandy Tower I and Tandy Tower II. The computer was originally displayed, in a glass case, on the executive offices floor and was later moved to John Roach's office.
When I saw the computer in the tent sale at the Radio Shack Outlet store on Terminal Road it was in a junk box and I could NOT believe my eyes! They had cleaned out a bunch of stuff from offices, engineering and other areas in Tandy Tower I & II and those items were in the tent sale. I asked the sales person "how much" and he said $5.00. I quickly paid him cash and secured the computer in my vehicle. Why was it in the tent sale, probably because by then the Model I was history and no one it Tandy/Radio Shack cared about the history of a single item even though it was a milestone!
I have had the computer in my possession since the day I purchased it. I can assure you the label has not been altered. The area that looks like a small crease you see in the upper left of the label appears to be a flaw in the printing of the label or a mark in the label as to where to lift it for placement on the computer. That corner is NOT lifted, it is FLAT and has not been tampered with.
As for the feet being removed, one or two of the feet were missing when I purchased the computer so I removed the others.
I have talked to several previous employees of Tandy/Radio Shack that remember the computer and its history and they also have stated they saw the computer in 1979 or 1980. They also wondered where the computer went and assumed it was misplaced or thrown away.
As for as the NIB Monitor.... I purchased this monitor still taped from the same RS Outlet store about the same time. I personally opened the box. I also questioned the label on the back being deteriorated, but in the bottom of the box I found another label that apparently fell off the back of the monitor. The label in the bottom of the box is the same physical size to cover the original label and is dated Feb 1979. I can only assume they had a problem with the monitors and returned them to TAP for modification prior to being sold. Yes, there a couple of nicks on the monitor and I have had it out of the box a few times to check the condition as it was stored in a 45' Semi Trailer. The styrofoam is nice and white, the foam around the monitor is nice and old yellow, the rubber bands are nice and dark yellow and ready to pop!
If you have anyone that worked at Tandy during the 1979-1980 in Technical Support, at TAP or an executive I am sure they can help verify this computer. Unfortunately, Bernie Appel has passed and friend of my Ed Juge has passed.
In another note, I have a Altair 8800 that was assembled by Ed Juge prior to our just after he became an employee of Tandy/Radio Shack.
As for the for sale ad in Japan, I know NOTHING about that. It appears to be a Japanese translation of the Ebay posting.
Thank you @Trash-Eighty. I keep a few auction photos myself for interesting computers so I knew somebody would have them.
Well, I did acquire this one. Same scratches, same rusty screw, same line on the corner of the label that looks like it was misprinted. I didn't actually find this thread until after purchase. I didn't know it had a chrome finish but looking back at the new photos. it is. I just bought it because it was an interesting serial number. In addition, for this serial number it was strange that they used the original non-numeric keypad outer shell as I think that case was retired long before.
I did some further digging into the recent seller's other auctions and found that they sold a MITS Altair 8800 in the last few days as well. The seller was not @texnet from the posting above who was the seller in 2017. I can see it never sold in this auction so I reached out to @texnet via PM but I have not heard back. Given the Altair was sold by the same seller who is located in Texas, I am thinking the seller I got them from an estate sale now. I hope for @texnet's sake, he was just downsizing
It's still enroute so when it comes I'll crack it open and see what's inside. Google failed to find this thread when I was searching before I got it. I even put in a "best offer" because it was untested and the reflections off of the chrome finish mad it appear badly worn as Model 1s tend to be. Luckily the seller accepted my offer.
Wow, thanks for looking that up @Trash-Eighty . It's never good to hear something like this but that is part of life. My condolensces go out to his family. It's a little unnerving getting something this way but that is a sad reality as fellow collectors. I will put up a page for the 100,000th TRS-80 Model 1 when I get it and share the information in his post above.
I just got the computer and it's in pristine condition other than a scratch here and there. I made sure to put some clear feet on the bottom to prevent any more scratches. I've made a post here that references this great thread here: https://vintagecomputer.ca/trs-80-m1-100k-computer/