Priming the Pump: How TRS-80 Enthusiasts Helped Spark the PC Revolution

The Seeker Books
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The authors were part of a community of small software entrepreneurs who created the first applications for personal computers, as the computer revolution in the late 1970s and early 1980s changed the way we create and store documents and data. They personally knew many of the principle players whose accomplishments are the stuff of legends, and whose work and vision led the way to our computer-saturated society. This book captures this unique era, through the stories of eye-witnesses, when personal computing was just an idea -- an idea whose time had come!


In these pages you will learn how a young engineer named Steve Leininger, working alone, built the first TRS-80 microcomputer . He had been hired by Tandy Corporation to develop a computer product to be sold in their Radio Shack stores for a price their customers could afford. Development costs were less than $150,000. Yet no one had ever sold a complete off-the-shelf personal computer before. Would anyone buy it?


As it turned out, the desire for a computer of one's own was overwhelming! Author David Welsh was one of the hobbyists-turned-programmers who bought a TRS-80. Using self-taught programming skills, he created a word processor and he and his wife Theresa found themselves in business, selling their product worldwide to enthusiastic fans who were eager to throw away their typewriters. They were part of the leading edge of the software business, joining hundreds of other small entrepreneurs selling software out of garages, basements and whatever space they could rent cheap.

David and Theresa Welsh tell their own story and that of many other pioneers. Includes over 100 illustrations of early computer products and ads.

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About the author

David Welsh always loved tinkering with electronics, so when Radio Shack offered the first off-the-shelf microcomputer in 1977, he bought one and taught himself how to program. His wife Theresa was a writer who heard about something called word processing and  wanted it, yearning to throw away her old typewriter. Together, they developed and sold a word processor that worked on the TRS-80, joining many other computer-obsessed beginners across the country who filled the need for software for the new "personal" computers that ordinary people could suddenly buy. David has also worked as a professional photographer and consultant. Theresa worked as a writer, photographer and in IT for 20 years as a technical writer. Both are retired and working on personal projects.

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Additional Information

The Seeker Books
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Published on
Mar 15, 2007
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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