From: Frank McConnell <>
Date: Sat Apr 11 16:49:45 1998

Enrico Tedeschi <> wrote:
>I can't believe that all this is happening and that there are no honest people
>in this list that are letting this happen withour saying anything.

OK Enrico, you asked for it. I'm going to say something.

The recollection I have of what happened (from reading the original
flamefest on the list) is that you and Cord were swapping computers,
with you expecting a TRS-80 with Level I BASIC. And that is what you
got, only when you got it you found that it had a numeric keypad,
unlike the original stock TRS-80., I don't understand what
you're so upset about, except that you got something that didn't look
like what you expected based on your preconceived notions of what a
"TRS-80 with Level I BASIC" should look like.

Well, as it happens I don't know whether Radio Shack ever took to
manufacturing all Model 1 TRS-80s with numeric keypads after some
date, or whether the numeric keypad was included with the Level II
BASIC upgrade (don't think so, at least not always), or whether it was
available without a Level II BASIC upgrade. So I'd have been
surprised by that keypad too, but for all I know it could have come
from the factory like that or been upgraded by its original owner, who
wanted to do lots of numeric data entry on a Level I BASIC system.

Really I think there's a valuable lesson to be learned here, namely
when trading in old computers it's a good idea to do some research and
have some idea what the scope of possible configurations is, so that
if you are buying you will have some idea what sort of questions to
ask to find out just what the seller is selling. Or if you are
selling, so you will have some idea of what you are selling.

Don't count on the seller knowing what's important to you, or even
where what he's got fits in that scope of configurations -- he may
not. Even if he's another computer collector and/or familiar with
that manufacturer's equipment, he may not know -- the sorts of
questions I read (and even some of those I write) tell me that most of
us have a lot to learn about these old machines, and none of us know
everything about all of them.

And even with all that in mind, expect some surprises!

For example, a while back I bought a couple of HP 9825s from some guy
in Southern California. Looking at the HP Calculator Museum web pages
and some of my old HP test/measurement catalogs, I expected that one
of them (the 9825B I think) would have a "computer" keyboard with
full-travel keys. I didn't bother asking. Surprise, when it arrived
both had the older clicky desktop-calculator keyboard of the 9825A. I
pointed this out to the seller and he didn't know, though he has seen
9825s with the full-travel keys. Maybe it was an A that got
field-upgraded to a B? We don't know, and I didn't really see any
point in getting bent out of shape about it -- I got what I wanted,
learned something, and now I have a good excuse to get another one!

-Frank McConnell
Received on Sat Apr 11 1998 - 16:49:45 BST

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