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What Early PC Had An Unofficial "Sound Card" Driven By Excessive Radio Interference?



 An Early Tandy Computer
Tandy

Answer: The Tandy TRS-80 Model I

Early computers lacked discrete sound cards / modules and often did not even sport a simple on-board PC speaker. That didn't stop early PC enthusiasts from enjoying sound, however indirectly and unintentionally, with an early model personal computer.

The Tandy TRS-80 Model I was manufactured by the Tandy Corporation and sold by RadioShack from 1

977 to 1981. quickly discovered that if you placed an AM band radio next to the computer, it could be used to provide sounds. The sounds are encoded into the programs or even an intentional feature included with the computer itself.

The Model I was poorly shielded and generated such high levels of radio frequency interference that placed a radio near the unit created quite an array of sound effects. The interference-driven sound effects clearly did not align themselves with most applications, but were a surprisingly good match for early space-based games.

Although the model was a popular one, ultimately selling over 200,000 units, it was removed from The market in 1981 due to aging hardware and FCC regulations on radio-frequency interference that would require significant design changes.


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