I just wanted to write a message to express my newfound appreciation for the Model T. I grew up with a CoCo2. I was a Radio Shack kid and would ride my bike to the mall all the time to check out all the computers. I frequently wrote a simple space invaders clone (emphasis on SIMPLE) I had made into random demo computers and then proceeded to play it in the store. I poured over the catalogs and knew all about all the other computers they sold. The Model 100 was always a dream machine to me as a kid. I did get a PC-3 which mostly satisfied my portable computing desires but the Model 100 was still my fantasy. We upgraded to a Tandy 1000 at some point and a Tandy 1400LT and PC-7 combo got me through college and beyond but I never forgot about the Model 100.
All those computers were long gone when one day 10 or 12 years ago I stumbled across a Model 102 on craigslist for $20 or so and I had to have it. I've tinkered with it on and off over the years (it spent at least 5 years as a clock in my office) but recently have been doing a lot more with it. I even used it last November for NaNoWriMo. But I didn't really appreciate just how good it was until I picked up a CoCo2 from eBay a few weeks ago. The CoCo community is pretty strong and they have lots of cool developments that are fun to tinker with but I can't help but compare the two machines. The CoCo certainly has a lot more going on. It has more and better games, especially factoring in childhood nostalgia, and the NitrOS9 stuff is impressive, but the Model T is so much more useful in a practical sense. CoCo word processors make vi seem user friendly (no hatemail please, I use vim every day). BASIC, TEXT, and TELCOM are such a solid trio of built-in apps that I'm surprised in hindsight that more home computers didn't offer something similar. And the CoCo keyboard is inhumane. I mean, I used it to write many papers in my youth, but I didn't know any better at the time. Word processing apps need to jump through a lot of hoops to get basic functionality out of the CoCo keyboard, whereas the Model T is completely intuitive even to a modern computer user. Who thought it was a good idea to put CLEAR next to ENTER? The only modifier key is SHIFT, no CTRL nor ALT. There isn't even a DELETE or BACKSPACE. There is a steep learning curve to do anything productive and that curve doesn't seem to translate between applications. Everything uses its own conventions. Some of this was fixed in the CoCo3 but the Model 100 and the CoCo 2 were released the same year. There isn't much point to this rambling message but I just wanted to share how much this CoCo is making me appreciate my Model 102 even more and there are very few (okay zero) people in my day to day life that would even understand what I am talking about. They are both fun computers to tinker with but if I had to pick one it would be my M102 without a doubt.