August 3, 1977 - A press conference was held on this day by Radio Shack to introduce their first foray into the home computing business. It was called the TRS-80 and it boasted a full-sized keyboard, a built-in monitor and the programming language BASIC - all for about $600.
Commodore and Apple already had machines on the market, but Radio Shack had the advantage of over 3000 storefronts to handle distribution. When the original announcement was made, only 25 units of the TRS-80 had been produced and the company was hedging its bets on whether or not the product would take off. They set a goal of producing 3500 units, since if all else failed and the product was a bomb, they would be able to repurpose the machines inside their stores for managing inventory and customer contact lists.
Radio Shack sold 10,000 TRS-80s in the first month. Over the next 4 years they would sell over 250,000 of the computers.