Back in the early 1980s if you wanted to compute on the go, your options were sorely limited. As you saw in the Osbourne I and TRS-80 Model 4P photo galleries, you practically had to be a body builder to take your computer with you. Weighing in at over 20 lbs each, they were called luggables for a reason. Plus, to add insult to injury, unless you were near an electrical outlet, you couldn't use them for much other than a footrest.
Debuting in March 1983, the Tandy Model 100 changed all of that. It was the first popular computer that was truly portable. The Tandy 100 weighed in at just 3 lbs with the batteries (4 AAs) installed. It had the same basic dimensions as a piece of paper and was less than 3" thick.
When we cracked open the MacBook Air, it showed what 21st Century technology looks like. It's a very clean design with a mass of computer placed IC's spaced around a small system board.
Now, we take a turn cracking open the Tandy Model 100.
Here's the back of the unit. There are four screws on the corners to be removed.
The serial number of the unit. The computer was made in Japan by Kyocera for Radio Shack.
Here's the FCC rating. The Tandy Model 100 was an FCC Class B machine meaning it could be sold in homes as well as businesses because it didn't give off much radio interference.
The battery door removed revealing the holder for the 4AA batteries that powered the unit.
The Optional ROM sockets. Here you'd add programs to the Model 100 that were packaged in preprogrammed ROMs.
This is the switch that controls the onboard CMOS battery. It's used to store data in the unit if the 4 AA batteries are removed or go dead. When the unit is being used, this switch is ON. For storage purposes, you turn it OFF.
The patient is ready to be opened.
The unit separates into two halves, butterflied open as you see here. The main system board is in the bottom part of the unit (on the left) the screen and keyboard are in the top (on the right).
Here's the main system board of the Model 100.
Here you see the display and keyboard circuit boards.
The video connector is separated here. Below that you can see the connector for the speaker (two wire white and read). The two connectors for the keyboard are at the bottom.
The right side detached from the unit.
This is the backside of the keyboard. Nothing to see here.
Ah... but wait! There is. There's an ALPS logo, showing who made the keyboard.
Here's the front of the keyboard.
Removing the keytops reveal actual switches beneath the keys. Modern keyboards usually just have dimpled rubberized contacts. These switches give the Model 100 it's solid typing feel.
Here you can see the chips on the back side of the LCD. The large chips are HD44102CH LCD driver chips.
To the left you can see the speaker connector wire and the wide LCD ribbon cable.
More of the HD44102CH LCD driver chips.
To remove the LCD, you must disconnect the speaker that's beneath the panel.