Dick Smith System 80 Software


Interestingly, Mark Sim went on to work for EACAAlthough most of the software marketed for the System 80 was written primarily for the TRS-80 Model 1, there were a few programs commissioned by Dick Smith and written for his new computer. The advertisement opposite, taken from Micro-80, issue 10, September 1980, shows that Dick Smith was serious about building a bank of homegrown programs.  All these programs worked on the Model 1 as well, but avoided using the arrow keys making them compatible with early System-80 models.  

This page comments on just a few.  More can be seen listed in the software flyer on the advertising page.  Note that not ALL programs listed on the flyer are in the category above.  Some were TRS-80 Model 1 programs (e.g. the ones from Microsoft) which were simply licensed to Dick Smith Electronics for retailing to those with System 80s.

The cassette files for these programs can be downloaded from the Cassette Image Archive and the disk files can be obtained from the Disk Image Archive or from links in the descriptions below.

Some homegrown examples include...

Amateur Radio Log

As many amateur radio enthusiasts frequented Dick Smith stores (and probably became computer maniacs to boot!) it's no surprise to find software specifically for this hobbyist group in the Dick Smith catalogue!  Basically a tailored database program, this 1982 disk offering allows logging of all those exotic contacts.

Anyone for Space Invaders!Space Invader

Actually this was a pretty good cassette-based game.  It followed the standard scenario (kill all the ships until they reached the bottom of the screen (and you)). BTW, this screen shot, from a TRS-80 Model emulator, is not quite the same image as would be seen on a System 80.  Can you figure out why?

Death trap imageDeathTrap

Fairly primitive avoidance arcade game, supplied on tape for 16K machines.

Cheesy Dick Smith Image

Dick Smith Demo

This BASIC cassette-based program is a kind of cheesy screen saver which (I assume) played on the computer while in the shop.   It actually came as the first program on a System-80 demo tape, which also contained the other EACA demo offerings.

scurve invaders

Scurve Invaders

This cassette-based offering was an early attempt to use arcade games to educate. In order to kill the massing alien ships, the player had to correctly solve an equation.

Good try, but it was more fun just to blast them! (-: Click here for the manual.

Turbo 2000

This is quite a good racing game. I'm not sure if a cassette version ever existed, but I got hold of this one on disk.

By Rick Maurice, 1982

WORP-1 and WORP-9

Worp9WORP1 was a  budget word processing package sold by Dick Smith for the System 80.  Designed as a low-cost alternative to the TRS-80 programs Scripsit and Electric Pencil it suffered from the fact it was written in BASIC.  That means it had a hard time keeping up with fast typists and now and again the dreaded Level 2 string "garbage collection" routine would kick in leading to the operator staring at a non-responsive computer for a significant period of time!

WORP-9 (pictured) seems to have been an upgrade to WORP-1. Written all in machine code, it was much faster. Costing $350, this version was written specifically for the System 80 MK II and requires the extended ROM found in that machine. A self-booting disk image can be downloaded here.

Diagnostic Disk

A disk-based memory and disk testing program. Download the manual here.

Share Market Analysis

This menu-driven program provided "point and figure" charts for individual or group stocks. I don't have an instruction manual but you can download a self-bootable disk image here.

Data File Manager (DATFILE)

Just what it says. A database manager. you can download a self-booting disk image here but it seems rather cryptic without a manual.

Stock Control and Pricing (SCAP)

A Stock Control and Pricing application was commissioned and written specifically for the System 80 by Dick Smith Ltd.  There is no screen shot available, but a brochure can be seen on this section of the website. According to an employee of Dick Smith Ltd. at the time this software, which consisted of a mixture of BASIC, interspersed with machine code routines and supplied on a slightly modified DOS disk, was very good for its time and found its way into a number of large companies. The "Dr What" chain of video stores in Australia is one example.