Tandy 400

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Many green lines

The Tandy 400 was Strong Bad's first computer. He used it to answer emails until the 41st email, "invisibility," when he threw it out and replaced it with the Compy 386.

Contents

History

In Hremail 7, Strong Bad is shown taking the Tandy 400 from Homestar Runner's trash can, who was apparently the previous owner. The 2009 toon, set in 2001, supposedly explains the origin of the Tandy (and of Strong Bad Emails in general). On Strong Bad taking the Tandy, Homestar comments that the computer hardly works, and that he'd be surprised if Strong Bad could check more than forty emails on it. (He only got to 39 before the computer got destroyed; see below)

After using Tangerine Dreams to check his email during "weird dream," Strong Bad got "the old girl" working again in "sisters," although the repaired Tandy was still malfunctioning. Strong Bad made do with the damage for a while until he returned from his vacation in "invisibility," replacing the Tandy 400 with the Compy 386. The Tandy 400 made several disparaging remarks when it was thrown out, including: "386? More like three eighty SUCKS!"

The Tandy 400 haunted Strong Badia for some time. The computer appeared floating in mid-air in "ghosts," displaying a Bad Graphics Ghost on its screen. Bubs later salvaged the Tandy 400 and sold it to The King of Town for $900, who attempted to check his email with it in an Easter egg in The King of Town Main Page.

The Tandy 400 seems to be Strong Bad's least favorite computer, as evidenced by his indifference whilst knocking the Tandy off the desk in "invisibility" and his comments about it in "pop-up". He claims that he "liked that computer" in gimmicks when it blew up, but his loathing of the machine is likely to have originated in "sisters" when it malfunctioned and automatically deleted Ali's email. In contrast, he seemed a lot more broken up about the Compy's demise in virus than he did when the Tandy exploded.

After a long absence, the Tandy reappeared in retirement after Lappynapping the Lappy 486 with the help of the Compy 386. In exchange for the safe return of the Lappy, Strong Bad agreed to check one last email on each of the two abandoned computers. Strong Bad answered the question "do you remember the email you deleted the hardest" by filling the Tandy with Mountain Dew and The King of Town's denture tablets and singing the hymn "Deleted" with organ accompaniment. Strong Bad then swung a pickaxe through the Tandy's keyboard, and the computer exploded in a bad graphics mushroom cloud, being killed and fully destroyed. Its restored ghost appeared at the end of the email with the ghost of the Compy.

The Tandy's logo is a star with a bite out of it, which is also seen on Tangerine Dreams, Monosodium Dreams, Strong Mad's Computer and the Happy 8600 suggesting that these are all made by the same company. Interestingly, no character has ever referred to the Tandy by name (usually refered to as "Strong Bad's old crappy computer" or just "Strong Bad's old computer"), and appearances outside of the Tandy-era have the "contrast" label either with a different font or mispositioned. The Tandy is the only major computer owned by Strong Bad that (probably) wasn't made by Compy, Inc.

Quick Facts

Debut: Email some kinda robot

Interactive Feature: Clicking the contrast buttons in the lower-left corner of the computer will change the background color gradually from black to green. The left button makes the screen darker and the right button makes it greener. There are 13 levels of contrast.

Font: Westminster

Emails checked on the computer: 44

Programs

Some of the programs Strong Bad had on the Tandy 400, all of which were started by typing "run" plus the filename in double quotes:

The Real Computer

Tandy Corporation helped to start the personal computer revolution with its TRS-80 (affectionately known as the "Trash-80") in 1977. Tandy 400 probably gets its name from the Tandy 2000 and 1000, Tandy's first "IBM-PC compatible" machines produced in 1984. However, Tandy did not produce a "400" model, so the naming is probably just to show how old the computer is. However, this could be a reference to the Atari 400, another 8-bit computer. The 400 shares several design features with the TRS-80, including two contrast knobs on the monitor, and a monochrome green display composed of rectangular characters.

The rainbow star logo on Tandy 400 is a play on an early Apple Computer logo which featured a rainbow-colored apple with a missing bite.

Some believe that the Tandy 400 is a model of the Apple II computer, due to the nature of the ProDOS-like operating system and the monitor. In the DVD commentary of "cartoon," Strong Bad refers to it as an "Apple monitor." As well, in the e-mails sugarbob and retirement, the Tandy made several system sounds used in Mac OS.

Because of the fact that no computer tower is visible, the Tandy (and later, the Compy) may be an homage to the Apple Macintosh, since all of the internal workings were contained in the monitor case itself.

Screenshots

Appearances outside Tandy-era Emails

The following Tandy 400 emails are only available on strongbad_email.exe Disc One and are outside the normal numbering scheme:

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