I will never forget the first time I ever saw one of these in operation right before X-mas in 1978 at the local Radio Shack store. I just knew I had to have one. It took me a few months to save the $300 that it cost on my E-2 Army pay.
I originally started out by learning Basic and quickly ran out of memory so I learned machine language for the Z-80. I wrote a number of game programs and utilities over the next few years.
One of my first published programs was a special loader program to load and auto execute a program from the tape. This was published in the top TRS 80 magazine of the time (80 US Journal ??? before Micro-80 made it big time).
This served me well until I finally bought a brand new Model III. On that system, I wrote my own complete operating system including all the disk access routines talking directly to hardware. (Ever spent any time trying to figure out how a floppy disk controller works?!)
Some time later, I upgraded to the Model IV which I still have. What a super system! Mine has 128K with two floppies.