Sunday, January 29, 2006

News: CoCo Lounge Updated

The CoCo Lounge at

has been updated nicely. Glen has posted a new More Marshmellows editorial and added several items to the CoCo store. He also shares with us some intriquing plans for 2006. Read the editorial for details, but here's hoping they all work out! (Heck, if even half work out it would be fantastic!)

Do scan down a bit on the site and check out the entry labeled Custom Made Hardware.

That's right, boys and girls. Much sought after CoCo Disk Drives! Glen was kind enough to answer some questions about these guys. (And when I say kind, I mean VERY kind... the man works more than any three people I know!) Things you should know:

One, these are truely custom made. Case, power supply, new or refurbished drives, it's all done by hand. You can even get a custom paint job if you like.

Two, they come complete with everything except the controller and cable. (You can usually pick up a controller on eBay fairly easy and the CoCo uses old floppy cables nicely, from what I understand.)

Three, considering the price, these are a steal. You could wait and wait and finally pay top dollar for a drive off of eBay that may or may not work, or you can get a new drive that's guaranteed to work a heck of a lot sooner. What's to think about? :)

Glen reports that he hasn't had a whole lot of interest in these yet. If you're looking for CoCo drives, please do email him and inquire! This is something the CoCo community really, really needs!!!

News: Roundsup for January

A quick hit list of some of the news around the webstites....

If you haven't tried the CoCo Wiki yet, head over now. Here's the linkage:
A wiki is like a giant global encyclopedia on a particular subject where anyone (well, almost anyone) can post articles and information. The collaborative effort creates a wealth of knowledge, over time, as more people contribute. The CoCo wiki already has some great stuff on it. Recent inclusions include information on the 26-3022 mini disk system (the first Tandy produced CoCo disk system), a submission from the publisher of "the world of 68 micros" (some rather facinating comments there about the end days of The Rainbow, a start on a list of the CoCo Cat Nos with thier primary boards listed, and a great start on a hardware list. Jump on in and browse through there. The potential is to compile a huge amount of CoCo information and history into one place, way more than one person could do on a stand alone websiute. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Project page on The Rainbow on Disk project is pretty impressive. Keep up to date with the project at: has added a really cool gallery feature, with pictures of CoCos, games, hardware and all sorts of neat stuff. Graet for browsing, research, and don't forget to contribute! (And don't forget to submit your self and system pics to the Huts CoCoists section!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

News: Magic in the Works

Carl J. England, CoCo Programer, is working a little magic for the CoCo. He has created a copy program, called "Magic," that can copy those ancient copy-protected disks. Mr. England reports that tests have gone very well, and he's busy adding some routines that will possibly copy the disks to virtual disks. Here's hoping that addition works out as well! No word on a release, yet, but I have to admit it's an exciting project that could rescue a lot of that old code for the future.

Mr. England was kind enough to take a moment, answer some questions and offer the following on the program and it's operation:

You just run the basic program and it loads the m/l routines that do most of the actual work.
[Magic] asks for the source and destination drive numbers (does require two drives--would be possible, but much too cumbersome to do this with a single drive system). It then checks to see if the destination disk is write-protected. If it is the program will abort. It then checks to see if the source disk is write-protected. If it is not, you are given a warning and a chance to abort (so that you can cover the write-protect notch). Thought that it would be a good idea to let people know that their disks were vulnerable--didn't want my program to accidentally erase valuable disks.

(I didn't cover the notch on most of my disks--actually beginning to erase them; making too many copies while writing this program!)

After answering the source and destination prompts, the program copies the source to the destination. It takes about the same amount of time that it takes to format a disk (the destination does not have to be formatted because "magic" formats the tracks as it goes.)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Site: Price Guide and January CoCo Collector

I've posted the January issue of The Color Computer Collector. It's a bit different. Back to the regularly scheduled CoCo stuff in February. :) Also updated is the CoCo Price Guide. I've added the rarity ratings, though please, please, please keep in mind that these are pretty loose at the moment for many items. Some are pretty accurate (program paks, for example), of course. This is about 6 months worth of data, though I figure the ideal would be at least two years' worth.

I also added a bunch of "0" items, stuff that has not been observed selling "in the wild" for many moons. I'm really enjoying adding these items to the list and watching it grow. It is absolutely amazing the sheer amount of 3rd party software that was available for the TRS-80 Color Computer. The stuff that has been added so far is mainly based out of advertisements in the 1982 and 1983 editions of CCN (Color Computer News) and I'm not done reviewing 1983! That means I've still got 10 years or so of stuff to add! Pretty cool. :D

Anyhow, some things from the early days that collectors (and sellers!) should be on the look out for include those wicked early hardware projects like "The Solution" from Frank Hogg Laboratory and the exatron "Thing" (AKA the Color Computer Interface, or CCI) that added 32K of RAM, a 2K monitor, and a disk interface (for Model I drives!) via the pak slot. Neato. I also got some early FHL OS-9 Level 1 and FLEX programs added to the list. Extrememly rare stuff.

If anyone actually owns any of this early 82/83 stuff, I'd love to hear more about it and maybe get a few photos for the site. :)

Very soon my lengthy historical review of CoCo products will enter the Golden Age of the TRS-80 Color Computer, which I label the three year period between 1983-1986. Arguably, of course. ;) But this is when there were four gossy mags devoted to the CoCo, hundreds of hardware and software items available, the dawn of the CoCo 2 and the MC-10, CCN went glossy, and the Rainbow ran hundreds of pages in length. Heady times, for the little Radio Shack box that could and that Tandy nearly canned. Should be fun.

Angel's Luck,

Angel's Luck,

Saturday, January 14, 2006

News: Rainbow on Disc Website Available

Michael Harwood, the gentleman responsible for the Rainbow on Disc project, now has a website up and running. The site details the progress of the project, as well as a handy reference FAQ. the address:

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

News: A Quickie News Update

Some very quick CoCo news to get caught up after the harrowing holidays... more details on some of these ASAP. :)

The CoCoNutz! Newsletter, Christmas 2005 edition is now available at One of the more interesting articles is a group of photos of various CoCoists systems, including a shot of the famous Cloud 9 lab South! Good stuff. Support this effort if you can. It's a wonderful thing! is also offering it's 2006 collection CD (off the main page at Looking forward to trying it out and will report when I do. CoCo3 gave everyone a nice holiday scare when the site suddenly disappeared right around Christmas. Yikes. In a post to the CoCo mailing list, it was apparently a porblem with the ISP and has apparently been cleared up nicely. Whew!

If you haven't been to The CoCo Lounge ( lately, drop by right away! Glenn has added quite a bit of new stuff to the store over the last couple of months. If you need it, check here first and save yourself the heartache of an auction. ;) There's also several game and software manuals up in PDF format. Looking forward to that project going forward. The most exciting news is a link down in the Departments section labeled Custom Made Hardware. I don't have any information more than what's there, at the moment, but if you need disk drives for your CoCo pop in there and have a look. Very promising and fabulous!

I haven't even gotten a dent in the CoCo mailing list yet, so I won't report anything out of there. Sign up at Most of it is way over my head, but it's well worth scanning through.

On the CoCo Hut, I'm writing hard on the CoCo Collector for January. This one's a bit different. I've got a new article on restoration coming up. The CoCoists section should be up shortly with shots of briza's collection (it's amazing, who knew there was that much CoCo stuff?!?) and my new CoCo area. That's right, no more TV trays! :)

Here's hoping everyone has a VERY happy New Year! Tune in and Stay tuned!

Angel's Luck,