Thursday, March 30, 2006

News: NoICE Debugger for 6809

This is neat. Way beyond me. But very neat.

NoICE is a debugger for software written on the 6809 (actually, for many microprocessors). It runs on a PC with a little driver on the target system. A serial cable hooks the two together. Then, as your program runs on the CoCo, the NoICE is acting as a debugger on the PC. Again, no idea how to make it work, but all the tech stuff is there to build the driver (OS-9, ECB?) and cable. If you're doing assembly on a CoCo this might be a great package to look into. And apparently the developer is a 6809 fan, so the 6809 version is Free! :)

Addendum: I just read a thread on the maltedmedia list (Vol 31, N. 18 roughly, search for noice) from the hi tech guys in there. They go into a lot more detail and idea for using NoIce. Check it out.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

News: Urbane ECB Preprocessor Released

Stephen Fischer has released a final version of the Urbane preprocessor for Disk Extended Color BASIC. It appears to recognize all Color, Extended, CoCo 3, and Disk BASIC commands. The main benifit of using a preprocessor like this is that it allows you to program in a more readable and structured manner. For example, Urbane doesn't need line numbers, and can use labels and long variable names. Your code can be much more modular, and you can focus on writing the right subrountines and functions instead of fighting with structure like you often will in ECB. If you prefer writing code in C++ or PASCAL, you'll love Urbane.

Urbane is a preprocessor, meaning you write the code, run it through Urbane and it spits out ECB code, which you then run on the CoCO. It appears to create very nice, tight ECB code at that. I've only played with Urbane a tiny little bit in an emulator, but it certainly appears to be a time saver. Even if it just makes it easier to follow the structure of an ECB program it's worth the download. Potentially a real time saver!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Site: Project: CoCo Rescue!

I've been considering doing something like this for awhile now, but just couldn't get around to working out the specifics and making the pages. Well, that's done. Here's the situation:

I often get email from folks requesting CoCo stuff. Usually it's disk drives, or specific games, or a particular type of CoCo, or a programming tool. If I've got an extra, I send it out. I don't charge for this. I just feel it helps the CoCo community to get this unused stuff out in the world and in use.

The other side of the situation is the occasional email I get from folks wanting to unload their collections. I know, sounds crazy, but it's true! ;) I try to guide these folks to a place where they can sell their stuff. Of course, I encourage them to post on, if they just want to get rid of it. None, that I know of, ever has. Which worries me, because this stuff probably just ended up in the trash.

And, of course, every now and then I get someone asking if I want to buy their collection. Which I'm willing to do, but only the items I need for my own use, or for my collection. Unfortunately, in the two cases I've encountered so far, the seller wanted to unload the whole lot for a price that was, how shall we say, a bit outside of my budget.

For that last case, I can only recommend eBay, or a local collector. For the others, I offer Project: CoCo Rescue!

The purpose is two fold. One, to encrease the CoCO Hut Collection. That's the self serving one. Two, to get those unwanted CoCo items out to CoCoists that can use them. Details are here:

This is basically the arrangement I've made with a few people wanting to unload, and the folks I've sent stuff out to. No idea if it'll work, or if anyone is interested, but I figure it doesn't hurt to put the info up in the event someone is interested.

So, if you got stuff you want to unload, email. If you need something for a project or a collection, email. We'll figure something out. :)

Angel's Luck,

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Site: Death of a Text Editor

Ah, the good old days of memory limits. Good times, good times. Okay, not so much. Today marked something of a dubious landmark for the Color Computer Collector's Price Guide. I ran out of space in MS WordPad. I've known this was coming for awhile, of course. Originally, I just kept the a price list for my own reference and intended to delete items I was tracking as I aquired them. So, in my shortsighted nature, when I started keeping the list more thoroughly and posting it, I should have just switched editors.

Notepad uses some sort of funky 8 space tab (most editors default to 4 or 6 apparently). So my search for a new editor required the ability to easily reset the tabs. But I also wanted it to be small and quick, but with pretty much unlimited file size. Oh, and it has to run on the ancient and decrepit Windows ME, since that's what the family PC has on it (the wife won't let me mess with it until I get another PC operational... heh.... which is probably pretty smart given my track record with modifying PCs. Oh, they do get fixed eventually. Eventually.)

I settled on Notepad++, a free GNU license editor.

It has line numbering, working line highlighting and easy resetting of the tab spots. It makes perfect plain ASCII text files and hosts a bevy of other formats. Makes a handy HTML editor. It also has many features I won't ever use, but it's small and fast, so they dont' get in the way either. The tabbed document feature may come in handy soon if I decide to break the price guide into sections. It even has a nice little macro mode that might be handy at some point. The bookmark feature makes it much easier to jump between sections while adding items.

If you need a good text editor, give Notepad++ a shot. It's a very mature platform and the price is right.

And a Price Guide update is coming shortly. ;)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

News: Round Up March 8th, 2006

I'm way behind on the CoCo news front, so it's time to surf the sites and do another round up! Hang on... here we go....

Did I mention the new gallery feature at Probably, but if not, I just did. Great for browsing and be sure to hop in there make your own! I just posted a few more pics of my CoCo systems and my growing army of CoCo nuts in training (okay, so this is probably the whole army, according to my wife, but at least it's a start). Also, at, under the Articles tab, is a wicked new article by Mathew Potter on adding 512K RAM to a CoCo3. And get this... it's completely wire wrapped! I don't understand half of it, but it is a very, very cool lloking project. :)

On a similar subject, Roger Taylor of (maltedmedia list and Roger Taylor Software) is working on a neat project that will allow transfering files between the CoCo and PC. There should be a post about the project on the maltedmedia list, so be sure to check in there for details. I'm about 200 digests behind on that list at the moment, so I'll post more about this project as it progress and information becomes available. Very exciting, though.

Glen, at the CoCo Lounge, has acquired and is steadily posting a rather impressive collection of CoCo Goodness up for sale in his online store. He also dropped the price on many tapes and disks. Get in there quick and get it while the gettin's good. :)

The venerable Glenside Color Computer Club has info up on the next Chicago CoCo Fest. It'll be held April 29th & 30th. (The info's been up for awhile, actually, and I have no idea why I keep forgetting the mention.) This year celebrates the 20th year of the CoCo 3! Should be quite a party!

Moby games now does CoCo! This is a cool site to browse and is being put together with the help of CoCo game guru L. Curtis Boyle of the CoCo Games List ( It's neat because you can compare screen shots and game info of many of the games with other systems such as the Atari 8-bits, the Commodore, Apple, TI 99/4A and others. And yes, the CoCo holds up quite well and kicks buttocks over the rest of the system on many games. Definately a site to spend a little time on.

The March edition of The CoCo Collector is available. It's a doosy. February saw a lot of action on the vintage CoCo sales front. And it's still rolling along! Also, we're celebrating the first full year of the CoCo Price Guide this month. Nothing special planned, but I might make cupcakes or something...

Send in your CoCo news items to!

Angel's Luck & Electric Dreams,

News: Ladderman in Development

CoCo programmer Richard Kelly was kind enough to send information and a screen shot of his new game in developement, titled Ladderman 2. This arcade game is being written for the CoCo/CoCo2/CoCo3 and I have to say, looks spectacular! Features will also include a full level and graphics editor, so you can make and share your own Ladderman 2 levels. System requirements to be determined, of course. Wicked good stuff!

Mr. Kelly also posted recently to the message boards regarding the game.

No release date yet, but here's some words from the author regarding progress so far:

Capt's CoCo Hut: Is it ML? Run under OS-9 or RS-DOS?

Richard Kelly: ECB in RS-DOS, but I plan on transferring it to ML using C-BASIC 3. I'm wanting smoother action and more memory.

CCCH: Will it work on a CoCo 3 (and if so, will it interpret the artifacting for an RGB monitor)?

RK: It's been running fine on the CoCo 3 so far. As for monitor-based support, I'll have to see how many more features I can put in the game with C-BASIC 3 before I can answer the monitor question.

CCCH: And of course, most important, when do you expect it to be released and how do we get it?

RK: I haven't set a release date yet, as my work hours are downright ridiculous right now. It's taking forever just to get the level editor put together. But the game will be released for free. The game's level editors and graphics editors will be included along with the game. I'm doing it this way because I know that making a game hacker-friendly often helps it become more popular. I expect to make it all downloadable in several formats: ARC, DSK, and DMK.

CCCH: Like I said, the one screen shot looks fantastic!

RK: The current version of the game has a status bar and animated torches. Also, Briza is working on background textures for the game. I look forward to checking 'em out when he's done. :-) Although I've finished the animation for the torches, since the texture for the game's background isn't done yet, any screenshot I send you could be obsolete in a week or two. Thank you for the words of encouragement. I'm pleased that the project is getting so much positive feedback. Rock on! :-)

Rock on, indeed! Can't wait for this one! :)