Saturday, April 29, 2006

Comment: The CoCo to PC Connection

Hooray! Received a shiney new PC Link Cable from Taylor Software today! Okay, so the CoCo and the PC are in different rooms, and the wife will kill me if I start lugging CoCos out and spreading stuff all over the place tonight... I'll have to wait until I have a free day (and some computer alone time) to test it out.

The cable arrived quickly via Priority Mail. It appears to be nicely put together. Physically, a great quality product. The package also includes a brief information sheet. No software is included, but Roger Taylor offers basic command line transfer software for the PC for download from the website. Included in the archive is a program that translates tokenized BASIC files from the CoCo into ASCII format and DLOAD command transfer program for porting stuff from the PC to the CoCO. The instructions with the programs mention that only ASCII files can be transfered. If so, these particular utilities would limited in use (useful, but not a complete solution). The cable also works with most terminal software for both platforms. So, you could transfer binaries via XMODEM, I would assume, or something like that.

On the included sheet a little preview of CoCo Goodness to come. Transfering files between the CoCo and the PC is being implemented directly into Portal-9 and the Rainbow IDE. Also in the works is software to turn the PC into a big hard drive for your CoCo using OS-9. Both will support the super 57600 and 115200 speeds reported earlier!

Seems to me that now that this cable is cheaply and easily available, some enterprising CoCo coders out there should be able to come up with some neat applications and utilities to take advantage of it. I wouldn't mind seeing a drag and drop utility to pop stuff over to the CoCo from the PC. How about some play by email games for the CoCo? Monitoring software comes to mind. Just being able to transfer BASIC files from the CoCo will be great since more folks can easily put thier CoCo-works out there. Plenty of others, of course! :)

As soon as I get a chance to lug a CoCo around to the PC I'll post a full review here and some experiences with the new cable. In the meantime, I really don't see how anyone can go wrong with this one, specially for the price. Head over to to get yours.

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