Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ho, ho, ho Recent sales updates and more...

Going thru eBay this a.m. I found a few tidbits worthy of a mention. However, before I get to that, let us review some recent items of interest and see how they fared:

WICO Command Control Trackball for TRS80 Color Computer

This very nice Wico track ball sold for a measly $10. Wish I'd have had the time to follow up and bid...


Our little yellowing/beige friend sold for $15.50. Not too bad...

Tandy CoCo Rainbow Magazines

This one surprised me a little bit. A first year run of Rainbow sold for $62.00. Not bad, they seem to be in very good shape the collectible factor is definitely there.

Tandy TRS-80 128K Color Computer 3 + 12 carts CoCo3

Not sure, but, I'd almost consider $42.00 for this one thievery... Congrats to the buyer.

NEW BOXED Radio Shack TRS-80 Multi-Pak Interface

This did not sell. In fact, it's back with the same price, Buy It Now, etc...

Radio Shack TRS-80 Computer MPI/Multi Pak Interface

This may qualify for my rant for the day. This item has been relisted, still for the same ludicrous price and shipping. I'll go back a Model IV and service manuals I had shipped to me some time ago. The cost for this was $32.00 for a box five times the size necessary for an MPI. Aside from the unrealistic Buy It Now, the shipping is way out there also. Bidder beware (or avoid entirely...)

Tandy TRS-80 CoCo Color Computer 3 with 512KB Memory

This auction could possibly bump up the average price of a CoCo3 a little. I'm sure the 512k had something to do with the $79.78 selling price, tho... Cris, are you still keeping up the price guide?

Disto Super Controller II for TRS-80 Color Computer 3

I expected this to go for a little more than $92.00. Had I not just bought a garage and a buttload of Christmas lights, I would have bid on this myself. Awesome item!!!

Disto Memory Upgrade TRS 80 CoCo 3 ( 512k GOLD PINS )

I had no clue where this auction would go. $46.01 for a Disto 512k upgrade sounds reasonable. Good auction.

Vintage: Tandy 128K Color Computer 3 "NO RESERVE"

This nice CoCo3 with original box sold for a very respectable $57.00.

Vintage Tandy 128 COCO 3 Color Computer

Backing up my original feelings on this particular auction's price, this one did not sell...

Vintage Tandy Color Computers 2 & 3 with Accessories

I do believe the winner of this auction got the deal of the week. Hopefully my feeling of the CoCo3 just needing a GIME reseat will be all it needs. At $15.00, a very good deal.

I'm starting to see some new blood bidding on CoCo items. Hopefully they'll pop their head in and let us know how well the CoCo stuff works and maybe start contributing to the community.

Now, for some more current stuff...

Radio Shack TRS-80 color computer

Here's a slightly yellowed CoCo2 starting at $.99. Comes in original box. Manuals are apparently not there...

TRS-80 Color Computer Mini Disk with Color Controller

I'll bite my tongue about my feeling of reserve auctions... Shipping seems a little steep as well... Bidder beware.

This Seller...

Has got four separate Chromosette auctions...

Tandy Color Computer classic Chromasette Magazines

22 issues of Chromsette up for bid. Good starting price and shipping is very reasonable.

Lot of 2 TRS80 Tandy Color Computers

A CoCo2 and CoCo3 starting at $.99 with $15.60 s/h, which is reasonable for 2 CoCos. Both units look clean, however, the flash can wash out discoloration on vintage computers. Bidder beware and ask questions!!

That's about all I've found interesting this time around. I'll check back later this week or early next week. Merry Christmas!!!



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Friday, November 30, 2007

More CoCo Collecting....

Greetings all and Merry Christmas!!! I hope everyone out there in CoCo Land had a great Thanksgiving Holiday. Looking thru eBay this morning I found a few intriguing items and thought I'd share a few of them. If you arelookijng to collect old Radio Shack catalogs, you'd be in luck as there seems to be quite a few. Since this is a CoCoCentric Blog, I'll focus only on the CoCo stuff ;-).

TRS 80 Color Computer-CCR-82 Cassette Recorder-4 Carts

Here's a nice looking CoCo2, cassette recorder and a few carts. All cables seems to be present. Not a bad price at all and shipping seems reasonable as well.

Tandy Color Computer Disk Drive FD502

A single FD-502 FDD and controller. Again, nice price and reasonable shipping. Would make nice addition under the Christmas tree.

Vintage Tandy Color Computers 2 & 3 with Accessories

Here we have a CoCo2 and a CoCo3, joysticks and a few carts. Seller says the CoCo3 only displays a green screen. Could just need the GIME reseated. Price and shipping are both very fair.

Tandy Color Computer COCO Collection

This seller has a plethora of CoCos (I, II and III). Quite a few games and other packs like an O-90 and a DC Modem. There are even a couple of cassettes, but, no cassette player.

Vintage Tandy 128 COCO 3 Color Computer

Very nice looking BOXED CoCo3. Perhaps a TAD yellowed, can't really tell from the lighting of the photo. Where I have problems is the shipping and the actual price. $45.00 is a little high for a starting bid and $105.00 Buy It Now for a 128k machine is just ridiculous, eve for a boxed CoCo3 IMO. And $20.00 for shipping is also a tad high. I know there was a flame-fest on the CoCo mailing list a few weeks back (almost made me cancel my subscription again) about this very subject. See the next auction for a reasonable shipping price...

Vintage: Tandy 128K Color Computer 3 "NO RESERVE"

Looks to be a nice CoCo3 with typing tutor in it's original box. Shipping price is very reasonable.

And finally, my INSANE auction of the week....

tandy color computer 3

While the starting price is alright, this VERY yellowed unit is located in Michigan and the shipping prices are just stupid. $33.80 for UPS ground and $22.71 for USPS Parcel Post. Not fair for shipping at all.... >:P

There really is a good bit more CoCo Goodness on eBay right now. Especially if you're into collecting cart based software. Lots o' goodness right now. Let's hope it all goes to a good CoCo lovin' home!!!



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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Quick Collector etry

Don't have time to do a proper CoCo Collector entry right now, but, there are some AWESOME items on eBay right now:

Disto Memory Upgrade TRS 80 CoCo 3 ( 512k GOLD PINS )

Disto Super Controller II for TRS-80 Color Computer 3

Tandy TRS-80 CoCo Color Computer 3 with 512KB Memory

This is really just a sample of the goodies on eBay right now. If you've got some extra Washingtons on hand, take a look. Especially if you have a hankerin' for software and Rainbow Mags...



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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Collector entry...

It has been a while since Cris, myself, or anyone else has done a CoCo Collector Entry. Hell, it's been a while since I've done much of anything at all CoCo related. SOOO, you can imagine my surprise when I checked out the TRS-80 section of eBay and saw 164 entries. I figured there had to be at least a few CoCo related items.... I was right. The thoughts expressed below are my opinion only, and in no way express what anyone else here may think...

Radio Shack TRS-80 Computer MPI/Multi Pak Interface

Here's a nice looking gray first generation MPI that's is priced WWAAAYYYYY too high.

NEW BOXED Radio Shack TRS-80 Multi-Pak Interface

Here's a nice looking, boxed, white first generation MPI with a $99.95 Buy It Now!. This much easier to handle, price wise. And, it'd go well with a nice white CoCo 1 (Cris, are you paying attention...? :D )

Tandy 128k Color Computer 3 Non - Working

Well... if you are looking for a charity case, this one may be it. Seller says it has a bad RF unit, but did not state if he tried the composite out. Either way, this thing looks like it was rode pretty hard...

Tandy TRS-80 128K Color Computer 3 + 12 carts CoCo3

And now we have a well loved CoCo3 with 12 carts. The CoCo3 is obviously used, and would definitely be a candidate for repack material. The carts are probably loose with no blister packs (none are shown), so if you are looking for cart games to play, and a CoCo3 for repacking, this is a perfect auction for you!!!

Tandy CoCo Rainbow Magazines

Hehe... our own NavyDave really wants these Rainbows... lol. This seller has several lots of Rainbows up right now.

TRS-80 Color Computer 3 CoCo 3 PBJ Memory Boards 4 pcs

This is a VERY interesting auction. PBJ 512k bare memory expansion boards. I would think these would definitely fall into the RARE category.


Holy yellowing computers Batman!!! this thing has turned almost a lite beige color. One would have to hope it was a poor color choice for a paint job!!!

And finally, under the 'you don't see this everyday' category (unless you own one :) ):

WICO Command Control Trackball for TRS80 Color Computer

Had one of these back in the day. A must for playing the Centipede variants on the CoCo!!!

Now that my schedule is calming down (wife had surgery, house is closed on, garage is up), I will be back here a little more frequently. Christmas time is nearing and I've got a ton of lights to hang, and need to finish my light controllers also. But I'll be popping in more frequently...

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Friday, October 12, 2007


Been a while since I've been able to check in here, works been a b!7@h lately. We finally closed on our house last week, wife came thru her surgery without a hitch, so my time may be freeing up a little bit finally. I am signing (today) to have a 24X36 garage built, 16X24 will be workshop space for me and my numerous hobbies. I should be back closer to normal in November. BTW, anyone hear from Briza lately?



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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

August Poll and some bits

Let's see...

The August poll was about what we'd would like to see next on the CoCo Hut. An image gallery came in first. That is fairly easy to impliment and I'll see about getting the software installed on the server for that ASAP. Second place was an online store, which would be trickier, but certainly doable. I have a few ideas on the subject I'll post on the message board. Comments and thoughts are more than welcome. I wouldn't expect anything to come of it until next year, but it would be good to start laying the groundwork and chatting up ideas.

If you're in the mood to buy CoCo stuff hit the CoCo Hut Gift shop for T-shirts, mugs, and... well, whatever else we get in the mood for. :) That's actually kind of cool. Anything you want to see, just drop a note. If you've got an image you want a T-shirt or something, cafepress can do that. No prob. And other people might like it, too!

The current poll has to do with the commercial at the top of the main page, and is just... well for silly. I love YouTube. I don't even have cable TV anymore. I mean really, the stuff on YouTube is WAY more entertaining. heh... :)

A 2008 CoCo Calendar? Tried to get one done last year and just couldn't get the images together. Is this something folks would like? Cafe Press has some excellent calendar options, so if I had the images and text to pop in there, we could have one whipped up pretty quick. I managed four CoCo photos that would be suitable. If you're interested in contributing a very high quality image for it, drop me a note. We'd need, oh, I'd say about... 12. :) Proceeds (US$1 per calendar) would go to support the Hut, of course. Depending on the format chosen, that would make the retail price between $4.99 to $20.99. I'll post the options to the message board.

Some questions I've gotten via email the last few months:

What happened to the Sunday CoCoist? My scheduled changed and I don't have Sunday free anymore. So that wasn't gonna work. With more contributors, CoCo Downunder joining us at the Hut, and the message board running along nicely, the hope is that eventually we'll have something CoCoish for you if you stop by, say, once a week or so. Might be interesting threads, new blog posts, or files to play with but it'll be something. We can build it from there.

(paraphrased) When's the GloCo gonna be done??? Well... I dunno. When it gets there. The mods that need doing are finish soldering the socket, covert to a PC power supply, and do the keyboard decals. Not much, but will require, say, an hour or two each uninterrupted. I haven't had a couple of hours uninterrupted in months, so we'll see how it works out. :) I'll post something in Pimp My CoCo as soon as there's something to tell.

How do I get my auction mentioned in the CoCo Collector? You can't. :) It has to be something one of the bloggers here sees and thinks is interesting or mentionable. No placement or promotion by request, I'm afraid. What I DO recommend is emailing me when you post an auction. I'll certainly be happy to take a look. (Other bloggers here may feel differently, so ask before spamming, please.) I look for items that are of a collectible nature. That mint Personal Finance pak isn't gonna get my CoCo lust going.

Sellers should also feel free to post a list of their current or upcoming auctions into the General forum of the message board! I have no problem with this at all, and if there's enough interest in it, I'll bring it up with the board admins and mods and see about setting up a separate forum for those types of posts. Hey, promoting yourself is essential, so jump on in. I recommend listing when the auctions will start, how long they will run, and a couple of pictures, at minimum.

Okay, that's enough for now... :) If I can stop playing WoW long enough (that game is pure digital crack), I'll play with image gallery software and see what we can get going.

Angel's Luck,

CoCo Mugs!

The CoCo has quite a mug on it, and now its mug is on a mug. haha! (Sorry... okay, that was bad.) In an effort to drive donations, coco3.com is offering a limited edition Holiday CoCo coffee mug with each contribution of $20.00 or more. The listing is currently on the main page of the site.

Discuss this entry in The CoCo Hut Message Board. Now Open!

FOR SALE: CoCo Lounge

Alas, Glen VanDenBiggelaar has decided to discontinue the popular CoCo Lounge website. Glenn is offering to sell the site and the entire online store inventory to an interested party. See his announcement on the site for details. Let's hope that someone will step up to do it, since the information on the Lounge is a great reference.

Discuss this post on The CoCo Hut Message Board! Get some CoCo Love!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Huge sales, great retro stuff, and some cool knicknacks!

A little bit o' catch up here in the Old CoCo Collector.

VINTAGE COMPUTER MOUSE, RADIO SHACK COLOR MOUSE, TRS80 - (eBay item 280149646957 end time Sep-10-07 13:21:53 PDT)

These seem to be getting slightly more rare. The Color Mouse appears in decent condition from the photos. Alas, the seller couldn't test it. Still, never heard of two much trouble with these. Not as luxurious as the Deluxe Color Mouse, but it does the job. Just make sure you have plenty of desktop real estate.

TRS-80 COLOR COMPUTER 2 + RARE FD 501 DISK DRIVE buynow - (eBay item 290158722255 end time Sep-10-07 16:01:36 PDT)

Most useful thing in the auction is the controller. And the price plus shipping is probably too high for just that. Still, if you're desperate for a drive controller, the FD-501 is a good one.

Tandy Color Computer CM-8 Monitor COCO 26-3125 - (eBay item 280151788533 end time Sep-10-07 19:39:44 PDT)

If you can't get hold of a RGB to VGA or S-Video converter, this will do. Not the best display for your CoCo 3, but certainly better than RF to a TV!

Tandy TRS-80/COCO ORCHESTRA 90-CC 26-3143 - (eBay item 280151794701 end time Sep-10-07 20:03:48 PDT)

We're not seeing these popping up lately, so figured I'd list this one since the seller demonstrates it as working. If you like CoCo music, you'll be needing one of these in the "to use" pile.

Tandy FD-502 Drive Case/Controller COCO 26-3133 - (eBay item 280151794839 end time Sep-10-07 20:04:15 PDT)

Again, this one also seems a bit high for just the controller. Then again, it'll do the job.

TRS-80 Color Computer-Chopper Stike by Computer Shack - (eBay item 190149166018 end time Sep-10-07 20:57:51 PDT)

Nice rare Computer Shack game called Chopper Strike. No manual, alas, but the disk is original. Very cool! :)

The Rainbow magazine for TRS-80 Color Computers - 17 - (eBay item 150158199368 end time Sep-11-07 18:21:40 PDT)

CoCo mags haven't been popping up much either. So here's a nice random lot of The Rainbow, including the reprint edition of the very first issue, to get someone started.

Retro TANDY Mousepad - (eBay item 300148302414 end time Sep-11-07 19:53:37 PDT)

A Tandy mouse pad to go with your Color Mouse. heh...

Rainbow Magazine, 1989, 12 issues, TRS-80, Coco 3 - (eBay item 190150571372 end time Sep-12-07 09:30:07 PDT)
Rainbow Magazine, 1988, 12 issues, TRS-80, Coco 3 - (eBay item 190150572432 end time Sep-12-07 09:33:28 PDT)
My eBay Summary
Rainbow Magazine, 1987, 11 issues, TRS-80, Coco 3 - (eBay item 190150573039 end time Sep-12-07 09:35:44 PDT)

Three lots of the The Rainbow from the dates indicated. In 88 and 89 you'll start seeing CoCo 3 stuff.

TRS-80 Color Computer 3 and Extras - (eBay item 130150682012 end time Sep-12-07 09:40:19 PDT)

Big pile of CoCo 3 stuff, including random disks, paks, drive, sticks and pretty much everything you need except a display. The 2 CoCo 3s included might need some work, would be good for pimpin', or serve as back ups or parts.

WICO Command Control Trackball for TRS80 Color Computer - (eBay item 130151616815 end time Sep-14-07 20:13:05 PDT)

Boxed Wico Command trackball for the CoCo. These actually work pretty good with "missile command" and "darn marble" type games. This one is potentially in collectible condition as well, but the seller doesn't show a picture of the actual unit... just the box. Claims it's like new and never used, so might be worth a look.

TRS-80 Model I, III & Color Remote Command Control! - (eBay item 280150127829 end time Sep-15-07 12:01:00 PDT)

For you old school CoCoists, here a brand spankin' new looking, original appliance and light controller. That's right, drive you wife and/or hubby nuts by hooking up the house to the CoCo! It's fun. Really. Neat collectible, too.

Trs-80 Color Computer CoCo Fest ticket (1993) - (eBay item 190150996876 end time Sep-15-07 19:27:45 PDT)

Every once and awhile a real CoCo collectible pops up, and here's one that's super cool. It's an original ticket stub from Glenside's 2nd CoCoFest. Neat little keepsake for the discriminating collector. :)

VINTAGE RADIO SHACK TRS-80 - (eBay item 200150762959 end time Sep-15-07 22:01:47 PDT)

OOOOHHH! The Great White CoCo, Aussie Edition! Original boxes, manuals, boxed paks.... My favorite CoCo and a super collectible. You don't see these in this condition too often.

Rogue - Tandy Colour Computer 128k - (eBay item 320156601250 end time Sep-15-07 22:55:50 PDT)

Another Australian auction, this is a copy of the great adventure game Rogue for OS-9. No instructions, but it's pretty straight forward. Hours of adventuring fun, too.

Trs-80 Color Computer EDTASM+ - (eBay item 190151152927 end time Sep-16-07 09:52:30 PDT)

Here's an EDTASM+ pak with manual. Get this on disk and patch it with the Super EDTASM patch printed in The Rainbow (I forget which issues, dang I need Rainbow on Disk!) and it makes a decent Assembler package.

Trs-80 color computer Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - (eBay item 190151169606 end time Sep-16-07 10:39:22 PDT)

Super rare Infocom super hit here. This might qualify as the funniest game ever done for the CoCo. heh! Pure Douglas Adams goodness. Almost complete, it's missing the Don't Panic Button, but who cares. Playing this is fantastic. Owning it in the original is even better.

Radio Shack TRS-80 Computer Cassette Recorder Vintage - (eBay item 250163629325 end time Sep-16-07 18:50:50 PDT)

Another ultra-retro collectible, an original CRT-80A. Just look at this beast! Wicked cool for the 26-3001 CoCo you've got hooked up. Real CoCoists do it in 4K with tape! Bwahahaha!

Tandy DeskMate 3 for OS-9 Level 2 Color Computer 3 - (eBay item 200150112243 end time Sep-16-07 19:22:02 PDT)

Appears to be complete copy of DeskMate 3 for the CoCo 3. Good collectible.

BOXED Radio Shack TRS-80 COCO Multi-Pak Interface - (eBay item 320155810254 end time Sep-09-07 12:00:53 PDT)

This boxed, but no manuals, MPI went for about US$42.00. Kind of expected it to go a bit higher, but it is the older style 26-3024 model by the look of it. It would need an upgrade to work properly with a CoCo 3.

Tandy TRS-80 Colour Computer - Complete HUGE Rare 1981 - (eBay item 180153700219 end time Sep-07-07 03:20:35 PDT)

This big fat lot of Australian CoCo goodness went for a whopping AU$176.39 (about US$145)! Included some rare issue of Softgold (which I'd love to know more about) and the Pyramid 2000 and Bedlam games, as well as a Christmas Cards tape. Interesting lot, great sale, great buy!

Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 ROM Paks, multi-pak interface - (eBay item 130147340875 end time Sep-04-07 21:45:52 PDT)

And we think MPIs go high in the States? This one, with program paks, went for AU$222.22 (about US$183)!!! Included two rarities... something called the CoCo Tuner (more info!) and an Art Gallery data tape. Wonder what's on that?

Pile of Tandy TRS-80 STUFF! Floppy drive, games, books! - (eBay item 250158867099 end time Sep-02-07 21:08:07 PDT)

This awesome FD-500 in box, with original wrappers/packing, and a pile of CoCo stuff went for $US66.22. Again, surprised it didn't go higher. That's a good looking drive in rare condition.

Disto Super Controller 2 for TRS-80 Color Computer 3 - (eBay item 290154772798 end time Sep-02-07 13:58:10 PDT)

Setting a new record, this Disto Super Controller II floppy controller went for US$106.00. Man what a prize! :)

~~Vintage Tandy Coco Computer Very rare find on Ebay~~ - (eBay item 330159437597 end time Aug-29-07 05:55:46 PDT)

Even with busted CoCos, this huge lot of CoCo 3 stuff, including drives, CM-8, 512K upgrade and paks went for a huge US$225.00.

Rare Tom Mix Software collection-TRS-80 Color Computer - (eBay item 300143916332 end time Aug-28-07 11:44:27 PDT)

In another giant sale, this lot of Tom Mix games on disk with manuals went for $73.50. Serious envy going on here. Serious. :)

Over all, some huge sales and some great stuff up for grabs at the moment. It's a good time to be a CoCoist, of course, and at the moment, a great time to be a collector!

Angel's Luck,

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Dead DSL, CoCo Fun, and Assembler

My DSL connection has been dead as a doornail for a week now. Arg! I have three Webkins addicts in my house, so basically my life has been a living hell. heh...

On the upside, being "offline" did give me some quality CoCo time! Woo hoo! Mainly, I played with a few BASIC routines, which I'll share when they're cleaned up, and practiced a bit of Assembler. The latter is slowly starting to make sense in my befuddled mind. Of course, knowing 6809 assembler is a lot different from being able to program in 6809 assembler. Just relearning basic programing technique and constructing simple routines is still a challenge for me. But I highly recommend the endeavor, even if you only have a bit of time to devote to it each week. Even just getting something simple to work in BASIC is a blast. It's like that old thrill I got the first time I powered on the CoCo and spend two weeks in front of it, pretty much non-stop. Fabulous!

While on the topic of programming, pop over to the CoCo Hut message board and join in the fun there, as well. There's a BASIC board for programmers, and plenty of other interesting bits including Pimp My CoCo, CoCo Downunder, and The CoCo Collector. Hell, if someone will moderate it (and post to it regularly) we'll even add an Assembler or language-of-your-choice board! Oh, how about a programing games on the Coco forum? You know, design considerations, tricks, help, that sort of thing... Would anyone post to that? ahem... anyhow...

You do need to register and get authorization to access the board, but we hope to make the bit of trouble worth your while. :)

Angel's Luck,

PS For everyone I owe email and/or stuff, please hang in there. It's coming! :) Might be Sunday or Monday night before I get caught up. I DO have to fit in some quality World of Warcraft time as well, you know??? Heh...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The CoCo 2 picks up, a Disto Super Controller, and more!

Sales of CoCo 2s have been pretty steady, but just of late they're going even better, with price increases galore. Original CoCo 1s are doing good, as well. We've seen a price increase across the board on all models. CoCo 3s still sell well, in the $100s for those that include lots usable extras. Many of the CoCo 2s being sold are not "collectible" quality, which would indicate that many folks are buying them to use. An increase in paks in poor to good condition, mainly in lots, provides another indicator of this. Now... how do we lure in these new/returning CoCoists and keep them active? :)

Some of these end very soon:

VINTAGE TRS-80 CO CO - COLOR METEOROIDS GAME - (eBay item 300143708009 end time Aug-27-07 18:31:16 PDT)

A rare complete tape copy of Color Metroids from Spectral Associates. 'Fraid I know nothin' about this one, but it looks neat.

Zaxxon - (eBay item 290152878171 end time Aug-27-07 21:20:09 PDT)

Another rare one, the DataSoft Zaxxon cassette, complete in the box. The other version was sold in a clamshell case and is slightly (only) more common.

VINTAGE TRS-80 CO CO SOFTWARE ( ZAXXON ) COMPUTER GAME - (eBay item 300144753228 end time Aug-30-07 20:47:27 PDT)

Here's a great looking copy of the version sold in a clamshell case. That case usually gets brittle and yellowed fast. This one's getting there, but still one of the nicer copies I've seen. I know this packaging was sold at Radio Shack (I bought it), but I don't know about the boxed version (above).

Disto Super Controller 2 for TRS-80 Color Computer 3 - (eBay item 290154772798 end time Sep-02-07 13:58:10 PDT)

In the freakin' awesome rare department, here's a nice looking Disto Super Controller II for your floppies. Not ever having owned one of these, I can't comment too much, but I believe it'll drive higher density floppies, depending on what DOS is installed.

1982 Radio Shack Color Computer system in original box - (eBay item 130147598673 end time Sep-02-07 15:34:24 PDT)

The 26-3004A CoCo is a fine F or NR board machine. This one looks great and comes with a CCR-82 and a few extra goodies. No mention what's on those tapes. Judging from the manuals it's an ECB machine, but no word on the RAM, though probably 16K. That was common in 1982. (The machine was built in October of '82 according to the date code on the box.)

~~Vintage Tandy Coco Computer Very rare find on Ebay~~ - (eBay item 330159437597 end time Sep-03-07 22:29:26 PDT)

Can't decide if this is one of those crazy ones or a deal. heh... Lots of CoCo stuff, but the 2 included CoCo 3s don't work. I suppose if you needed the stuff and the CoCos for parts...

Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 ROM Paks, multi-pak interface - (eBay item 130147340875 end time Sep-04-07 21:45:52 PDT)

Nice lot that includes an MPI and a bunch of paks. Includes the CoCo Max Hi-Res Pack (no software) and something called the CoCo Tuner. That last could be interesting.

Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80 Vintage Color Computer No Rsrv - (eBay item 110160452016 end time Aug-23-07 11:07:39 PDT)

Great looking, collectible quality 26-3004 Color BASIC machine that went for US$41.26. Included a still in the box CCR-81 as well. Good looking machine.

Rare Tom Mix Software collection-TRS-80 Color Computer - (eBay item 300143916332 end time Aug-28-07 11:44:27 PDT)

Here's an awesome collection of Tom Mix disks that includes King Tut, Sailor Man, The King, The Frog and SR-71 with docs (except The Frog).

Circuit Design Programs for the TRS-80 by Howard M. ... - (eBay item 230164271928 end time Aug-29-07 16:30:00 PDT)

This looks interesting. I've got a project planned to do a "shop CoCo" some day, and want to load it with all sort of handyman and electronics software. This would be handy, I suspect. Haven't seen it before, so might be worth a look and it should be too hard to convert the programs to the Color BASIC.

Tandy Color Computer 2 "coco" - (eBay item 220143280197 end time Aug-30-07 18:03:20 PDT)

Here's a beautiful, looks complete, CoCo 2.

Superman and Wounder Woman TRS-80 Computer Comic - (eBay item 170142799391 end time Aug-30-07 18:10:18 PDT)

This gets listed from time-to-time, but it features the CoCo (if I remember correctly) and hey, I love DC comics. :)

Angel's Luck,

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tandy Color Computer 3 & Extra's

Checkout this dandy Coco3 setup. It has all the things you need to have a complete running hardware setup. Looking at the pic for the hardware. All Hardware looks smick. Even comes with a 2xSpeaker system.
So If your after a complete disk drive setup with Multi-Pack. Then this is a done deal for you. Then you throw in the Tandy Speech Pack(Which by the way are hard to obtain). You are ready and able to get deep into the Coco Goodness available. Even if you just want this setup to do word processing work. Then your in luck, even comes with a Printer and Paper. So bid on this if you want everything at once and not buy bits and pieces to have a complete setup.



Briza(CocoDownunder crew).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

240 or 256 colors on the 320x192 screen

Hows this for a gem of a program. I have downloaded and tested it out on a real 512k Coco 3.
And boy does it look super. You can see the different shades of Green, Red, Blue, Plus you can see Different shades for Pink, Yellow and So forth.
Download it and see for yourself. And By what Chris says. If he uses a lower Color chart. Say 140-160 colors. He will be able to do animation. Now this will be perfect for Games. So looks like the Coco 3 will be seeing a new lease of life after all. Why design games using 16 colors. When you can get a mode utilizing 140-160 colors in a 320x192-225 mode.


This must show the world what a great Graphics chip the GIME was. And how powerful it is when partnered with a 6809 chip.



Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Rat Graphics package, and plenty o' CoCo 3s!

Auctions of Note for August 19th, 2007:

Not a lot, but a super rare software/hardware combo and some CoCo 3s!

COLOR COMPUTER 3 AND DISK DRIVE SYSTEM PLUS DISKS!! - (eBay item 330156659372 end time Aug-18-07 18:38:10 PDT)

This CoCo 3 system with FD-502 went for a hefty US$131.13! See below for a deal... :)

1983 Walt Disney Telling Time with Donald for TRS-80 - (eBay item 120153234611 end time Aug-26-07 19:38:57 PDT)

Here's a good looking Telling Time with Donald in the hard clamshell box. Looks complete. This whole series from Walt Disney is pretty good if you have young ones in the house. Hook the CoCo 1/2 up to a big TV and let these run. Several solid hours of edutainment for the 5-10 years old crowd. And a great way to get your kids active in the CoCo. You do need a tape player for these, since they frequently use MOTOR ON:AUDIO ON to play narration off of the cassette. The one being offered here appears in collectible condition as well.

TANDY MULTI-PAK INTERFACE TRS 80 MOUSE COCO MAX INPUT - (eBay item 290152298644 end time Aug-26-07 19:37:28 PDT)

Here's an interesting lot. This is a 26-3024 MPI and original CoCo Max hi-res input pak with Color Mouse. Also includes what appears to be a custom selector switch that would, in theory, allow you to switch between hi-res mode and regular mode for the mouse. Neato.

Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer Multi-pak interface - (eBay item 290152181518 end time Aug-26-07 13:24:23 PDT)

Another 26-3024 MPI by itself. Untested according to the seller. (Note that these aren't necessarily of collectible interest but so many people want 'em I figured I'd give them a call out.)

Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer 3 CM-8 RGB color monitor - (eBay item 290152178185 end time Aug-26-07 13:14:43 PDT)

And a good ol' CM-8 for your retro-viewing pleasure.

Tandy Color Computer 3 128k Like New w/Games + More - (eBay item 170140281145 end time Aug-20-07 16:21:55 PDT)

Very good looking CoCo 3 with box, manuals and extras. It's mislisted, so worth a look if you're wanting a 3 cheap. Ending soon!

Diecom The Rat Graphic Design Package for Tandy Coco 3 - (eBay item 280143772617 end time Aug-20-07 18:17:30 PDT)

This one is mislisted as well, and maybe the rarest of the rare auctions we see this year. Ending soon, so jump in if you're able!!! The Rat was a graphics package for the CoCo 3 by Diecom. It boasted some pretty highend features, but having never seen it, I couldn't tell you for certain what was in it. :)

TANDY COLOR COMPUTER W/ 5 GAMES CONTROLLER Disk Drive - (eBay item 220140292527 end time Aug-21-07 12:48:28 PDT)

Yet another CoCo 3 with an FD-502. This one is also mislisted, so worth a peek. Even with the high shipping, it could come in under $130+ price listed above. ;)

Angel's Luck,

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Lamont updates CoCo Docs and some Math

Chris Lomont has made several updates to his CoCo page since we last visited back in June (I really need to get out and about more). There's an article called "Retro Supercomputing" in which he tackles some heavy duty computational tasks with a CoCo 3. Okay, mathematics are not my strongest area, whereas Chris is a PhD, but just seeing the programs run on a CoCo is pretty darn amazing once you understand what they're doing inside. Chris's description of the inner workings of both the E and TM computations is clear and easy to follow in the article and in the programs themselves. The way he gets around some of the inherent programing limitations of the CoCo is pretty slick as well (such as overwriting an unused portion of the program itself to free up more RAM) and certainly worth studying if you're planning to do some memory intensive CoCo'ing. Can't wait to see what he does with Pi.

In other news, he recently updated his CoCo hardware programing documentation. It's easier to navigate around and there are many new additions from the last version. If, like me, you're learning assembler again, grab these docs right now. Just being able to see how all this stuff works and interrelates is a huge kick to the ol' learning curve. Between Mr. Lomont's docs and the Barden and Leventhal books, I'm actually starting to get it. Well, mostly, but way better than I was previously. If you're already a whiz with a CoCo assembler, Chris's docs will serve as a welcome and frequently used reference.

Angel's Luck,

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Vcc Updated to Version 1.14

Jack has updated his Vcc Color Computer 3 emulator several times since last reported (in just the last couple of weeks!). The current version is 1.14 and includes additional tweaking of the sound, separating out the virtual hard disk, new keymaps, and several bug fixes. Also some doc cleaning by our very own Bob Devries. :) See the full list of updates by version number on the download page.

If you haven't snagged Vcc yet, go get it. I think what I like most about it is a) it's Windows based, so it uses the various windows APIs and plays nicely with XP and Vista, b) it's extensible via .dll (Chris Lamont is working on a machine monitor/debugger for Vcc!) and c) it "feels" more like a real CoCo than any emulator I've used. I'll grant the latter is subjective and certainly up to debate. Your mileage may vary. But it works and it works very well. I've even fired up Disk EDTASM on it and poked around a bit with assembler finally (not saying I'm getting far enough to write programs, mind you, but it's a start!) The potential of almost unlimited expandability makes it a top notch contender for the ultimate "virtual CoCo." Two huge CoCo-lovin' thumbs up.

Angel's Luck,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A bit o' updating and FILES!

Instead of working on the message boards like I'm suppose to be doing (it's installed, at last, just not fully configured... heh...), I decided to update the blog a bit. Mainly just tidying up.

I did, however, add a link directly to the piles o' files that Briza and Bob have been uploading to the Downunder section of the sever! And oh, baby, is there some good CoCo loving in there! Can't wait to see what they put in there next, but what's there should keep ya busy for, oh, most of your life. heh...

The linkage is on the right (under Files). I also added what little bit I've converted to disk and uploaded. Not much, but some fun stuff to play with. This is just stuff from my private collection, for archival purposes, but figured eventually it might be of interest to some CoCoists. And no, all the manuals and such aren't scanned in yet. I'm working on it, but I'm going to have to get a new scanner and finish off a few of the projects I've already got going before I tackle that one. I'd eventually like to host magazine and document archives, as well, but we'll see how it goes. The "official" CoCo Hut file list, from my collection and meager efforts, including programs donated by the original authors, is here.

Angel's Luck,

Coco Leisure reading

Having a touch of OCD :-), I find myself searching the net for anything coco related quite frequently. For example, the other day I found a couple of interesting articles (outdated of course), that mentioned the Coco (by doing a google search for 'Tandy Color Computer cut costs'). Dont ask me why. The first one was called "Price War in Small Computers" ,which talked about the price wars going on back in the early 80's with the 8-bit computers of the day. Its funny how its seems so similar to the price wars of video gaming consoles of today. Another one was called "David Versus Goliath" and talks about how Microware had big plans to squash Bill Gates with OS-9 set-top boxes. Theres some references to the Coco 3 in there. I believe the system is still used today in cable boxes, not sure. A system called "DAVID". If you haven't already seen these articles, I think you'll find them some interesting reads. Some more tidbits for the Coco history books.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Thanks for the Welcome!

Thanks for the greets all! I'll try my best to post something worthwhile in the near future. Thanks for letting me onboard. Now where did I hide my last 20 cents? :-0

Friday, August 10, 2007

Welcome NavyDave to the best coco blogger

I second Captcpu's welcome to NavyDave. Welcome to the best coco blogger in the world.
All we need now is some well known Coco Programmers dropping in and leaving their 20cents worth and the website will rock.



Thursday, August 09, 2007

Welcome NavyDave!

Just want to take a moment to welcome our newest blog member, NavyDave!!! Besides having an enviable CoCo collection, Dave is also an accomplished musician. I'll let him post an introduction with all the gritty details, but you can catch him on MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/navydave1. Welcome to the CoCo Hut!

Angel's Luck,

Stinkin' message boards :)

Well, apparently I ganked the stinkin' message board. Been trying to restore it for three hours, but so far, dead as a doornail. I shall take it up again on the morrow. Until then I ask, how gung ho is everyone for an alternate CoCo message board? Your thoughts?

I'm more than willing to do it, of course. I love it! But is it something that others are going to use? Let me know.

Angel's Luck,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Auctions of Note for August 8th, 2007

Haven't done this in awhile, so here we goooo!

Wishbringer TRS-80 Infocom Complete! - (item 200135770194 end time Aug-06-07 17:57:04 PDT)

First up is this jewel that I can't believe I freakin' missed. ARG! Wishbringer was a later Infocom game sold through Radio Shack for the CoCo. It was classic all text style. The box included all the goodies Infocom started throwing in toward the end of the text adventure era, including the super cool glow in the dark Wishbringer rock. heh. Finding this complete is amazing. Sold for a nice US$35.00 to our good friend NavyDave! Appears to be complete, as well. Super rare and a good win. :)

RadioShack TRS-80 Color Computer 1 CoCo Beige 64K RARE - (item 250151457904 end time Aug-08-07 02:43:26 PDT)

As I write, this one has about four hours to go, so if you want to take a whack, go quick. This is the last of the CoCo 1s, The Great White CoCo, the 26-3003B that Tandy released just before the CoCo 2. It was only built in a 64K, ECB model and initially got more attention than the CoCo 2. For about a month. heh. This one is dang gorgeous as far as condition goes. Well, not as purdy as mine, but nice. :P This one (unlike mine) even has it's original RF box and cables. Anyhow, as rare as these are, they've never sold particularly well at auction. Usually only for a few dollars. Though, I will throw in, that this is the nicest complete one I've seen unrestored (mine is heavily restored). The Buy It Now price is too high, perhaps, but is the bid price good? To me, this CoCo has always been undervalued, so I say yes.

TRS-80 Color Mouse New in Box - (item 180145120740 end time Aug-11-07 13:54:48 PDT)

I don't post these often enough, and they are becoming a bit fewer and farther between. This is the original single button Color Mouse. Not quite as nice as the Deluze Color Mouse that came later, but definitely an improvement over a joystick for Hi-Res Interface apps like Color Max or CoCo Max. Best thing about them: GIANT STEEL BALLS! Seriously, using this thing after a lightweight PC mouse is like driving a brick.

TRS 80 TANDY COLOUR COMPUTER GAMES / PROGRAMS LOT - (item 130139970329 end time Aug-12-07 02:00:16 PDT)

Extremely rare cassette lot from Australia with original manuals. The Australian CoCo market had plenty of stuff never seen elsewhere in the world, and it looks like several of these qualify. Super rare and worth a look.

Tandy/RADIO SHACK Color Computer 2 MULTI-PAK INTERFACE - (item 280139493532 end time Aug-12-07 18:00:00 PDT)

On the off chance that you reeeeealy need an MPI. heh.

TRS-8O COLOR COMPUTER 2/ 64K EXTENDED BASIC & RAM CART - (item 110157068907 end time Aug-13-07 20:21:36 PDT)

If anyone buys this, please please please don't try to stick that MC-10 16K RAM upgrade in the CoCo. Ouch.

TANDY CCR-81 Computer Cassette Recorder Player - (item 170138021989 end time Aug-14-07 13:10:12 PDT)

A rather nice looking CCR-81 in the white (AKA CCR-81A). Never hurts to have a few of these around and they're WAY better than the craptacular (IMHO) CCR-82. Although, if you can get a CCR-83 (the last of the CCR line) by all means do. They're so very choice, if you have the means. :P This would go well with that 3003B, above.

Radio Shack TRS-80 Computer - (item 260147127406 end time Aug-17-07 01:13:59 PDT)

BWahahahaha! I love CoCos. I love to see people buy CoCos. I just don't like to see people taking it in the... er... yeah.

Primo Condition!! TRS 80- Color Computer circa 1983 - (item 280141392944 end time Aug-17-07 18:24:55 PDT)

Beautiful condition, collectible grade CoCo 2 from looking at the pics. Alas, no Cat No given in the auction, but inquire if you need one specific for the collection. I'm not collecting 2s at the moment, but I'd bid on this one if I were.

That's it for this go 'round!

Angel's Luck,

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

How do I proceed with my DVD Compilation

Discuss this entry and its comments in The CoCo Hut Message Board!

Ok. people how do you think I should proceed with my Dvd Games compilation set. I'm worried about how the community will react to this DVD set. Since we are talking about nearly every Coco game ever done. Not many games will be missing. And mostly these will be games by At home So

le programmers. But as for well known company games. They will be on this set.
I'm worried mostly about this DVD set being copied and sold on Ebay for a mint. As we are talking about nearly all the games. Plus Apps and other goodies as well. A fellow coconut had a great idea to market it on a word of mouth basis. Which I'm thinking of doing.

So if you have any ideas on how I should proceed let me know.




I wouldn't normally edit someonelse's post, but, I think this is important enough.

Briza, I would refrain from selling the item to anyone who has not earned the trust of the group. People like Hexstar and the guy who posted Ira's archive need to be left out of this all together. Newcomers should be looked at thru a jaundiced eye until they've proven themselves responsible. This will add to your work for sure, but, I think this will be the only way to monitor who gets the DVD.


Friday, August 03, 2007

CoCoist from Downunder

Looks like the Downunder gang is all here now, so jump in and give 'em a big welcome. We've got Briza, Bob, and RicoJack joining the CoCo Hut to bring you heaps of CoCo Goodness with an Aussie flavor. As I'm pretty sure everyone reading this knows, these are the talented gents that had CoCo Downunder with it's great blog posts, file selection and CoCo docs. Welcome aboard!

I'm fiddling now and trying to secure file space on the Club LTD Studios server for file hosting. At the very least I'd like to get FTP running so there's a place for all the CoCo stuff these guys have amassed.

With luck, a few more esteemed CoCoists will be joining us soon as well. Stay tuned!

In additional Hut news: The message board IS working fine, it's secured and everyone is welcome to post in there. Remember that you MUST email me at captcpu@clubltdstudios or coco@clubltdstudios.com to get access. This is terribly unfortunate, but it's also the only way to beat the spammers that attack the board on a daily basis. You can see the effect by looking at the user list, which is packed with bad usernames and inactive accounts. Until I can find time to upgrade the phpBB software, though, there's no easy way to weed those out. They're harmless, just don't click on any links in the user profiles. ;)

I also updated the review for Roy Justus' RGB-toVGA converter and have completed the moving around and reorg of the website at coco.clubltdstudios.com. The new PC should allow me more time to update the site a little more frequently, as well.

Happy CoCoing!

Angel's Luck,

PS Bob mentioned Vcc, a new CoCo 3 emulator for Windows. The link has been added to the Linkage section on the right. Go get it. Now. :P

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Cris invited them, I'll welcome them!!!

Welcome Bob, Briza and everyone else from CocoDownunder!!! Hearing from Cris that he invited our Aussie CoCoNutz was great news. Hopefully, and indeed it looks to be happening, you guys can bring some life to the bolg since Cris has been dealing with Harry Potter mania and I've been dealing with life. It looks like it'll be around October before I get back to my sarcastic self. Hopefully by then, I'll have Evil Lab Florida up and running. Noe guaranteesm tho...



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Welcome to cocodownunder part 2

Discuss this entry and its comments in The CoCo Hut Message Board!

I'm hoping to have the old topics from the old website called cocodownunder over to this blogger in a few days time. Sure Wordpress was a dream to use. But in time I'll get the hang of this blogger.
And as Cris mentioned in a earlier email to me. In a few days time. He will have a storage area setup to hold the former zip file contents from the old website. So fellow coconuts you can all rejoice. Part2 of cocodownunder is up and running.



New(ish) VCC Emulator... It's great mate!

For the last couple of hours I have been trying out the VCC emulator.

I must say I'm very impressed, and will be using this from now on.
The only thing missing is output to a printer, which may not be important to a lot of people. Also, I wonder if RS-232 emulation would be doable?

I'll need to keep up with updates for this software.

Regards, Bob Devries
Dalby, Queensland, Australia

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Hello from Down Under!

Thanks for the invitation to this blog site.

I'm looking forward to being able to upload all my coco document files to share with others. I have *so* many. :)

Regards, Bob Devries
Dalby, Queensland, Australia

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Archiving and storing your CoCo stuff!

Let's face it. This CoCo stuff isn't going to last forever. Indeed, one of the main reasons behind the projects currently underway to rebuild the CoCo, either in software or hardware, is because the CoCo itself will someday simple stop working. Components get old and the older they are the harder they get to replace. Software, books, and hardware build back in the 80s isn't going to fare well for long either.

So instead of actually tending my CoCo collection, which is what I should be doing, I thought I'd write up some thoughts on preserving what we have. I decided to start by examining exactly what needs to be archived, and what can be done about it. This is preliminary and based largely on my experience with preserving 200 year old books and 60-year old pulp magazines. A lot of the same principles apply, though.

For supplies, run a Google search on "archival storage." This brings up a nice list of vendors who offer archival quality storage for a variety of applications. I was particularly impressed initially with the offerings from Bags Unlimited, who specialize in comics and magazines, but their line would be easily usable for CoCo collecting needs. (I haven't ordered from anyone yet, nor have I tested any of these products, so look around before you try it.) I tend to use local shops for my archival needs, but may try a few of the products I've seen online today. If I do, I'll report results and impressions, of course.

What's the problem?

The main enemy is exposure. Even exposure to air will slowly damage your CoCo paraphernalia beyond repair. Granted, it takes many years, but it's happening. Water, dirt, chemicals, humidity, temperature and sunlight are also big culprits. I also happen to know that the holding capacity of the original chiclet style keyboard on the CoCo 1 is exactly 3/4 a can of Coca-Cola. Ouch. The goal of any archival quality storage system would be to limit, or possibly eliminate, exposure to these elements. Limiting access to the collection from dumb-asses like me is a good idea, too. :P

For disks, there's unfortunately not a lot you can do to preserve the data intact. To save the information stored on the disk, you have to move it to a new medium. Something that might help would be placing the disk an acid free, air sealed bag. Eventually, though, the magnetic forces holding the data together will degrade and the data will be lost.

So, you have to move it off. I current back everything CoCoish up to the PC, then onto a CD, and also on to a secured online storage site. I saw some gold archival quality DVDs for sale while I was looking around. More research needed on these, of course, but the idea is promising. I remember reading years ago that the average 5 1/4" floppy had a life span of about 5 years. Well, I've got plenty of disks that are way past that, but still best not to take chances. Backups are your best bet.

For manuals, magazines and books, I would strongly recommend archival quality storage bags. There are many different types, with all sorts of claims as to which is more effective. I've tried about all of the out there, over the years, and they all work pretty much the same. Generally speaking, the more you spend per bag, the better they work. For my magazines and very old books, I use polyethylene and change the bag every five years. The reason is that the acid in the papers causes the material to eat itself. This can't be stopped (well, it can be severely arrested with a LOT of time and money), but it can be slowed down considerably. We're talking extending the life of pulp paper (the worst) to 500 years or more! For pennies a bag (well, dimes at least), it's an easy investment for your CoCo collection's printed materials.

Archival storage boxes are also recommended for storing, well, everything. You average cardboard box or storage box, has enough acid in it to eat through your collection and severely damage it in a year or so. Ouch! Acid free boxes are cheap and add an extra layer of protection. the plastic kind are even better, since rats and mice can't chew their way in. Covers are necessary. The plastic tubs you can buy at hardware stores for storing cloths and such are also excellent and tend to be pH neutral.

Use these boxes for everything. Store CoCos, hardware, magazines, manuals, disks... everything... in these acid free or plastic boxes. Store in a cool, dry place. It's general better to store magazines and manuals upright (on their butts), rather than flat or on their spines. Never expose them for too long to direct sunlight. Dust and clean equipment religiously. Anything mechanical should be taken out and "worked" a little, moving the parts around and such, at least once a year. Lint free gloves should be used for anything you want to keep pristine. The acids on your fingers are deadly to your collection. Seems silly, I know, but I'm serious. I've seen 200 and 300 year old books that are perfect except for the one little spot where some doofus put a thumb print and it ate a quarter inch hole in the cover over the years. Yow.

So start, some general recommendations (with specifics to come, hopefully):

Disks, magazines, books, software boxes, and any paper CoCo stuff should be "bagged and boarded." This involves using mylar (polyester) or polyethylene bags and acid free backing boards to store them. I tend to avoid polypropylene bags because, in my experience, they tend to yellow after a couple of years. Never had any damage from them, but still... Drop the bagged items in acid free storage boxes. The stuff used for comic and magazine collecting is very good. You can punch it up a notch and use library quality archival products, but these are exceedingly expensive. Save those for you most treasured and rare CoCo items.

I tend to avoid de-acid products for paper items. They tend to be messy and, to many collectors, alter the original condition of the item. I have used them on pulp magazines that are "reader" copies, or trashed so bad they have no real collectible value. They work, but it's a pain in the ass and the results are mixed, at best.

You DO want to separate individuals pieces. For example, a software box, its inserts, the manual, and the the disk/tape should all be bagged separately, and then bagged together in a larger bag. This helps prevent the different pH levels from mixing and one item causing another item to be damaged. Old Ziplock bags and clamshell cases should definitely be separated from their original contents. These packaging materials are serious suckage. Very bad.

Take precautions against critters getting into the collection. Bag spray, mouse traps, poisons, sonic deterrent systems, small tactic nukes, or whatever your conscience, wife, and budget will allow. (I prefer the good old mouse trap, for example, but the three girls living with me prevent that particular method from being utilized frequently. On the other hand, they have no objection to me nuking bugs and spiders in gruesome ways. Go figure.)

Hardware should be protected using large bags or sheets of the same materials listed above. Then drop them into plastic tubs and containers. Seal the containers and store them in a cool, dry place, preferably indoors. I have a whole closet dedicated to CoCo storage, for example. If that's not feasible, then the driest, most consistent temperature/humidity you can manage.

Eventually, I'll put everything together in the CoCo Collector FAQ. But this is a good place to start for those that are curious about preserving their CoCo collection. Please do share any thoughts or experiences you've had as well!

Angel's Luck,

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Vista, USB and DriveWire, Part 2

My first attempt to get the PC to CoCo connection running via DriveWire on a Windows Vista PC didn't quite work out. For those contemplating the move, here what I've got so far...

You would think I'd know better, but when I ordered up the Serial to USB adapter I went ultra cheap. I purchased a unit made by Prolific out of Taiwan. After hot plugging it, Vista immediately located the correct driver online and loaded it up, without the need to install from CD. Unfortunately, the driver is for XP, not Vista. Still, the ports showed up properly and everything tested out okay.

Next I hooked up the cable that comes with DriveWire to the CoCo. I installed DriveWire onto the PC from a thumbdrive. When run, DriveWire popped up with an error message stating it could not locate the COM ports and quit. Running the server in compatibility modes (I tried Win 95, ME and XP) and with administrator privileges didn't help, alas. Prolific will not be providing Vista drivers, dammit, and is relying on third party vendors to supply them. Serious suckage. The two I was able to locate just crashed the device, and had me spending an hour or so uninstalling and reinstalling shit, so we won't go there.

Then I tried it with the old install I had on my ME machine, copied directly to the thumb drive and then into Vista. That forced DriveWire to fire up (with the old settings) and I was able to manually set it to the COM port selected (I did all tests on COM3 and 4, Vista has hidden COM 1 and 2 somewhere and I can't find 'em... or the Prolific Driver just isn't installing them to begin with... hard to say). This almost worked.

The CoCo, under HDB-DOS, would COPY, BACKUP and load BASIC programs from the server just fine. Unfortunately, it reported an I/O ERROR every time I tried to load a machine language file. Once again back to the compatibility settings, but again to no avail. I did not test it on NitrOS-9, yet.

[Side Note: The compatibility mode in Vista is actually workable and super easy to use and tweak. Other than this, I haven't found anything it won't fix that was built for Win 95 through XP. All my old stuff is working fine on Vista, awaiting it's turn for the full 32-bit Vista treatment. Of course, old DOS stuff won't work at all without an alternate DOS installed, such as DOSBox. For us Tandy fans, DOSBox even emulated Tandy graphics/sound like the old 1000 series!]

I emailed Boisy at Cloud-9 and he was kind enough to make a couple of suggestions and answer questions. (Seriously, Boisy and Mark rock at customer service. Stand behind their products 100%, so buy from these guys without pause.) First, there's no plans for a Vista version of the server, which granted, is asking a bit much. heh. Second, he recommended trying a USB to Serial adapter with the FTDI chipset. He runs DriveWire with such a converter on a Mac and says he's found them to be way more reliable than the Prolific brand.

So that's where I'm at so far. Next week, when there's money in the CoCo-fund again, I'll order up an FTDI chipset serial to USB converter and give that whirl. FTDI just released brand new shiny drivers for Vista, so I'm hopeful. At the very least, I can reasonable eliminate the hardware as the problem. I'll report more when I get it up and running.

Anyone else had success or failure running DriveWire in this manner under Vista? How about on an older machine with serial ports installed? Any thoughts? More to come....

Angel's Luck,

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Sockmaster non-CoCo Fun

While searching out weekend project do while on vacation, and figuring out a Fall project as well (I know I haven't finished the two projects I have going for summer... sheesh!) I stumbled upon this on Instructables:


Both LED projects by our very own Sockmaster! My wife took one look at the fridge project and said "That's awesome! If you touch my fridge I'll kill you." (On the other hand, both our iRobot cleaners died recently, neither of which I was allowed to touch before, so now I get to have a whack at those... bwahahaha!) From reading through it, looks like it could be modified to go somewhere else. Then I got to thinking about how cool it would be to build an LED grid and then hook it up to the CoCo somehow so that you could program it via a PIC to display simple pictures like this... and then promptly realized I wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to go about it. Still, it'd be cool... heh

Anyhow, if you like to Make stuff, be sure to check out Instructables, and in particular Sockmasters contributions. The LED indirect light project is one I've already got several uses for and have started putting together to light bookcases and my wife's makeup stand. Very cool stuff!

Angel's Luck,

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Becker CoCo 3 FPGA Nearly Complete

Exciting news for CoCo fans everywhere! Gary L Becker has nearly completed his implementation of a CoCo 3 in an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array). See it and get the technical details here:


Mr. Becker says he'll be releasing the code to program an FPGA via the GNU General Public License, which means that soon, those inclined will be able to build their own CoCo 3 using this technique. He also posted information to the maltedmedia CoCo list about the board he used. It's available here:

Digilent Inc. - Digital Design Engineer's Source

This opens up a world of possibilities for developing the CoCo in hardware. Very cool stuff. Check it out!

Angel's Luck,

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

CoCo Group on MySpace

Nemo has started a CoCo group on Myspace.


While there's certainly a spam factor on MySpace, I've never had much trouble. Plus it's fun to play with. heh... Only a couple of users so far, so join in!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

No CoCo news or updates, but I got a new PC! :)

I surfed around CoCo-land a few days ago, and actually for the last few weeks, and just haven't really found anything interesting to write about. And alas, that damn Harry Potter has been eating up all my time of late. Being a bookseller by trade, I suppose I do have to prepare for the biggest fargin' book release in history. But it really cuts into my CoCo time.

On the pimping front, I did manage to get the 6309 socketed in the GlowCo, but it wouldn't fire. Pretty sure I botched a connection, so I'll have to go back through all 40 and figure out which one(s) a goofed. I suck at soldering almost, but not quite as, bad as I do at desoldering. heh. On the other hand, I'm learning loads about the guts of the CoCo and electronics in general. Fun stuff. And handy, too. I wired up a cool LED wand for my HP costume. (Yes, I have to hold a giant party at the store, and yes, I have to go in costume. If you're in Tulsa, stop by! It's going to be a blast). CoCo stuff can lead and lend itself to all sorts of interesting things.

Mostly, though, I've been playing CoCo games. Pretty much anything and everything, which will be great for website updates, if I ever get around to doing that again.

I did buy a new PC, as well. Just a Dell out of the cheapseats, but considering it's the first new PC I've had in many, many moons, it seems pretty sweet to me. Nice big fat widescreen monitor, gobs of hard drive space. I actually like Vista, though I need to spend some time gutting out all the crap MS and Dell loaded on it. I know it has nay sayers, and saying you like an MS product is tantamount to heresy in the CoCo world... heh... but I'm enjoying the hell out of it. The CoCo is partially an MS product, after all.

Alas, it has no floppies (nor anyplace to hook one up) and no serial ports. So that means no DriveWire! Arg! From a modern standpoint, it simplifies the crap out of the thing. The machine is small, quick, and easy to use. From a retro-point of view, it's a nightmare. I suppose it's a good thing, though. I'll get an opportunity to try out how DriveWire works when run through a Serial-to-USB adapter. I'll letcha know how it works out.

Anyhoo... If you have any CoCo News, send it this way. There's not whole lot of action out there at the moment, but there's plenty of stuff in progress from what I can tell. If you'd like me to post an update on your projects, or any other CoCo announcement for that matter, drop a note to coco@clubltdstudios.com

Angel's Luck,

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Lomont does 6309s

Chris Lomont of lomont.org has obtained a batch of Hitachi 63C09EPs and is offering them up for sale at $20 a piece plus $8 shipping in the U.S. You can order them from his CoCo blog at http://www.lomont.org/Software/Misc/CoCo/

This is a great deal because these chips often go for $30 to $50 or more each! The 6309 is a replacement for the CoCo's 6809. The C version of the EP chip is perfect for pimping out a CoCo 3. This was the last revision of the part and can run at 3Mhz. (Although getting a CoCo to actually run at 3Mhz is a bit tricky, from what I've read so far.) The chip was also produced in A and B versions. This is a direct and fully compatible replacement chip for the Motorola 68B09EP that comes with the CoCo 3. The Hitachi part also includes optimizations and extra instructions that can speed up operation, with the right software, even without clocking the chip faster. NitrOS-9 even comes in a 6309 version. Serious soldering/desoldering skills are required to perform this upgrade.

Trivia: Did you know that Commodore made a 6809-based machine?!? Yup. The SuperPET 9000 was a duel processor machine that had both a MOS 6502 and a Motorola 6809 in the same box! Commodore almost got it right. ha!

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

New Edition CoCo Nutz! E-Zine

Mary Kramer and crew have published the latest edition of CoCo Nutz! E-Zine. Now subtitled, "The Life and Time of the Color Computer." If that sounds familiar, that's because Steve Bjork is doing the typesetting and layouts. :) It's gorgeous. There are now two versions to download; a print version with much sharper graphics, and a screen version with lower res pics, but much smaller file size. The screen version is fine for reading through, but high speed users will probably want to grab the print version of the pdf anyhow. Big difference.

This issue, Vol.2 Iss. 2, is packed with CoCo Goodness. I still haven't read through everything yet, but highlights include an interview with Steve Bjork, an interview with Sockmaster (plus some bonus Sockmaster one liners), and a review of Sock's Donkey Kong by Briza. I'll run it down a bit more in tonight's Sunday CoCoist. But in the meantime, get ye to one of the sites below and get to reading this latest issue. Top notch and two big thumbs up!


On Steve's Life and Times of The Color Computer site.

Kinda hard to find on coco3.com, scroll down to "Non Categorized Content" near the middle of the page. Back issues are available here as well.

Angel's Luck,

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Sunday CoCoist 5/27/07

The Sunday CoCoist

[Date fixed 6/2/07. Wacky green bold text fixed. Oops. -CC] It's been two weeks, so what's up with the cheesy little post, you ask? Well, there really hasn't been a whole lot to comment on. heh! While there's plenty of CoCo Good Stuff rolling along out there in CoCo land, including the mentions in the last few Sunday CoCoists, it seems like everyone's quite busy off actually doing it! That, of course, is pretty darn exciting, as is. If I catch anything that breaks suddenly, though, I'll throw up a news post.

Inside the Evil Lab

Of course, I could be writing my own CoCo articles. Ahem. Tonight I'll be having a wee bit of CoCo quality time. With luck, on Wednesday I'll get into the lab and have some Pimpin' to report. Specifically, the 40 pin socket has been sitting there for three weeks just begging to be soldered onto the GloCo's board, an I haven't even looked sideways at it. Sigh.

I'm also going to try to get a bunch of those old tapes I've acquired of late onto floppies. Then try to whack 'em into shape to run properly on an RGB CoCo 3. Over on CoCo Downunder, they guys have an archive of games that have been patched already. I haven't had a chance to peek at them and the site doesn't list the contents, but it might be worth a look if there's one you need. A quick look at the archive doesn't reveal anything I recognize (maybe a Cuthbert game), but you'd really want to dig into the .dsk images. Go on, you know it'll be fun.

Anyhow, the tapes I have include old Hot CoCo Instant CoCo tapes, some utilities, and a game or two. Anything post-able will go up ASAP.


Randy posted an interesting article to the CoCo Downunder blog about Glen Dahlgren of Sundog fame. Good historical and chronological list of games and information about the man behind one of the most successful CoCo game companies. If anyone has any more information about Glen or his current whereabouts, be sure to email Randy.

While you're there, don't forget to stop by the downloads sections. More and more stuff being added all the time.

Darren A. has updated/added his CoCoDisk utility here: www.coco3.com/users/DarrenA/. The program runs under Windows and adds a GUI based method for making real CoCo disks on your PC. I couldn't test it, on account I don't have a floppy in my PC, but it looks pretty straight forward and easy to use. If you need to transfer files from your PC to your CoCo from .dsk images, this is just the thing!

Sites To See

This week I thought it would be interesting to browse a bit deeper into CoCo super genius Tim Lindner's site, called "frakendirary," at tlindner.macmess.org. Tim's site is primarily his personal journal, which is a good read and well presented using WordPress. Now my daughter's both want a Tinkerbell room, as well. Thanks, Tim. I love painting.

The CoCo aspect of the site, though, consists of several pages including some excellent technical resources for programmers and hardware hackers. There's information on how to copy the protected Diecom floppy disks, technical information on the Diecom Light Gun, and The Rat graphic system. Of particular interest is the extensive information Tim has written and collected about the Tandy Speech/Sound pak, including the difficult to obtain manual and technical reference.

Additional handy technical stuff include one page printout reference sheets, designed by Tim, on the 6309 and the CoCo's PIAs. There's also a reproduction of several Byte articles from 1979 about the creation of the shiny new 6809. Fascinating reading!

Tim's site is a great not because the volume of content, or attempt there of, but because what's there is complete and infinitely useful. You could spend months playing with this information and it is definitely a site every serious CoCoist should be checking in with regularly.

Angel's Luck,

PS Heh. I hit SAVE as draft instead of PUBLISH, so this one's late, too. Let's just make it a tradition. :)

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Buying Cars, CoCo Updates, and Other Fun Stuff

Sorry about the lack of posts, folks. (Although the concern and emails have been greatly appreciated, and no I'm not dead or incapacitated. heh!) My old Ford Escort finally died a horribly death and I've been stressing and scrambling through the process of buying a new car. Which, by the way, is a wholly evil and mind numbing experience. Sheesh! Just looking and price bickering took a four freakin' days! Anyhoo, that's about over...

CoCo-wise, there hasn't been too much to report, though I urge everyone to keep up with the V.R. CoCo 4 project. No website yet, but the message board at coco3.com is a good place to keep tabs for now. Hopefully we'll see some designs, code and testing soon. Should be a blast! I did pick up a few bits for The Sunday CoCoists, which will be back at it's irregularly scheduled time next week. Probably. :) And I'm prepping a CoCo Collector post for late tonight.

I haven't gotten to get on my CoCo for a week. I know, horror, right? It's hell believe me. But I did steal a couple of minutes to start cleaning up the GloCo's main board where I'd unassed the 6809 and will hopefully get a shot at soldering in the socket for 6309. This will be the B version (2 Mhz) for now, but I'm looking forward to trying it out with NitrOS-9 and anything else I can dig up that will use the chip's advanced features. Also, have to locate (or upgrade) an MPI soon, so that's on the list. Of course, since I just sold my soul to the bank for the next three years, we'll have to see on that one. heh... More as it develops.

Tune in and Stay tuned!

Angel's Luck,

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

5/13/07 The Sunday CoCoist

The Sunday CoCoist
May 13th, 2007

Shall The CoCo C?

Chris Lamont has updated his CoCo page to include a 6809/6309 based disassembler. His work is a step toward building a C/C++ compiler for the CoCo 3, as reported earlier. Also included are his thoughts on the project, pointing out that the compiler would most likely be a C with some C++ like features. Also as reported, this is all way over my head. heh! But it's also terribly exciting. To see just how far over my head, check out this thread on coco3.com's message forums.

Besides the technical details, however, the development Chris is doing is hugely significant. For a lot of CoCoists, yours truly included, being able to punch out some C++ code easily, in say Visual Studio, would be a massive boon. Many potential CoCo programmers wouldn't even need to learn a new language. Having a modern C++ compiler would also lower the learning curve for many other programmers, at least a lot less than learning assembly. And plenty of applications and games could be ported to the CoCo much easier. The amount of quality software for the CoCo would explode!

Keep your fingers crossed and send extra brain cycles Mr. Lamont's way.

V.R. CoCo Reality

Yup, more on the V.R. CoCo 4. Mainly because the more I hear about it, the better it sounds. Steve Bjork posted a "back on track" message to the coco3.com message board that goes a long way toward solidifying, in my mind at least, what this is all about. He also took time to answer some specific questions. As mentioned last time, I'm really interested in a new CoCo 3. Or rather, a way to build an old one. As Steve mentions in his post, eventually these old machines aren't going to work anymore. Vintage disks and disk drives, and the CoCo 3 hardware itself, are already past their working life span (about 20 years). The electronics in a well maintained CoCo 3 could last quite a bit longer, of course. But eventually...

So having a CoCo 3 replacement that uses modern components is a pretty good idea. The V.R. CoCo project's idea is: Why not upgrade it a bit while we're at it? Why not build it around an extensible system as well? Sounds like a good plan, actually. Read the threads and see what you think. It should be interesting to see how it develops.

Download of the Week

This week I'm going to give some snaps to the CoCo's little brother, the MC-10. Our link will point us to Charlie's MC-10 Files and Links. The site includes fun programs for the 10er by chazbeenhad, as well as an amazing Pac Man clone by Greg Dionne. Snag an MC-10 emulator while you're there. Did you know that there's a voice synthesizer and an Extended BASIC for the MC-10? Well, follow the links at this site and it shall be so. :)

Tune In & Stay Tuned!

Angel's Luck,

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