Saturday, April 28, 2007

4/29/07 The Sunday CoCoist

The Sunday CoCoist!

This edition of The Sunday CoCoist is either early, or really late. heh! I have to work all night Sunday, and alas it one of those must be done things. So I'm starting this on Saturday night, but it might not get posted until Monday night. On with the show...

In Your Face(book)

Derek Snider and James "RC" McNary have created a Color Computer Facebook network. As I write this, it already has ten members and a nice photo gallery going. Facebook is a great way to network with other people, without the flash, ads, and annoying bits of some other people network sites. Yet another way to join up with other CoCoists!

A New Compiler?

From the oh-man-yes! file, there's an interesting thread on's message board about choosing an assembler. In it, Chris Lomont, who I've profiled here before, mentions the possibility of doing a full blown, modern C++ compiler for the CoCo. While development would take place on the PC, it could potentially compile to highly optimized 6809 code and perhaps even output to a dsk image. Something like this would launch CoCo development about 20 years forward. :)

Downloads O' The Week

Militant Buddist recently posted the Diecom collection archive (originally put together by Briza), so I thought it was a great time bring up his site. While there's plenty of good reading about CoCo's here, there's also a 12MB CoCo download packed full of magazines, games, adventures, edutainment and just about anything else you could want. It is a pile big enough to keep any CoCoists happy for months. Download the Diecom archive as well and you may not get back to your PC for awhile.

CoCo On the Brain - The CoCo 4

Okay, this is the IMHO part. Thought we could try out an opinion section of this post and see how it flies. This week I've been thinking a lot about a the CoCo 4 and the VR CoCo project.

Starting with the "let me be frank" part, I really don't have much interest in a CoCo 4. I like CoCos. The last Color Computer built was the 3 from Tandy. That's it for the CoCo. Anything past that isn't. My personal interest is in those vintage machines, the TRS-80 and Tandy Color Computers. The odd little box with the green screen is it for me.

That said, I do think that a project to build a new system inspired by the CoCo, and even maintaining at least some compatibility and features with the old machines, is a wonderful idea. It's a fabulous endeavor from a hobbyist perspective. Seeing it built would be exceedingly cool. A fast, self contained, built it, program it yourself box that does CoCo-like things, maintains the open spirit of the CoCo, and is built by a like minded community could be a huge deal. Why shouldn't the CoCo 4, or VR CoCo, or whatever it ends up being called, be the next open source hot item? Works for me.

To me, we already have a "CoCo 4," or at least a CoCo 3.5. You can build one yourself. Add mass storage, upgrade the display, add at least 512K (or more), pop in a 6309 and I say you're there. Add an OS upgrade, like NitrOS-9, and you've got a machine that's the same, but still vastly different than the machine we grew up with. Do so, and you've gone way beyond what Tandy intended for the CoCo.

One of the concerns about a CoCo 4 project, and one I share, is that it will take away development from the CoCo 3. There's still plenty to be done, and that can be done, with the CoCo 3. For example, just to take a personal recent interest, we have the wonderful and powerful operating system that takes an advanced degree to learn how to use. Okay, that's overstating a bit, but still, it could be easier. Why isn't NitrOS-9 used on every CoCo 3 by now? We have a few people who put a tremendous amount of work into this thing, did an amazing job making it work, and few people use it or develop for it. The community needs to step up and support it. How about a nice and simple interface, something like the old Norton Commander (NitrOS Commander?), to make operating NitrOS-9 a little easier?

Better programming tools would a boon. Why does it take so much searching and insider knowledge to locate a C compiler for OS-9? There should be a NitrOS BASIC. More people building hardware would be a great idea. Why can't we have a community designed 512K upgrade board, publish the plans and parts lists, and let folks build it themselves? And have half a dozen folks building and selling them to those that don't want to build it themselves? I'm not suggesting undermining the business of those who already offer such products, but let's face it, no one's going to get rich selling CoCo stuff. A 512K upgrade should be so common the cost should be negligible. 1 MB, 2MB and up boards should be premium items, of course. As should the software, hardware, and drivers to make use of them. So for some items, why not do it under some common license. Short of a lack of chips, why don't a dozen people offer 6309 upgrade services? Those are just examples, of course, but there's a lot of stuff like that still doable for the CoCo 3, particularly as community projects.

There are, of course, good reasons why some of the above aren't being done. I'm just saying they could be done. There are plenty of very smart people in the CoCo Community and they're out there doing some amazing things. Alone for the most part. Then there's a bunch of people who, like yours truly, don't have the technical knowledge to pull off some of those amazing things. But there's plenty we could do. Starting with massive support of what's out there already.

The CoCo 4 project is about bringing a bunch of like minded hobbyists together to create something new and exciting out of the Color Computer. I think that's great. But I also think there's plenty of excitement left in the ol' Tandy girl. As such, the CoCo 4 isn't so much about a new machine, but more about a call to action.

It's about getting involved with the CoCo community. It doesn't matter if you can program, understand 6809 machine code as a first language, or dream in binary. It doesn't matter if you don't know the difference between a diode and a dog biscuit, or are not quite sure which end of the soldering iron to hold. I can honestly say I am firmly in that category. But get in there and do something with, for and/or about your CoCo. Submit a game review or a one-liner to Mary's CoCo Nutz E-zine. Buy stuff from anyone selling new CoCo products. Write a blog. Join a chat. Post to the message boards. Write a goofy BASIC program and share it. Offer to scan documentation. Track down an author of an old program and get them to rerelease it. We need as many users as we do creators. But the users can't be the silent majority. Speak up and speak out! Get involved with the CoCo and the people that make it what it is today.

There may be a CoCo 4 eventually. And if so, I'll be the first in line to say hoorah. But to me, we're talking about the next generation Color Computer. A CoCo for the modern hobbyist. The CoCo has always been about the people who use it. The beauty of the design, more than any other 8-bit, is that it takes on the personality of the owner. A 6809 in a box, it's been called. You make the CoCo what you want it to be. If that's the case, then the CoCo 4 isn't in our future. It was done in 1986 and folks have been building it for over 20 years.

Angel's Luck,

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

Stinkin' Spammers, Part 2

I think I ticked someone off... heh... :)

I sent out email to all registered users of the CoCo Hut message board, but here it is again just in case:

Unfortunately, some spammers got through to the board today and posted some, er, rather graphic pictures.  I sincerely apologize to anyone who stumbled into them before I could get them nuked.

The board IS completely safe (well, as safe as any phpBB board). It won't execute scripts or anything like that, or anything that someone could use to compromise a remote computer. If you see a message from someone who's name is not underlined (linked), those are the ones to avoid. Shouldn't see those anymore, but just in case, that's how you can tell. I have locked down the forums they got into, as well, and modified the scripts to stop the issue from happening again.

Again, my apologies. If you have any concerns, please don't hesitate to write.

Basically, some porn got stuck in there. And it wasn't even good porn. Sheesh! I change the scripts a bit and added a phpBB update tonight. So it should be locked down. Posting a dirty picture or two, by the way, is about the worse thing they can do. No serious damage. But, if it offended anyone, I am truly sorry. Steps have been taken to purge this peril from our midsts. :)

Angel's Luck,

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

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Sunday CoCoist 4/22/07

Welcome to the first issue of the Sunday CoCoist.  No idea what this will be, or even if it'll continue (let me know), but I'm jazzed up on coffee and figure I might as well post something. :)

So let's start with a little stroll around CoCo-land and see what's up.  It's been a little quite on the ol' CoCo Front of late.  Things are cookin', though. So stay tuned.  Even still, there's some interesting stuff you won't want to miss.

First stop is Allen Huffman's blog.  Allen's blog is great because he's posting CoCoFest photos and videos, and it's a blast to go through them.  Now he's got more YouTube video of The Last Ninja up for viewing, as well as pictures from this year and last year's CoCoFest.  Allen's photo collection now contains CoCo conventions dating back to the 1994 AtlantaFest!  Let's see, there's also photos of the CoCo 3 prototype!  Also can't wait for Mary's Steve Bjork interview.  Did I mention I was an unabashed fan?  Well... there you go.  I hope Allen gets a chance to write up a little bit about some of this stuff and add some captions, of course, but just flipping through the photos is a blast.  Awesome and you'll probably spend a whole evening there poking around.

As mentioned earlier this week, Curtis Boyle has done some extensive updating on The CoCo Games List site.  Also included is an RSS feed, which means it's even easier now to stay up to date and feed the CoCo games addiction.  I mention the games list Curtis maintains a lot, but I should also point to the main site at since there's plenty of CoCo Goodness there as well, including the original Radio Shack CoCo 3 demo!

Over at CoCo Downunder, there's an interesting entry from Randy recounting some of the history and rumors surrounding Diecom and Dave Dies.  Excellent and fascinating reading. You'll also want to be browsing their recently updated download section for piles of CoCo fun. :)

I should probably add a rant or a ramble in here, but alas, it's bed time and I must work in the morning.  So, I'll come up with some good ranting for next week.  Both barrels.  Ha ha!  Okay, maybe we'll just do another news round up... but it'll be something. :)

Angel's Luck,


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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Very Little Pimpin' But Some Progress

I haven't had a ton of time to work on the CoCo mod, on account I apparently have to do yard work, repair fences, clean the garage and such. Geez. Oh, and I finally got around to putting up some peg board in the workshop to hang some of the growing collection of tools. Ever notice how something little makes a world of difference? That's what peg board is like. It's not hard to hang. Just a pain in the ass doing it by yourself (hold the peg board up with one hand, screw it to the frame with the other... gah!), so it's a put it off thing. I should have done it a year ago. Anyhow, score one for the life is easier, dept.

Here's some more shots of things in progress. I did finally land a CoCo 3 to use the board out of for the GloCo, since I trashed the original one trying to unass the 6809. True, I'll probably trash this one too, but I got it cheap, so... Okay, let's keep our fingers crossed I can get the job done. While we're at it we'll do a quick CoCo 3 break down. And fire it up to make sure everything works.

For those that already know all this stuff, skip it. Just haven't done a break down article in a long time, so figured since I had the pics, I'd run one. Not a lot of detail here, but the point is to encourage more folks to take the plunge.

First step is to remove all the screws from the bottom of the case. One of them is located under the warranty seal. Punch right through and pop that sucker's cherry.

It helps to turn the case on it's side like this while you're unscrewing the screws. Do one screw at a time and dump it into your hand. A magnetic screwdriver will also work, if you prefer. (You can do it with a regular screwdriver. Just give a sharp smack on the edge of your work bench. It'll magnetize the crap out of it. Consider that you'll need an electro-magnetic coil or demagnetizer to return it to normal.)

After dumping the screws out, save them in a safe place. Dixie cups work nice, those little electronics tubes are handy, or put 'em in an envelope. You'll also want to note that the front screws are shorter than the back screws. But sure to use the right ones in the right place when reassembling.

That screw driver, by the way, is probably the best powered one I've ever owned. It's a Kobalt Lithium-Ion little guy I picked up at Lowe's. It's light, comfy and has just the right amount of torque. Not enough to strip the threads, but just enough to loosen most normal screws. And runs for a long time on a single charge so, unlike many cordless tools that are only good for short projects, you can use this screwdriver a lot. Very nice, highly recommended.

This board was pretty clean, but dusty. A little canned air takes care of that nicely. This is Velocity brand from Radio Shack. You can get canned air cheaper if you shop around a bit, but hey, I was there. Thing about canned air is, if the outside says it won't cause condensation or leak water, it's a) full of shit and b) full of shit. Use it in short bursts and don't tip it more than 30 or 40 degrees, or it'll wet itself.

Here's another one of those easy but do it slow and steady operations. Remove the flat keyboard cable by lifting the keyboard up, off it's posts, and down a little. Then gently pull the cable out of the socket. They stick a bit sometimes, so use two hands and wiggle it just a smidgen, if needed. The plastic cable is fairly tough, but it will rip if mishandled.

Then unplug the power transformer from the board. You might need to use a flathead screwdriver to very gently pull back on the clip that holds the plug in.

The rest is pretty straight forward. Remove all the screws holding the main board down. There's two over by the pak slot that have to come out and two little brackets you'll want to save. Also note that there are two copper clips at the bottom of the board. These being the keyboard grounds. You'll want to keep those as well. The transformer has two screws holding it down. Just be sure to grab and lift it low cause the top cage will come off when you lift. I didn't take pictures of all this on account I figure we've already got enough pictures of me unscrewing things.

For now, I've installed the original CoCo power transformer in the GloCo. This will do until I get up the guts to convert it to the PC power supply. Still not entirely clear on how that works, but we'll throw the whole thing off that bridge when we get to it. There's actually nothing wrong with the CoCo's transformer, it just won't power anything else (easily).

Here it is all put together. Step the next is easy. Install the 512K upgrade board. The step after that is not too easy. Upgrade the microprocessor. Looking forward to giving it another try, though. I learned a lot in the last attempt, and have since gotten a few more pointers from some clever folks that actually know what they're doing, so I'm cautiously optimistic. :)

Here it is up and running. This was actually an important test, because I needed to know if the fan, power boxes, and lights would cause any interference. They don't. If they had that would have seriously sucked.

The drives are up and running too, which was the other major accomplishment. They're 5 1/4" 40-track, double sided 360K drives hooked up to a 26-3129 controller. Currently, they're crammed into an old FD-501 case. I'll need to find a Disk BASIC compatible DOS to run them to their full potential temporarily. NitrOS-9 works nicely with them, though. Still can't get the top drive to format or DSKINI, but they do everything else including load, save, copy, backup, etc. That's good enough for now. The goal is to replace the top drive with a 3 1/2" eventually, anyhow.

So, this will probably be the last Pimp My CoCo update on this project for a little while. I'll do another post when the upgrades are in place and running. Though, if anything interesting comes up, I'll post before then. At this point, the goal is to get the thing running so I can start using it. Then we'll house the drives, power supply, VGA adapter and all that other stuff in a nice, painted case. Also need to upgrade an MPI and paint it black for use with this guy as well. Plenty to do, but at least there's some light peeking out at the end of the tunnel. :)

Angel's Luck,

Friday, April 20, 2007

CoCo Downunder Downloads!

If you haven't popped by CoCo Downunder lately, get thee there in a quick! Briza, David, Randy and Bob have added piles of great CoCo software including apps and games for download. Great stuff. Rare stuff you won't see anywhere else. Tis true CoCo joy. They've also started a OS-9 downloads section that contains stuff that might actually even get me to get serious about the OS. ;)

Hit it here:

Coco Downunder

Angel's Luck,


Note: This post was edited on 4/21/07 to update and add a correction. See Comments.

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@#$&*#ing Spammers

We now break from our regularly scheduled CoCo-loving for a quick word from our maintenance department:

All spammers must die.

Thank you.

I've spent the last couple of days fighting off an attack to my email accounts. Sigh. After 6000+ spams in 24 hours, I finally had to break down and turn on the servers spam filters. I use Yahoo Small Business Internet Services and their SpamGuard is actually pretty good. I just like to have all my mail and deal with it myself. heh.

Anyhow, I had to turn on the spam filters and ramp 'em up to the most aggressive level. As of right now, all legitimate mail I was able to snag has been answered. If you haven't had a response from me (and are expecting one) please drop a note here (hit comment below) and let me know. I'll get it fixed and email you right back.

And to my lovely secret spam admirer: I've tracked where you're broadcasting from, I know it's out of this country... but someday I will be ripping both your arms off and make you eat them. In the meantime there's a little surprise waiting for you at your hub connection. Enjoy figuring that one out, you @#$&*er. Have a nice day.

Angel's Luck,

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wintermute tips the Hut

Blog Tipping.  Love it.  Haven't heard that one before, but then again I don't read a lot of blogs that aren't about CoCos. :)  Wintermute was kind enough to give The CoCo Hut, Brian's CoCo/Model III Repak blog, and David and Briza's CoCo Downunder a mention on his April 2, 2007 entry.  You can read it here:

Blogtipping for April 2007 - Wintermute's Blog

Many thanks, amigo, and glad you like it. 

As for the posting frequency he tips, well... I'll work on it.  See, if I picked a regular posting frequency I'd never hit it.  And then I'd be all in fits trying to get caught up.  And then it wouldn't get done because I'd lock up.  And then...   Okay, I'll try. :)

I think one way to do a regular entry would be having a regular column of sorts.  The Comments just kind of pop up when they stick and my head WHILE I happen to be sitting at the computer (see previous post on ATTR command).  Clearly, those aren't planned.  News when it occurs, of course.  Can't help that.  Pimp My CoCo is contingent on me actually getting out in the Evil Lab and actually working on it.  (Sans little girls running around while I'm using power tools and electricity.  Bad combination.)  So...

Two off the top my head thoughts.  First, I could go back to doing a regular CoCo history post.  I use to this in the old CoCo Collector and it always went over big.  This would be me picking something pretty much at random (whatever strikes my fancy at the moment... yes, I have a fancy... shuddap) and posting everything I come up with. Another similar concept would be posting about a particular aspect of the CoCo, like BASIC command of the month, or hack of the month, or something like that.  Couldn't promise that more than once a month, but I could pick a due date and mostly stick with it.

The second would be a weekly CoCo Roundup.  I did this a bit early on, but it never got a lot of responses.  And when I quite, no one noticed.  Course I'm pretty sure there were only two readers at the time, and one of them was my wife (who has since lost complete interest).  I'm pretty sure there's at least four readers now.  Well, apparently five.  :)  Anyhow, that could be done, say, late Sunday nights for posting every Monday.  It involves me hitting certain sites, message boards, mailing lists and google searches and just yammering about what comes up.

Regardless, drop a note this way and let me know if something more regular like the above, or anything else for that matter, would be of interest.  Just hit the comment link below, or email this way.

And thanks again to Wintermute for the mention!  While you're over there, be sure to read through the rest of his posts.  Great stuff on technology, implications and how to use it (and not).  I can sympathize. heh...

Angel's Luck,


discuss this post (and other CoCo Goodness) in the CoCo Hut Message board!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Color Computer Games page does RSS

L. Curtis Boyle has been busily adding tons of new game listings to:

Tandy (TRS-80) Color Computer Games

He also has The Last Ninja screen shots and movies shot by Allen Huffman at CoCoFest.  Great stuff!  Keep your fingers crossed that we'll see this game sometime soon.

More important, though, Curtis has added an RSS feed to the page.  Now you can get the updates as they occur via your RSS reader (I recommend Firefox, of course. heh!)  Great stuff and two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Another interesting bit is the edition of an Author Index and a Timeline index.  While these aren't entirely complete yet, they make fantastic additions to the site and aid in historical research as well.

Just this month, Curtis has added tons of downloads and author collections.  If  you need games to play on your CoCo, there's more here than you could get to in a lifetime.  Kudos and thanks to Curtis!

Angel's Luck,


Stop in the CoCo Hut Message Board to discuss this site and others!

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The ATTR command, Or a pretty good Microware joke

I've been resolved for some time to post more entries about actually, you know, using the CoCo. Then I get distracted with things like building 'em and collecting 'em and writing about 'em and making web sites about 'em. That's great, of course. Sharing is part of the experience. But I still need to make more of an effort to post stuff about using our beloved machine.

So the other night I'm floundering about on the keyboard, as I am wont to do as I am having no particular programming skill to speak of, and I decide I need a snazzy title screen for the game I'm failing to get put together. When you hit a brick wall in the programming department, it's always a good idea to have a backup plan. Like, say, making it purdier. I'm pretty sure all opening/title screens for programs come about this way.

Game Developer: So, um, how do we do that?
Game Programmer: I dunno.
Game Developer: Well, we're getting paid for making games, you know, so we should, um, do something.
Game Programmer: We could make a really pretty title screen and opening graphics?
Game Artist: You should make a spinning 3D logo with lightning bolts shooting out of it.
Game Programmer: Um, yeah, well, that would really be....
Game Developer: There, see, that's perfect! Let's do that!
Game Programmer: But I'm pretty sure it would take longer than....
Game Developer: Great! Now do we start with the logo or the lightning bolts?
Game Artist: [grinning evilly] I'm going to get a soda.
Game Programmer: Bast...

This is also why most games are delayed several months, or even years. The opening title sequences are actually more difficult to do than the game. David Letterman once said, "Sometimes something worth doing is worth overdoing." That's my motto.

All I really wanted to do was have some colored text display the game title, credits, and notices on a black background. To snazz it up a bit, I though the text should be different colors for each line. The game is only in SG6 mode, so we don't want to go overboard.

Okay, yeah we do.

So there's the standard reversed video method, but you don't get different text colors that way. On the other hand, the 40/80 column modes can have different background/foreground colors. That would work. Though I should also look at printing it on the HSCREEN and that way I could add graphics later, if so inclined.

So HSCREEN sucks. The enhanced video modes of the CoCo 3 are great, but accessing them in BASIC is not really practical. I'm sure there's something one could do with it, but mostly it's so slow it blows. Yes, it blows and it sucks. So there.

That left the 40/80 column "hi-res text screen" mode. They have their own suckiness, but they're good enough. (As far as Color BASIC goes, those enhanced modes and screens have a serious "tacked on" feel to them.) Except that now I have to mess about with the ATTR command.

To be fair, using ATTR isn't that tough. The command uses PALETTE slots 8-15 for the foreground and 0-7 for the background. (Why are they backwards? Why not 0-7 for the foreground, which is specified first in the command? I'm sure there's a technical explaination revolving around how the CoCo is setting the bits, but still... sheesh!) Easy enough, but some doofus stuck the weirdest ass default colors in the default foreground selection. They go: black, green, black, buff, black, green, black, orange. Huh? It's like whoever did that part of the code said, "Ha! This'll be funny! Who needs text other than black, green, buff and orange anyhow! Bwahahahaha!" Or maybe it was, "Hurry, dude! The suits from Tandy are here!"

The background colors, by the way, follow the normal generic 8 color scheme. Go figure. To fix it, you have to reload the ATTR foreground pallette slots, 8 through 15, with the correct colors. Thus, one must dig out the old color chart, or make one, and look up each generic code and then load the PALETTE with the correct value. Can you say, Pain In The Ass? I thought you could.

So you do one of these:

100 FOR X=8 TO 15
110 READ C
130 NEXT X
140 DATA 0,18,54,9,36,63,31,38

The DATA statements are the colors I selected. Notice that I substituted orange (38 in slot 15) for magenta. Green would normally start at slot 8 (yellow in 9, etc.) and orange would be in slot 15. I wanted black in slot 8 so that black-on-something-text would work as well. Also ATTR 0,0 to get black on black. I have my reasons. :P

While I'm bitching, why blink and underline? The ATTR command has two switches, B and U, that allow these two attributes to be applied to your text. e.g. ATTR 2,2,B would blink. Why? Because other 8-bits at the time could do that? Because no one ever used those features on other 8-bits? Meaning CoCo users would? Italic and bold would have been more handy.

Now, granted, most people are going to change the colors anyway. There are plenty of colors in the CoCo's palette that look great for title screens. Some are very high contrast (which is why you see them in games so often) and look very nice. But there should be a base set, and it seems to me the base set should be the standard colors (green, yellow, blue, red... etc.) I know, I know. Nag, nag, nag.

Anyhoo, now I've got my fancy title and instruction screens, which are probably longer than the actual game program. heh. The title flashes colors by rotating the PALETTE. There's sound, there's dancing girls, there's 3D spinning dervishes, it's a true multimedia experience, let me tell ya. (Editor's Note: Not really.) Still, it took a lot longer and a lot more effort than it should have. Once you get the hang of it, you can make some pretty cool text effects, and some nice looking screens, with ATTR. But it's kind of a pain, anyhow.

At least the title screen is done. Drat, now I actually have to go back to programing the game.

Maybe it needs a save score to disk feature. Hmmm... yeah, that would kill some time and a ton of unnecessary bytes. :)

Angel's Luck,

Friday, April 13, 2007

Look Ma, A Site Update

I have, of course, been a bit lax in updating the website proper. As I've said before, blogging is just so damn easy, it's more efficient to post here than make up a new web page. But... there is something more permanent and more thorough about a web site. A blog entry and a proper web page both have their place and purposes. Anyhoo...

I did a bit of updating to the web page. The front page is something I've been messing about with for awhile. I've also been playing with a whole other system of doing web sites, called php-nuke, which is pretty cool as well, but would require quite a few people to maintain. If I push that project any further, I'll letch'all know. In the meantime, most of the formating is done for the CoCo Hut, and I just need to methodically go through and update the pages and add the new content.

And boy is there content. I've got tons of pictures and half assed articles done. I'm hoping to get to spend I little time each week, over the next few months, updating everything and adding stuff in. Drop in occasionally, take a look around, and let me know what ya think. You can post a comment here, pop into the CoCo Hut Message Board, or drop me email at

And if there's something specific you'd like to see, drop a note and I'll see what I can do!

Angel's Luck,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

DK A Hit!

The consensus is in! 100% of little girls under the age of seven in my house say Sock Master's Donkey Kong conversion is a hit. (Hey, if Al Gore can claim a consensus on "global warming" I can claim a consensus with a test set of two little girls. heh!)

DK is a huge hit here!

In other CoCo goings on at the Evil Lab, I'm gathering materials to do the electronics work on the GloCo but have questions. I've also embarked on another game project. I wouldn't keep my fingers crossed, but if it works it'll be absolutely... er... odd.

Angel's Luck,

Monday, April 02, 2007

Allen Huffman blog, last ninja, and CoCoFest

Not only does Allen Huffman (of Sub-Etha Software) have a blog up now (woo hoo), but he's also posted tons of pics and a movie of The Last Ninja, the long lost game Steve Bjork showed at CoCoFest 07. Also posted are some pictures of this year's CoCoFest! Hope over and have a look:


Update: YouTubed at

Very cool. Really want to play that game! :)

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Armchair CoCoFesters

Okay, maybe "fester" isn't the best word. Still, those that couldn't attend the CoCoFest in Chicago managed to congregate in the chat room and were treated to some great times. Rumor at this early date is that a lot of folks took video and pictures at the Fest. Hopefully we'll be seeing those soon, and I've course I'll link them here as I come across them.

The big announcement, of course, was SockMaster's "translation" of the original Donkey Kong to the 6809 CoCo. The Donkey Kong arcade machine was originally run on a Z80 processor. SockMaster has all the technical bits on his website. What was great about it was the anticipation and build up to the release. Lots of CoCoists, lots of excited CoCoists. The CoCo community really needs to do this sort of thing more often!

On Sunday, we got word that Steve Bjork was there (yes, THE Steve Bjork) and had all sorts of goodies. The main one that made everyone's eyes pop was an unfinished version of The Last Ninja. This game was done for other systems, but never finished for the CoCo 3. Alas, Tandy had too tight a deadline and by the time Steve got to it, it was too close to the deadline to finish. Is it possible it could get finished now? Stay tuned. And check out Steve Bjork's CoCo site at:

Apparently there was a forum about creating the CoCo 4 and a project was started along those lines. This would be a "VR CoCo 4" with super enhanced graphics capabilities and other goodies. Stay tuned for more on this project as it develops.

Briza and I logged some of the chats. While unedited, they are currently living at:

Some great reading in there if you can wade through. If not, wait for the edited versions. ;)

There's been a bit of controversy of the last year regarding attendance at the Fest, versus folks that just want to (or have to) armchair it. I won't get into that here. :) But I will say that this "Fest" brought more CoCoists online and in contact with each other than anything else over the last couple of years. As I write this, there's still a large crowd in the chatroom discussing lost games, the coco 4, and other CoCo items. There's even people just bantering. It's a Good Thing. We need more of this... if we can have a VR CoCo, then we can certainly do more things together for VR CoCo gatherings!

Give the chat a try. Give a message board a shot. Post something. Just sit and chit chat. But get out there and show your CoCo Love!

Angel's Luck,

The GloCo :)

Brian dubbed this the "GloCo" which I thought was pretty cool. Here's the lit pictures with the black paint. Decals are vexing me at the moment, but it's mostly getting them to print right, which is easy enough to work out. Just gotta have time to do it. In the meantime, a few new pics of the GloCo.

Long Lost CoCo Game: The Last Ninja

Another CoCoFest hot release! :) These are pics of a long lost OS-9 game called The Last Ninja, brought to the Fest by Steve Bjork... more later on this one later. :)