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 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 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 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

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

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...



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

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

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

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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