Friday, January 18, 2008

Some small stuff and a bit of rambling...

Greetings CoCoNutz, from the deep (freeze) south. Yeah, I know it's not as cold here as it is where some of you folks are, but, for Florida, it's damn chilly!! The CoCo scene's been kinda anemic lately, on eVilBay, and on the mailing list. Been some of talk about new CoCo's, virtual CoCo's, and even a resurrection of the old Hot CoCo fiasco and Rainbow on disk project (which seem to be dead). BTW, anybody know when C9 is going to release the SuperBoard? Last I heard was Mark saying they were going to try and push it out the door by the end of '07. Oh well... it'll get here when it does. There's also been some talk about copyrights vs. PD software and why some people have held on to their rights to 20+ year old software. Basically, a whole lot of useless, constipated conversation... Let me see if I can express my opinion on a few of these topics...

1. eVilBay and the mailing list: usually slow this time of year, nuttin' new here. It'll pick back up.
2. Virtual CoCo project: I'll believe it when I see it. There's bee so much prognosticating on this subject it's been hard to follow. The
Vcc emulator does much of what has been proposed and seemed like a good place to start, but, the project seems effectively stalled...
3. New CoCos: Well, sure sounds nice. And I like the idea of using a pic or other dev board for it. However, I doubt there'll be lots of people interested in this type of a project. I sure as hell would, but, lack the know how as of yet...
4. The Hot CoCo archive project (as mention recently on the list): I started to scan all of the Hot CoCos I have back in early 2007. However, I have since fallen very behind in this regard due to job and life related issues. Do I have anyone's permission to do so? Nope. I was going to archive them to DVD for my own use, as paper only lasts so long. I cannot for the life of me imagine why someone would object to an archival project like this.
5. The Rainbow on Disk project: it's a damn shame, dead in the water apparently.
6. The SuperBoard: great idea, want one really bad. Know I'll be one of the last to get one since I came so late... It'll get here sooner or later.
7. Software: hey, if the original author of the software still holds and maintains the copyright, more power to him/her. I don't really understand why it's such a big deal, though. I mean, regardless of what 'future' projects one has in mind for the CoCo, I don;t know why releasing code to PD would prevent that from happening. But, hey, who am I??

That said, let us turn our attention, or in my case, targeting array, toward an eVilBayer who has my undies in a bunch:

KP's Surplus

This link is to his eVilBay store with a TRS-80 search. Located just north of me in Georgia, he's got three items that appear to be in okay shape, tho the CoCo2 looks to be rode hard. HOWEVER, what the hell is he thinking with the prices? And the shipping? That MPI has been listed before and I emailed him inquiring about it's condition. I also informed him that the thing was way over priced when the recent selling prices of them were taken into account. He replied with a 'Thanks!' but apparently did NOT gt the hint. And for that, this guy gets my vBSOD.

Now that's over, let's get to some auction action.

Recent sales: (Just gonna hit the highlights...)

Early TRS 80 Color Computer Printer Manuals Modem + NR

Well, I certainly missed out on this one. This was a steal at the price it went for.

TRS-80 with Tandy Disk Drive FD 501

Good GAWD what happened here? Yeah, it was yellow, but DAMN!!! $8.00 with the FD-501?? Insane.

Like new TRS-80 Color Complete system

This is more realistic...

Vintage TRS-80 Mini Disk Computer Drive

Yep... this too...

Tandy 128K CoCo 3 , Disk Drives , Cassette ,and Extras

Another HOLY SH!T moment here... I paid more for my modified MPI than this whole auction went for. 5x more... That was a killer score, my congrats go out to the winner.

As for current auctions... meh.. nothing really interesting at this point. There are a few CoCo2's and I think one 3 right now.

On a personal note, it looks like I may be switching jobs shortly, I'll know for sure in a few weeks. Funding cuts at the fed and state levels have made it almost impossible for regional workforce boards to function effectively, and I work for one currently. If I do switch jobs, my only connection to the 'net will be... wait, I will not have a connection to the 'net. I kicked Bellsouth/ATT (both suck a$$) out back in November when they raised the price of dial up, which would only connect at 26k, to $23/mo. They were supposed to have DSL out to where we live by the end of 2007. I think they meant 2017... Liars.

Later all,

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mrnukem said...

I too do not understand the reason people would oppose things like the Hot CoCo Archive. To me it's a part of our history as a community and should be available to those of us who really enjoy this old tyme computer. I for one would pay for the DVD archive of old magazines if it was for sale.

CaptCPU said...

Probably not really anyone opposed to the idea. It's more a matter of nailing down the property rights. I don't recall the details specially, but the rights to Hot CoCo have gone completely in limbo. If I remember correctly (and hopefully someone who knows can correct/fill in) the current company that owns the rights doesn't have any idea what rights it owns. Whatever the situation, this is a case where nothing will get republished unless a) the original authors of the articles consent to it (content only, not the original presentation) or b) the original copyright runs out (sometime late in the next century most likely).

This is why CoCo collecting, and CoCo collectors, are so important. Preserving the original Hot CoCos, and other CoCo items, is essential for that material to survive well into the future.

We tend to think that if we don't get it out on the Net and have as many copies floating around as possible that it'll be gone soon. That's certainly a pretty sure way to preserve something, but it's not the only way. Folks have been preserving collectibles for hundreds of years. It just takes a little more work.

Digitally archiving your collection is ABSOLUTELY LEGAL as long as you're doing it for your own use. Falls under the "Fair Use" clause of the U.S. Code, Title 17. ( Just don't distribute them.

Another preservation tactic is to convince a public library to archive copies.

If many collectors take efforts now to archive their collections, using traditional methods or digital, the chances of those copies (of any CoCo publication or software) surviving beyond copyright protection is actually pretty good. Copyright may seem to stay in effect for a long time, but it's not that long. It's the life of the original author plus 70 years. Beyond our lifespans, perhaps, but not long at all in the grand scheme. Efforts of CoCo collectors today will have a huge impact on what's still around when that time comes!

As for what can be done now? Hunt down those authors. Talk to the about releasing their work. Work out deals with them. There's a ton of ways to do that. For example, I've had a couple of authors give me permission to distribute their works on the CoCo Hut! The agreement is exclusive (between me and the author) and copyright still remains in effect (you can't repost or distribute something you download off the CoCo Hut without permission) but it gets the work out there for CoCoists to enjoy. I encourage everyone to talk to authors about similar arrangements. And if you're not up for it, drop me a note.... I'll ask. :)

Angel's Luck,

Brian said...

Good to hear from you Cris!! Was wondering if you were still alive!!!

Yeah, the Rainbow and Hot CoCo situation really had me bummed. I don't have the time right now or I would contact some authors...