10/04/09: The “CoCo” Chronicles by Roger, | Category: General | 1 comment - (Comments are closed)

The “CoCo” Chronicles

PROLOGUE

While skimming through the pages of a popular Color Computer magazine recently, my thoughts traveled back through the 12 years of Color Computer history. Back to a time when there was NOTHING.

I recalled the events leading up to my introduction to this wonderful machine. It seems like only yesterday…

Christmas morning 1980: Pam, my wife, must’ve known that I was very interested in getting a computer because, there, under the tree was the new Mattell Intellevision!? Pam bought that machine due, in part, to the computer capabilities the unit would have with a keyboard console, scheduled for release in the spring.

After several days of gunning down waves of aliens, we both suffered from blurred eye sight, blistered fingers, lack of sleep, and video game burn out. Spring seemed so far away.

A couple weeks after Christmas, I came across an ad in the New York Daily News for a new Radio Shack computer which, like the Intellevision, had game cartridge capabilities, an important feature because, if I didn’t like computing, I could always go back to cleaning up the galaxy. For the refund price of the Intellevision (sorry Pam) plus another $150, I had enough money to purchase the new TRS-80 Color Computer.

I celebrated the arrival of an early “spring”. It was January 9th, 1981. It seems like only yesterday…….

GETTING STARTED

This project was, to say the least, a labor of love. Every attempt was made to ensure an accurate account of the Color Computer’s evolution. Extensive use of various computer magazine articles and ads were used as the basis for “dating” events. This “dating” method was used because most of us probably heard about various developments through these sources.

Keep in mind, however, that sometimes ads can precede product availability by as much as a month or more. Those of you who ordered the very first “Super ‘Color’ Writer” program from Nelson Software know what I mean. Other information sources included printouts and files from old bulletin board sessions, telephone interviews, and correspondence with various users.

Before starting, let me just say that, while looking through the numerous back issues for Color Computer information, a strange thing started happening. Remember that frustrated feeling, of the early years, when YOU looked for Color Computer information and none could be found? It all started coming back to me…….


From what I was able to piece together, here, roughly, is how the CoCo came into existence:

The initial Tandy/Motorola connection occured sometime in the mid-70s when the two join forces in developing a “weather radio” system.

In 1977, a year after starting talks with Motorola about the possibility of designing a low-cost home computer that could be hooked up to a regular TV set, Tandy is invited to participate in an agricultural experiment.

Project “Green Thumb”, as it was called, would employ information retrieval to give farmers data, updated hourly by computer. Terminals used in this project are developed by Radio Shack in conjunction with Motorola.

By late 1977, Motorola’s MC6847 Video Display Generator chip is developed. Although it’s unclear if the VDG came about because of project “Green Thumb” or Tandy’s search for the “low-cost” home computer, in 1978, when it is married to the MC6808 CPU, the Color Computer is born.

THE TRS-90

The “prehistoric” Color Computer, however, contains too many chips to make it affordable for Tandy’s anticipated target market. Motorola solves this problem in late 1978 by replacing the network of chips which makes up the memory management circuits with its newly developed MC6883 Synchronous Address Multiplexer (SAM) chip.

In December of 1979, about a year after production began on the MC6809 microprocessor, reports circulated that it would be Microsoft, and not Motorola, that will write the Basic interpreter for the new TRS-90.

The name TRS-90 is eventually dropped in favor of a much more “colorful” name.


THE FIRST YEAR (Jul’80 – Jun’81 )

On July 31st, 1980, two months after unveiling their TRS-80 Videotex terminal, Tandy publicly displays its three new computers for 1981: the TRS-80 Model III, the TRS-80 Pocket Computer and the TRS-80 COLOR COMPUTER.

In September, the Color Computers started appearing in Radio Shack stores. They sell for $399.00 and come with 4K RAM, 8K Microsoft Color Basic 1.0, a 53 key calculator-type keyboard, built-in modulator to connect to any television, RS-232 interface, a 1500 baud cassette interface, joystick connectors, and a slot where Program Paks could be inserted.

In BYTE magazine’s October issue, an article speculated that, of the the 3 new Radio Shack machines, the TRS-80 Color Computer will probably create the most interest in consumer markets.

STEVE ODNEAL and WAYNE DAY, in the market for machines at this time, purchase Color Computers and yes Virginia, some jumpered C-boards were sold.

Tandy, meanwhile, was rumored to have a quality control hold on the Color Computer following several reported failures after only a few hours of operation.

In November, 68 MICRO JOURNAL published the first data sheets for the new MC6883 (SAM) chip but, their are few Color Computer owners out there to read it.

Radio Shack, at the same time, releases the first Color Computer software. The ROM-PAK cartridge software includes such “heavy-weight” titles as Chess, Checkers, Quasar Commander, Personal Finance, and a Diagnostic program.

By the time December rolled around, there was a 16K upgrade available from Radio Shack, a requirement for the delayed Extended Color Basic ROM, which is only a month away.

If the Color Computer you got as a Christmas gift was your first ever computer, (like it was mine) you were probably unaware that the “Getting Started with COLOR BASIC” manual accompanying the early machines contained only 13 of the scheduled 24 chapters.

Radio Shack explained, in the December issue of its TRS-80 MICROCOMPUTER NEWS that, when the machines were ready to ship, the manuals weren’t but, rather than keep the Color Computer from us, they sent what was available. Always thinking of us.

It was probably more a case of not wanting to lose out on Christmas sales that prompted the decision to ship with incomplete documentation.

With the only available information found between the covers of the unfinished “Getting Started with COLOR BASIC” manual, for the small and hearty band of early Color Computer owners, the first year was like being in the Dark Ages.


OUT OF THE CLS(0)

The place to look for information was either from your local Radio Shack store (probably the person who sold you the computer) or from Tandy’s customer service.

Salespeople, unless they are also “computer people”, could offer little if any information. If you were lucky enough to find a salesperson with computer know-how, chances are it was Model I/Z-80 know-how. No help there.

Customer service in Fort Worth, on the other hand, had plenty of information, and it was a toll-free call away but, Raymond, Martin, and Kathy wouldn’t tell you much more than what was in your manual. Another dead end.

One of the first books detailing the internal workings of the 6809 was published in late 1980. Authored by Dr. Carl Warren, “The MC6809 COOKBOOK”, contains all the information required for assembly language programming. Unfortunately it precedes the first Color Computer editor/assemblers by about 8 months and is pretty much overlooked.

Computer magazines, at this time, were filled with articles and reviews about every computer except the Color Computer. When anything does appear, it is usually comparing the Color Computer (unfavorabley) to the Atari 800. Reviewers point to the “chiclet” keyboard, limited screen display (16 x 32), inverse lower case, and small RAM size as areas which make the Computer less desirable than even the Atari 400 or the VIC-20.

Perhaps I’m too sensitive but, I couldn’t help feel, “they” were laughing at MY computer! Did anyone else get that feeling? If so, realize this:

Every computer mentioned so far in this article (with the exception of the Color Computer, of course) has been discontinued. Remaining virtually unchanged in its five years, our “toy”, as it was often called, continues to flourish!

THE RENAISSANCE

Three major events, instrumental in paving the way for the Color Computer information explosion, occured in the opening months of 1981

THE MICRO WORKS and COMPUTERWARE shared the distinction of being the first folks to offer software for the Color Computer. The “CBUG” monitor program and the “80C” disassembler, both from THE MICRO WORKS’ ANDREW PHELPS, are released in January. Accompanied by documentation containing information about the Basic ROM, these fine programming tools will, in the right hands, reveal even more information about how the Color Computer works.

With the arrival, in February, of Radio Shack’s DIRECT CONNECT MODEM I, a feeling of “community” began spreading among the isolated Color Computerists. Using “VIDEOTEX”, the first communications package for the Color Computer, users start “meeting” on COMPUSERVE or, more frequently, local area bulletin boards to share information and “discoveries”.

Of less significance but, certainly of interest, SPECTRAL ASSOCIATES introduced a 16K upgrade, ($75.00) an editor/assembler, plus several other utilities and one of the first games: SPACE INVADERS. They were also in the process of developing MAGIC BOX which would enable Model I & III tapes to be loaded into the Color Computer.


The CONNECTION-80 BBS of Woodhaven, New York, which went “on-line” March 22nd, was like hundreds of other Model I boards providing information for the Model I & Model III….with one exception. The sysop, having just purchased a Color Computer, started putting things on the BBS about the Color Computer and at 300 baud, news spread quickly about BOB ROSEN’s BBS.

One of the main topics of BBS “conversation” at this time was the article in BYTE magazine’s March issue entitled: “WHAT’S INSIDE RADIO SHACK’S COLOR COMPUTER?”. Authored by Tim Ahrens, Jack Brown, and Hunter Scales, the article contained the most comprehensive information ever assembled, including an in-depth look at the 6809E architecture, the job-discription of all the major chips, the expansion port pin-out, the famous POKE 65495,0 speed poke, plus “… a tricky way to get 32K bytes of memory”!

Although occasional Color Computer “tid-bits” show up in various computer publications, they are usually in the form of reviews with no more information than found in the “Getting Started With Color Basic” manual.

If, in those early days, you looked for information in WAYNE GREEN’s 80 MICROCOMPUTING, you missed out on lots of material appearing regularly in a publication called 68 MICRO JOURNAL.

68 Micro carried the first information on the MC6883 SAM chip (Nov’80), the first Color Computer software ads and a tip on disabling the ROM-PAK auto-start (Jan’81), MICKEY FERGUSON’s letter mentioning plans for starting COLORWARE (Jan’81), talk of an expansion interface from F&D ASSOCIATES (Mar’81), and a letter from TALLGRASS TECHNOLOGIES about their proposed disk system (Apr’81). The April issue also premiered the first dedicated Color Computer column, BOB NAY’s “TRS80CC”.

Only in retrospect can DON WILLIAMS’ 68 MICRO JOURNAL be truly appreciated.

With a reader base made up of Motorola’s 6800 users, they, were among the first to realize the potential of the 6809E powered Color Computer.

Names like STAR-KITS, The Micro Works, Computerware, MARK DATA, CER-COMP, FRANK HOGG and others were in the pages of 68 MICRO long before there was ever a Color Computer.

With its support of the Motorola 68xx series, 68 Micro, attracted some early seekers, most, however, gravitate toward 80 MICROCOMPUTING, others look to 80 U.S., while still others try BYTE.

As more and more interest grew, it was inevitable that somebody, somewhere would start a publication exclusively for the TRS-80 Color Computer.

COLOR COMPUTER NEWS,(CCN for short) was the first Color Computer publication to hit the stands.

Edited by Bill Sias and published by REMarkable software of Muskegon, CCN premiers with its May/Jun issue, a 48 page beauty, filled with program listings, reviews, letters from other users, and articles!


Don Inman, Ron Krebs, Wayne Day, Tom Mix, Ken Kalish, Jorge Mir, Gary & Susan Davis, Tony DiStefano, D.S. Lewandowski, and Andrew Phelps were just some of the “new” users (weren’t we all back then) whose names appeared within the first few issues.

Another feature of CCN was all those lovely ads! Did I say ads?? Yup!

As much as we may sometimes say we hate commercials, I’ll bet during the opening months of 1981, you, like many other users, pour through various computer magazines searching, not only for articles but, for that occasional ad which may mention the Color Computer. Lets face it, ads ARE an information source.

Although there were only a handful of companies supporting the Color Computer in its first year, it may come as a surprise, the amount of sophisticated software and hardware that was available and/or in the development.

The Micro Works had its CBUG, 80C disassembler, and 16K or 32K upgrades. editor/assemblers and “space invader” games were both available from Computerware and Spectral Associates. EIGEN SYSTEMS was putting BASIC programs on a ROM-PAK. The WOLFBUG monitor from MIKE WOLF accessed 64K of RAM. F&D Associates released a ROM/EPROM BOARD, and a PROTO BOARD while announcing plans for an EXPANSION INTERFACE. Both Tallgrass and ATOMTRONICS were developing disk systems, and Steve Odneal’s Color Computer FLEX conversion was reportedly just about completed.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates (the daddy of Color Basic and Extended Color Basic) is interviewed in the May/Junn issue of 80 U.S. and says, in the future, there will be a book dealing with the overall structure of both ROMS.

As the Color Computer’s first year came to a close in June, third party support was starting to gather momentum but, if Fort Worth doesn’t step up support, the TRS-80 Color Computer may die of neglect…….


THE SECOND YEAR (Jul’81 – Jun’82)

Following its 1980 debut, the machine bumped along with virtually no Radio Shack support. The next 12 months, however, would witness the biggest outpouring of Color Computer support to date. This period produced a flood of upgrades, modifications, hardware, software, and most of all, information.

In July of 1981, the Color Computer’s first anniversary roared in like a lion. I celebrated by upgrading to Extended Basic, buying the Direct Connect Modem I, signing up with Compuserve, buying an LP VII, and ordering SUPER “COLOR” WRITER from NELSON SOFTWARE, and the EXATRON disk system.

A word of sympathy here for anyone who, like myself, ordered Nelson’s word processor.

The seven month period after placing my order was filled with nothing but AGGRAVATION! Suffice it to say that, by January of 1982, the software was still nothing more than an ad on the pages of a few magazines.

Another ad appearing that July was for the EXATRON disk system. “32K PLUS DISKS $298.00″, read the ad. I immediately called the toll-free number and my name was placed on a list, behind 24 other users. After a month and a half of waiting, and countless phone calls of inquiry, it finally arrives. The following day it is ready for a return trip back to Exatron’s Sunnyvale plant. The amount of generated RFI made the screen unreadable.

Steve Odneal, at about this same time, was having a little bit better luck. With a home-built disk system hooked up to his 32K machine and 8K of RAM on the disk controller board, Steve completes the first ever conversion of the FLEX operating system for the Color Computer.

While MARK DATA rushes to convert their adventure games to run on the Color Computer, IMB (Illustrated Memory Banks) releases its first offering. Although written in Basic, METEOR STORM was the first software to take advantage of our machine’s graphics capabilities.

Thanks Fred Scerbo!

July also witnessed the introduction of the first educational software from MICRO-LEARNINGWARE, and STRAWBERRY SOFTWARE, plus the first detailed instructions on performing the 32K “piggyback” upgrade.

By the time CCN’s Jul/Aug issue arrived on your doorstep, two more Color Computer publications had sprung to life.

GET A CLOAD OF THIS…

The first ever, cassette based Color Computer magazine, was DAVE LAGERQUIST’s CHROMASETTE MAGAZINE. Instant software on a monthly basis for a mere $3.50 an issue was quite a deal!

The “magazine’s” first issue contained 5 Basic programs and a very moving “cover”. Very impressive!! In addition, all tapes are accompanied by a 5 or 6 page news letter explaining the programs. The news letter also features tips, the latest rumors (Radio Shack disks soon?), and some of the editor’s own “colorful” insights, which brings me to the second publication inaugurated in July.

Whoever wrote the words, “From small acorns, large oak trees do grow” was, undoubtedly, referring to LONNIE FALK and the RAINBOW.


The Rainbow’s first issue was all of two pages in length (both sides, of course) and you could tell immediately by the typeset (LP VII), that no expense was spared in putting together this latest collection of Color Computer information. The debut issue was photocopied at the corner drug store and after the first 25 copies sold out ($1.00 each), another trip to the drugstore was needed for an additional 10 copies.

Containing the usual assortment of Color Computer articles, comments, tips, and program listings, the Rainbow became “legit” by the third issue with its first ads from The Micro Works and from JARB SOFTWARE.

Thanks Lonnie!

Although initially set up for the Model I & III, by July, Bob Rosen’s BBS was crawling with Color Computer information left by WAYNE DAY, SYD KAHN, “Barefoot” JOHN GRIFFEN, CAL RASMUSEN, KENT MEYERS, LEE BLITCH, and many other “gurus” including JORGE MIR.

Radio Shack’s cassette based Videotex, because it was the first (and only) terminal program for the Color Computer at this time, was used exclusively by anyone calling Bob’s BBS with a Color Computer. Videotex, a very limited piece of …. software, stored incoming information in a “buffer” but, downloading, saving to tape, or printing out the buffer was not supported. When off-line, the only thing you could do with the buffer was look at it and, to make matters even worse, the only way to exit Videotex and return to Basic was to shut off the machine.

Thanks to the efforts of Jorge Mir, information started showing up on the BBS, about a Videotex modification allowing an exit to Basic by pressing the reset button, thereby preserving the text buffer. The download capability is not too far away.

ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE SPOKEN HERE

The SDS80C from The Micro Works was the Color Computer’s first editor/assembler. Although marketed in August, it had been a reality since June.

I should mention that, Cer-Comp of Las Vegas, in a letter dated June 1, stated the availability of their editor/assembler which, in fact, may have been the first. If so, I stand corrected but, The Micro Works did get theirs to market first.

Other notable releases in August included Mark Data’s first two adventure games CALIXTO ISLAND, and BLACK SANCTUM, Tallgrass Technologies’ disk system, and 64K RAM adapter board, and THE FACTS, a Color Computer technical manual from Spectral Associates.

BARRY THOMPSON, Tandy’s Product Line Manager, in his column for Radio Shack’s TRS-80 MICROCOMPUTER NEWS, replied to MARK GRANGER’s “PCLEAR 0″ inquiry with this explanation: “…THERE IS NO WAY TO RELEASE THAT LAST PAGE OF GRAPHIC MEMORY….”. Had Mr. Thompson read the RAINBOW’s second issue, he not only would have found out about the PCLEAR 0 trick but, he would have heard from a “very high placed source” that a Radio Shack disk system would be out within 2 months along with a 32K upgrade.

Hadn’t we heard those stories before?


September is a time to return back to school. A time for learning, and learn we did. We learn from Radio Shack that, the much rumored 32K upgrade is finally a reality. Although not mentioned, the upgrade includes both the new E-board and 1.1 Basic ROM. You discover that the first Color Computer word processor, C.C. WRITER, is available from TRANSFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES. You are taught by C.J. ROSLUND’s that, the PCLEAR “bug” can be fixed with a simple “REVERSE REFERENCE”, and your homework assignment is to read CLAY ABRAMS’ documentation for another Color Computer first, his RTTY/CW communications software!

The Sep/Oct issue of CCN also debuts a column which quickly becomes one of the most popular: COMMENT CORNER. Written by Andrew Phelps, author of The Micro Works’ CBUG, 80C Disassembler, and SDS80C, each column takes an in-depth look at one of the Color Basic ROM routines.

Thanks again Andy!

A first this month from Computerware, is the Color Computer’s first alternate language: PASCAL. Computerware also starts marketing MAGICUBE (a Rubick’s Cube game), and COLOR DATA ORGANIZER.

Steve Odneal’s FLEX had, by this time, been converted to operate on the newly released Exatron system and, it worked like a “champ”. According to Steve, the Exatron expansion board was the key, as it allowed the ROMs to be turned off and RAM turned on. Steve, while converting FLEX for the Radio Shack DOS, doubts the system will be capable of switching ROM to RAM. Steve would surely have gotten an “F” for his speculation that the Exatron disk system would be the “standard” disk system for the Color Computer, possibly surpassing even Radio Shack’s.

The month for trick or treating, October, saw the first details about the Radio Shack disk system, the debut of Bob Nay’s COLOR COMPUTER USERS NOTES in 68 MICRO, plus the release of AARDVARK-80′s first 7 games.

Another October treat was Dennis Kitsz’s article detailing a modification that will deliver “true” lower-case, instead of those unsightly inverse characters. This was the first lower-case board for the Color Computer, and is also available in kit form from MSB ELECTRONICS.

Thanks Dennis!

Marketing began on SOFT SECTOR MARKETING’s MASTER CONTROL, the first single key entry utility. If you ordered immediately you were told “…some problems have cropped up and we’ll be a few weeks late in delivering it…”. Not again!!!

Jorge Mir’s article appeared, describing how Videotex can be modified to return to Basic upon reset, thereby giving the Color Computer its first BBS download capability.

Although there were a few bulletin boards which supported the Color Computer, THE ARK, to my knowledge, was the first to actually ran on a Color Computer. “Barefoot” John Griffen, the sysop, operated the BBS from his houseboat in Portland, OR. Callers include STEVE DEN BESTE, SHAWN JIPP, Bob Rosen, and ED MARCH.


Mike Wolf marketed his Color Computer disk controller around this time but, unless you had either inquired or ordered his WOLFBUG monitor, chances are you didn’t hear about it because, the controller was marketed through direct mail. With a price tag of around $350.00, the unit included an 80 column card, real time clock, and parallel printer port. In a phone interview, Mike told me that a Michigan Computer Club was responsible for the sale of about 10 pieces.

The name, TRS-80, stands for Tandy Radio Shack, the 80 is a result of the Z-80 cpu in Tandy’s first computer, the Model I.

Because our machine uses a 6809 cpu, it should have been called either a TRS-68 or a TRS-09 Color Computer but, what’s in a name? Some, nicknamed it the TRS-80CC, other the TRS-80C, still others the 80C but it was Dave Lagerquist, in October’s Chromasette, who first used the name COCO. This innocent enough action set of a “name calling” debate lasted for several months through-out the ever growing “CoCo” community.

Some things in the November winds included a tip to reduce internal heat produced by the 32K “piggyback” upgrades by painting the inside of the CoCo’s top cover flat black, and a rumor that Radio Shack is using half-good 64K chips in its 32K upgrade, and an interesting article about CoCos being used to control

Mr. Walt Bolden’s solar heated home in Washington state. The computers were set up by HOME COMPUTER SYSTEMS INC. of Seattle, WA.

November also brings the first review of the Exatron disk system, the PROGRAMMERS INSTITUTE’s tape magazine, TRC but, still no Super “Color” Writer.

Nelson Software may have been dragging its feet but, not COGNITEC. Within a couple of months of its November release, TELEWRITER, was the talk of the CoCo community. Telewriter was the first “world-class” word processor. To this day, Telewriter (for the price) is my personal favorite!

Thanks Howard!

Although it was possible to do primitive Videotex downloading, COLORCOM/E from Eigen Systems was light years ahead. It supported online/offline scrolling, cassette file transfer, automatic or manual data capturing, off-line print-outs, and selectable RS232 options.

When MARK DAVIDSAVER’S Colorcom/E was ready for shipping, he mailed flyers to those who had responded to his “put your Basic program on a ROM” ad (June’81). Bob Rosen, upon receiving his flyer, immediately phones Mark. Colorcom/E becomes the first major software sold by Bob’s Connection-80 BBS. The rest, as they say, is history…. for both, Bob and Colorcom/E.

Thanks Mark!

December saw, not only the release of Computerware’s PAC ATTACK (the first of many PAC-MAN clones) but, a review of the Tallgrass disk system, to my knowledge, the only disk system which ran on a 4K CoCo!

As 1981 drew to a close, reviews and comparisons were being made between the new Radio Shack disk system and the Exatron system. The consensus of opinion seems to be that Exatron’s single density format is its biggest drawback.


With third-party support growing dramatically, and even Radio Shack waking up, the CoCo’s future seemed secure but, into each life, a little rain must fall…

THE COLOR COMPUTER IS DEAD!

Now, when most of us hear rumors, we usually consider the source. The more reliable the source, the more accurate the “information” is likely to be. Although it had been rumored for a while that Tandy was dropping the Color Computer, the rumor takes on special significance when, in January, it appears in Wayne Green’s 80 MICRO editorial.

Say it ain’t so Wayne!

Since the beginning, critics had always pointed to the CoCo keyboard and snickered. A Dennis Kitsz article put a stop to all that by replacing the “chiclets” keyboard with a Model I keyboard. What will he do next?

Bob Rosen started his company, CONNECTION-80 (named after his BBS) in January and his first advertised CoCo product was: COLORCOM/E. Although Eigen ran his own separate ads, Bob’s BBS probably accounted for a majority of initial sales. With every BBS sign-on being accompanied by a little “commercial”, word spread very quickly, as the popularity of both Colorcom/E and the BBS grew and grew. Truly, a marriage made in computer heaven.

1982 marks the start of CCN being published monthly. It also witnesses the debut of DSL’s ML RABBIT, SUGAR SOFTWARE’s SILLY SYNTAX, MARTIN CONSULTING’s SMART TERM, MOSES ENGINEERING’s LIGHT PEN, TOM MIX’s MOON LANDER, and Frank Hogg’s CCFORTH.

In February, resumes were being accepted for sysop of a COLOR SIG which would soon be starting up on Compuserve, while in New England, the CoCo was being used at the University of Vermont.

Other events taking place at this time include the disk version of Telewriter undergoing final testing, STEVE BLYN (soon to start COMPUTER ISLAND) markets his first educational software, and violently negative reaction to Wayne Green’s editorial starts surfacing.

Wayne sure didn’t make too many friends last month.

CCN’s February issue, in my opinion, was the best issue of any Color Computer magazine ever published! The issue was special for several reasons. If you were looking for a method of transferring your tape files to disk there was TPTDSK from JACK L. AKER, Tony DiStefano’s article on running machine language programs from disk, and C.J. Roslund’s article on disabling the BREAK key but, what really makes this issue worth its weight in gold appears on page 23…

32K RAM FOR FREE!!!

by Frank Hogg

After Radio Shack’s 32K upgrade became available, rumor had it that the “32K” chips used are, in fact, half-bad (good?) 64K chips. Frank Hogg’s article details the steps required to enable your Radio Shack 32K CoCo (not “piggyback” 32K) to go into the “all RAM” mode, thereby giving the CoCo an effective 64K of RAM.


Frank speculates (correctly) that, although very early 32K Radio Shack upgrades may have contained the half-bad 64K chips, most 32K upgraded CoCos contain prime 64K chips. Radio Shack’s 32K upgrade also includes the E-board and 1.1 Basic ROM. Although Frank Hogg didn’t perform (or even make available) the first 64K upgrade, his article did bring to the CoCo community the information required to “double” the computer’s effective memory and, in so doing, created a base for his FLEX operating system.

Thanks Frank!

In March, KRAFT’s new joystick (available within 2 months), TYPE-N-TALK from VOTRAX, and GEORGE ASSOCIATES’ Z-80 based CP/M interface, were three new CoCo products previewed at the WEST COAST COMPUTER FAIR in San Francisco.

DATA-COMP debuts their FLEX operating system by marketing Steve Odneal’s conversion which, at the time, utilized the Exatron disk system.

In an attempt to pacify software reviewers who have been waiting for the long overdue Super “Color” Writer, Nelson ships their SUPER “COLOR” TERMINAL.

Magazine articles at this time include Shawn McClenahan’s detailed instruction on various 64K upgrades, a non-Kitzs hardware project for those of us who are tired of constantly switching the modem and printer cables from the back of the CoCo, and Frank Hogg’s article on moving ROM to RAM in your “new” 64K CoCo.

Perhaps in light of February’s information flood, both CoCo publications seemed to have a lack-luster March issue. If I hear about the double-speed poke one more

time, I’m going to scream!!!!!!

With 2 FLEX operating systems available for the CoCo, MICROWARE starts looking into the possibility of OS-9. Meanwhile, DALE PUCKETT’s article “FLEX COMES TO THE COLOR COMPUTER” along with the first installation of Frank Hogg’s column “64K KORNER” appears in the April issue of CCN, marking their increased FLEX coverage.

Clay Abrams’ article, “AMATEUR RADIO AND THE TRS-80 COLOR”, deals with the the reception of SSTV pictures. Wonderful information for ham operators but, it seemed like all the useful utility listings I’d come to expect from CCN were starting to disappear.

The RAINBOW, which by April had grown to 52 pages, contains the first part of DENNIS LEWANDOWSKI’s column called THE ASSEMBLY CORNER, plus RAINBOW ON TAPE.

Telewriter’s disk version is being marketed by this time along with several other new CoCo products, such as HUMBUG, a machine language monitor program from Star-Kits, various software from PRICKLY-PEAR SOFTWARE, AUTO RUN from Sugar Software, the first hi-res screen utility THE SOLUTION from SNAKE MOUNTAIN SOFTWARE, and NANOS’ reference card.

Wayne Green must’ve freaked out when, in May, Tandy opened a 100,000 square foot plant in Ft. Worth to build Color Computers. Also at this time, several New Jersey schools started using the machine. Seems like everywhere Wayne Green looks, there are CoCos! (dieing of neglect, no doubt)


CCN celebrates its first year anniversary with apologies from Bill Sias about the “double” issue but, said it was needed to get back on schedule. While still a source of valuable information, the number of good articles and programs seemed to be declining.

Some CoCo firsts in May, included an EPROM burner from COMPUTER ACCESSORIES, DISK DOCTOR from SUPERIOR GRAPHICS, SPELL ‘N FIX from Star-Kits, and from Aardvark, the first BASIC COMPILER. SPECTRUM PROJECTS also debuts as Bob Rosen drops the name Connection-80.

Dennis Kitsz is no stranger to CoCo owners but, exactly, who is he? Where does he come from? What is he really like? The brief biography, DEVINE DEMENTIA by MICHAEL NADEAU, appears in 80 MICRO and answers these, and other questions. It was fun reading.

F I N A L L Y!!! a review of the l-o-n-g awaited Super “Color” Writer from Nelson Software.

The first national CoCo users group was inaugurated in June when Compuserve starts its Color Computer SIG with a membership of 52 and WAYNE DAY as sysop.

80 Micro runs an interesting biography about Bob Rosen and his Connection-80 BBS.

Thanks for the plug, Bob!

Newly introduced CoCo support includes MICRO TECHNICAL PRODUCTS’ LCA-47 lowercase kit (the first kit featuring switch selectable inverse screen), and the RAINBOW SEAL OF CERTIFICATION. Started by RAINBOW magazine, certification insures that the product does, in fact, exist.

JOHN WALCO’s 3 part article on picking winning NFL teams with the CoCo began but, unfortunately there would be no winners that year because the NFL went on strike.

Was it my imagination or, were both Color Computer magazines getting stale? Due, perhaps, to the sudden abundance of CoCo information in the second year, both appeared to be getting a bit flat?


THE THIRD YEAR (Jul’82 – Jun’83)

Despite rumors of its demise, the COCO celebrated its second birthday in fine health. With year 1 shrouded in mystery, and year 2 producing tons of information and software, what could we expect from year three……..ARCADE GAMES and HARDWARE!

First shown at the West Coast Computer Fair in February, George Associates’ CoCo CP/M expansion unit hit the market in July. Although it looked impressive, who was going to drop $1200.00 to upgrade a CoCo? Did anyone out there buy one of these??

In “the best get better” department, The Micro Works unveiled its disk based editor/assembler, MACRO-80C.

Tony Distefano’s first COLOR CLINIC column in 68 MICRO explained why some CoCos would not accept the double-speed poke, and DONALD J. SOMMER of Seattle, WA. details the steps required to upgrade a pre E-board CoCo to 64K.

CCN, in July, continued putting more emphasis on FLEX, OS-9, and other CoCo operating systems but, features DARREL WRIGHT’s utility to convert Telewriter text files from binary to ascii and vice-versa, and some pictures taken at a Cincinnati TRS-80 users meeting.

Plans are disclosed to offer CCN ON TAPE and winners of the first CCN programming contest are announced. They were: J. VENTLING for the GEORGE C. SCOTT portrait, GARRY HOWARD for the WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE, and REGENA’s COOKIE FILE program.

The RAINBOW’s first anniversary issue was a beauty!! Featuring its first full-color cover and typeset copy throughout, it’s hard to believe that it started out in a drugstore a year ago.

Rumors circulate that the 4K CoCo will be discontinued and a 64K version introduced in the near future.

The first CoCo hardware to reach the market in August includes F&D Associates’ EPROM board, COLOR PORT from MAPLE LEAF SYSTEMS, BOTEK INSTRUMENTS’ serial to parallel printer interface, plus SHAWN McCLENAHAN’s article describing the installalation of a Mod III keyboard (with numeric keypad) in the CoCo.

80 MICRO runs its first annual READER’s POLL to find out the most popular software for Radio Shack machines.

With Frank Hogg writing the editorial in the August issue of CCN, things were really getting out of hand with all the FLEX material. There was the editorial, plus several full-page ads for his products, and of course his 64K KORNER. It seemed like CCN had turned into the Frank Hogg magazine.

Although a bit less technically oriented, if the Rainbow continues growing at its present rate, it will soon surpass CCN in size.

With the addition of his second BBS, Bob Rosen’s Spectrum Projects was growing too. His ads now took up three full pages, and in August, include Eigen’s one key entry utility, BASIC AID. Both Basic Aid and another new single key entry utility, PLATINUM SOFTWARE’s PLATINUM WORKSAVER offered much more than the first such utility, SSM’s Master Control.

MED SYSTEM started marketing its software.


The “eyes” have it!! In September Tony Distefano’s Color Clinic column featured the eye-saving hardware mod which enabled the CoCo to display green characters on a black screen. Whenever I sit at my machine for hours on end (usually every night), I (eye) thank TONY “D”.

MOTOROLA released a “souped-up” MC6883 which supposedly allows double-speed operation in the ALL RAM (64K) mode but, it is never marketed.

New arrivals for the CoCo include Star-Kits’ STAR-DOS, THE TOOLKIT from ARZIN, joysticks from ENDICOTT, Spectrum Projects’ “gloom” stick, GAME WRITER from WASHINGTON COMPUTER SERVICES (a $129.00 program that helps write “super-action video games”), and software from a new company called ANTICO.

September’s CCN issue (no date on the cover) featured a look at the CoCo’s INTERPRET routine in Andy Phelps’ Comment Corner column, CCXREF from MIKE DONAHUE, a fine debugging utility used to locate variables in BASIC programs, and the first review of Eigen’s THE STRIPPER, a utility which removes spaces, comments and “packs” program lines.

The RAINBOW’s 106 page September issue made it the BIGGEST CoCo magazine in publication. Besides being their first official “theme” issue (education), and containing a readers survey, the RAINBOW’s cover mentions support for the TDP 100 computer…

The TDP was Tandy’s first venture at marketing outside Radio Shack stores. The TDP 100, which was really a CoCo in a white case, was marketed by RCA distributors and would later be found to contain the F-board which would soon start showing up in the CoCo. Speculation was that, the TDP venture would be successful. (I wonder if STEVE ODNEAL made that speculation)

In October, 68 MICRO went on line with its BBS, and Andy Phelps’ last Comment Corner appears in CCN. This, for me, marks the beginning of the end of CCN.

The RAINBOW, meanwhile, started CHARLIE’s MACHINE, a column written by Charles J. Roslund, author of WAR KINGS.

DRAGON LTD.

This British CoCo-clone, had a similar software design but, featured some major hardware differences like full-travel keyboard, parallel printer port, and RGB monitor output. An American version would be available sometime in 1983.

Messages on COMPUSERVE’s COLOR SIG rumored that a new CoCo magazine would debut in March of 1983, MSB (the folks who market the KITSZ lowerkit) had folded, and Radio Shack would market a 64K upgrade and a MULTIPAK INTERFACE in early 1983.

BASIC TECHNOLOGY markets the first CoCo EXPANSION INTERFACE plus, a REAL TIME CLOCK/CALANDER.

Just in time for Christmas, November releases include COLOR LOGO and a 4 color GRAPHICS PRINTER from Radio Shack, Frank Hogg’s 5 slot expansion called THE SOLUTION, and TELEWRITER/64. Other marketings are DUNKEY MUNKEY from INTELLECTRONICS, and MONKEY KONG by KEN KALISH of MED SYSTEM SOFTWARE. Although these are the first two “monkey” programs, the best is yet to come!


A premature ad for the SAMPO COLOR COMPUTER ran in BYTE magazine but, this CoCo clone never saw the light of day (in this country) although, a year later, I was told the machine was sold in Korea.

With various disk systems available for the CoCo, the poor timing award went to JPC PRODUCTS CO. for their high-speed cassette system. I wonder how many systems were sold at the $129.95 price?

Lonnie Falk announced plans for a big CoCo show for the Spring of 1983 in Chicago. It will be called RAINBOWFEST! Lonnie also hints at an “electronic” RAINBOW in conjunction with Bob Rosen’s BBS.

November also gave us the first look inside the new TDP-100 computer, and the first review of Eigen’s disk COLORCOM/E.

When I subscribed to CCN, it contained a lot of “basic” CoCo information but, with the magazine stalled at the 90-100 page size and Bill Sias devoting more ad and column space to FLEX, OS-9, GIMIX, and ham radio operations, I felt that the “basic” information was being squeezed out. The opening item in the December issue was a tour through the GIMIX plant! Gimmie a break!!!

The last straw, for me, was the review for Radio Shack’s POLARIS ROM-PAK. Now, don’t get me wrong, I thought POLARIS was one of Radio Shack’s best games but, why a SECOND review? The first review appeared in the May/Jun issue. Maybe Bill Sias was trying to get on Tandy’s good side??? He sure wasn’t doing anything for me!!

RAINBOW announced support for the DRAGON-32 in its December issue, its first “paperback” type square binding.

TOM MIX’s king of the Donkey clones, DONKEY KING, is released just in time for Christmas. This was the best game ever done for the CoCo.

Thanks TOM!!!!

DON’T BUG ME!

1982 closed out with a tip of my hat to the very inventive folks in Natick, Massachusetts for coming up with a very imaginative idea….. DEBUG, as it was called, worked like this: You send these folks a program you wrote that may have bugs. If the program is interesting enough, they send your program to “people who like to stomp on other people’s bugs”. The understanding being that the program is sold, if debugged, and everybody shares in the profits! The ad asks for $5.00 to accompany your “bugged” program, or $9.00 for a cassette containing 20 or so “bugged” programs from other people, or $12.00 for both. The thought of “buying” someone elses problems is a bit too bizarre, even for me.

JAKE COMMANDER, in January, predicted the arrival, early this year, of the British made DRAGON computer.

CCN started 1983 with a new cosmetic look including a new cover (“The Color Computer Magazine for 6809 users”) and newspaper quality pages. I liked the old “feel” better.

Peter Stark, one of the pioneer CoCo supporters, started including little “tips” in his ads. Peter is a real innovator both in software and advertising.

Cosmetic changes also appeared in the RAINBOW’s January “ADVENTURE” issue with the first FRED CRAWFORD cover artwork! Fred brings a NORMAN ROCKWELL “feel” to the pages of the RAINBOW and I, for one, look forward to many more of FRED’s works of art! This issue probably had the first centerfold ever in a computer magazine.


Other January events include MICRONIX SYSTEMS marketing the first keyboard for the CoCo, Dennis Lewandowski writes the RAINBOW CHECK, and dates are confirmed for the first RAINBOWFEST. It will be held in Chicago, April 22-24th.

In February, 68 MICRO eludes to the fact that they may be starting a CoCo publication to meet the explosion of “new” subscribers. Absent, for the first time since I have been reading 68 MICRO, are The Micro Works ads. Something was happening?

Most of the other February news included reports of CoCo products on display at last fall’s COMDEX show in Las Vegas. The products included AMDEK’s new 3 inch disk drives, WICO’s joysticks and trackball, and the long awaited ZAXXON from DATASOFT.

The rumors were obviously true because, in March, the third CoCo magazine hit the news stands. Edited by KERRY LEICHTMAN, THE COLOR COMPUTER MAGAZINE (TCCM for short) premiered with articles from Jake Commander, Bob Rosen, WILLIAM BARDEN JR., and Dennis Kitsz.

March’s “nuclear” issue featured the first RAINBOW SCOREBOARD, an ad for ELITE SOFTWARE’s ZAKSUND (the first ZAXXON-clone), plus the Mark Data keyboard.

In late April of 1983 users from across the United States and Canada (not to mention Great Britain, Germany, Hawaii, and the Yukon) descend upon Chicago to take part in the first ever CoCo convention, RAINBOWFEST! Estimated attendance for this 3 day bash is placed at around 10,000. On the sales floor, J&M unveils its JFD disk controller, while siminars are held by Don Inman, Fred Scerbo, Tom Nelson, Steve Bjork, and Charles Roslund, to name just a few.

Other April showers include the cross reference index disassembly of 1.1 ROM, the first ad for Computerware’s 64K SCREEN EXPANDER, word that Bob Rosen is now operating 3 bulletin boards, Jake Commander’s first installment of the most ambitious commenting of the BASIC ROM ever, and the appearance of Datasoft’s first ZAXXON ads.

May brings flowers and a cross reference index disassembly of the 1.0 EXTENDED BASIC ROM, plus a name change for MED SYSTEMS to SCREEN PLAY. What’s in a name?

The Comment Corner column returns to CCN in June, authored by ANDREW HUBBELL, and a list of differences for BASIC 1.2, EXTENDED BASIC 1.1, and DISK BASIC 1.1.

CoCo’s third year ends with two new releases. First: the long awaited and much rumored “new” Color Computer, the Radio Shack MC-10. Second: another Color Computer magazine. HOT COCO, a Wayne Green publication, debuted without so much as a word of credit to Dave Lagerquist for coining the name “CoCo” for the Color Computer……oh well, we will remember!


THE FOURTH YEAR (Jul’83 – Jun’84)

Does it seem like I’m being too hard on CCN? Well in July, their was a full-cover photo of the DRAGON/32 but, nothing on the inside about the computer.

RAINBOW magazine, now supporting the MC-10, celebrated its second anniversary with a 308 page issue containing a two year index, a record with some BASIC programs, a look at the “new” MC-10, and a review of April’s RAINBOWFEST.

Marketing began for UN-DISK from DR. PREBLE, ELITE CALC from ELITE SOFTWARE, and PBJ’s 80 COLUMN CARD.

If 64K wasn’t enough for your CoCo, you could always try DENNIS KITSZ’s 128K bubble memory upgrade which appeared in July’s TCCM.

A new CoCo magazine, 68 COLOR MICRO JOURNAL, was announced in August, which brought to 5, the number of dedicated magazines for the CoCo.

Just about all magazines carried articles on the MC-10. My personal favorite is the one in CCN!

New product announcements in August include a new CoCo keyboard from HJL, the MULTI-PAK INTERFACE from Radio Shack, PIRATECTOR from Sugar Software, and Chromasette goes to disk.

SOFT SECTOR MARKETING stops marketing CoCo software.

Always on the leading edge, Star-Kits starts its software AMNESTY program. Who but Peter Stark would be bold enough to give software pirates a chance to cleanse their soul? Star-Kits also markets the first MC-10 software. HUMBUG.

If you missed the first RAINBOWFEST, take heart, their is a very strong possibility of three more.

If you needed a new computer to take back to school with you in September, you might try the newly released CoCo II but, don’t bother subscribing to CCN because, unknown to its subscribers, the September issue, is its last.

Reports circulate that THE COLOR COMPUTER MAGAZINE will hold COLOR EXPO’83 in Pasadena, CA. November 4-6.

New product released include COLOR MICRO JOURNALS 32 page debut issue, POOYAN from Datasoft, a keyboard from KEYTRONICS, PRO-COLOR FORMS from DERRINGER SOFTWARE, and the DRAGON/64 from TANO.

The following was to have appeared in CCN but…..

“Enter The DRAGON/64″

by: alfredo(!) September 30, 1983

The DRAGON/64 computer, which is enjoying great success in England, is now available in America. What makes the DRAGON worthy of mention in this magazine is the fact that it uses a 6809E microprocessor and MICROSOFT BASIC just like our friend the TRS-80 Color Computer.

When I first heard about the DRAGON/64 (and little brother DRAGON/32) my first question was: “Will Color Computer programs run on the DRAGON?”. The answer is YES……and NO!

The incompatibility of “BASIC WORD TOKENS” between the 2 machines prevent CoCo programs from working on the DRAGON/64 but, not to worry!


If you save a CoCo program using the ASCII format (ie: CSAVE”filename”,A) it will CLOAD and RUN on the DRAGON/64 with little or no problem. Problems may occur if any memory locations in LOW RAM are PEEKed or POKEd and problems will occur for sure if any CoCo ROM routines are called. Here’s why:

DRAGON’s COLOR BASIC and EXTENDED COLOR BASIC are identical to CoCo’s in many ways with one major exception: They are both on A SINGLE HN4827128G-30 28 pin EPROM. While DRAGON’s BASIC chip (IC 18) occupies memory locations $8000-$BFFF (like the CoCo), ROM entry points are not the same. CoCo’s POLLCAT routine, for instance, is at $A1C1 while on the DRAGON it’s at $BBE5. This fact prevents Color Computer machine language programs from running on the DRAGON.

The table below contains DRAGON/64 ROM entry points and CoCo 1.1 BASIC and the 1.0 EXTENDED BASIC equivalents. CoCo/Dragon ROM Conversion Table (Color Basic ROM 1.1)

CoCo DRAG
Addr Addr Comment
————————————–
(A000) A1C1 (A000) 8006 POLL KEY
(A002) A282 (A002) B54A CHAR OUT(cass)
(A004) A77C (A004) 8021 CASS READ
(A006) A70B (A006) B93E BLOCK IN
(A008) A7F4 (A008) B999 BLOCK OUT
(A00A) A9DE (A00A) 8012 READ IN JOYSTK VAL
(A00C) A7D8 (A00C) 801B HEADER OUT Both the CoCo and Dragon/64 have indirect addresses at $A000-$A00C. Dragon’s bid at CoCo compatability.


CoCo/Dragon ROM Conversion Table (Color Basic ROM 1.1)CoCo DRAG
Addr Addr Comment
————————————–
894C 9D3D
95CF A95D
A00E B39B SECONDARY RESET
A027 B3B4 MAIN RESET
A02A B3B7
A06E HARD START
A0E8 B44F SOFT START
A176 B50A CHAR IN
A186 B51A
A1B1 B538
A1C1 BBE5 CHECK KEYBRD
A282 B54A CHAR OUT(cass)
A290 B560
A2A8 B578
A2BF BD1A
A30A BCAB CHAR OUT(scrn)
A34B BCE2 SCROLL UP ONE LINE
A390 B5C6 INPUT FROM KEYBRD
A393 B5C9
A398 B5CE
A42D B663
A444 B67A
A46C B6A8
A491 B6CD
A502 A095
A59A B7CC Data mover routine
A5EE B820
A619 B84B
A629 B85B
A635 B867
A65C B88E
A65F B891
A663 B895
A701 B933
A70B B93E BLOCK IN
A77C BDE7 Cass. READ out
A7E9 BDDC
A7D1 B480
A7D3 B482
A7D8 BE68
A7F4 B999 BLOCK OUT
A928 BA77 Clear Screen
A951 BAA0
A956 BAA5
A974 BAC3
A976 BAC5 sound routine
A9DE BD52
AD19 8417 Clear mem (NEW+3)
B277 89B4 get operand
B99C 90E5 PRINT text string


Another area of major incompatibility is the keyboard (HI-TEK 107044 H). Although the DRAGON has a full stroke keyboard, its matrix is not wired the same way as the CoCo keyboard. For example, a CoCo machine language program (which you’ve modified, of course) will produce unexpected keyboard input. Typing the following: “DRAGON COLOR COMPUTER” will put this on the screen: “4B17/. 3/,/B 3/-@ED5B”. Indications supporting The keyboard matrix incompatibility is the fact that if the DRAGON keyboard is installed in the CoCo, or vice versa, the wierd output continues. This condition does not effect any CoCo BASIC programs running on the DRAGON (unless you are PEEKing the keyboard rollover table to check keys pressed).

A couple more items on keyboard related matters: DRAGON BASIC’s routine to poll for entry from the keyboard is somewhat less efficient then CoCo’s. I’m not a speed typist but, in the two years I’ve been computing, I’ve gotten pretty proficient at typing the word “LIST”. The word is typed so fast that before the “L” key is released, the “I” key is being pressed then “S” and “T”. The DRAGON turns my lightning “LIST” into “LST”. This occurs because DRAGON’s keyboard polling routine will not recognize the “I” key stroke until the “L” key is released because they are apparently on the same row of the keyboard matrix. This also effects the method used to pause scrolling during a LIST with a “SHIFT @”. The inability to accept a double keystroke happens only while DRAGON is in the 32K mode (on powerup). While in the 64K mode, not only is the “problem” eliminated but, if a key is held down for more than a few 10ths of a second, it starts repeating.

By the way, You’ll know at a glance whether you’re in the 32K or 64K mode simply by the cursor color. While in the 32K mode, the cursor will be a blinking solid black graphics character while a blinking solid blue cursor indicates 64K mode.

DRAGON’s 64K mode is entered by typing “EXEC” and pressing . Easy hey?? When the machine is turned on, part of its initialization process includes moving data into LOW RAM ($0000-$03FF) for the BASIC interpreters to use. For instance, the system uses location $009D to hold the EXEC address of the last machine langue which was loaded into the computer. This eliminates having to specify an EXECution address after you CLOADM a program. Power-up initialization puts the value BF49 at $009D. DRAGON’s 64K mode ROM entry point is $BF49.

If, however, you wish to enter the 64K mode AFTER having loaded in a machine language program, $009D will then contain then EXEC address of that program so typing EXEC &HBF49 will be required to access the 64K. Another nice thing about the DRAGON’s use of it’s 64K is that it frees user RAM from $0600-$BFFF’s by MOVING the ROMS up to $C000-$FFF0. Radio Shack’s doesn’t move its ROMs so you end up with 2 blocks of RAM: $0600-$7FFF and $C000-$FFF0, with memory locations $A000-$BFFF ($8000-BFFF for EXTENDED BASIC CoCos) off limits because CoCo’s ROMS are there.


Beside its 64K of RAM and full stroke keyboard, the parallel printer port and monitor output should make this computer a very serious consideration to anyone in the market for an inexpensive yet powerful computer with high resolution graphics capabilities.

In addition to the above mentioned ports, the DRAGON/64 has connectors for 2 joysticks, a cassette recorder, 40 ROM cartridge/disk interface, TV hook up and external power transformer.

The DRAGON/64 gives you all the power and versatility of the very popular TRS-80 Color Computer plus features which make the DRAGON/64 a much more professional machine with far greater capabilities. If you’ve held off buying the TRS-80 Color Computer because of some above mentioned limitation then now is the time to stop DRAGON your feet and check out this very GREAT BRITON. (You liked the BEATLES didn’t you?)

Nelson Software, in September, announced that their Super “Color” Writer had become the official word processor for the DRAGON.

The highlight of the second RAINBOWFEST (held in Ft. Worth on October 14-16) was a walking tour of Tandy’s new CoCo Plant. The same month Radio Shack releases the WALT DISNEY and SESAME STREET educational software, MULTI-PAK interface, the MOUSE, the KRAFT joystick, and the OS-9 operating system.

DENNIS KITSZ says “I’m gonna teach you a lesson” when he releases his 6809E instructional kit.

In November, at COLOR EXPO’83, MARTY GOODMAN debut his state of the art graphics program GRAPHICOM.

Thanks Marty!

Other releases came from ELITE WORD from Elite Software, SUPER SCREEN from Mark Data, PASCAL from DEFT SOFTWARE, the BASIC UNRAVELLED books from Spectral Associates, and Computerware’s first BASIC COMPILER.

Nelson Software changed its name in November to VIP SOFTWARE. (A rose by any other name?)

With Christmas only days away, TANO started including 8 FREE programs with its DRAGON/64. Things are not looking good for this CoCo clone.

Reviews for the DRAGON/32 and DRAGON/64 appear in a couple of publications along with the announcement of TIME BANDIT from the COMPUTER SHACK, MAGIGRAPH from The Micro Works, and POKES, PEEKS & EXEC FILE from MICROCOM SOFTWARE.

In January, a BARCODE READER called OSCAR is advertised in several computer magazines for several machines, including the CoCo. This $178 ill-fated project ended up being liquidated for $54.00.

WAYNE TECHNOLOGY marketed its CP/M for the CoCo, and DYNAMIC ELECTRONICS marketed the first ever 128K upgrade.

February marked the debut of GRAPHICOM from MARTY GOODMAN, and ELITE-FILE from Elite Software, plus a name change from the Computer Shack to MICHTRON.


RAINBOWFEST #3 is held in Long Beach, CA. February 17-19

Radio station KGON, its reported, has its own bulletin board running on a CoCo.

TANO drops its DRAGON/64 ads in RAINBOW and rumors start circulating that the computer is about to breath its last flame.

The first east coast RAINBOWFEST is held March 30 – April 1 and features the first CoCo HARD DISK from SOFTWARE SUPPORT. In an attempt to clear its stock, TANO reduces the price of the DRAGON/64 to $149.00.

Bob Rosen, in May, moved Spectrum Projects to San Jose, CA., word’s out about the future release of the C-COMPILER from Radio Shack, and VIP CALC from VIP Software. New product releases came from Prickly-Pear Software with their DISK TRIVIA software, and the Tom Mix milestone, WORLDS OF FLIGHT.

By the time the June 22-24 RAINBOWFEST touches down in Chicago, DRAGON/64 ads have vanished from all CoCo magazines as DRAGON DATA Ltd. (British parent company) is under receivership.


THE FIFTH YEAR (Jul’84 – Jun’85)

The CoCo turns 4 years old in July, at the same time Radio Shack’s TRS-80 MICROCOMPUTING NEWS published its last issue.

The RAINBOW celebrates its third anniversary with yet another innovative feature, a scratch ‘n sniff adventure game. The issue also contains a complete index of articles and reviews which have appeared in the magazine since its beginning. Rumors appear about a new Radio Shack keyboard, and the folding of Chromasette!

A new product called TELE-FORM is marketed by CIGNA. The software enables mail-merge with Telewriter

In August, TCCM is the subject of “going out of business” rumors, Bob Rosen puts BBS #5 “on the air” in San Jose, and rumors circulate in England that TANDY is interested in the floundering Dragon Data Ltd. company.

At the September RAINBOWFEST, held in Princeton, NJ (28-30), Dennis Lewandowski debuts his 128K upgrade. Other first timers include NOMAD the robot from Frank Hogg, GRAPHICOM II from WHITESMITH, and a graphics program and digitizer from GRAFX.

VIP Software moves out to California

The rumored takeover by a Spanish company, gives British Dragon users something to roar about.

TCCM’s rumored demise proves correct. This is the third CoCo magazine to fold within the past year. The October issue is its last but, take heart because Dennis Kitsz announces the start of UNDERCOLOR (UCL for short) which will hit the stands in a month. Good luck Dennis!

Computerware begins marketing DON’T FORGET, and EUROHARD of Spain begins production of the Dragon computer in that country.

An auto-answer modem too expensive? Check out the November issue of RAINBOW and find out how to teach your Modem I to auto-answer.

Bill & Sara Nolan sell Prickly-Pear Software to Mike & Joanne Chinitis. Good luck to all!

Rumors, rumors everywhere: Radio Shack has CoCos with TRUE LOWERCASE (using the new Motorola 6847-TI VDG chip) which won’t be released until after the holidays.

The better late than never, 26 page UNDERCOLOR magazine premiered in December with information about two “new” KOREAN CoCo IIs featuring a 1.3 BASIC ROM.

Other new December arrivals included THE WIZARD from NEXUS which will modify Telewriter’s character set, Dennis Lewandowski’s 128K upgrade, the CALINDEX appointment scheduler from GRANTHAM SOFTWARE, a video digitizer from The Micro Works, and NOVASOFT (a Tom Mix company) starts marketing its CoCo goodies.

7000 people attend Britain’s first 6809 COLOUR SHOW for DRAGON and TANDY users.

1985 started with a bang and whimper! The bang came from the debut of another CoCo milestone, COCOMAX from COLORWARE. The whimper is provided by rumors that Color Micro Journal is about to go “belly up”.


The February RAINBOWFEST in Irvine, California (15-17) attracts 8,000 for a first-hand look at COCOMAX (250 sold). Product debuts include the P-51 MUSTANG ATTACK FLIGHT SIMULATOR from Tom Mix, the 68008 expansion card from RGS Micro Electronics, and a 15 key numeric keypad from MORETON BAY. Tandy sells 16K CoCos for a mere $50, a drop in the proverbial bit bucket.

Back to where it all started, CoCo information will start re-appearing in 68 MICRO JOURNAL as rumors of COLOR MICRO JOURNAL’s demise prove true. With this month’s issue, CMJ joined Color Computer News, Chromasette, and The Color Computer Magazine as the fourth major CoCo publication to fold within the past 17 months.

March brought word that the “new” CoCo would be an exclusive OS-9 machine (no BASIC ROM) and would be in Radio Shack stores sometime between Sep’85 and Mar’86. – Callers to any of Bob Rosen’s 4 bulletin boards in Woodhaven, New York are greeted, not by the usual high pitched carrier tone but, by a “disconnected” message. Bob has signed off the east coast boards. From one “guru” to another Bob, thanks for the memories.

On March 30-31, London is the scene of the second 6809 COLOUR SHOW for DRAGON and TANDY users. Looks like the DRAGON lives on.

April sees the release of two library offerings, the long awaited COMPLETE RAINBOW GUIDE TO OS-9, authored by DALE PUCKETT and PETER DIBBLE, plus, from our Canadian friends at DRAGONFLY WRITING, a cassette magazine called DIGInews For COCO.

Who says “you can never go home again”? Eleven months in San Jose was obviously long enough to make Bob Rosen realize how much he missed the hustle ‘n bustle of the “big apple”. Nice to have you back home Bob.

Found out from a friend of mine that R.G.S. Micro of Montreal is no longer on the planet. Seems they folded last month, leaving a lot of folks, who wanted to be the first on the block with the 68000 CPU board and other goodies, holding their joystick! What a shame!! Early reports are that some of the RGS crew will attempt to hook up with DSS Peripherals of Farmingdale, NY. to complete (start?) some of the RGS projects. Good luck!

Good luck also to Spectral Associates. After 4 years, they withdraw from the CoCo support field. Their absence will be keenly felt.

In May, voice recognition for the CoCo becomes a reality when Speech Systems starts marketing its Electronic Audio Recognition System (EARS for short).

Rainbowfest celebrates its third anniversary with 3 fun-filled days & nights (17-19) in Chicago. Causing quite a stir is Steve Odneals fully portable CoCo, complete with disk drive and monitor. Although only a prototype, Steve uses the show to judge user interest.

In June, as the curtain descends on the CoCo’s fourth year, so too does it fall on yet another Color Computer publication. This time it’s Dennis Kitsz’s “Under Color” which bites the dust! RIP.


THE SIXTH YEAR (Jul’85 – Jun’86)

Subscribers to Under Color magazine are informed in July that any unfullfilled subscribtions will be taken up by Rainbow magazine, celebrating its 4th anniversary now, as the ONLY remaining publication exclusivley for the TRS-80 Color Computer, which, itself, turned 5 years old in July.

In November, a little over 4 after their debut on the CoCo scene, the absence of the Nelson/Softlaw/VIP (take your pick) ads are keenly felt.


THE SEVENTH YEAR (Jul’86 – Jun’87)

On July 30th, 1986 (6 years and 1 day after the debut of the original TRS-80 Color Computer, Tandy unveils the long awaited and much rumored CoCo III. The basic unit ($219.95) comes with 128K (upgradable to 512K). Also announced are the OS-9 Level II operating system, and a new analog RGB monitor.

Due to small attendence, August brings word of Rainbowfest West’s possible demise. Chicago & Princeton shows, however, will not be effected.

Rainbow’s September issue carries the first in-depth look at the new CoCo III.

On October 10, after weeks of bugging my local Radio Shack store, I receive a call telling me they’re holding my 128K CoCo III!

The following is my preliminary look at the new CoCo III:

On power up, the 68B09E gets the 2 byte address at $FFFE, puts it into the PC (program counter) and starts executing code at that address.

In the case of the CoCo III, the address found at $FFFE is $8C1B.
8C1B ORCC #$50 disable intrps
LDA #$0A
STA XFF90
CLR XFFDE RAM/ROM mode
JMP XC000
===================================
GIMIE chip inits to read CoCo III
ROM even if the system has DSK/BAS
installed so after entry at $8C1B,
CoCo III goes to its internal ROM @
C000.

C000 REM disable intrpts/save stack
C006 REM Fill $FFB0-FFC0 with NOPS
C012 REM $FFA0-FFAF initialize
LDA #$CE
STA XFF90
C027 REM move $C03F-$C36C => $4000
JMP X4000 execute moved code


CoCo III (Continued)
4000 REM FIRST BYTE patch routine
400F REM Move 8 bytes from $41EF => $FF98
4088 REM Check reset vectors
40B7 REM Ready EXT/BAS & COL/BAS move to RAM
40C1 REM 27 Patches to EXT/BAS & COL/BAS
40E1 REM Check for disk system (DK @ $C000)
40EC REM Ready DSK/BA move to RAM
4100 REM Ready SUP/BAS move to RAM
4141 REM Clear screen
4168 ==> JUMP TO PRIMARY RESTART AT $A027
416B REM Move ROM=>RAM
4197 REM Move ‘Y’ data to ‘X’ (‘B’=counter)
419F REM Moves “T.Harris & T.Earles” to $F71B
41C1 REM Draw the three CoCo guys
41EF REM 8 bytes moved to $FF98
41F7 REM 16 bytes moved to $C1D6
4207 REM 16 bytes moved to $FFA0
4217 REM 182 bytes to patch EXT/COL/BAS pointers
42CE REM 21 bytes “T.Harris & T.Earles”
42E3 REM check DOS version
42EA REM patch DOS 1.0
42F5 REM 11 bytes (NOP) moved to C8B4 DOS 1.1
4301 REM put 7EE29D at $C0D9 (DOS 1.1)
431A REM 19 bytes moved to $FEED
432C REM LAST BYTE patch routine
===================================
A027 LEAY
A02A REM I/O & RAM initialize
A05B JMP PA072 warm or cold start
===================================
A072 JMP 0,Y ‘Y’=$A00E on pwrup
A00E LDS #$03D7 set stack
LDA #$37
STA $FF23 inable interupt
LDA $71 get warm start flag
CMPA #$55 warm start?
BNE PA074 no! do cold start
LDX $72 get warm address
LDA 0,X get 1st byte of warm
CMPA #$12 NOP?
BNE PA074 no! do cold start
JMP 0,X yes! do warm start



CoCo III (Continued)
A074 REM clear out low RAM
A07D JSR $A928 clear screen
A080 REM initialize BASIC start
A084 REM initialize BASIC top
A093 REM set low RAM mem pointers
A0A1 REM set up low RAM pointers
A0BA REM fill $015E-$01A9 w. RTS
A0C8 JSR $AD19 go do a NEW
A0CB JMP $8002 init EXT/BAS
===================================
8002 REM initialize EXT/BAS low RAM
809B REM initialize graphics var
80A6 REM check for DSK/BAS at $C000
80AC REM if DOS then init @ $C002

IF NO DISK?BAS THEN XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
===================================
C002 REM initialize DOS low RAM
*
* $C0D9 inst (LDX #$C138)
* patched to print CoCo III
* opening text.
*
* JMP $E29D patch for DOS 1.1
* JMP $E297 patch for DOS 1.0
*
C0D9 JMP $E29D (was LDX #$C138)
=================================== E29D LDX #$E315 DSK/BAS 1.1 text-1 JMP $C0DC print it (DOS 1.1) =================================== C0DC JSR $B99C print text LDX #$C0E7 (#$C0D4 if DOS 1.0) STX $72 save warm strt vector JMP $A0E2 back to BASIC =================================== A0E2 LDA #$55 STA $71 BRA $A0F3 =================================== A0F3 JMP $AC73 contains JMP $E502


      CoCo III (Continued)

 XXXXXXXXXXX NO DSK?BAS XXXXXXXXXXXX

	  REM     else enable interrupts

 80E7 REM  and point to EXT/BAS text

	  *

	  * JSR $B99C instrctn at $80B2

	  * patched with JMP $E288 to

	  * print opening text

	  *

 80B2 JMP $E288      (was JSR $B99C)

 ===================================

 E288 LDX  #$80E7     EXT/BAS msg -1

	  JSR  $B99C            print it

	  LDX  #$E2F7  get SUP/BAS msg#2

	  JSR  $B99C            print it

	  JMP  $80B8 resume EXT/BAS init

Computer Plus will sell the new CoCo III for $169 but, they’ll only get them in time for October 17-19 Rainbowfest at Princeton where they sell out within minutes.


THE EIGHTH YEAR (Jul’87 – Jun’88)

Jul’87

Aug’87

Sep’87

Oct’87

Nov’87

Dec’87

Jan’88

Feb’88: SPECTRUM PROJECTS runs its last ads.

Mar’88

Apr’88

May’88

Jun’88

THE NINETH YEAR (Jul’88 – Jun’89)

Jul’88: COMPUTERWARE runs its last ad in RBW

Aug’88

Sep’88

Oct’88

Nov’88

Dec’88: MICROCOM ads up to 6 pages!

Jan’89

Feb’89

Mar’89

Apr’89

May’89 MICRO WORKS runs its last ad.

Jun’89

THE TENTH YEAR (Jul’89 – Jun’90)

Jul’89:

Aug’89: Rainbow advertisers down to 40 Extended ADOS-3 announced by Spectrosystems

Sep’89: Advertisers Index switches to multiple ad entries instead of single entrie with multiple pages. Makes it look like more advertisers.

Oct’89: New Jersey Rainbowfest (20-22)! This will be the L A S T Rainbowfest held in Jersey.

Nov’89: Rainbow runs Readers Survey!

Dec’89:

Jan’90: Plans announced for the publication of a book (due out in late summer/early fall) titled “An Affectionate History Of The Tandy Color Computer”

Feb’90:

Mar’90: Coverage of Oct Rainbowfest in New Jersey Ad for Chicago Rainbowfest (Apr.6-8) mentions Oct.20-22’89?? as the TENTATIVE date for New Jersey Rainbowfest!?

Kenneth Leigh (of Washington, DC) Announces MS-DOS based CoCo of the 90s!?

Apr’90: Chicago Rainbowfest! (06-09) CoCoPro! debuts with ads for “gently used software”

May’90: Rainbow magazine down to 100 pages

Jun’90: Last Rainbow with flat binding. (100 pages) Frank Hogg announces “TOMCAT”, (“CoCo of the 90s”??)

THE ELEVENTH YEAR (Jul’90 – Jun’91)

Jul’90: Ad appears for MM/1 computer (The CoCo of the 90s!?!)

Aug’90: In an ad for the MM/1 computer, reference is made to “Atlanta CoCofest” on Oct.6+7, 1990??

Lonnie Falk announces decicion to drop NJ Rainbowfest and just have one big meeting in Chicago.

Sep’90:

Oct’90: COMPUTER ISLAND runs its last ads.

Nov’90: SPECTROSYSTEM starts bi-monthly ads in Rainbow.

Dec’90:

Jan’91:

Feb’91: MIROCOM ads down to 2 pages.

Mar’91: Rainbow down to 84 pages.

Apr’91:

May’91:

Jun’91:
Last Update: 02/13/92

THE TWELVTH YEAR (Jul’91 – Jun’92)

Jul’91: Rainbow down to 68 pages and 23 advertisers

Aug’91: Lonnie Falk reviews “RAINBOWfest” of April, 1991

Sep’91:

Oct’91:

Nov’91: Rainbow down to 52 pages and 20 advertisers..

Dec’91: Art Flexer (ADOS) runs last ad for SPECTROSYSTEMS.

Jan’92:

Feb’92: Last Rainbow with magazine format (52 pages)

Mar’92: Rainbow adopts the “tabloid” format (32 pages)

Apr’92:

May’92:

Jun’92:
Last Update: 02/13/92

CLOSE: THE TWELFTH YEAR (Jul’91 – Jun’92)

What does the future hold for the CoCo? In the words of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, “unknown captain!” but, who could have imagined that the CoCo, almost ignored to “death” by Tandy in the beginning, would be around today to enjoy its twelvth birthday?

I would like to take this time to thank some people who helped bring all of us to this celebrated date. Many of these folks (IN BOLD LETTERS) also provided valuable information used in writing the COCO CHRONICLES.

Tandy, Motorola, Radio Shack, Don Williams and BOB NAY of 68 Micro Journal, Andrew Phelps of The Micro Works, BOB ROSEN of Spectrum Projects, Wayne Green of 80 Microcomputing, MARK DAVIDSAVER of Eigen Systems, Computerware, fellow “gurus” Jorge Mir and Syd Kahn, Bill Sias of Color Computer News, KEVIN MORAN, JIM FARRELL of Motorola, MIKE SEYMORE, “Barefoot” John Griffen, BARRY THOMPSON for a fine product line, Spectral Associates for the Facts, Tony DiStefano, Gary & Susan Davis of Sugar Software, Allen Gelder Software, Lonnie Falk of the Rainbow, FRANK HOGG who showed us, STEVE ODNEAL, WAYNE DAY, Peter Stark of Star-Kits, Larry Bank, MIKE WOLF of “Wolfbug” fame, Soft Sector Marketing, KENT MEYER of Leroy, Dennis Lewandowski of DSL, Marty Goodman for a different point of view, Exatron, Dave Lagerquist of Chromasette for “CoCo”, David Allen of Tallgrass Technologies, IRA GOLDWYN, Green Mountain’s Dennis Kitsz, Mark Data Products, Fred Scerbo of IMB, Howard Cohen of Cognitec, Greg Zumwalt, ALAN ROGERS and CAROL WOLVERTON, Armadillo Software, Lance Leventhal and Carl Warren, William Barden Jr, COMPUTER PLUS, Tom Mix Software, Steve & Cheryl Blyn of Computer Island, PEGGY UNDERHILL of Tano, RAY & RITA FRAZIER, Bill Tubbs, and (of course) Nelson Software. Thank you, one and all!

Apologies to those I’ve left out but, you know who you are and may I just say that “you look marvelous!”

In a continuing effort to “fine-tune” and make these chronicles more complete, I extend an invitation to users and companies alike, who wishes to contribute any “historical” bits of information to do so by mailing them to:

Alfredo T. Santos 12216 Shadetree Lane Laurel, Maryland 20708 Keep on growin’!


TRS-80 Color Chronicles Library
A list of books which will help you aquire a better undersatanding about the TRS-80 Color Computer and its various systems.
Unless the word “CoCo” appears in the title, “Color Computer” will be replaced by the word “COCO” (all capitols)
’78 MC6809 Macro-Assembler Ref. Manual …………………. Motorola
’79 MC6809 Preliminary Prog. Manual ……………………. Motorola
’80 The MC6809 Cookbook …………………………. Carl D. Warren
’81 Getting Started With Color Basic (RS) …….. Donna Greaves Smith
’81 Going Ahead With Extended Color Basic (RS) ….. Jonathan Erickson
’81 MC6809-MC6809E Programming Manual ………………….. Motorola
’81 101 COCO Programming Tips & Tricks ………………… Ron Clark
’81 55 COCO Progs For Home & School & Office …………… Ron Clark
’81 55 MORE COCOProgs For Home School & Office …………. Ron Clark
’81 6809 Assembly Language Programming …………… Lance Leventhal
’81 6809 Microcomputer Prog & Interfacing …….. Andrew Staugaard Jr
’81 TRS-80 COCO Technical Reference Manual(RS) ………. Dale Chatham
’81 The Facts ……………………………… Spectral Associates
’82 COCO Graphics (RS) ………………………. William Barden, Jr
’82 TRS-80 COCO Programs (RS) ……………. Tom Rugg & Phil Feldman
’82 TRS-80 COCO Quick Reference Guide (RS) …………… Radio Shack
’82 The Color Computer Songbook ………………………. Ron Clark
’82 Color Computer Graphics ………………………….. Ron Clark
’82 TRS-80 COCO Graphics …………………… Don Inman with Dymax
’82 COCO Disk System (RS) ………………………….. Radio Shack
’82 Programming The 6809 ……………. Rodnay Zaks & William Labiak
’82 COCO Secrets Revealed …………………………. Disk ‘N Data
’82 TRS-80 COCO Reference Card …………………… Nanos Systems
’83 TRS-80 COCO Interfacing With Experiments ….. Andrew Staugaard Jr
’83 TRS-80 Color Basic ………………… Bob Albrecht & John Wiley
’83 Troubleshooting & Repairing Personal Computers …… Art Margolis
’83 TRS-80 Mod I, III & COCO Interface Projects …. William Barden Jr
’83 TRS-80 Extende Color Basic ………………….. Richard Haskell
’83 Top-Down Basic For The COCO ………………………. Ken Skier
’83 Assembly Language Graphics For The TRS-80 COCO ……… Don Inman
’83 How To Do It On The TRS-80 ………………… William Barden Jr
’84 Getting Started With Extended Color Basic (RS) ……. Radio Shack ’84 Introducing Your Color Computer (RS) …………….. Radio Shack ’84 500 POKEs, PEEKs ‘N EXECs ……………….. Kishore M. Santwani ’84 Color Basic Unraveled …………………… Spectral Associates ’84 Extended Basic Unraveled ………………… Spectral Associates ’84 Things To Do With Your COCO ………….. Willis, Miller, Johnson ’84 Disk Basic Unraveled ……………………. Spectral Associates ’84 TRS-80 COCO Assem Language Prog (RS) ……….. William Barden Jr ’84 COCOINDEX …………………………………….. Dean Norris ’84 Your Color Computer ……………………………. Doug Mosher ’85 Complete Rainbow Guide To OS-9 ………… D. Puckett & P. Dibble ’85 The CoCo Chronicles …………………………….. alfredo(!) ’86 Supplement To 500 POKEs, PEEKs & EXECs ……. Kishore M. Santwani Nov 09, 1986


COMPUTER PLUS CoCo prices
=========================
1 3 6 DSK DSK DCM HYS
Issue/Pub 04K 16K 6KX 2KX 4KX 0 1 I 2
========= === === === === === === === === ===
09’81 CCN 310 416 489 n/a n/a n/a n/a 130 n/a
11’81 CCN 459
01’82 CCN 470
02’82 CCN 525
05’82 CCN 489
07’82 CCN n/a 305 399 499 510 315
10’82 RBW 235
11’82 RBW 249 335
12’82 RBW 460 385 239
01’83 RBW 235 305 420
02’83 CCN 420 470 315
03’83 CCN 299
04’83 RBW 129
06’83 RBW 175 255 => 370 <=
06’83 CCN => 345 <=
08’83 CCN 175 255 329 235
10’83 RBW CC2 => 175 245 => 305 <= 89
11’83 HCC 185
01’84 RBW 145 210
02’84 HCC 185 245
02’84 RBW 145 210
03’84 HCC 185 245
03’84 RBW 135 165 => 210 <= 225
08’84 CCM 289 220
09’84 RBW => 205 <= 215
10’84 RBW => 195 <=
11’84 TEL sale=> 95 125 => 169 <=
11’84 RBW 135
03’85 HCC 110 => 179 <=
04’85 TEL sale=> 255 169 52
05’85 RBW 279
09’85 RBW 189
11’85 RBW 108 239
12’85 RBW 79 149 179
02’86 RBW 179 239
04’86 RBW 165
08’86 RBW 145
09’86 RBW 179
Last Update: Feb. 07, 1991


COMPUTER PLUS CoCo prices
=========================
CC3 512 CC3 CM8 6 DSK DSK DCM HYS
Issue/Pub 128 UPG 512 RGB 4KX 0 1 I 2
========= === === === === === === === === ===
10’86 RBW 169 n/a 145 239 179 52 215
11’86 RBW n/a 179 149
11’86 TEL n/a 89
03’87 RBW n/a 239
05’87 RBW 129 298 249
07’87 RBW 179
08’87 RBW 159 288 249
12’87 RBW 115 244 199
02’88 RBW 159 288 249
06’88 RBW 149 308
07’88 RBW 145 294 229
08’88 RBW 159 308 249
11’88 RBW 115 264 179
02’89 RBW 159 308
04’89 RBW call ??? 40
05’89 RBW ??? 52
06’89 RBW 129 ??? 210
07’89 RBW 149 278 249
08’89 RBW 159 308 239
11’89 RBW 99 248 210 179 149 30
12’89 RBW 115 264
02’90 RBW 249 239
03’90 RBW 52
04’90 RBW 129 278 179
05’90 RBW 115 264
06’90 RBW 179
07’90 RBW 249 239
09’90 RBW 159 129 288
11’90 RBW 89<=sale=> 210 159
01’91 RBW 135
02’92 RBW n/a <= The CoCo is discontinued! (RIP)

Last Update: Feb. 07, 1991


LET’S DO A MEETING

Below is a list of major U.S. Color Computer shows, dates, and locations along with a list of scheduled speakers.

As you can see, the CoCo’s fourth year (Jul’83-Jun’84) gave the computer its highest visability with a total of 5 shows in the course of 9 months.

Show# Name Location Mth. Dates ‘Yr
===== ==== ======== === ===== ===
1. Rainbowfest Chicago, IL Apr. 22-24 ’83

2. Rainbowfest Ft. Worth, TX Oct. 14-16 ’83
3. Color Expo’83 Pasadena, CA Nov. 04-06 ’83
4. Rainbowfest Long Beach, CA Feb. 17-19 ’84
5. Rainbowfest New Brunswick, NJ Mar. 30-01 ’84
6. Rainbowfest Chicago, IL Jun. 22-24 ’84

7. Rainbowfest Princeton, NJ Sep. 28-30 ’84
8. Rainbowfest Irvine, CA Feb. 15-17 ’85
9. Rainbowfest Chicago, IL May. 17-19 ’85

10. Rainbowfest Princeton, NJ Oct. 11-13 ’85
11. Rainbowfest Palo Alto, CA Feb. 14-16 ’86
12. Rainbowfest Chicago, IL May. 23-25 ’86

13. Rainbowfest Princeton, NJ Oct. 17-19 ’86
14. Rainbowfest Chicago, IL Apr. 10-12 ’87

15. Rainbowfest Princeton, NJ Oct. 9-11 ’87
16. Rainbowfest Chicago, IL May. 20-22 ’88
17. Rainbowfest Princeton, NJ Oct. 21-23 ’88
18. Rainbowfest Chicago, IL Apr. 14-16 ’89
19. Rainbowfest Somerset, NJ Oct. 20-22 ’89
20. Rainbowfest Chicago, IL Apr. 6- 8 ’90
21. COCOFEST Atlanta, GA Oct. 6- 7 ’90
22. Rainbowfest Chicago, IL Apr. 26-28 ’91
23. COCOFEST Atlanta, GA Oct 5- 6 ’91
24. COCOFEST Chicago, IL May 30-31 ’92

Last Update: Feb. 19, 1992


LIST OF SPEAKERSSpeaker Title Show(s)

======= ===== =======

Adams, Rick ………………………………………… 16

Albreict, Bob …………………………………………. 8

Augusburg, Cray ………………………………… 13-18-20,22

Baily, E.R …………………………………………. 1

Barden, Bill Rainbow Contributing Editor…………… 10-11,13

Bell, Bruce ………………………………………… 17

Bernico, Bill …………………………………… 14,16,18

Bjork, Steve Owner of SRB Software …………….. 11-13,17-19

Blyn, Steve ………………………………….. 2,5,10,15

Brandon, Frank …………………………………………. 2

Burke, Chris ……………………………………… 18,22

Burnett, Ben ………………………………………… 17

Cook, Bruce M …………………………………………. 5

Daniels, Bill Danosoft ………………………………… 20

Darling, Kevin …………………………………… 14,18-22

Davis, Gary …………………………………………. 5

Davis, Susan …………………………………………. 5

Day, R. Wayne Compuserve CoCo SIG Sysop ……………… 8-9,11

Dibble, Peter ………………………………………… 14

DiMarco, Tom ……………………………………… 15-16

Dorner, George ………………………………………… 13

Downard, Dan Rainbow Technical Editor………………… 16-13

Dymax group …………………………………………. 4

Eastham, Dan …………………………………………. 5

Ellison, Peter ………………………………………… 19

Esposito, Richard ………………………………………… 15

Ewart, Nancy ………………………………………… 17

Flexser, Art ……………………………… 14,15,18,20-22

Gattis, William VP. of Education Div. of Radio Shack ……….. 11

Gavriluk, Eric ………………………………………… 14

Gibney, John Delphi Ntl Sales Director ……………. 11-13,15
Gilbert, Jon ………………………………………… 19
Goodman, Marty Owner of Cheshire Cat Software …. 4,9,11,15-20,22
Grabbard, John …………………………………………. 2
Gresick, Ed ………………………………………… 22
Hathaway, Ed …………………………………… 16,18,21
Hodash, Paul ………………………………………… 17
Hoffman, Paul Author of “Master Artist” software …….. 7,10,13
Hogan, Buddy A. ……………………………………… 14,16
Hogg, Frank Pres of Frank Hogg Laboratory …….. 2,5-,7,20,22
Houk, Cecil …………………………………… 17-18,20
Humphress, Danny ………………………………………… 12
Hutchison, Donald ………………………………………… 16
Hyre, Leonard ………………………………………… 13
Inman, Don ……………………………………… 2,4,8
Judge, Ed Director of Market Planning for Tandy Corp …… 6
Kapfhammer, Jutta ……………………………………… 16-18
Kaplan, Ken President of Microware Systems ……………. 6,8
Kitchen, Phil …………………………………………. 4

Last Update: Feb. 19, 1992


LIST OF SPEAKERS (continued)
Speaker Title Show(s)
======= ===== =======
Kitsz, Dennis Owner Green Mountain Micro ………………… 10
Knudson, Mike ……………………………………… 19,22
Kreider, Carl ………………………………………… 14
Kuns, Eddie ………………………………………… 22
Lantz, Brian Ntl OS-9 Users Group President ………….. 11,13
Larson, Andy …………………………………………. 2
Latham, Chris …………………………………………. 1
Law, Greg ………………………………… 15,19-20,22
Lear, Dale ………………………………………… 16
Litton, Ross ………………………………………… 16
Miller, Greg ………………………………………… 14
Monnier, Gordon …………………………………………. 5
Nee, William ………………………………………… 18
Nelson, Tom ……………………………………….. 1,2
Nielson, Linda Moreton Bay Laboratory …………………. 4,6,8
Nolan, Bill Owner of Prickly Pear Software ………….. 2,4,8
Noyle, Ron ………………………………………… 20
Parry, Richard Owner of Speech Systems …………… 5,6,9,12,16
Parker, Jeffrey …………………………………… 13,15,19
Plog, Michael Educational writer for the Rainbow ……….. 6,14
Preble, Larry ………………………………………… 15
Puckett, Dale Author & Rainbow Contributing Editor …. 5-9,11-20
Purvis, Tim …………………………………………. 2
Reed, Jim Rainbow Managing Editor …………. 4,6,7,9,12-15
Robins, Dan ………………………………………… 21
Rosen, Bob ……………………………………….. 4,5
Ross, John ………………………………………… 15
Samuels, Ed ……………………………………… 15,17
Santee, Charles Educational writer for Hot CoCo …………….. 6
Screbo, Fred …………………………………….. 1,5,13
Searby, Paul Owner of Computerware …………………… 4,11
Siegel, Mark ……………………………………… 13,14
Smith, Wayne ………………………………………… 17
Stark, Peter ……………………………………….. 5,7
Thompson, Frank …………………………………………. 5
Turner, Bill ………………………………………… 13
Walker, JD. ………………………………………… 21
Ward, Logan ……………………………………… 16-17
Ward, Paul ………………………………………… 22
Warner, Bruce ………………………………………… 13
White, Richard ………………………………. 9,12,14,16,18
Wiese, Berdelle ………………………………………… 18
Wolf, Eric ………………………………………… 22
Zumwalt, Greg ………………………………………… 14
Last Update: Feb. 19, 1992


OVERSEAS SOFTWARE

The following is a list of British software/hardware vendors which provide support for the DRAGON 32/64. Some of them also support the CoCo as well.
[removed ... sorry]


Some of MY personal favorites:
=============================
A = Assembly B = Basic

Book(A) …………… MC6809 COOKBOOK ………………….. Warren
Book(B) …………… EXTENDED COLR BASIC………………. Haskell
Bulletin Board …….. ELECTRONIC CALL BOARD (NYC) …. Bobby Ballard
Computer ………….. 64K COCO I (E board) …………. Radio Shack
Disassembler(A) ……. 80C …………………….. The Micro Works
Disassembler(B) ……. DISASSEMBLER ……………… Spectral Assoc
Disks …………….. BASF ……………………………… BASF
Disk system ……….. EXTENDED ADOS-3 …………… SpectroSystems
Disk Utility ………. DISK UTIL ………………….. Jeff Francis
SUPER COLOR ZAP …………. Nelson Software
EdtAsm(A) …………. MACRO 80C ……………….. The Micro Works
EdtAsm(B) …………. CCEAD …………………….. Eigen Systems
Game(A) …………… DOUBLE BACK …………………. Radio Shack
Game(B) …………… LINUS ………………………….. unknown
Graphics prog ……… GRAPHICOM …………………… Chesire Cat
COCO MAX ……………………… Colorware
Keyboard ………….. HJL ……………………………….. HJL
Lowercase …………. LOWERKIT ……………. Green Mountain Micro
Magazine ………….. RAINBOW ………………………… Falsoft
Magazine Article …… 32K FOR FREE …………………. Frank Hogg
Modem …………….. STAR 2400e …………………………. AMT
Monitor prog ………. CBUG ……………………. The Micro Works
HUMBUG ………………………… Starkits
Printer …………… FX-80 ……………………………. Epson
Reference card …….. NANOS …………………….. Nanos Systems
Terminal prog ……… ULTIMATERM …………………. Ken Johnston
Word Processor …….. TELEWRITER (128) ……………….. Cognitec

Jul. 24, 1991Converted to HTML by Ross Hamilton, Jan. 1995.

1 comment to The “CoCo” Chronicles

  • linlee

    Great article. With that much info I hate to nitpick. Which of course means I am anyway. :) It may well be some 32k/64K upgrades included an E board upgrade. But when I sent my D board CoCo to Radio Shack for a 64K upgrade it came back a D board.