radio shack

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Bill Loguidice's picture

Floppy Days Vintage Computing Podcast Episode 7 - Book mentions!

Episode 7 of Randy Kindig's Floppy Days Vintage Computing Podcast, entitled, Vintage Computer Festival Midwest 8.0, gives shout-outs to two of the upcoming books I've co-authored, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer and Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time. Though Kindig understandably butchers both my (it's actually pronounced "Low-joo-diss") and Boisy Pitre's last names (it's actually pronounced "Pete"), the mention at - approximately the 17:58 mark - is much appreciated. Kindig should also be receiving review copies of both books for future episodes of his podcast, which is a regular listen for me. Check out the episode here.

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The upcoming book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, is now available for pre-order!

CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog ComputerCoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog ComputerI'm happy to officially announce that my next book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, written with Boisy Pitre, is now available for pre-order from booksellers everywhere, including Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, and of course, the publisher's (Taylor & Francis/CRC Press) Website. My personal favorite place is Amazon, where you can buy it at a nice discount from the full retail price, plus, if the price drops upon the book's publication sometime in November, you get it for the lower price. Of course, you don't get charged until it actually ships.

What's nice about the book (available in both paperback and ebook versions) is that this is the first time the story of Tandy's Color Computer - affectionately dubbed "CoCo" - will be told in this manner. The first version of the computer debuted on July 31, 1980, and it and its successors were staples in Radio Shack stores into the 1990s. While never the most popular computer series, the ubiquity of Radio Shack's stores, catalogs, and overall advertising meant that it was impossible to ignore, even if systems like the Apple II, Commodore 64, and IBM PC garnered all the headlines. Thanks to extensive interviews with most of the principles involved in the computer's creation, community, and support, you'll have a definitive first-hand account of how the computer series came to be, from an extensive pre-history right through to what's going on today, where a small, but enthusiastic cadre of fans still enjoy working with the systems. In short, you get to learn about the "soul" of this underdog computer series, including all the business decisions that went into its creation, all the personalities both directly and indirectly involved in its support, and some of the herculean efforts needed to keep the platform alive.

Finally, for those not interested in pre-ordering, I'll be sure to post again once the book is actually ready to ship. As always, I greatly appreciate the support.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Second clue leading into the upcoming book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer

In anticipation of our upcoming book for CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer, my co-author, Boisy Pitre, has started a new series of blog posts that will (very slowly) lift the veil on some interesting stuff that we discovered during the course of our research. He's doing it in the form of series of puzzles. You can read the second posting, or clue, here. Enjoy!

In other news, in terms of important milestones for the book, we turned in everything to the publisher last night. That means once it goes through the editorial process - which could take several months - the book will be on its way to release. We appreciate everyone's support through this process and hope you're anticipating publication of this book as much as we are.

Bill Loguidice's picture

First clue leading into the upcoming book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer

In anticipation of our upcoming book for CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer, my co-author, Boisy Pitre, has started a new series of blog posts that will (very slowly) lift the veil on some interesting stuff that we discovered during the course of our research. He's doing it in the form of series of puzzles. You can read the first posting, or clue, to the first mystery, here. Enjoy!

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Reminder: The 22nd Annual "Last" Chicago CoCoFEST! - This coming weekend! (Tandy - Radio Shack Color Computer)

For all the Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer (CoCo) fans out there, don't forget that this coming weekend is The 22nd Annual "Last" Chicago CoCoFEST! You can get more info on the festivities here. It's been a good year for the CoCo and it's only going to get better, so this event will definitely be worth attending for those who can.

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New CoCo Coding Contest

Hot off the CoCo mailing list press comes word of a new Tandy Color Computer coding contest. As the Website states, "Just about any software that runs on the Tandy Color Computer (1, 2 or 3) is an eligible entry. Whether you finally finish a project that has been simmering on the back burner for years or decide to start something entirely new, you are welcome to enter. See the rules for clarification and details.

Entries will be tested, reviewed, scored, beaten, and mutilated in time to announce the grand prize winner at the 2013 CoCoFest! in Chicago, IL, on April 27 - 28, 2013. You don't need to attend the fest to enter or win (but you'll have more fun if you do!)."

Check out the Website for more details, including how the entries will be distributed, and then get coding!

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Making My Collection Usable - Part II - The Commodore Amiga (photos)

As mentioned previously, I've been going great guns in an attempt to make my overly large collection of 400+ videogame and computer systems more accessible and immediately usable. In other words, figuring out how to waste less of my precious time setting up this stuff and use more of that time actually using what I want to use. Part of that initiative is to take the most "important" computer and videogame systems and put them front and center - and ready to go - in various rooms. I'll discuss the classic videogame consoles in more detail in another post, but basically I've set up a 32" Sony Trinitron CRT to supplement the other basement TV and can now plug in various consoles in that area quickly and easily, though I've changed up where (and how) I'll be making the actual systems themselves accessible. Anyway, where last we left off, I couldn't get my Amiga 600 or 1200 to work, which left me to choose between my Amiga 500, 1000, or 2500HD (with 8088 Bridgeboard). I chose the latter.

With the above in mind, it was of course bugging me that neither the 600 or 1200 were working, so I resolved to address the issue within my limited skillset, and of course when time permitted. Long story short, the 600 is dead, but the culprit in the 1200 was a deceased 40MB hard drive, which was easy enough to remove and replace with a Compact Flash adapter and card with the OS and additional software. In the mean-time, I also got a PAL Amiga 1200, stock, with its own Compact Flash adapter and card with the OS and additional software.

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Boisy Pitre, Jerry Heep, and the Tandy Color Computer (CoCo) - Part 3 (video)

In part 3, RadioShack enthusiast Boisy Pitre and RadioShack engineer of over 30 years, Jerry Heep, conclude their sit down and chat about the Color Computer at RadioShack headquarters.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Boisy Pitre, Jerry Heep, and the Tandy Color Computer (CoCo) - Part 2 (video)

In part 2, RadioShack enthusiast Boisy Pitre and RadioShack engineer of over 30 years, Jerry Heep, sit down and chat about the upcoming book on the history of the Color Computer, which I'm helping to co-author. According to RadioShack, "this book is for people who love the Color Computer and will give them a true and accurate view on how the CoCo came to be."

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Boisy Pitre and Jerry Heep Discuss the Tandy Color Computer

In this video, Boisy Pitre is joined by engineering legend, Jerry Heep, at RadioShack headquarters, where they discuss the venerable Tandy Color Computer (CoCo). This is part one of three. Boisy and I are still hard at work on what we hope will be the definitive CoCo history book, so stay tuned...

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