radio shack

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Bill Loguidice's picture

Making My Collection Usable - Part I - The Classic Computers (photos)

As mentioned previously, I've been re-thinking my collecting activities, including selling off the non-working and duplicate portions of my collection, which presently consists of over 430 videogame and computer systems and countless thousands of related software, accessories, and literature. Naturally, part of that reasoning was "thinning the herd" after all these years, because - even though I am thankful to have a relatively generous amount of space for these types of activities - it has long since reached the point where I well and truly have too much to handle. Why has this become an issue? There's simply too much stuff, there's no time to use it (that would need to be my full-time job), and, when I do want to use it, it takes up most of my available time just setting something up, only to have to break it down and put it back on the shelf again. It's innefficient, and frankly, no fun anymore.

With that in mind, in addition to the thinning - which will take a very, very long time of course in a collection I've been cultivating for over 30 years now - I've been plotting how I can make better use of what I have. Like I said, I am thankful to have a relatively generous amount of space. I have a large basement area, with about half unfinished, which is used for storage, and the other, finished half, consisting of an office room, hallway, workout area, and den area. The main floors of our house contain our active systems, including the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Co-Star, various computers and handhelds, etc., but they are not an option for me to make use of for classic items, other than on an occasional basis. That just leaves the basement, which is, of course, fine, but also limits my flexibility.

Anyway, even though each area of the basement is brimming with stuff and each section serves a specific purpose, either on a permanent or temporary basis, I decided that my best course of action is to pull out the truly must-have-accessible systems from the hundreds available and make them accessible at a moment's notice. This was not easy to do, as I have a genuine passion for each and every system I own, but the bottom line is is that some systems are more interesting, more "useful," or I simply have a critical mass of items for them that they can't be ignored. I decided I'd tackle that task with my classic computers first, followed by my classic videogame systems at a later date. I cleared space on my big L-shaped computer desk in the office area and proceeded to select the systems that met my criteria and would fit on the desk (I'll have some flexibility when I set up the classic videogame consoles to make a little use of the den area as well).

While I have many different models in most of the specific computer series I selected, I tried to choose the one model in my collection that would give me the most bang-for-the-buck. This in and of itself was not easy, as there's rarely a "most perfect" choice when it comes to choosing the ideal model in a series, which in this case also involved being a good fit for the available space. The systems I chose were as follows: TI-99/4a, Apple IIgs, Atari 600XL, Atari Falcon, Commodore Amiga 2000HD, and Commodore 128DCR, with a special appearance by the Radio Shack Color Computer series, which I'll explain at the end. So yeah, as hard as it was, no Sinclair Spectrum, BBC, IBM PCjr, Coleco Adam, Imagination Machine, MSX, Interact, Exidy, etc., etc., items, even though I'd love to have those out and ready to go as much as the others.

My initial goal - which I was able to accomplish - was to set up a basic system configuration for each and make sure it was working properly. I actually had a slightly different mix of specific systems, but, after testing, found some things didn't function as expected or didn't work at all. Over time, I'll add to each system I've set up (and address the other stuff that's not working) until each and every one is set up properly with their respective disk drives, flash cards, transfer cables, etc., to be fully usable with all of the stuff I have available. At the very least, with these minimum configurations, they're ready to go for most quick usage scenarios. I also decided it was important not to have any of them plugged in full-time, so everything gets hooked up and powered up on demand. This is actually simple and will not delay my usage in any way. In fact, the way I have the various monitors and TV's set up, I can hook up other systems as needed without too much fuss, which is another bonus. Anyway, here are the photos and additional explanation:

Bill Loguidice's picture

Bill's Quick Video Look at the Official Frogger and Zaxxon for the TRS-80

As requested, here's Chatty Cathy's (aka, Bill Loguidice's) casual, single take look at the official TRS-80 versions of Frogger and Zaxxon, shown on a 128K TRS-80 Model 4 with a black and white monitor. Of course I talked too long yet again, so yet again it won't fit on Youtube.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Casual Photos: Boxed Dragon and TRS-80 Software

As a sequel of sorts, I have more casual iPhone photos of boxed Dragon (Tano Dragon, Dragon 32/64) software, as well as TRS-80 software, including an improbable official conversion of Sega's classic Zaxxon arcade game. See below:

Bill Loguidice's picture

Casual Photos: Flight Simulator II (CoCo3) and Aliens: The Computer Game (Apple II)

Today's casual iPhone photos are of the boxes for SubLOGIC's Flight Simulator II, by Bruce Artwick and Matt Toschlog for the Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer 3, and Activision's Aliens: The Computer Game by Steve Cartwright, among others, for the Apple II. We of course had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Cartwright along with David Crane for the upcoming feature film documentary, Woot!: The Videogame Revolution. The photos:

Bill Loguidice's picture

Casual Photos: Nightmare Creatures II, The Ultimate Doom, and Monster Maze

Today's casual iPhone photos, which are a real mixed bag (shown below): Konami's Nightmare Creatures II (2000) for the Sega Dreamcast, id's The Ultimate Doom (1995) with Episode IV: Thy Flesh Consumed for the Apple Macintosh, and Tandy's Monster Maze (1983) for the Radio Shack Color Computer.

yakumo9275's picture

Gates of Delirium Live - Post 1

BL: Welcome to yakumo9275's (Stu) ongoing "Gates of Delirium Live" recounting of his play through this obscure Computer Role Playing Game for the Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer, released in 1987 from Diecom. Post 1:

Bill Loguidice's picture

Arcade Donkey Kong Emulated on the TRS-80 Color Computer 3 (CoCo 3)?!

Classic computer, meet arcade Donkey KongClassic computer, meet arcade Donkey KongWhile it's amazing to consider, it looks like through a combination of emulation, compensation and flat-out clever programming tricks, Nintendo's arcade version of Donkey Kong has been replicated on Tandy/Radio Shack's TRS-80 Color Computer 3 (CoCo 3). All that's required is 512K and a disk drive. It's really an amazing story and well worth checking out for all fans of programming and classic technology. As we've seen time and again, where there's a desire to make something happen, there's almost always a way to do the "impossible". Thanks to L. Curtis Boyle for the heads-up on this fascinating bit of news!

Check out "Sock Master's Donkey Kong Emulator for CoCo 3" for the full story and "Press Play Then Any Key - Revisiones - Donkey Kong" for comparative screenshots of many of the Donkey Kong translations for home systems.

Bill Loguidice's picture

A Radio Shack Color Computer Lover's Best Friend?

Thexder for the Color Computer 3 (Sierra On-Line)Thexder for the Color Computer 3 (Sierra On-Line)As fans of Tandy's venerable and mostly underappreciated Radio Shack Color Computer (CoCo) line of computers know, finding much information on the Web about their beloved system line - particularly in regards to games - is a tough proposition. As opposed to the more popular home computers that were the CoCo's contemporary competition, like the Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64 (C-64), it seems that much of the focus these days on the systems is more from a hacking/programming perspective (thanks to the ability to use the powerful "OS-9" operating system) than from a gaming standpoint. This also is no doubt due to the simple fact that the early CoCo machines - the Color Computer 1 and Color Computer 2 - weren't particularly conducive to great gaming, with a rather garish 4 color pallet for most games and single channel sound (though there was limited support for speech/sound expansion cartridges and of course the usual programming tricks to get more out of the stock system). While the backwards compatible Color Computer 3 had mostly rectified the situation by becoming a "super 8-bit" (faster processor, more memory, more colors), with performance similar to the early Apple IIgs and Atari ST computer lines in many cases (though still single channel sound!), it was never a premiere entertainment platform.

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