My first computer was a TRS-80 CoCo. Short for Color Computer the CoCo had a Motorola 6508e microprocessor. The 6508e was in some ways the predecessor to the 68000 which found it’s way into the original Mac and Atari ST machines. I had my CoCo hooked up to a television and I wrote a few small programs using Basic. I remember I created my own address book that would randomly pick a friend to call. I still have some of the old cassettes to which my programs are saved. I can barely make out the handwriting on the tapes scribbled in my thirteen year old handwriting. I frequented a local TRS-80 user group run by a guy named Larry Bank who I believe today works at IBM. We would trade games like “Donkey King“.
Believe it or not I was going online way back then. There was a local BBS called Mnematics Videotext I use to log into. To be honest I can’t remember what I even was discussing or downloading. Whatever it was it could not have been all that thrilling because in the early 80s download speeds were at about 300 baud. A slow stream of text would jump out of multi-colored cursor across a bright green screen. I have fond memories of my TRS-80 with the exception of his chicklet style keyboard which was universally panned as being cheap. I think it’s pretty funny the new Mac Laptops have a similar keyboard but no one has made a reference to the old CoCo.
My flashback was all triggered by some photos uploaded today on flickr by rach_thegoat. Apparently her parents gave her some old CoCos. Included in the happy gift was a Cartridge for something called “Stereo Music Synthesizer”. I never owned that Cart and I sure am jealous! Her photos are set to “All Rights Reserved” so I won’t post them here but you can take a look at her score here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rach_thegoat/sets/72157610837576228/
photo credit: david_s_carter