[Coco] Hello and does anyone remember DFT?

Glen Hewlett glen.hewlett at sympatico.ca
Thu Nov 10 10:25:39 EST 2016

Hello All,

A little of my Coco history since this is my first post to the mailing list…

I’m an old CoCo nut, my first Coco was a Coco 1 with 16K and Extended Basic and I also owned a Coco 3.  I wrote a couple of programs “back in the day” that was useful to people using modems and visiting BBS's.  One was called “DSHRINK.BIN" which would shrink a complete disk using RLE (run length encoding) into a .dsk file that could be sent to a friend using a modem or on a BBS.  Then someone could download the .dsk file and unshrink it back to an original floppy disk this was back in the 80’s and now there are tons of .dsk files in other formats for use with emulators.  The other program I wrote was called "UNARC512.BIN" which would uncompress .ARC files from the IBM PC world’s arc or the RSDOS program “The Compressor”.

I stopped using the Coco after I bought an Amiga in the 1980’s then the "dark times" using an IBM PC in the mid 1990’s.  In the early 2000’s I’ve gotten into Linux and Mac’s and that is what I use today.  The time with the Coco was magic, I used to get so excited when the latest Rainbow magazine came out, not only for the great articles but to see the new programs that were advertised!  I used to read it cover to cover…. I’ve always loved programming my Coco, and even when I sold my Coco and got into the Amiga it was never the same.  So I reached out to the members of my local Coco Club to see if I could get a Coco 3 again.  They set me up with a nice Coco3 with 512K and a disk drive.  My intent was to write a CoCo emultator for the Amiga.  I figured this would do two things, it would help me to improve my programming skills on the Amiga and also let me use my favourite old computer again.  Unfortunately programming the Amiga just wasn’t enjoyable enough for me to keep it up and so the emulator never got off the ground.  My Amiga’s have come and gone, just like my IBM PC’s.  Those computers,e specially the IBM PC’s have always felt like appliances to me.  I still have my Coco 3 to this day.  :)

Over the years I’ve tinkered with emulators such as MESS which is now integrated into MAME and running some CoCo software for fun and to bring back some great memories.  Lately I’ve been using a Raspberry Pi and compiling MAME for it and I even modelled a Coco 1 to use as a case for my RPI.  I uploaded the Coco 1 model on Thingiverse if anyone wants to 3D print a CoCo - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1131691 <http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1131691>

Since I’ve been playing with the emulation, I’ve been getting more and more into the Coco again.  It’s becoming more and more of a hobby I even started listening to the CoCo Crew Podcasts (I just finished episode 4).  I’ve also been playing withe CMOC and I wrote up a little how to setup a little programming environment using CMOC and MAME running the Coco emulator on a Mac - https://nowhereman999.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/compiling-c-programs-for-the-old-radio-shack-trs-80-color-computer-running-under-rsdos-using-macos-or-linux/ <https://nowhereman999.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/compiling-c-programs-for-the-old-radio-shack-trs-80-color-computer-running-under-rsdos-using-macos-or-linux/>
So I started collecting software that I remember using with my Coco and there’s tons of stuff in the archives I’ve found on the internet which is great!  But there is a piece of software I haven’t been able to find.

The program I’m looking for was named DFT, I think there was a DFT 3.5 and a DFT 4.0 if I remember correctly I used to always call it Disk File Transfer, but I think the real name was Direct File Transfer.  This was a program that was great for sending files to other users over the telephone using a modem, but it was also great at copying files to tape from disk or from tape to disk.  It would even handle copying disk binary programs that would load different bytes to different memory locations and would copy those to tape so they would load the same way.  

Searching the internet I did find a pdf of the original tape only version of the program.  The tape version isn’t available either. 
ftp://ftp.maltedmedia.com/coco/NEWLY-RECEIVED/DFT_tape.pdf <ftp://ftp.maltedmedia.com/coco/NEWLY-RECEIVED/DFT_tape.pdf>

The original programmer was Bob Withers who mentions it on this website:
http://www.coco3.com/community/coconut-directory/bob-withers-graphics-adventures/ <http://www.coco3.com/community/coconut-directory/bob-withers-graphics-adventures/>

It would be great to run this software again if anyone knows where I could get a copy of DFT or would be able to send me a copy I’d really appreciate it.  If the people on this list don’t have it, I don’t think anyone would.

Thanks in advance,

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