[Coco] Coco <bio>

Ray Watts rayanddoraleew at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 14 19:54:00 EDT 2003

john donaldson wrote:

> etc., etc.

>     So far I have notice the oldes is 59 and youngest is 29,
> quite a span.
Let's up the ante a bit, John.  I will be 68 on 2 Jan and am a retired 
EE in underwater acoustics.  Got my first 16k CoCo2 in 1984, took it 
back to the Shack under warrenty after a line transient wiped out the 
salt chip, and it returned a 64k CoCo2 at no cost.  Added an MPI, 2 SS 
drives and a Disto 512k RAMpak.

Sprung for a CoCo3, CM8 and a couple of DS drives in 1989, but did not 
fire up OS9 L2 till late 1990.  Already had a Level1 v2 running on the 
CoCo2 system.  Attended 2 Jersey RainbowFests during this period.  Never 
really got involved in the CoCo community during this period since child 
support and college costs, house maintenance, and a singles lifestyle 
ate up most of my time and money.  

By the time I was ready to invest a little of myself into the CoCo, the 
world had passed me by.  Biggest problem was obtaing a HD and interface. 
 This led to my only brush with "immortality" ... the Grizzly CoCo. I 
had been using 80 track drives extensively  (my greatest sense of power 
was formatting one for the first time) and had bought a 65W power supply 
for $5 that tucked  into the space left by the transformer and the 
regulator heat sink.  So I mounted a stack of 3  NEC 3.5" drives and 
built an extended back plane.  Then I made an extended keyboard with a 
reset button, shift-lock button and power light.  Packed everything into 
the CoCo chassis and built a new cover out of sheet polystyrene.  Under 
OS9, I used /d0 as the boot disk and system maintenance.  /d1 was used 
for the apps such as Office, Prog, Games, etc.  /d2 was used for data or 
source storage.  The interface was written using WMenu from Alpha's 
ToolsII.  When I selected /d1 on the menu, it became the data dir, its 
CMDS became the x dir and it became the /dd.  A menu also popped up 
offering the choices on that disk.  This gave me a slow, crude 2.16mb 

Since its origins, an AT keyboard, a Disto 3-1 board, 2mb  RAM, and a 
SCSI interface which drives an internal 216mb HD and an external 100mb 
ZIP drive have been added.  I also have 2 other CoCo3 systems running. 
 One of them still has a pair of ancient SG-225's.  I had to write a 
power-down command to park them and set /d0 on 0.  If an 80 track drive 
chatters, its 50% that the boot will fail.

Whew!   Better quit.     Cheers,   Ray Watts

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