[Coco] [Color Computer] Re: Let me introduce myself

James the Animal Tamer emucompboy at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 1 15:23:32 EST 2006

> (can you tell I write large distributed systems for a living?)

Nope :)  I used to be a computer game programmer.

> trying to write a C program when I was in school in the 
> early 80's

A shame that C implementations for home computers were restricted and 
limited back then, mainly 'cause the home computers were limited in 
their abilities...  Up until Windows95, on the PC I was using Borland 
C/C++ 3, which had "memory models" based on "segmented memory."  Wow 
did that stink.  Things are so much better today (then again, Amiga, 
Mac, and Atari ST fans will be saying that their C compilers didn't 
have the "fragmented memory" problem, 'way back in 1985).

(Which reminds me -- the Amiga 1000 was the true successor to the 
CoCo II, and the true successor to the Atari 800XL -- and it was 
marketed by Commodore.  LOL.)

> At the time though, even after all the grief, it still came down to 
> how much fun I had with the Coco and its SOUND, PLAY, CIRCLE, and 
> other commands. When I discovered the C64 didn't have this, I felt 
> justified in my Coco purchase (at the time I wasn't aware of any 
> separate extended BASIC programs for the C64).

All old computers are fun, and if you drag it out of me, I'll admit I 
had a lot of fun with my Tano Dragon and its extended BASIC.  If 
you're not familiar with the Tano Dragon, it's an American-marketed 
NTSC version of a British almost-clone of the CoCo II.

> However, I am working a new 
> version of my "text based adventure game" that I wrote on my Coco, 
> but this time I'm writing it in Java, yet sticking to the spirit of 
> the Coco and the simplicity and fun of the text based adventure 
> theme (although I'm adding JPGs for some room images, sounds, and a 
> button scheme that fits the text based model but saves the user 
> having to type everything).  I even wrote a Coco PLAY-like Java 
> class, that takes PLAY strings e.g. "ABCO1DEF" and plays them in 
> Java using MIDI.  I augmented it to allow voice selection, repeat 
> sequences, etc.

Cool!  Will you stick to colors Buff, Black, Orange, Blue? *laughs*

> It's a fine line - since I could always teach my son programming on 
> the PC in any language you choose. What's cool about the Coco is 
> that it's so simple. The friendly "OK" has only one purpose - to 
> accept your Extended BASIC command. Between this, using the 
> cassettes, and the floppy drive, I'm hoping it will give my son a 
> unique perspective on computers that kids today just don't get.

*chuckles* My dad was enthusiastic about old radios... but he managed 
to impart the interest to only one of his kids (not me!).  Good luck!

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