[Coco] Your stock CoCo is DriveWire-ready out-of-the-box (was: DriveWire for dummies?)

Christian Lesage hyperfrog at gmail.com
Wed Dec 23 08:42:30 EST 2009

If your CoCo is a 64k CoCo 1 o 2 (not a CoCo 3) with ECB 1.1, DriveWire 
could (theoretically) be DLOADed from the host PC or Mac to the CoCo.

The only hardware you would need is a serial cable, which DriveWire 
requires anyway.

I do have a DLOAD server, and it works for games, so I don't see why it 
couldn't be used to load HDB-DOS. Such a DLOAD server could be 
integrated into the DriveWire server.

The reason why it wouldn't work with the CoCo 3 is because the DLOAD 
command was shortsightedly disabled by the programmers who hacked Super 
Extended Color Basic. (This is the only BASIC command that would be 
really useful... *sigh*) However, I'm thinking about a workaround, since 
part of the DLOAD code is still there. For instance, the code that 
receives a 128-byte block from the bit banger port is still in ROM. Now, 
128 bytes would be enough for a loader. A few POKEs would be required to 
patch things up, then an EXEC would be issued to load the loader, and 
then another EXEC to run the loader. Not as elegant as a simple DLOAD 
command, but still... No ROM Pak or disk controller needed.

I also know of a method that lets the CoCo 3 read characters from the 
serial port instead of the keyboard. A short BASIC program (or a handful 
of POKEs) is entered, that puts the CoCo 3 into that state. Once it is 
accepting input from the serial port, you can control it from the host 
PC or Mac. For instance, you could send a loader as if you were typing 
it in on the CoCo, like a BASIC program that would restore the DLOAD 

If anybody is interested, I could share the code I came up with so far.


More information about the Coco mailing list