[Coco] [Color Computer] Rainbow magazine and manually typing those printed programs!

Arthur Flexser flexser at fiu.edu
Tue Sep 11 01:05:16 EDT 2012

[mailto:coco-bounces at maltedmedia.com] On
> Behalf Of abrower

> Did anyone else sit for hours hand typing all of those sample programs that
> were printed in the back of Rainbow magazine?  I was thinking about this the
> other day and it made me want to kick something new up:
> http://hippobytes.com/apps-back-then/
> I would LOVE to hear back from anyone - the "good ol days?"

This reminds me of a phone call I got years ago.

I had (with Mike Ward of Mikeyterm fame) written a program that
rendered PMODE 4 graphic screens as Ascii data appended to a Basic
loader so that when the program was run, the graphics were displayed.
(This was in the era before there were CoCo terminal programs that
could download binaries, and so provided a means for text-only
communications programs to download graphics.)

Marty Goodman (who provided Mike and myself with the impetus for
writing the program and suggested a version of the compression
algorithm we used) later printed the program in one of his monthly
Rainbow columns.  He also printed a listing of the program's output
for a sample picture, consisting of the Basic loader followed by many
many lines of Ascii gibberish that decoded to the picture.

A short while after the column appeared, I got a phone call.
Incredibly, someone had actually tried to type in all that gibberish
in order to see the picture!  But, it turned out, one of the Ascii
characters that was used (one of the arrows, I think) was not typeable
from the keyboard, and so he was stumped at the point where that
character had appeared.

Now THAT'S somebody who was dedicated to typing in Rainbow programs!


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