[Coco] Newbie Questions

Stephen Pereira spereira1952 at comcast.net
Thu Jul 3 17:33:48 EDT 2014

Hello all,

I have been lurking here for a few months, and I see the awesome amount of CoCo knowledge you all have.

About me:

Long ago, when they first came out, I purchased a 16K Extended Basic Color Computer to use at home.  I had a blast with it.  I remember doing the piggy-back memory modification to increase the memory to 32K.  Alas, I was not a rich man back then (still have not made it there!) and I could not afford to keep up with floppy disks and the like.

Fast forward to the present.  I am a vintage computer collector of sorts, purchasing and trying out many different computers that I wished I could afford, back in the day.  Recently, I came to see the avid CoCo community and the active support from places like Cloud-9.  I purchased a CoCo 3 from Cloud-9, and I have been having a blast playing around with it, and refreshing my memories of my old CoCo in the past.  I am currently using a CoCo RGB-to S-Video converter that I purchased from Chris Hawks.  I am also currently loading HDB-DOS from a .WAV file, and I am using Drivewire 3 as my virtual disk drives.  I also purchased HDB-DOS in an EPROM from Cloud-9, and I purchased some ROMPAK PCBs from here: CoCoEPROMpak GitHub Repository so I could make an HDB-DOS cartridge one day.

Here are some newbie questions:

With my physical setup, I have run into problems running some programs available in .DSK files.  Most recently, I downloaded Zork I from the color computer archive.  I load and run HDB-DOS, and then insert the Zork I disk into my Drivewire virtual drive.  When I type LOADM"0:GAME.BIN":EXEC the screen clears, prints "THE STORY IS LOADING ..." in the middle of the screen.
the computer, a few seconds go by, and then I get:


and the computer is frozen.

I have done this very same thing on the VCC emulator running on my MacBook Pro under Parallels running Windows XP, and it works fine there.

The difference is that I do not have a physical disk drive controller, nor do I have Tandy Disk Extended Color Basic.  I am running with HDB-DOS and Drivewire.

I have a similar problem with my copy of Disk EDTASM.  It will not run in my setup either.

So, I am assuming that for some reason, Zork requires something that would have been there in DECB.

Has anyone run into this problem?  Is there a solution, or should I make some more investment in a Tandy floppy disk controller and a real physical floppy disk?

If I do go with a real floppy disk controller, what is the best suggestion for it?  Can I still run HDB-DOS and Drivewire along with the real floppy disk controller and drive?

Thanks very much, in advance for your patience and attention.  One more thing:  Where can I go to learn more about how HDB-DOS works and what's going on in there?  What are the differences with Tandy DECB?

Thanks for listening...


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