[Coco] The dire condition of software documentation..

John Peasley firehawke-mame at sanctuarycrew.com
Thu Aug 8 17:07:58 EDT 2019

Hello there! I've just joined the list. I'll talk a little about
myself at the end of the email, but for now I'd like to get straight
to the heart of the matter.

I'm a member of the MAME development team and peripherally involved in
other software preservation projects as well. Most recently I've been
assisting 4am and others in the Apple community with getting disks
documented and preserved in the MAME softlists. Over 2000 of them were
added this year.

Well, my next project, if possible, is to work on the good old CoCo.
I'm definitely familiar with the hardware (see section at end about my
history), but I'm going to be blunt-- a lot of what's already out
there is in pretty dire condition. The TOSEC DATs are.. problematic in
multiple ways, with loose disks and ill-defined sets (and some
outright errors like saying Disk EDTASM came out in 1994), and MAME
itself doesn't have a lot of floppies yet (which is what I'm aiming to
fix, really)

I'm going to definitely need some community help to start to unravel
some of this and to try to track down what's good and what isn't,
because I really do NOT want to be just blindly throwing .DSKs into
the proverbial blender.

So, a little about myself:

My first computer was a 4K Color Computer owned by my father, who got
me started at a very young age. First computer I owned myself was a
CoCo 3. Also had a Tandy 1000-- so I have a very RS-filled background.
Sometime around '94 the CoCo 3 died during a botched 512K upgrade
(don't remember specifics) and getting replacement DRAM/parts was
difficult by that point so I ended up going fully MS-DOS.

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