Volume 1, Number 1 PC FRIENDS DISK MAGAZINE September 1995


   EMULATORS by Stuart Wyss-Gallifent
 THE GAME SHOW EXPERIMENT
 The CoCo 3 Emulator
 
                            The CoCo 3 Emulator

For those uninitiated in the fine art of home computers, the subject at 
hand deals with a magnificent program (written by Jeff Vavasour) which may
have came about three years too late!  Let me try to explain.

About 1980 the world was introduced to a little gray box called the Color
Computer from Radio Shack.  This machine was first made available with only
4k of memory and a limited version of BASIC.  Not only that, but in order
to use it one had to hook up to a TV, that's right no monitor.  And...for
storage you had the option of purchasing a small cassette player.  The
computer alone cost a few hundred dollars.  As limiting as all this sounds, 
it was a powerhouse at the time....and many thousands of folks began their 
habit in computing with this great little computer!  Over the next 14 years 
we went through two more models of the CoCo and our love for it grew and 
grew!  The final model, the CoCo 3, was regularly upgraded to 512k.

Then in 1991, Tandy announced the intentions of abandoning the production
of the CoCo.  Although a few thousand lingered on for another few years, at
this time there are probably less than a thousand dedicated users.  During
the history of the CoCo many dreamed of a more powerful model and if the
CoCo 3 Emulator had been available at that time....well...

What then is the CoCo 3 Emulator?  It is quite simply a "program" which acts
just like a CoCo 3 when executed on a PC compatible.  I mean it "acts just
like a CoCo 3"! After copying the distribution disk onto your PC hard drive,
you can used the accompanying program, DSKINI.EXE, to copy any of your CoCo
disks to your PC hard drive.  Then execute the emulator and "load" any of
the copied "CoCo disks" into the emulator's software "disk drives" and away
you go.  When one has spent thousands of dollars on CoCo software, it makes
perfect sense to spend $25 (for the emulator) to preserve that investment!

Not only can you run your existing CoCo programs, but you can also continue
to produce new programs....it's just a CoCo in a PC case!

The irony of the progression in computing power we are currently witnessing
is that the ease of use seems to be decreasing!  And if we consider the ease
of programming...well there's no comparison.  The CoCo was the greatest
machine ever for those wishing to learn to program!  A very high percentage
of CoCo owners did learn to program their machine.  The levels of skill did
have a wide range of differentation...but on modern machines, such as the
PC, you have a small percentage of expert programmers and a small percentage
of somewhat novice programmers and a very large percentage of those who have
never even given programming a try.  This is truly a pity!!

The good news is that anyone with a PC can now purchase a copy of the CoCo 3
Emulator and with a one-time access to a CoCo 3 (in order to copy the ROMs),
one can relive the days of the CoCo....and even learn the joys of learning
to program!!

- Rick Cooper

Note: See the ADS section for information on obtaining the CoCo 3 Emulator.