Talk:TRS-80 Color Computer

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Minor accuracy problem[edit]

This has been bugging me for a year or more now, but I've never chased down the references to fix it. The Coco displayed ten colors: Black, green, yellow, red, blue, buff, cyan, magenta, orange and dark green (or dark orange). This also shows off that both the power-on screen and the character set picture was captured with an emulator that doesn't properly represent how the VDG displayed graphics. Finally, the character set picture only shows the characters accessible from BASIC, rather than the full set available to the VDG. To see the full set, you'd need to do FOR I=0 TO 255:POKE 1024+i,i:NEXT and you'd need an emulator that shows the proper colors in the characters. Regular text is actually dark green on green, not black on green and inverse text is actually light green on dark green, rather than light green on black. Additionally, inverts are available of the numerical row as well as the alphabetical row, including the space. The dark green square is essentially the only semi-graphical block of the tenth color. If someone has the ROMs available, I remember at least one of the emulators gets this right. --Steven Fisher (talk) 02:12, 6 March 2009 (UTC)


Am I misremembering, or was the TRS-80 commonly referred to as a "trash-80" in the 1980s?

— Steven G. Johnson (talk) 02:07, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I also remember that as a nickname (like the Commodore 64 was sooo much better). There's probably a source for it somewhere, but it was so long ago it may not be online. Those were the days, when you had to actually call a BBS directly with the telephone and then manually turn on the modem. Seems almost quaint now... Beeblebrox (talk) 03:48, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Trash80s were the Z80 based models and the OS for those was referred to as TrashDOS, this was referred to as CoCo as the article states. The C64 was not really better, different yes, basically you traded graphic and sound power for computing power, as is stated in the article. While the CoCo was not as good at games it was much superior at computationally intensive apps, MIDI sequenceing for instance where this gave the 16bit computers a run for the money. reiknir (talk) 16:42, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

CoCo competition with true 16 bit machines?[edit]

That article states that the CoCo3 came out to better compete with Amiga, Atari ST, and Apple II GS computers. All of those used true 16 bit processors and were much more powerful in several ways -- the CoCo wasn't much competition for any of those advanced machines except in price.

I would say that the CC3 came out mostly in response to the Commodore 128, especially since the C-64 was its biggest competitor, and the ill-fated Atari 130XE. All three were 8 bit and came with 128K. I don't know if the C-128 and 130XE were expandable beyond that or not, might be a "one-up" by the CoCo3.

--Farna (talk) 15:07, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I would say that the CoCo3 was somewhat comparable, perhaps not with the Amiga so much as with the Atari and Apple, but a 512K upgraded CoCo3 running the right software could keep up rather well. While the 6809 is an 8 bit microprocessor, the addition of the GIME chip gave it a pretty good edge. --Thoric (talk) 05:23, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

I owned a CoCo 3, a Commodore 64 and an Atari 130XE (among others) and remember this all very well. The CoCo 3 was intended to compete with the likes of the Commodore 128 and Atari 130XE, which had similar hardware and construction. The Amigas and ST's were out of the CoCo 3's league hardware-wise. Radio Shack had the Tandy line of PC clones to compete with those. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:12, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

While the CoCo was never intended to compete with 16 bit machines, it managed to hold its ground quite surprisingly. A CoCo 3 with 512K could chase fairly close on the tail of an Atari ST. It's graphics modes were very similar, and while it didn't have quite the same horsepower (6809 vs 68000), it could still give the ST a run for its money. --Thoric (talk) 15:09, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

The 6809 was internally a true 16 bit processor. People seem to confuse what this means. There are two buses in a processor, a data and an address bus. While the address bus of the CoCo 3 CPU is 16 bits wide, multiplexing via its GIME allows it to map 512k, with a 64k same-page addressing limit. Its data bus was 8 bits wide, making it slower to transfer calculated values, and bytes to memory. The 68B09E however, had one internal 16 bit data register, a hardware multiplication instruction, and other 16 bit supporting instructions... In addition, it was designed in such a way that it processed its instructions at a higher speed than comparable processors (If I recall correctly, it had no microcodes but was hardwired). Bottom line: MHz for MHz, cycle for cycle, the 68B09E was the most powerful 8-bit processor in the world, and it could compete with true 16 bit processors because internally it had 16 bits capabilities. Aided by the powerful GIME, the CoCo 3 could perform many feats that where not normally within the realm of 8 bit computing, including multi-tasking, and managing sprites while running the DAC in the background to output polyphonic music.--Reefpicker (talk) 18:46, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

This is how rumors get started... I swear one person or website sometime 10-15 years ago claimed that the CoCo 3 was Tandy's answer to the Amiga and Atari ST, and now every website repeats it as fact. I don't know what the marketers at Tandy thought they were competing against, but the CoCo 3 was nothing like an Amiga in capability or operation, it was clearly Tandy's answer for the C128 - to soup up the COCO and COCO 2 just like the 128 was basically a feature expanded (and included) C64. I own, use, and like all of these computers, and the similar feature expansions of the of the 128 and CoCo 3 to their respective base computers are striking, while the similarities between the CoCo 3 and the Amiga are nonexistent. The Amiga was a radical change in computing technology and capability with no similarity or compatibility with the previous commodore 8-bit line - the CoCo 3 was a beefed up CoCo 2 pure and simple. I know that CoCo dogma will not allow you to edit the article even though it has been pointed out several times here that the statement is FALSE. This is a flaw of Wikipedia - fans do not necessarily report facts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:07, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

So what's stopping you from changing it, Mister unsigned anonymous?? Go ahead and edit the article. Doctorx0079 (talk) 20:26, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

There you go, we'll see how long the change lasts - and by the way I put up my personal IP - what have you put up other than an IP concealing "handle". Are you any less anonymous than me or are you really MORE anonymous "Doctorx0079"? What credibility do you have that I don't by going by "Doctorx0079"? If it makes you happy, my new handle is —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:17, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

When you don't have a username it can give the impression that you are another random whiner. However, anyone can edit Wikipedia! You deleted an unsourced assertion, fair enough. To add your info at the end of a post use four tildes, or, SineBot will just do it for you. One advantage of signing up for a username is that it allows other users to see all the edits you made. Also it lets you edit semi-protected pages, which I think is the reason I did it. It's easy and free. Just sayin'. Doctorx0079 (talk) 02:58, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

overlinking of location[edit]

I don't wish to edit war over this, but it seems absurd to make sure we mention twice in one sentence that Texas is in the United States. I reverted this and attempted to simplify and clarify the situation,[1] but I have been reverted in turn, [2] so it seems we need to discuss this matter. No one would say "Fort Worth, USA." Fort Worth is in Texas, Texas is in the United States. If we establish that in the beginning of the sentence, there is no need to clarify a few words later that Austin, Texas is also in the United States. If we simply establish in the lead that Tandy was/is an American company, the whole thing becomes moot. Either of these seems preferable to me to repeatedly mentioning that Texas is in the U.S. Although that is obvious to many readers, I'll grant that not everyone in the English speaking world could be expected to know that, but telling them once seems sufficient. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:07, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

"not implemented on the CoCo"[edit]

From the section "Alphanumeric/Semigraphics display":

The 6847 is capable of a Semigraphics 6 display mode, where two bits select a color and 6 bits determine which 1/6th of the character box is lit. In this mode only 4 colors are possible but the Colorset bit of the VDG can select two different groups of the 4 colors. This mode is not implemented on the CoCo.

Does that mean that the CoCo's hardware won't do it, or it just isn't supported by the BASIC?--Drvanthorp (talk) 21:36, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Only one of the semigraphics modes it available through BASIC, therefore this limitation must be in the CoCo hardware. --Thoric (talk) 14:44, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Not necessarily. Many computers of that era had hardware features not supported through BASIC, and if you look at this article's section on "Lower case and the 6847T1", lowercase characters seem to have been available to some CoCo 2 users that were willing to press their machines beyond the boundaries set by BASIC.--Drvanthorp (talk) 19:56, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Color Computer 2 and monitor color?[edit]


I know Coco 3 can use a monitor but how about Coco 1 and 2? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Not without hardware modification AFAIK. The CoCo 1 and 2 were designed to connect to an RF modulator which would then go to a TV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Doctorx0079 (talkcontribs) 22:01, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

OS-9 clarifications needed.[edit]

Was OS-9 offered by Tandy itself or by a third party? Was it for free or did it cost money, and if so, how much? At what time did it become available on the CoCo? What are its system requirements on the CoCo, such as RAM size? Is OS-9 software typically directly runnable on different 6809 machines, or does it have to be compiled specifically for a certain computer such as the CoCo? Maybe this information should be in the OS-9 article (where it isn't either at this time), but since I'm speaking of CoCo-specific data, I think it should go here. Please add! -- (talk) 04:55, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

different versions of TDP-100[edit]

At the end of the "Color Computer 1" section of "Versions", the article previously stated:

"At about the same time, another white-cased "CoCo", the TDP-100, was marketed through Tandy Data Products (TDP) and sold through a different distribution channel. Except for the nameplate and case, the TDP-100 was completely identical to the CoCo 1. The TDP-100 had ventilation slots that ran the entire length of the case, rather than only on the sides. This ventilation scheme was carried over to the CoCo 2."

However, I own a TDP-100 which looks exactly like the regular CoCo1, with the ventilation slots on the side and the chiclet keyboard, but with the white case. So apparently my model is an intermediate earlier version than what is described in the article. I changed the article to reflect this history, but there needs to be further research. Monz (talk) 12:21, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

Removed this link, site is dead. Web Warlock (talk) 17:52, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Backwards compatibility?[edit]

It is unclear from the article if the CoCo had any compatibility with software made for the original TRS-80. --Stormwatch (talk) 21:36, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

They didn't. They had completely different OSes. Web Warlock (talk) 15:44, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Something wrong with beginning date 1980[edit]

I used to go into the Radio Shack after school, that was just up the street from where I lived. To look at, and play with the demo model. Dreaming of the day I would get one of these. I was in the elementary school. Somewhere between the fourth and sixth grade, and I am now 55, soon to be 56. Scott 4-19-15 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:46, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Let's say sixth grade, that would make you maybe 11, if you are soon to be 56, then you were born in 1959, and therefore you should have been in the sixth grade in 1970, not 1980. The TRS-80 Model I came out in 1977, so you would have been in grade 13 by then. The Wang 2200 came out in 1973, so you would have been in grade eight (still elementary school), perhaps this was not a TRS-80 computer you played with? --Thoric (talk) 20:54, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

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