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From CoCopedia - The Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer Wiki
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Name HOT CoCo
Year 1983
Notes Published by Wayne Green Communications
Info Source Allen Huffman,John Guin
About the Info Box

Hot CoCo ran from June 1983 to February 1986. Initial size of the magazine was 146 pages, but it shrank over the years to 80.

Originally published by Wayne Green Communications, and later sold to CWI (52 magazines! 4 million subscribers!), Hot CoCo was one of the "Big Three" of Color Computer magazines (along with the The Rainbow and The Color Computer Magazine) and its run can be used be as good a definition of the "CoCo Heyday" as any other. Wayne Green had originally covered the CoCo alongside all other TRS-80 computers in 80 Micro, but by 1983 had decided the CoCo was popular enough to support its own dedicated magazine and launched Hot CoCo as an 80 Micro spin-off, which also freed up 80 Micro from either being dominated by CoCo content or giving the CoCo short shrift. Things came full circle when, after Hot CoCo ceased publication, CoCo content returned to Hot CoCo's parent 80 Micro in the form of a monthly CoCo column under the "Hot CoCo" name for six months.

Hot CoCo was printed on slick paper and stapled for binding (as opposed to the square binding used by The Rainbow).

A typical issue contained the standard fare of the day: game programs, utilities, assembly language tutorials, ROM disassemblies, reviews and hardware projects. Another standard feature was a theme topic for that month's issue such as education, business, or graphics.

Highlights included a hardware interface using the 6821 Peripheral Interface Adapter which allowed a motor driven mouse and Tomy "Armitron" based robotic arm to be interfaced to the CoCo. James J. Barabello started the series in July of 1984, but by then the magazine had already shrunk to 114 pages- a total that remained to the last issue. This particular series concluded in October 1984.

The most popular monthly column, as rated by the readers, was "Doctor Ascii," a technical support question and answer column by Richard Esposito with Ralph Ramhoff and others over the course of its publication. At about 2 or 3 pages per issue, it was one of the few ways to get answers to just about any Color Computer related question a reader had. Just about all hardware and software available for the CoCo was fair game for questions.

The November 1984 issue had one of the more unusual articles published. It seems a standard TRS-80 Color Computer outperformed an IBM 3081 mainframe in accuracy in a rather obscure Fast Fourier Transformation [1]. This was not the only case of such a performance. The article's author, Scott Norman, references the April 1984 edition of Scientific American for another test in which the Coco turned in a "similarly stirring performance!"

There was a cassette supplement available monthly called "Instant CoCo." There was also a "Best of Instant CoCo" available for 1983, 1984 and 1985.

Some misc. facts:

  • Total issues: 33
  • Total weight: 15 pounds
  • Cost of first issue: US$2.95
  • Cost of final issue: US$2.95
  • First article: publisher's editorial (by Wayne Green)
  • First listed article in final issue: "The Final Fix" by Robert Gault
  • Last article (in 80 Micro): a review of the word processor "The Last Word"

Hot CoCo Issues Archived