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Tandy's Little Wonder

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(relocated to History section from Basic section)

Tandy's Little Wonder -- by author Frank Swygert

"Tandy's Little Wonder" was written after Falsoft (the Rainbow Magazine publisher) aborted their announced Color Computer book. What Falsoft wanted to do was print a collection of previous Rainbow technical articles about the CoCo. I actually contacted Falsoft about writing the book when they mentioned the original editor had to back out. I heard their proposal, but thought what the CoCo community really needed was a "survival guide" more than a compendium of articles. Falsoft wasn't interested in my proposal, and also told me they have decided not to publish a book at all. I went ahead with my plans and self-published "Tandy's Little Wonder, The Color Computer, 1979-1991, A complete history and reference guide to the CoCo and all related hardware, software, and support sources". Okay, that's a long title -- "Tandy's Little Wonder" (TLW) will suffice! The full title does tell what the book is about though.

I'm not bragging when I say this, I'm stating a fact -- this book is the single most complete reference available for the CoCo. The Rainbow was going out of print and that was the last big CoCo magazine. There were still a few clubs around that were going strong, but for how long? I wanted to create a history/reference/survival guide -- a compendium of all the CoCo information I could find. I even got permission from Tandy to reproduce the schematics from the service manuals. I wish I still had the originals though -- being scanned from photo copies then converted to PDF files (for the last version) took a toll on clarity of the schematics.

With the help of a few others I think I achieved my goal. I sold about 400 copies of the first printing over a 3-4 year period, with most sold in the first two years. In 2006 I decided to make some minor updates (mainly concerning vendors and other current resources) and reissue the book as a free PDF file. I saw no reason to keep it from future CoCo users when everything they need (excpet the BASIC manual) to use and even revive a CoCo is right there in one place. I retain copyright to the book, but have made it freely available at ftp://maltedmedia.com/coco/MAGAZINES/Tandy%27s%20Little%20Wonder/. It can't be sold, posted to another website, or included on any archive disc without written permission, but feel free to download a copy and to give it to friends with an interest in the CoCo. I can be contacted by mailto:farna@amc-mag.com.