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Undercolor/850105/News and Gossip

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UnderColor, Volume 1, Number 5, February 20, 1985

  • Title: News and Gossip
  • Author: Dennis Kitsz
  • Synopsis: empty
  • Page Scans: Link

Article

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*** NEWS FROM UNDER COLOR **** NEWS FOR UNDER THE COLORS ***

****************Compiled February 19, 1985 ****************

** Send news to: Under Color, Box 6809, Roxbury, VT 05669 **

****************** CompuServe 70136,1257 *******************

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YES, THERE IS ANOTHER REVISION COCO ... UNDER COLOR verifies that a new Tandy Color Computer has quietly been released boasting BUILT—IN LOWERCASE. This unit, the 26-31348/3136B, has a redesigned circuit board with fewer components and Motorola's 6847-Tl lowercase video display generator. DON'T TRY TO GET ONE, though. Stores can't get their hands on the new units until they DUMP THE STOCK THEY‘VE GOT. More later when we get one to test . . .

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Speaking of revisions, EVERYBODY‘S DOING IT WITH DISK CONTROLLERS. The new, 28-pin Western Digital 1773 disk controller has begun popping up everywhere, including INSIDE RADIO SHACK, J&M and HDS. The reason? Fewer and smaller components. The 1773 has a BUILT-IN DATA SEPARATOR for increased reliability, and requires less board space and a smaller socket. BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU? It means that some protected software WON'T RUN on the new system, because the fancy footwork used for MIXED-DENSITY TRACKS (alternating single and double density sectors) DOESN’T WORK WITH THE 1773. UNDER COLOR has learned that Tom Mix and other vendors have been using this protection scheme, and are SCRAMBLING TO ACCOMMODATE the new controllers. By the way, YOU CAN'T IDENTIFY the new Tandy controller unit, since it's sold with the IDENTICAL CATALOG NUMBER to the previous one!

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Your own 64K UPGRADE for the Korean Color Computers (26-3134A/B, 3136A/B) can be done with JUST TWO MEMORY CHIPS. The memories are Texas Instruments type TMS4464 or NEC type uPD4l254 (yes, 41254, NOT 41256, which is another type), and currently sell for about $20 each. If you order a 64K upgrade from a NON-TANDY SOURCE, BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR COMPUTER'S CATALOG NUMBER. (For our technical readers, the new chips are 64K x 4 dynamic memories, with on-board data bus transceivers, eliminating the need for the octal buffer used for 64K x 1 memories in the earlier CoCos).

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Yes, COLOR MICRO JOURNAL is gone. The death of CMJ makes it the third COCO MAG TO BITE THE DUST in recent times, along with Color Computer News and The Color Computer Magazine. We’re sorry to see CMJ go; it served well the needs of the minority of CoCo users with a technical point of view.

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*** NEWS FROM UNDER COLOR **** NEWS FOR UNDER THE COLORS ***

****************Compiled February 19, 1895 ***************

** Send news to: Under Color, Box 6809, Roxbury, VT 05669 **

****************** CompuServe 70136,1257 *******************

***********************************************************

REPORTS FROM THE IRVINE (CA) RAINBOWFEST indicate several trends: (1) CoCo support companies are consolidating their efforts. Many of the SMALL COMPANIES WERE MISSING from this show, but their products were on display via distributors. (2) OS—9 IS MAKING HEADWAY. Long lauded by dedicated users, the OS—9 disk operating environment is being supported by more and more software. (3) CoCo products from non-Tandy suppliers are selling better than ever, as users plunked down UP TO $10,000 at every booth.

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Speaking of Rainbowfest, users got a FIRST-HAND LOOK AT COCOMAX, the CoCo clone of the Apple "Macpaint" graphics design program (reviewed in our last issue). UNDER COLOR will have a full rundown of the new products soon. In random Rainbowfest news, Green Mountain Micro, whose past show pranks have included a party booth, a beach booth, and a sophisticates booth, pulled their BEST PRANK YET -- they didn't show up. Instead, fliers telling of "a terrible, insidious, new chemical potion" which made them invisible were piled high in their booth. SPECTRUM PROJECTS' Bob Rosen commented, "If this works, I'm not going to the next show, either!"

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UNDER COLOR apologizes for its lateness over the past few weeks. The editors and staff have an INBORN LACK OF COORDINATION that results in them falling over each other even though they are 300 miles apart. We'll be catching up to our schedule over the next few months. And please! Nobody start any rumors that we're going to vanish. Except for the aforementioned congenital stumblicity, WE'RE DOING FINE.

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The NEW JOYSTICKS from Radio Shack now have the missing "sixth pin" and a MYSTERIOUS BLACK BUTTON running to ground. In fact, the joysticks SEEM TO BE THE MODEL 1000 TYPE, which means they might just be the answer for DUAL-BUTTON CONTROL SYSTEMS such as the one needed to run GRAPHICOM. Unfortunately, the CoCo itself doesn't make use of the extra connection pin or button; we'll report shortly on a "cross wire" solution to firing up, BOTH BUTTONS ON EITHER JOYSTICK.

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