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Terry Simons

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Terry Simons (194? - 2000) was the founder and main operator of Mid-Iowa & Country CoCo Club (known as MI&CC), a Color Computer club based in the heartland of the United States, Des Moines, Iowa. MI&CC came into being sometime before 1992 and boasted a national membership (hence the addition of "& Country" to the club name, as Terry would explain).

Terry was a CoCo afficionado and BASIC programmer whose famous home financial management software, "Home-Pac" was sold through his company, Computer Villa. Outside of the CoCo, Terry ran his own business, "Terry's Quality Concrete" performing residential and small commercial concrete services in the Des Moines area.

Throughout Terry's leadership, MI&CC hosted monthly meetings at a local library in Des Moines, and even provided members with a unique "disk newsletter" that came in the mail on 5.25" diskette. One could run the disk newsletter on a CoCo 3 and read various articles contributed by MI&CC members.

In early 1993, Terry Simons convinced the MI&CC membership to host a CoCo Fest right in Microware's backyard. As a result, the Middle America Fest took place March 27-28, 1993 on the outskirts of Des Moines Iowa. This two day CoCo fest was the only one of its kind, and brought vendors and participants from around the country.

In spite of this, MI&CC became a source of controversy in the CoCo community. The problem stemmed from the fact that MI&CC had collected a rather large library of CoCo software, and offered its members access to the programs in this library for a modest copying and shipping fee. The contents of this library became a source of contention between Terry and a number of CoCo software authors who discovered that copyrighted software was being offered without permission of the original authors.

In 1994, messages regarding MI&CC's "Ophanware Library" began appearing on electronic messaging services. Terry argued that all software in the MI&CC library was considered orphanware, and that if the copyright holder objected to the inclusion of the software in the MI&CC library, only then would it be pulled. However, software authors were enraged that Simons and MI&CC would place the burden of ownership and claim on the software author. The position of the software authors was clear: respect the copyright, and obtain permission before putting it in the club library.

The culmination of the controversy came in early 1996 when Eric Crichlow, a noted CoCo software author, met face to face in with Terry at a bookstore in West Des Moines, Iowa. Eric contended that Terry and MI&CC were blatantly violating copyright. Terry asserted that he was doing nothing wrong by offering software that was no longer being sold to CoCo owners who still wanted to use it.

The resulting discussion and melee brought about serious ramifications for Simons and the MI&CC group. Later that year, Eric attended the Chicago CoCo Fest, bringing with him the now-infamous "Pirate Poster" which proclaimed Terry as a danger to the CoCo Community, and advocating action.

From that point on, MI&CC seemed to have lost its luster as the CoCo Community largely shunned Simons' efforts. In spite of some demand for MI&CC’s “orphanware” library, a number of members of MI&CC either did not renew their subscriptions or cancelled outright. Other organizations within the CoCo community, such as the Glenside Color Computer Club, made their positions clear, stating that they were not in support of the actions of MI&CC and Terry Simons. In the end, both Simons and MI&CC faded into obscurity. Terry formally closed down the club in 1998, sold a great deal of his CoCo collection, and moved on to the PC

On May 18, 2000 Terry passed away from complicatoins of throat cancer. He is buried at the Des Moines Masonic Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa.