Sitenotice: 11/29/2018: The wiki is back. It turns out, some anti-virus product on my web server had an issue with the latest version of PHP. My server techs have resolved this issue, and things should be working again. During the investigation, I did restore to a backup from September. There is a chance that any changes done since then were lost, but I do not recall any edits. --OS-9 Al

8/30/2016: Massive re-work is being done on the InfoBox Templates. Read that page to keep up with the plan for that, and adding better keyword tags (categories) to all the pages. --OS-9 Al (talk) 15:28, 31 August 2016 (CDT)

World of 68' Micros

From CoCopedia - The Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer Wiki
Revision as of 11:01, 5 February 2006 by Farna (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

I'll eventually get some useful information up here! I'm the person who conceived of and published "the world of 68' micros" -- Frank (Francis) Swygert. The title is correct -- it was officially in all lower case to emphasize "micro" computers. For shorthand I often used "268'm" in messages on Delphi and in the magazine. I started thinking about something like this when Falsoft started printing Rainbow on newsprint. I didn't think it would last long after that. I'd been working with a friend who owned a print shop for a while and had self-published a book on AMC cars (my first passion, even before the CoCo or other computers). I thought that if Rainbow stopped publishing, I might be able to put something nice out. I wouldn't have the overhead and needs of a publisher like Falsoft had become, I would be more like when Falsoft started.

One day I decided to contact Falsoft about possibly taking over Rainbow since it obviously wasn't making them money. I actually got a letter with Lonnie Falk's phone number and an invitation to call. In case no one remembers, he was the owner of Falsoft and started Rainbow as a photo copied newsletter. We talked a bit and I laid out my plans. The problem was Lonnie didn't want to let anyone take over Rainbow. He started it, he wanted to finish it. The main thing is he didn't want someone taking over then possibly giving it a bad reputation, especially if it folded shortly after, which was a possibility. He had no idea who I was at the time or what my capabilities or determination were, so his position was completely understandable. We discussed my getting the mailing list, but he was a bit reluctant about that too. He ended up offering to sell it at market rate, which was something like 15 cents an address at the time, and would have busted my budget! Ironically I called just in time -- unknown to subscribers, the last issue of Rainbow was being set up right then. Lonnie let me know I had just a couple weeks to get an ad in the last issue -- at their market rate, of course.

You know, I understood the thing about not wanting someone to continue Rainbow as Rainbow, or with any type of official endorsement from Falsoft, but I never did and still don't understand him not either giving me the mailing list or selling it for a token sum. I was promising to continue to support customers and CoCo enthusiasts that he was abandoning with little warning. As I recall, the only notice (except for the newspaper style issues) was in the very last issue. Renewals were taken just one issue prior, then those renewals were filled with a Tandy DOS machine magazine -- no refunds. I even offered to have Falsoft print a postcard for all the CoCo users and I'd pay printing and postage, and never see the mailing list, but he was unwilling to do anything to help the CoCo people. That never did sit well with me... in case you couldn't tell. I had a limited budget to start the venture, but it did pay off. Not like Falsoft, but enough to make it a nice "paying hobby", or rather a hobby that paid for itself. I made enough that I didn't drop a dime from my household budget in the magazine, was able to keep my CoCo and PC (you couldn't produce a magazine of any quality on a CoCo, sorry, but I did use the CoCo for many tasks -- Delphi mail and the mailing database, for example) up to date, and even paid for many trips from Georgia to Chicago for the CoCoFests. Those I made a couple hundred dollars on after expenses with magazine sales and sales at the fest. So I was happy -- this was a hobby venture from the start!!

When I stopped printing "268'm", I tried to find someone to take the publication over at no cost. In fact, I paid for printing of the next two issues once someone was found. Unfortunately that person ran into problems and only printed another issue or two after the printing money ran out, and around 250 subscribers lost a little money -- some the entire $20 subscription price, but most half that or less. I never could get in touch with the person again. I do realize that soemthing like that is what Lonnie Falk did not want to happen, and is why he didn't assist me with continuing something to pick up where "Rainbow" left off. I started to type "take the place of Rainbow", but that wouldn't be correct. I don't think anything could really have done that for two reasons -- 1) Rainbow's well deserved reputation, and 2) there just wasn't that big of a CoCo community any more.

Before anyone asks, I no longer have any of the magazines, books, or software I once sold available. I sold my two custom CoCo3s years ago. I considered keeping them, but thought it better to let someone who was still interested in and had the time to play/work with the CoCo have them. I'm an old car nut too, and have always hated seeing a car sitting and rusting away because someone was going to "fix it up one day" -- but you just knew it would never happen. I didn't want that happening to my CoCos -- I'd rather know someone got a bit more enjoyment from them before they were retired.

If anyone wants copies of "268'm", "Tandy's Little Wonder", or any of the FARNA publications, contact Glenside Color Computer Club. A couple years after 268'm died I donated all the hard copies to them, and made everything public domain. I'll try to get a copy of "Tandy's Little Wonder" as a PDF file for posting on this site.

Comments? My e-mail is