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CoCo3 Easter Egg

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The Color Computer 3 contained an easter egg.

The Egg

CoCo3 Easter Egg.png
The above picture can be displayed on every Color Computer 3 ever made. But the instructions on how to bring it up were kept secret. That is what makes it an Easter Egg. To see the picture hold down the Control and Alternate keys on the CoCo's keyboard and press the reset button on the back right of the Color Computer. This puts the CoCo into a special mode where the only thing it can do is display this picture. A nitfy side effect of this easter egg is now there is an easy way to to generate a cold restart of the machine. Pressing the reset button again will produce the standard Color Computer 3 power on sequence.

Tandy's Roll

During the design of the Color Computer 3 hardware Tandy commissioned Microware to extend the internal BASIC interrupter.

Microware's Roll

The three people pictured in the Easter Egg are Mark Hawkins, Todd Earls and Tim Harris. They worked on the additional functionality of the the internal BASIC interrupter for Microware.

Were they the only ones? Why were they included in the picture? Did they work on OS-9 Level 2?

Tandy's Shock

Frank Durda IV writes:

Microware demanded and grudgingly got an 8K ROM budget, then they used 2K for the ordered improvements and almost 6K for the photo. Tandy hardware and R&D management were really, really irritated with Microware over this once it was discovered, as they could have put a cheaper 2K ROM in instead and gotten the wanted fixes. (In those days, the difference in price between the 8K masked ROM and 2K masked ROM was significant.) You don't know how many internal projects got put under the microscope by hardware management after that stunt, looking for what we now call "Easter Eggs" and as part of the witch hunt, killing what hardware management was calling "trivial" or unapproved functionality. A lot of good things died as a result of that stunt. It probably helped doom the Deluxe CoCo project too.

Q&A at Pennfest 2000

Mark Hawkins attended the Pennfest Color Computer Festival in the year 2000. During a question and answer session Mark answered qeustions regarding the Easter Egg.
Include transcript.

Special Discovery