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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 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