CoCo Floppies: Was:These darned old computers

From: Roger Merchberger <>
Date: Wed Aug 28 19:06:01 2002

Rumor has it that Lawrence Walker may have mentioned these words:

> I'm fortunate in that I laid in a good stock of "on sale" floppies since
> my STs and Amigas require them. I also have a bunch of 3 1/2" floppy
> drives. Other than installing and testing them is there any way of
> identifying which ones are the lower density ?

Sure, if you look just inside the dust flap on a 3.5" drive, and you see a
switch {or optical sensor) on the right hand side, it's a 1.44Meg - that's
the 1.44Meg sense switch to see if it has a HD disk in it. If the switching
mechanism is missing entirely, it's *probably* a 720K (but no absolute
guarantees). Another way is take the model number & google it -- I heard
somewhere that the Internet can be good for finding info like that... ;-)

> Who is FHL ?

Frank Hogg Laboratories...

>Are they still in existence, and with the "eliminator". The best
>thing would be a SCSI interface. Did anyone ever make one for the CoCo ?

FHL went the way of the dodo bird long, long ago... the eliminators are
rather rare... anyone have an extra they'd like to get rid of???

However, Mark [pause -- googling] Marlette of Cloud 9 Technologies was
making another batch of his SCSI board that used full-parity (some earlier
SCSI cards didn't have that ability, so you couldn't use certain devices
like Zip drives...) Ta'int cheap... USD $85 w/o RTC, $100 w/RTC [for the
$15, get the RTC is my feeling, anyway...] but they're new, and they're nice...

for a list of all his hardware that he has available...

I'm tellin' ya... this Internet thing might actually catch on someday... ;-)

> How did you chain the 3rd drive ? Just with a second connector on a
> cable connected to the 1st or 2nd connector on the 502 ?

Just punched a new connector onto the existing cable... prolly not the
*right* way to do it, but as I always say: if it's stupid, but works, it
ain't stupid!

> I have a CM-5 that I used on a Tandy 1000 and on something else (cant
> remember what) which used the special TRS video format (RGBI ?). Never
> occurred to me, DOH, that I might be able to use it on the CoCo.

It shouldn't have occurred to you -- because you *can't* use it!!! RGBI is
not a special TRS format -- it's CGA/EGA. It's a digital mode which stands
for Red/Green/Blue/Intensity, and uses 5V digital levels. The CM-5 is also
known to be computing history's abso-frelling-lutely crappiest monitor in
the universe. It had a <gasp> .52mm dot pitch - hell, the lead in my
mechanical pencils is smaller! The CM-8 was better, but not outstanding
with a .42mm DP. You're better bets were the Magnavox 3CM515 (IIRC?) or
hacking a cable for the Atari/Amiga monitors... A few of the NEC 2[mumble]
VGA monitors with .28 DP would sync that low, too; they make gorgeous
displays, but were super-expensive way back when...


> As Sam likely found, it is confusing to switch from platform to platform
>concurrently. I usually immerse myself in one for some time before
>working on another. I've been in a laptop mode lately. Grid and others.
>I'll have to switch to a CoCo mode to explore this further.
> Too many projects, too little time.

A good project would be a video switchbox that would take an Atari SCM1224
and give you 3 or 4 inputs for it to switch between, adapted between the
CoCo3/Atari/Amiga/others... I have a $10,000 sewer problem to repair first,
tho... :-(( <sniff>

Roger "Merch" Merchberger
Roger "Merch" Merchberger -- sysadmin, Iceberg Computers
What do you do when Life gives you lemons,
and you don't *like* lemonade?????????????
Received on Wed Aug 28 2002 - 19:06:01 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:34:38 BST