Living in Australia, far away from where
the "real action" for the Color Computer has always been, I was never able
to ever attend one of the large number of Color Computer Festivals that were
held in the US each year. I had always wanted to meet and talk to other
people like me who were keen developers for the Color Computer.
Over 10 years later, I decided to do something about this and began to collect
interviews of famous and well known software and hardware developers of this
machine. I expected it to be a difficult task to locate people who had left
the market in the 80's but I was surprised to find that some occasionally
visited the Color Computer newsgroup on the internet. Others I located via
information from others or simply searched the internet for names and personal
I made the first few interviews available on the internet via my personal
web page and the interest it generated made me think that a book would be
a popular idea. So I began collecting more interviews with the goal of creating
a small book which I titled "CoCoNUTS - Interviews with people who helped
shape the CoCo". CoCo was the Color
In the end, I had accumulated 16 good interviews comprising the folllowing
Alan DeKok - Various OS-9 products such as NitrOS-9, and converted
Shanghai and Thexder to OS-9.
Chet Simpson - Created Digger and Digger 2 and various other utilities.
Dale Lear - Created software for Tandy in the 80's such as DoubleBack,
Color Baseball and DL Logo.
Dave Edson - Game developer in the 80's with titles such as Space
Invasion, Caterpillar and Planet Raiders.
Eric Crichlow - Wrote software for the MM/1 such as Shellmate and
Erik Gavriluk - Along with Greg Miller, created Color Max 3 and Color
Glen Dahlgren - Founder of Sundog Systems and creator of games such
as Kyum-Gai: To be Ninja.
Greg Miller - Along with Erik Gavriluk, created Color Max 3 and Color
Greg L. Zumwalt - Was one of Tandy's main developers of games such
Malcom Mortar and many others.
Jeremy Spiller - Creator of two of the fastest CoCo3 games, Zenix
and Crystal City.
John Kowalski - Creator of some spectacular demo's and able to do
the "impossible" on the CoCo3.
Kevin K. Darling - Writer for the book "Inside Level II" and wrote
the windowing system "K-Windows".
Mark Randall - Starter of the largest CoCo users group, Color America
Inc and organizor of Color Expo '83.
Mark Seigel - The father of the Color Computer! Worked at Tandy as
Project Manager for the CoCo.
Rick Adams - Created software for Tandy in the 80's such as Temple
of ROM and Shanghai.
Steve Hartford - Created software in the 80's such as Star Trader,
Sam Sleuth, Maui Vice and Franchise.
By this time, I had fallen victim to the need for owning a Wintel PC so I
used Microsoft Word to create the entire book. In each interview I included
a photo of the interviewee and screenshots where possible of software or
photos of hardware. I tried to have a list of all the products the person
had created for the Color Computer as well as cover topics such as how and
why they became involved with the Color Computer. Some of the interviews
raised some interesting stories like Mark Seigel's description of the Color
Computer Deluxe which never got released, Eric Crichlow's clash with Steve
Bjork, and Jeremy Spiller's explanation of how he achieved the fast graphics
in his games Zenix and Crystal City.
Marketing and Sales
By the time I was close to the end of the book, an opportunity arose to fly
to the US and attend a CoCoFest. (See next project page). I printed up about
30 copies of the book and took them with me. Most were sold at the fest while
the remainder I left with Jim Davis who was my US distributor at the time,
and he finished selling the remainder.
I was happy with the sales of the book and the money raised helped to cover
some of the expense of flying to the US to attend Pennfest 99 in August,