CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer

written by Matthew Reed

Title:CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer
Publisher:CRC Press
Publication date:
Number of pages:203
CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy

When most people think of the Radio Shack TRS‑80, they probably think of the TRS‑80 Model I, III, and 4. But Radio Shack also sold another computer line, the TRS‑80 Color Computer.

CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer by Boisy Pitre and Bill Loguidice explores the somewhat forgotten history of the Color Computer line. It tells the story of the Radio Shack Color Computer (fondly nicknamed the CoCo), starting with its development and introduction in 1980. It also contains additional information that helps to put the Color Computer within the broader context of computers at the time, including a chapter about the popular RAINBOW magazine for Color Computer users. The book doesn’t end when Radio Shack discontinued the Color Computer 3 in 1990; it continues with more stories about the companies and people who still supported the Color Computer after the “official” end.

The authors have backgrounds in computer history and the Color Computer itself. Bill Loguidice is a computer historian, founder of Armchair Arcade, and author of many books about video games. Boisy Pitre worked at Microware Systems Corporation (authors of the OS-9 operating system available for the Color Computer), is the creator of the DriveWire protocol, and is a partner at Cloud-9 (a Color Computer hardware company).

For CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer, Pitre and Loguidice talked to many people within Radio Shack who were involved with the Color Computer. The book includes behind-the-scenes stories about the development of different Color Computer models, including some information you are unlikely to have read before. They even identify the Radio Shack executive who cancelled the Color Computer 3!

Even if you are a longtime Color Computer fan, you are bound to find out some new details that you never knew. CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer is one of the few sources of information about the abruptly cancelled Deluxe Color Computer and the only source of information (including photos) about the prototype for the Color Computer 4.

CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer is a very informative book. If you like the Color Computer, or 1980’s home computers in general, then this book will be interesting to you.

Categories: Books

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