Richard Crislip had a display demonstrating the virtues
of Drive Wire. This is a software/hardware combo that is
used to transfer files between the CoCo and a Windows
PC. The software is run on both the host (Windows PC)
and the client (the Coco). They communicate via a serial
cable (this being the hardware component). Aaron Wolfe
is the person behind Drive Wire and responsible for a
major part of its development.
Drive Wire is more than just a way to transfer files
between both systems. Tt is also a client/server setup that
allows the CoCo to store files on a remote system. This is
a great example of how a technology that is considered
obsolete is augmented by current technology. By utilizing
Drive Wire, the user can have storage that is accessible to
the CoCo on a remote system. Storage is no longer limited
to the physical hardware that can be connected directly to
the TRS- 80.
In addition to file transfer, Drive Wire can perform
some TCP/IP networking functions such as Web hosting,
Telnet access, and BBS services. This means that given the
right software, the Color Computer can connect to the
Internet through Drive Wire to perform specific tasks (no, a
graphical Web browser is not one of them).
The setup that was used to demonstrate Drive Wire
was also unique. Richard had two monitors to show the
CoCo’s screen. The first was an old NTSC monochrome
monitor. The second was a modern VGA LCD flat panel
display. By using a video switch, Richard was able to have
both the CoCo and the Windows PC hooked up to this
single LCD monitor. Since the TRS- 80 does not have a
standard VGA output, Richard used a video converter that
accepted the CoCo’s video signal and converted it to
VGA. Again, the fusion of old and new technology was
present. To see a video of Drive Wire in action, go to
The official Drive Wire website is
Another perfect example of the fusion of old and new
March 2015 57
The Glenside Color Computer Club proudly announces the
24th Annual “Last” Chicago CoCoFEST! Highlights of this year’s
event will include:
Back to Basics theme: This year’s theme celebrates the
BASIC programming language and its recent 50th anniversary.
Various devices — including the Dartmouth College Time-Sharing System (DTSS) emulator — will be on display. All BASIC
programmable computers are welcomed.
Auction: This event is a staple of the CoCoFEST! that allows
attendees to bid on a wide variety of hardware and software for
the TRS- 80 and, in some cases, for other vintage computers.
Drive Wire: This unique piece of software allows the CoCo
and some other vintage computers to use a modern computer
as a storage device and communications hub.
Linux: Vintage computer collectors can see how this
popular operating system can be leveraged to provide an
expansion path and operating environment for a favorite vintage
Projects in Development: These include a CoCo App store,
hardware to connect the CoCo to the Internet, Raspberry Pi
integration (emulator, Drive Wire server), and SD card integration
for added storage in a reliable and modern medium.
Vendors: People passionate about preserving our
computing past have developed expansion boards and
accessories for the CoCo using cutting-edge technology. These
include — among others — video adapters for modern displays,
memory expansions, and disc storage.
BASIC Programming Contest #1: John G. Kemeny and
Thomas E. Kurtz first conceived the BASIC language using a
mainframe and the DTSS. Using a DTSS emulator, contestants
are challenged to create the best BASIC program possible. The
only rule is that the program has to run in the emulator.
BASIC Programming Contest #2: Contestants are
challenged to write a BASIC program that will run in the first
Color Computer that RadioShack made available to the public.
How much functionality can you squeeze into 4K of RAM using
only the original Color Basic?
After-hours Rowdiness: The fun does not end when the fest
closes in the afternoon. Exhibitors and attendees get together for
a fun evening of food, anecdotes, and conversation. Friendships
and long-lasting relationships are celebrated and valued as much
as the CoCo.
April 25-26, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
HERON POINT CONVENTION CENTER
645 West North Avenue
Lombard, IL 60148
Entry fee: $5; includes both days/kids under 12 free
Lodging: Special overnight fest rates of $93.24 at the
Fairfield Inn & Suites, Lombard. The inn is adjacent to the
convention center. See the website for more information at the
CoCoFEST! link at www.glensideccc.com.
Altera DE1 FPGA CoCo 3.