I was able to attend the first day of the 23rd Annual "Last" Chicago CoCoFEST!, put on by the Glenside CCC, which ran from April 26 - 27, 2014, in Lombard, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. Besides the great time my family and I had at our first, albeit short, trip to the area, I also had a great time at my first CoCoFEST!. The fest featured exhibitors, seminars, and an auction. In fact, Boisy Pitre and I even gave a surprise Q&A session about our book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer.
Here are some of the fest-specifc photos, taken with my HTC One (M8) smartphone, with some light commentary (I'm purposely keeping the mention of names to a minimum for various practical reasons--it was obviously a great pleasure meeting everyone):
The color ebook (Kindle) version of our latest book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, is now available on Amazon.com alongside the standard paperback. We're delighted to have received 17 out of 17 five star reviews on Amazon, and look forward to the upcoming media reviews on various podcasts, magazines, and Websites (we're also scheduled for a few interviews). More updates to follow as they happen. Thanks for the support!
Great news! After an unfortunate supply issue, our latest book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, is now back in stock on Amazon.com. We've already received 15 out of 15 five star reviews on Amazon, and look forward to the upcoming media reviews on various podcasts, magazines, and Websites (we're also scheduled for a few interviews). Of course, the book is also available everywhere else books are sold, including Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and Amazon Germany. The color eBook version (Kindle) should be out soon as well. I'll of course post again once that hits and some of the media reviews come out.
There's other big news related to this and other projects, so be sure to check back on Armchair Arcade soon for all the details. Thanks for the support.
Retrogaming Times Monthly (RTM), Issue 166, January 2014, has a review of our new book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer. This is the last issue of RTM under its present editors, so be sure to check out the rest of the content in this historic issue. Thanks also to Brian Blake for writing such a nice review.
Another excellent podcast, The Retro League, has picked up on our new book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer. In Episode 214, starting a little after two minutes and 50 seconds into the podcast (YouTube video stream of their podcast embedded below; though that's the raw, unedited version), the book is discussed, with a positive recommendation. This precedes several other reviews on various other podcasts, Websites, and magazines that will be forthcoming, as well as (to date) seven five star reviews on Amazon!
If you'd like to read more about the book, you can visit the Amazon link or go to the publisher's (CRC Press, part of Taylor & Francis Group) Website.
Here's the raw video version of the podcast episode:
Episode 8 of Randy Kindig's Floppy Days Vintage Computing Podcast, entitled, The TRS-80 Model I (Part I), gives another shout-out to two of the upcoming books I've co-authored, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer and Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time. Though Kindig messed up our names again (they're not easy--we've since given him a pronunciation guide), his support is of course still much appreciated. Kindig will also be receiving review copies of both books for future episodes of his podcast, plus he will be interviewing Boisy and me on an upcoming podcast (we want to wait for him to get a copy of the book). One other correction, the CoCo book should be out by the end of December, not November! Check out the episode here, which is part one of a two part interview with the authors of a popular TRS-80 book, as well as additional info on the computer itself. The TRS-80 was the first major personal computer Tandy did before the Color Computer (CoCo), and was part of the original 1977 trinity, which also included the Apple II and Commodore PET.
I'm happy to report that CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer has officially gone to press. This means that it should ship out to retail locations worldwide roughly on schedule near the end of December. If you'd like to read more about the book, you can visit the Amazon link or go to the publisher's (CRC Press, part of Taylor & Francis Group) Website.
Episode 7 of Randy Kindig's Floppy Days Vintage Computing Podcast, entitled, Vintage Computer Festival Midwest 8.0, gives shout-outs to two of the upcoming books I've co-authored, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer and Vintage Game Consoles: An Inside Look at Apple, Atari, Commodore, Nintendo, and the Greatest Gaming Platforms of All Time. Though Kindig understandably butchers both my (it's actually pronounced "Low-joo-diss") and Boisy Pitre's last names (it's actually pronounced "Pete"), the mention at - approximately the 17:58 mark - is much appreciated. Kindig should also be receiving review copies of both books for future episodes of his podcast, which is a regular listen for me. Check out the episode here.
I'm happy to officially announce that my next book, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer, written with Boisy Pitre, is now available for pre-order from booksellers everywhere, including Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, and of course, the publisher's (Taylor & Francis/CRC Press) Website. My personal favorite place is Amazon, where you can buy it at a nice discount from the full retail price, plus, if the price drops upon the book's publication sometime in November, you get it for the lower price. Of course, you don't get charged until it actually ships.
What's nice about the book (available in both paperback and ebook versions) is that this is the first time the story of Tandy's Color Computer - affectionately dubbed "CoCo" - will be told in this manner. The first version of the computer debuted on July 31, 1980, and it and its successors were staples in Radio Shack stores into the 1990s. While never the most popular computer series, the ubiquity of Radio Shack's stores, catalogs, and overall advertising meant that it was impossible to ignore, even if systems like the Apple II, Commodore 64, and IBM PC garnered all the headlines. Thanks to extensive interviews with most of the principles involved in the computer's creation, community, and support, you'll have a definitive first-hand account of how the computer series came to be, from an extensive pre-history right through to what's going on today, where a small, but enthusiastic cadre of fans still enjoy working with the systems. In short, you get to learn about the "soul" of this underdog computer series, including all the business decisions that went into its creation, all the personalities both directly and indirectly involved in its support, and some of the herculean efforts needed to keep the platform alive.
Finally, for those not interested in pre-ordering, I'll be sure to post again once the book is actually ready to ship. As always, I greatly appreciate the support.
In anticipation of our upcoming book for CRC Press/Taylor & Francis Group, CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy’s Underdog Computer, my co-author, Boisy Pitre, has started a new series of blog posts that will (very slowly) lift the veil on some interesting stuff that we discovered during the course of our research. He's doing it in the form of series of puzzles. You can read the second posting, or clue, here. Enjoy!
In other news, in terms of important milestones for the book, we turned in everything to the publisher last night. That means once it goes through the editorial process - which could take several months - the book will be on its way to release. We appreciate everyone's support through this process and hope you're anticipating publication of this book as much as we are.