I haven't owned a CoCo in the 1980s. But I remember the first CoCo in my collection.
In 1999 friends and I went on a road trip to the Gaspésie peninsula (Quebec). Before that a guy living close to Montreal gave me a CoCo. So we had this CoCo in the car during the whole trip and we took some funny pictures: "CoCo on the beach", "CoCo is camping", etc.. I really have to dig up these photos
My first computer was a CoCo 1 as well - silver with chicklet keys and all. I learned BASIC on that thing, then moved to an IBM PC when that arrived a year or so later. The CoCo was a neat machine. I never had the disk drive adapter - only a few cartridges and the tape adapter.
My first computer! I won first place in the computer division of the science fair at my school in ninth grade with my CoCo. I coded a graphics program and ran it as a demonstration of how you can use the computer for graphic design. They excused me from class for the whole day in order to demonstrate the program. I was the only entry in the computer division! I felt vindicated for not even placing with my solar powered car the year before. I had a tape drive with my CoCo, and I also had a modem. A local college had a BBS I used to connect with, but other than that, the modem was mainly a curriosity.
I found a Color Computer 2 with Disk Controller and Disk Drive at a Goodwill when I was very young. All the accessories were priced separately and I remember it coming to something like $23 bucks or around there. I begged my dad to get it for me and he did. I had no instructions, no disks, no carts so I had to figure out what to do using the public library, which still had some books on programming in extended color basic. I can not even tell you the affection I have for that machine. Gradually I collected some disk and cart games, experimented with the cassette cable, keyed in dozens of basic programs. Software for the machine was being clearanced out at Radio Shack so it was easy for me to buy new games with my allowance, and ask for lots of games for birthdays/Christmas. I spent endless hours painting with the paint application in Deskmate. One of the best cracked out geek moments was when I found a box full of "Rainbow on Disk" floppies for 25 cents a piece. ….Rambling….
Sadly, mold old CoCo2 bit the dust years ago. I now have a CoCo 3 and have been playing with a serial/tape cable and some software that mounts virtual floppies for transfer over the cable. With all the images I have found online it's like when I found that box of floppies years ago!
Bought Coco2 in 1984. My monitor was a 13 inch black-and-white TV (tube type - got it in 1969). TV, Coco and tape recorder were on top of a chest of drawers. I had to stand to use the computer. It still works but I use my coco3 now. Currently it's hooked up to: two 5.25 inch floppies, one 3.5 inch floppy, hard drive, CD-ROM, ZIP drive and a Jaz drive. The printer still produces near-letter-quality at 32 characters per second. This is truly The Good Life.
The Tandy Color Computer and the Apple II were the machines that got me started on computers. They are both super-nifty little machines with unique character.
I recently dug out my CoCo 2 and CoCo 3 machines, hooked up the 5.25″ disk drives, and played some games from way back. It was a blast! Shock Trooper, Dragon Slayer, Robotron, and their versions of Qix, Moon Patrol, and Crystal Castles are all a total riot. So are the various text-graphics adventures.
This is a machine that was never intended to be a power-house computer. Instead, as I recently discovered, it was to be a farm-terminal — allowing people in rural areas an information conduit on a simple, rugged, and cost-effective platform. The hardware hacking culture on this machine is pretty unreal. There are so many special-purpose controllers and mods for these machines that it boggles the mind.
Again, it's a fun and simple machine with a very flexible CPU.
Now if only the emulators would evolve to the level of reproducing the sound clearly. Then perhaps more people would get a chance see that these cute little computers are like to play around with. And if 'cute' isn't their thing, there's always OS9 and NitrOS.