Ever since reading The Soul of a New Machine, Tracy Kidder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the creation of a 32-bit minicomputer, I’ve been a hound for any such works offering behind-the-scenes looks at such periods of silicon genesis. They are, to me, the very most interesting things to read.
Over the past decade, I’ve found and enjoyed quite a few such stories regarding a variety of platforms and technologies. Of course, not every system of my personal interest has been covered in this manner. One of those without a nice, public genesis chronicle is the Tandy Color Computer, which is a platform I added to my own collection only recently. I’m pleased to report that this won’t be the case for long.
Notable CoCo-scene personality and all-around super-nice guy Boisy Pitre, who I recently covered here in regards to his fascinating Liber809 project, has partnered with video game historian Bill Loguidice from Armchair Arcade to bring forth a book chronicling the history of the Tandy Color Computer.
Pitre and Loguidice have interviewed many individuals from the old days at Tandy, including all members of the CoCo engineering team, in order to render what will surely be a most fascinating history of of a machine that certainly deserves to have its story told.
In part two of a recent series of RadioShack Memories videos capturing a discussion between Pitre and former Tandy engineer Jerry Heep, Pitre explains the motivations behind his coming book. (Part one and part three are worth a look, as well.)
It seems that Pitre and Loguidice are aiming for a release at the end of this year, and I’ll let you guys know when it lands. I’m very much looking forward to it.
For those who share my interest in such things, some of the other books of this sort that I’ve enjoyed are:
- The Little Kingdom: The Private Story of Apple Computer by Michael Moritz (1984) (recently modified and re-published as Return to the Little Kingdom: How Apple and Steve Jobs Changed the World)
- Steve Jobs & The NeXT Big Thing by Randall E. Stross (1993)
- Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything by Steven Levy (1994)
- Dealers of Lightning: Xero PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age by Michael A. Hiltzik (2000)
- Revolutionaries at Sony: The Making of the Sony Playstation and the Visionaries Who Conquered the World of Video Games by Reiji Asakura (2000)
- The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon–The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World by Steven L. Kent (2001)
- On The Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore by Brian Bagnall (2005) (I believe recently republished as Commodore: A Company on the Edge)
- The Race for a New Game Machine: Creating the Chips Inside the XBox 360 and the Playstation 3 by David Shippy, Mickie Phipps (2008)
- And, not a book, but these posts are the closest thing for the Atari ST: The Atari ST (part 1), The Atari ST (part 2), How the Atari ST almost had Real Unix
[ Photo courtesy of Christopher W. (moparx) ]