CoCo 3 and the 1988 Houston Boat Show

I graduated high school in 1987. Even though the CoCo 3 had come out the year before, I had remained with my CoCo 2. Sub-Etha Software co-founder, Terry, got his CoCo 3 first. I remember him asking me questions that I could not answer because he had lots of new features I never had seen.

By 1988 I had my own CoCo 3. I don’t recall when I got it, but it had to be in 1987 since I was writing CoCo 3 programs in January. One such program (or programs) was to display video titles. My father was producing a video which would be running at the Callaway Boatworks booth at the 1988 Houston Boat Show.

A few years ago, when I was going through 400+ floppy disks to archive them to a CoCoSDC, I found this disk but it had sector errors. While I could RUN some of the programs, many would not load due to disk errors.

Since then, I discovered a hard drive copy of the disk I had made to my KenTon RGB-DOS drive system. This image was intact! I wanted to go through the titles “some day” and see what all I had done.

“Some day” happened last week. I used the toolshed “decb” utility to pull each BASIC program off the disk image and convert it to ASCII. I then looked through all of them in Visual Studio Code on my Mac. Certain programs would daisy-chain to other programs, using a RUN”NEXTPROG” command at the end. Some paused for a key (at a black screen) before drawing the titles. The BREAK key (and CoCo 3 ON BRK command) was used to skip to the next program (why did I do it that way?).

I was able to come up with a list of two segments of daisy-chained titles, and then the rest were just one-off titles on their own. I recorded the two sequences, and all the separate images, and posted the video to YouTube:

1988 Houston Boat Show graphics done on a CoCo 3 in BASIC.

Some internet searching shows that Callaway Boatworks no longer exists. A few others in the video have since disappeared from the market, but the Houston Boat Show continues to this day.

I wrote them to see if they could provide a vendor list from 1988. I did not expect a response, but got one! They sent me a scan of the exhibitors from that year’s show, and I can now locate the two spots that Callaway Boatworks had that year.

A huge thank you to Lynette M at the boat show for taking time to get me this information. My father passed away a few years ago, so I did not have him to ask about these things.

More to come…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.