– Guestbook

This page is a place for anybody who used or lusted after the Compucolor II computer, or any of the related computers built by ISC, to leave stories and recollections.

This used to be a PHP-powered guestbook, but the PHP library I chose back in 2010 or whatever was unmaintained. After more than 12 years of use, my hosting provider updated to a version of PHP that is incompatible. Rather than learning enough PHP to fix it, I've converted it all to be a static page.

If you'd like to share a message here, contact me at the email at the bottom of the page and I'll add it.


Bruce Williams writes...

I was the Software Manager of the CC II

Posted on September 05, 2022 - 22:53:43 CST
Jeff Brown writes...

Great site Jim! Really awesome you have all of this information here. I worked at Intecolor starting in 1985 through the early 90s. See all of this here really brings back some great memories. I learned to program on a 3650.

Posted on July 31, 2022 - 22:50:09 CST
Kevin writes...

Great site Jim, and great work on the emulator too!

They had these at the Computer Centre at what was then the Western Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University) in 1982 when I started there. Primarily they were being used as terminals for the various mainframes they had, but they were also used as standalone machines and as a student these were the first colour computer I'd even seen, let alone used.

Ah, the excitement of the early days of computing as a teenager....

Posted on March 23, 2022 - 00:18:41 CST
Ken writes...

Wow Jim. Just found this site... amazing! As a student in the late '70s I used to sell these in Vancouver Canada, and eventually sold my Commodore PET so I could buy one. The computer has been sitting in a box since 1982 or so. and soon I hope to get time to see if it still works. But wow... you built an emulator!! Still works on MS Edge too, so well done!

I wrote my first "big" program on it, a "planetarium" that dynamically displayed the brightest stars currently above any lat/long, and would highlight the stars in any constellation on demand. If I'd known there were such things as user groups I would have shared it... if I'm successful retrieving the source I'll share it.

Posted on November 17, 2021 - 22:14:54 CST
Paul K writes...

Thanks for providing this. I played with a Compucolor II at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand, back in 1981 when I was still in high school. Loved the color keyboard and lumbering floppy drive.

Posted on April 23, 2021 - 07:19:08 CST
Darren writes...

In my first year of high school 1980, I was about 13 and had enjoyed playing TREK on dial-up modem with acoustic coupler to some sort of DEC mini at friends house. His dad worked for a "computer company" - we barely knew what a computer was!

Because I was showing such interest, the dad lent me a really cool computer for the summer. I was captivated. Now, some 40 years later all I could remember was

  • it had several colour keys
  • it had an integrated colour monitor (in 1980 !)
  • it had a floppy drive and ran some sort of early DOS

not a lot to go on.

I've looked for this computer many times over the years, until today finally seeing a keyboard I remember on That's it!

This was a great machine that taught me the basics of BASIC (by tinkering with a Hammurabi clone) and filesystems. I had to give it back and had to make do with the schools sole Apple II until a few years later I bought a C64.

The model we had was most similar to this, I *think* - it's hard to remember the details - but that keyboard, with the colour keys is unmistakeable!

Great - now I need to find one to add to my collection of early 80's micros. Thanks for the site, the software collection and manuals are just great.


South Australia.

Posted on February 22, 2021 - 08:50:31 CST
Matt clarke writes...

Spent many hours back in the day playing Pac-Man with my uncle but also loved dogfight er and orbs think my brother has discs still if these games are not here I am also looking for spare keys for my keyboard if anyone has any

Posted on February 20, 2021 - 10:53:41 CST
Art Watson writes...

When I first came to the University of Florida College of Environmental Engineering, we used the ComupColor II to create computer simulations of natural and man-made systems.

I had the privilege of learning and working under Dr. HT Odum who by all accounts was a genius. My experiences with the CompuColor II led to a lifetime of employment in IT. I still work in IT today for UF.

What a great machine it was!

Posted on November 27, 2019 - 10:41:34 CST
Steve Bour writes...

Incredible site! I've spent the last couple of days reliving "computer store" memories from the 70s and 80s.

What brought me here was a quest to find some source code I wrote back in '79 for the Compucolor II. To be specific, I'm the "J STEPHEN BOUR II" mentioned in one of the files on disk "Taylor #7". I wrote FMTCD1.SRC, the floppy disk formatter on that disk. Yup, that's me :-)

I lost the source code ages ago but hoped I might find it on some vintage computer site somewhere, and lo and behold, I found it! Haven't been this thrilled to find something lost in a long time...thank you so much for making the effort to preserve history like this! Feel free to email if you wish; maybe you have questions I could answer or I could help out in some other way. I might even share the story behind writing that formatter :-)

Posted on November 05, 2019 - 16:53:30 CST
Elizabeth writes...

Thanks for your wonderful site, Compucolor was my first computer.

I had fond memories programming applications eg vertical invoicing system for milk runs (when milk was home delivered) and a book borrowing system for a local Christian college.

Posted on July 08, 2019 - 02:59:48 CST
Arthur Krewat writes...

Used a Compucolor in high school, circa 1979-1982 - wrote many programs on it, and even did a demonstration in math class of sin/cos/tan graphs.

Posted on June 08, 2019 - 17:05:06 CST
M4K writes...

The Compucolor II system was a particular fascination of mine from the moment I heard about it in high school from the "cool" computer teacher. He disagreed with the text books that gave Apple all the credit for pushing the boundaries, and the Compucolor II was his argument against it, and this was in 2010. More on the subject of the machine, It really is the "first" of a generation that defined computers going forward. That this amazing machine, and the people who made it possible are all largely forgotten, even by people who are knowledgeable about computer history, is a real shame. I hope to see one in person someday, but they seem few and far between. Many thanks for keeping this website and the memory of the Compucolor system alive, it is appreciated!

Posted on December 21, 2018 - 21:41:31 CST
Russell writes...

I used Intecolor 3650 series computers for many years before having a computer of my own ( Atari 65xe). Later I had my own 3650 for a very short time till it quit working while playing Galaxian. The best game on there was Robot Wars. It was much more fun than any version of Robotron. An info from the Mame emulator once mentioned a Robotron prototype with the same name. I wonder if they are the same one.

Posted on May 14, 2018 - 19:14:52 CST
Marsha Hague writes...

I was seriously considering the Compucolor, but finally settled on the Apple II as my first computer in 1979. Thanks for putting up this website. I recently decided to finally get my BS in IT after all these years, and chose an online school that was accredited and had good reviews. I started my first course this weekend, and they got several things wrong in the module about the history of personal computers. I ranted about it on Facebook, and it started a discussion that brought back some old memories!

The badly written course material claimed that the first personal computer was introduced by IBM in 1984, and it also claimed that the Macintosh was Apple's first computer, also introduced in 1984 (well, at least they got ONE thing right).

Posted on April 30, 2018 - 04:48:44 CST
Kyle Gehring writes...

I still have my CompuColor II that I bought in 1982. I was going to use it for our business but decided to do with an Altos "multi-user" system instead. The CompuColor was always fun to work on and it did save us one time when our Altos system went down. I wrote as simple payroll program so we could get the $150+ checks out with our manually computing and typing them.

The emulator brought back some good memories.

Thanks for the site.

Posted on August 03, 2017 - 16:35:15 CST
Jim Orcheson writes...

I purchased a CompuColor II in August or September of 1978 for about CDN $2800. This was $700 less than an Apple II cost in the same store.

Aside from the odd game, I purchased the assembler and MS Fortran, and did extensive programming on it.

A couple of things that I did not see mentioned on your site:

1. Someone wrote and sold a word processing program. I bought a daisy-wheel printer that printed at a whopping 30 characters per second. That printer lasted until I could no longer get printer ribbons for it.

2. There was a "magazine" of about the same quality as ColorCue, but many more pages per issue, that was written and published by someone in Toronto. It also was published 6 times per year. It lasted for 3 or 4 years.

All in all, I had a great time with the CompuColor II until one of the custom chips failed. I contacted ISC or Intecolor about a replacement chip, but by that time, they no longer stocked them. I think they had sold all of their parts to a company in Italy that continued to manufacture the Compucolor II until the supply of parts was exhausted.

ISC or Intecolor contacted the original chip manufacturer, who was willing to do a run of 1000 of them for me; since I only needed one, I never bothered inquiring what the cost would be. That ended my use of the computer.

Posted on June 29, 2017 - 10:07:07 CST
John Bell writes...
Posted on May 30, 2017 - 17:52:21 CST
John in OK writes...

A ham radio friend of mine had a Compucolor. As I understand it from him... Intecolor essentially never pushed much in the way of games because it was stated that the machine was too slow to run arcade style games. Yeah, in interpreted BASIC it was... but my friend was writing games for it and selling them, in 8080 assembly. The only game I remember off top of my head was Meteor Mission, but he wrote a few different games and sold them. We were using his machine with a custom logging program to log radio contacts, which was going well until we tuned up the antenna on 40 meters and rebooted the computer with RF... without a database backup. Oops.

I also remember these machines from my local high school... i read through the technical book and I seem to recall that there was a range of output ports (like 080h - 0FFh) that if values were written to them would cause the video controller to zorch. Not the most reliable design, if a malfunctioning or malicious program can kill the hardware. Still it was a vary pretty machine, both externally, and the color palette on-screen. I recall that Intecolor was primarily making data terminals for industrial applications and decided to make a personal type computer. Couldn't nearly afford one back in those days... or probably now for that matter. *grin*

Posted on November 28, 2016 - 21:15:53 CST
Maynard writes...

I remember these. Back in '79 (age 11) our family had a TRS-80. But a family down the street had a Compucolor and an Atari 800.To be honest, I was more interested in the Atari at that age. But I did play Star Trek on the Compucolor. And it was pretty awesome.

I miss those days...

Posted on September 27, 2016 - 08:06:01 CST
Richard writes...

Awesome page. I've just started looking around. I worked for Intecolor from 1977 til 1982. Good times!


Posted on August 14, 2016 - 17:30:17 CST

I just posted a photo to Facebook (user lepton68) of my desk from that time, featuring a Compucolor II. That was a cool computer for its time. The keyboard had special color keys, it had floppy storage, and so on. But it was long ago and I had long forgotten what brand it was. I bothered my for years until today when someone identified it. A quick google and I found this site with a wealth of info!

Posted on March 03, 2016 - 08:46:46 CST
Oscar writes...

Do not own one but if I am lucky one day. Just here to say 'Nasty Computer' nice colorful stylish love the PCB boards! in it. The first one is my favorite nice keyboard.

Posted on November 15, 2015 - 07:48:10 CST
Kenneth Daniel writes...

I purchased my first computer in 1978. Yes, you guessed it! It was a Compucolor. Don't remember the II, but when I saw the picture and the narrative it all came back. Back then memory was very expensive. I paid $1,800 for the low end model with the 5 1/4" external floppy for storage. The Floppy's themselves cost like $5-10 apiece depending on how many I was going to purchase. I was going to get someone to program it to prepare Federal and State income tax returns. I don't remember just how far I got down the road of utilization but I do remember that if I wanted to copy the contents of one floppy to another I would follow the instructions on the screen while it would move the information from the 'from' disk to the 'destination' disk. The monitor would function as temporary storage while the disks were swapped. Another thing that bothered me was that when Tom Scherer (the 'friend who sold me machine told me that it would cost another $500 to 'upgrade it from 8k to 16k, I gave him the check and he sat down, powered down down, pulled assembly from the case and played with little set of dip switches and you got it. That was the $500 upgrade. He explained that it really was a good because it let me get started while I raised the last $500. Don't remember how long I had it , but I do remember that it was a long time before I got my next color computer. The next ones were various colors and 8" drives but I believe that the rest of the floppy's were built in. I also bought a Centronics printer which must have been about 20" square for which I paid $1,995 and was dot-matrix printing bi-directional and put out about 2 pages a minute. I had $4,300 invested in that set-up. It would be 1987 before Invested that much into computer and printers again and it still I don't believe had a color monitor and the next one I had with a built in monitor was also a portable that I used for several years that served me well--a Kaypro II. We have come a long way baby!!!!!!!!!

Posted on May 31, 2015 - 02:31:17 CST
Rick Bolton writes...

Pleased to find this "tribute" site. I bought a Compucolor II for my 5 chidlren (and myself) at the end of 1979 from the Rochester NY Compuword store. The system cost a whopping $2000 complete, but I was an engineer for Kodak in their 'peak years'. The children, teens and preteens were the first "hands-on" computer literate kids in the area, knowledge which served them well over the years. It was a great machine for the time and I kept it all these years, though no longer functioning.

Rick Bolton

Posted on May 19, 2015 - 10:22:52 CST
Mark McDougall writes...

I discovered this site a few days ago after listening to the Floppy Days podcast episode on the Compucolor. Although I started out back in the day with a TRS-80 Model I, the Compucolor sounds familiar and I'm sure - especially given its presence in Australia - that I did see adverts for it in magazines that my father brought home such as Creative Computing and Byte.

Firstly I'd like to congratulate you on your web site - it's very impressive and no doubt the definitive reference for the Compucolor.

These days I collect retro computers but must admit that the Compucolor has never been on my radar. But after hearing the podcast I was intrigued by talk of the colour graphics and had to see what all the fuss was about. I should also mention at this point that one aspect of my hobby is the occasional - 100% accurate - porting of software titles between various machines, so I am always on the lookout for candidates that facilitate such a process.

Now I realise that we generally look back on the machines we grew up with, with rose-coloured glasses, but without trying to offend anyone, I would have to say that I am a little disappointed with the software titles for the machine. Whether this is a reflection on the capabilities of the hardware, or rather the lack of experience or even number of developers I cannot say, but I would have expected a higher number of, and quality of, arcade-style games for the machine. I realise that, unlike some other machines, there was contention between the CPU and video circuitry, and that hardware factors come into play, but given the games produced on 2MHz 8080-based hardware (Space Invaders) and a 1MHz 6502 (Apple II) something doesn't seem to add up.

Anyway, I didn't come here simply to bash the machine. Regardless, this impressive site and I guess even the machine itself does retain some level of interest for me. Given the processor and the graphics resolution, it does have me wondering whether one of the smaller TRS-80 Model I games (1,77MHz Z80, 128x48) could be ported without too much effort, albeit with completely re-written graphics logic? Hopefully one day I'll get the time to play around with it and try to answer some of my own questions about it.

Thanks and regards,

Posted on April 15, 2015 - 07:39:56 CST
Steve writes...

Unlike most here, I have had no experience in using the Compucolor machines.

This is a very impressive website covering a machine/s I had never heard off until recently, where I have been looking at the history of computing & the various computers over the years. Most of the obscure computers, particularly the early ones, are unknown for a reason, but this machine & the even earlier Compucolor 8001 stand out from the others.

The machines seem to have a surprisingly large range of software for it, many of which is good quality for the time, showing of the good colour & graphics. On release the only real competition would have been the holy trinity of TRS80, Pet, & Apple II. The main negative I expect was the cost of the machine, which was quite high, & its main rival would be the Apple II though with better colour than that. Like I mentioned the software must have equalled the Apple early on, but for some reason never took on like its rivals once the 70's drew to a close. Also there doesn't seem to have been much support from the owners to push the machine that I can see.

Anyway, enough of me droning on, but I just really wanted to praise you for all the effort you have put into showcasing this machine, which certainly gives people a better perspective of the Compucolor II.

Another contender amongst the graveyard of dead machines in the personal computer market, which ultimately would be controlled by the mighty PC.

Posted on October 25, 2014 - 09:43:28 CST
Lance F. Squire writes...

I stumbled apon a CompuColor II in the mid 90s along with a Intecolor 3600

My Brother played with the CompuColor II while I tried to get the Intecolor to work.

Sadly, we had no documantation, and the Compucolor II soon failed, and was lost to time... :(

I still have the casing for the Intecolor 3600.

Since we lost the CompuColor II and I could not get the InteColor 3600 to work, I gutted it.

Installed a PC monitor with speakers, a CD ROM drive where an obvious place for a 5.25 drove was ment to go and a PC kwyboard. Used it as my desktop for a few years.

Wish I had kep the original keyboard.

Posted on October 07, 2014 - 22:10:16 CST
Jim Battle writes...

Jim Minor -- I've checked and none of the disk images I've captured have STONEV in the title or description. i know of no other website which has other disk images.

If you have a way of getting me your disk images, I'd love to host them here (with credit to you). Or if you want to loan the disks to me so I can capture them, that would be great too. Same with your Compu-Peeking columns. Contact me at jim -at- the if you care to pursue it.

Posted on September 12, 2014 - 12:35:57 CST
Jim Minor writes...

I purchased my Compucolor II ca. 1980. Got the top end 32K RAM version (also 32K ROM). Also got an external hard drive and the Microsynth. Have c bunch of documentation including a printout of the ROM source code (machine and assembler). Also have scads of discs. I wrote a column in the Rochester Compucolor groups newsletter, CHIPS, called "Compu-Peeking". Need to see if I still have copies of that. A near-term project is to hook it up and see what is working prior to putting it up on e-bay.

P.S. Does anyone know of a site that has Stoneville Manor? My kids had a great time with that.

Posted on September 11, 2014 - 18:43:39 CST
Michael writes...

Wonderful memories. I lusted after one of these when I was quite a bit younger. Well done!

Posted on August 24, 2014 - 06:54:45 CST
Phil writes...

My father's work had one and we got in there by 6am so we could play games on it before the other people got in a 7. I fell in love with Star Trek.

Posted on July 28, 2014 - 08:23:04 CST
Nick writes...

Very cool. The compucolor was the computer I first learnt to program. I was about 7 or 8 when we got one here in the UK. I remember a game called orbs! We still have a CCII which hasn't been switched on for nearly 20years. 20 years ago it was intermittent due to the electrolytic caps aging. Very dangerous system to work on due to the HV from the CRT. My dad added sound using the amp in an old blue transistor radio. It also has separate 5.25 floppy drive. Well done with the emulator. Looking forward to seeing more files.

Posted on July 23, 2014 - 17:49:30 CST
(Tezza) writes...


Kudos for developing and/or pulling these resources together and making them available. It's important to preserve the history of these less-well-known machines. Well done! Keep it up!

Posted on May 22, 2014 - 19:11:57 CST
John writes...

Here's some missing Compucolor Games I used to play.

Space Patrol, Space Orbs, Robot Wars, and Star Trader

Posted on May 09, 2014 - 18:27:38 CST
D Suits writes...


For the nth time I've been looking at and running various programs on the disks you have made available. I am (still!) in awe of your simulation of the CCII. Although the CCII was frequently in need of repair or tuning up (especially the disk drives), it provided years of experimentation and learning. I sometimes want those days to return, and your site comes very close to being a time machine.

Thanks for your amazing work!

Posted on April 16, 2014 - 15:09:03 CST
Exin writes...

Wow, really cool website and nice to see the effort. Keep up the good work!

Posted on March 31, 2014 - 16:32:15 CST
Paul writes...

Back in the late 70's my parents were gracious enough to buy me a Compucolor II. It was an exciting machine to learn programming on but as most people found it spent most of its time in the repair shop. I learned alot on my own and even wrote an article in The Forum newsletter. I was lucky enough to trade it in on a far more reliable Franklin Ace (Apple II Plus clone). I studied Computer Science and am still involved with the Software Engineering industry all thanks to that original Compucolor II. For a kid of 17 it was awesome!

Posted on January 07, 2014 - 22:28:46 CST
Helen Stuckey writes...

Hi g@z from Australia,

I am part of an Australian research project looking at Australian and New Zealand games form the 1980s called Play it Again. See website.

In the next stage of our research we are looking further into local user groups and would be interested in discussing your collection with you. Please email me at Helen.Stuckey(at)


Helen Stuckey

Posted on December 18, 2013 - 19:48:28 CST
Ted Stuckey writes...


In the 1970’s I watched the development of the micro processer and personal computers in magazines such as Popular Science, Mechanics Illustrated and Electronics Australia. In 1979 I managed to convince the “Treasurer” of our household that these machines were going to change the world and that our children, who were aged 15, 13 and 12 at the time and I should be exposed to this technology. With her permission I purchased a Compucolor II Model 5 computer (32k of RAM) and extended keyboard. The package cost $2500 which was a hell of lot of money for us in those days. I choose the CC II rather than the TRS80 and the Apple II because it came as a single unit with a 33cm colour monitor, a 5¼ inch disc drive (51Kb per side) and BASIC and File Control System in ROM. It was fitted with an Intel 8080A CPU, 16k of ROM, a 50 pin bus connector and an RS232 port. Blank formatted discs cost $9.95 for two and CCII program discs sold for $19.95. We also purchased an Epson MX80 printer. My personal interests were to learn how to program in BASIC and get access to word processing, database and spreadsheet programs. I wanted our children to learn how to use a computer; to understand how they worked and how to use the programs. Games were not a high priority but they were a means to get the children involved. In fact the real game was to write a program that would work and then work out how to improve it. Data entry and controls were restricted to the keyboard and almost without exception the arrow keys or the numeric keypad were used for directional control. In two player games the W, A, S and Z keys were used for the left player movement control. The sampler disc came with One Armed Bandit (slot machine sim), Concentration (memory game) and Hangman. We purchased a few games discs which included Othello, Chess, Acey Duecy, Shoot, Tic Tac Toe, Blackjack, Pong, Tanks, Backgammon, Flight Sim, Lunar Lander, Adventure, Solo, etc. We eventually had quite a large collection of all types of games including card games, adventure type games, simulations, etc. I purchased a word processor and database program but they still had a long way to go to equal the programs we use today. I soon joined the Victorian CCII user group (CUVIC) that was started in 1980 by Neil Brandie, a computer store owner in High St, Windsor. We met once a month above his shop. This was a great help as there were many talented programmers and electronic boffins in the group to help solve your problems. My son and I attended the meetings and we learnt a lot, including how to program in assembler language. I ended up as Secretary/Treasurer of CUVIC which continued until 1987 when most of the members had moved on to new and more interesting machines. I purchased an Amiga. Was it worth it? I think so. My son is a professor of Computer Science, one of my daughters set up the Games Studio in ACMI and taught games design. All of us use computers today for work and play and recognise their limitations. Congratulations to you Jim for your excellent website on the CCII and for creating an emulator.

Posted on December 15, 2013 - 22:00:03 CST
Jim Battle writes...

g@z -- Please contact me via

I'm have recently built (and I'm still refining) some custom hardware to capture the contents of the 200 or so floppies that I have. These will all appear on this website once they are all captured and indexed. They will operate with the emulator (also on this website).

I won't ever build a museum; my thing is to archive the bits and then give the hardware to someone who appreciates it. I'd be happy to pay shipping for the disks and docs, capture them, then ship them back to you or to the destination of your choosing.


Posted on October 30, 2013 - 00:15:56 CST
g@z writes...

Gidday, Gaz from Australia. I have a large collection of Compucolor II machines and parts. Some working. I have a large collection of software and I think just about every disk that ever came out for it. Also have just about all of the newsletters from the Compucolor users group from Australia. I'd love to donate it to a place where it will be preserved or put on display.

Posted on October 29, 2013 - 23:32:52 CST
mdyer writes...

I had serial number 8 of the Compucolor II. My dad accepted it and some stock options in trade from the founder of ISC. That turned out to be a bad move as both the computer and the stock turned out to be pretty useless. I was 14-15 at the time and very into computers. I had built the COSMAC Elf a few years prior and knew way more about the CCII then my father, so he more or less let me have it. It crapped out many times and always had to be sent back to ISC in GA for repair. For a 15-year-old I was very familiar with how UPS worked. It was always the same problem, something with the high voltage / video area, and sometimes I would only get a week or so of use before it would crap out again. It was very frustrating!

Despite the technical issues I wrote a pretty cool backgammon game and even attempted to market it with a ad in Byte that cost me pretty much all of my savings. Unfortunately only about ten people ever really bought this machine, and of those only about half worked, so my potential market was not great. I did sell a few copies though, which was pretty exciting even if I never made my money back for the ad.

When I graduated from college I was thinning out my junk collection and I foolishly traded the CCII (not working) to the cable guy in exchange for a hook-up to HBO. I did not realize my error for many years (I traded it away in '85) but have since regretted this deal greatly. I really enjoyed messing with the CCII, it was a dream toy for a computer hobbyist and one that was way out of my league to ever actually buy. I even spent a week at ISC learning assembly language in a class they held, during the brief period where it looked like the CCII would take off. Those were fun days!

Posted on October 20, 2013 - 21:25:33 CST
Jim Battle writes...


I have the assembler on floppy, but I need to dump it. Right now the floppy drive doesn't work, so I have to fix the drive before that happens. I have some other plans for the emulator too, but I'm simply lacking the time. Hopefully soon.

Posted on August 31, 2013 - 14:00:55 CST
demallien writes...

@Jim, do you know where I could find a copy of the assembler? I think it might be amusing to write a few games for this thing, now that I actually know how to program :D

Posted on August 30, 2013 - 17:26:59 CST
demallien writes...

Oh boy, does this ever bring back memories. I just had to go and re-write one of the games I used to play on mine back when I was about 8. There used to be a bunch of great books for teaching kids to program, where you could type in a simple game in BASIC. Of course the books were never written for the Compucolor, so I learned to translate code from APPLE ][, ZX 80 and other computers listings. Anyway, this particular game came from one of those books, and was called Death Valley. You have to keep your airplane between the walls of an ever narrowing canyon, using the left and right arrow keys. Enjoy :) 10 CR=25 20 CL=26 30 VW=20 40 VX=10 50 PX=VX + VW/2 90 COUNT = 0 100 REM START_LOOP 110 GOSUB 260 120 KEY = PEEK(33278) 130 IF KEY = CL THEN PX= PX - 1 140 IF KEY = CR THEN PX = PX + 1 150 IF PX < VX GOTO 230 160 IF PX > VX + VW GOTO 230 170 VX = VX + SGN(RND(1)-0.5) 180 IF VX < -1 THEN VX=0 190 IF VX + VW > 63 THEN VX = 63-VW 200 COUNT=COUNT+1 210 IF COUNT = 10 THEN VW=VW-1:COUNT=0 220 GOTO 100 230 REM CRASH: 240 PRINT"YOU DIED!" 250 END 260 REM DRAW LINE 270 PRINT TAB(VX - 1);:PRINT"*";:PRINT TAB(PX-1);:PRINT"V";:PRINT TAB(VX+VW-1);:PRINT"*" 280 RETURN

Posted on August 30, 2013 - 17:25:36 CST
Victor writes...

Thanks for putting up this page. I remember the ads in the computer magazines. I even recall a classified in either Byte or Creative Computing posted by a guy willing to trade his expensive photography equipment for a Compucolor II. I never saw one in person and it seemed to have faded quickly from the scene.

Keep up the good work. I have thoroughly enjoyed your tribute page.

Posted on July 25, 2013 - 21:09:23 CST
Fred writes...

At Computer Land of Los Altos, CA I remember seeing and maybe touching a Compucolor. It had the best looking keyboard of course. Later it's desk was taken over by an Apple II then a II+. The Apple II was better because integer basic was fast enough to write decent video games in lo-res graphics. I must of been in 5th grade.

I'm feeling the urge to turn my Digilent Nexsys2 Spartan 3E based Xilinx FPGA evaluation board into a Compucolor II since it looks like all the info to do that is here.

People I saw in Computer Land I also saw up at the West Coast Computer Faire at the San Francisco Civic Center in 79 or 80 or 81. The Golden Days!

Posted on July 17, 2013 - 19:45:00 CST
Jim Battle writes...

Onyz_Z --

Hi, I'm the webmaster here. Thanks for writing.

The logic board of the Compucolor contains all simple TTL parts, so if it is a logic problem, it should be pretty easy to replace. The schematics are on this website. It is also possible the problem is in one of the analog systems: the logic power supply, the high voltage power supply, or the CRT driver electronics. There is a fuse which is accessible next to the power switch on back. There is a 2nd fuse on the same power supply, but you have to open up the unit to get to it (it is labeled "F2"). If the problem is one of the analog systems, you'd probably need to find an old time TV repair guy, supply him with the schematics (also in the maintenance manual), and see if he can figure it out.

Right now I'm working on a bit of hardware to read the CCII disks efficiently, as I have about 200 of them myself to get through. Don't get rid of those floppies, they are the most valuable part of your machine right now. If I get my reader going, I'd be happy to capture yours for you. Drop me an email at if you want to take that route. With the floppy disk images you will be able to run your old programs again on the emulator on this website until you can get your hardware working again.

The most likely market for CCII machines is ebay. A unit with just the TV/CPU part (no floppy disks, no power cords, doesn't know if it works) went for $250 recently. A working unit would no doubt fetch significantly more, probably north of $500.

I hope you can resuscitate it. Good luck!

Posted on May 22, 2013 - 20:43:58 CST
Onyx_Z writes...

I still have my old Compucolor II sitting on the floor of my basement. I tried to power it on the other day, but very sadly, it just sits there doing nothing. I spent MANY MANY hours writing games and school projects on my Compucolor II, we even had the work processor program, and I wrote many papers and homework on it. I still have a large box of floppies with all my old programs, and even some great games I had purchased for the CCII. Wish I could get it fixed, if it is even still fixable. Would it be worth much to sell it?

Posted on May 22, 2013 - 11:36:11 CST
Brad Lavis writes...

I remember seeing the Compucolor II at a computer store with my dad. There weren't many color computers back in 1980; and this thing, with its amazing display and elaborate multi-colored keyboard, demanded attention among the other monochrome PETs and CP/M boxes.

Despite my obsession (I must've read the brochure back at home a thousand times over the next few months) there was no way I was getting one of my own with its $3000 price tag. My dad ended up getting me a much more sensible TRS-80. But I never forgot that ol' Compucolor II.

Your tribute page is awesome. I especially love the work you've done on the emulator. I finally got my Compucolor, sort of. Thanks for doing this.

Posted on May 18, 2013 - 11:03:21 CST