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Why is the CoCo Diagnostic Cart so Common?


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Not that any CoCo carts are really common, but the Diagnostic module seems to show up as often as any other. Why would so many people buy it? Is there a hidden game there I haven't found? For other systems, diagnostics were often not available to the public or were special order. Did Radio Shack give it away at some point?

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I dimly recall having seen this cartridge for sale in Radio Shack stores, but only very early on (i.e. before 1984) -- along with Audio Spectrum Analyzer and some other non-game titles.


It may have been dumped at a clearance sale at some point; I cannot imagine that it was ever a huge seller. That said, neither I nor any of my Coco-owning friends had one BITD.

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I have one, but I'm not sure I would say it is very common. I wouldn't be surprised if you are seeing the same cartridge just get relisted over and over again...?

My observation was based on how many of them I've accumulated in the wild:5. The only titles I've found more of are Color Baseball (7) and Color File (6). Maybe it's a Seattle thing.

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As jhd mentioned...dumped at a clearance sale.


The computer centers would practically give items away. You'd go in and end up leaving with things ranging from cool to useless simply because they were next to free.

After the Model 4 came out, they eventually wanted the Model III inventory gone. $10 to $20 books for 10¢. Expensive software and games anywhere from 10¢ to $2. Dust covers, keyboard protectors, etc. all under $1. I used to ride my bike to the local computer center almost everyday to see what new items were marked down. Never paid much attention to the CoCo stuff but it was no exception.

Ever notice all the boxed MC-10 computers on eBay? I remember debating on whether to buy one at $10, and that was an advertised sale. I believe they eventually dropped to $5 bucks.

They also didn't tolerate damaged boxes. One store had a sprinkler head break and some Model 100 boxes got slightly wet but absolutely no damage to anything inside the box. $1,000 24K Model 100 computers marked down to $30! I ran home to get $30 and when I got back all three were sold.


Best computer deal I ever got was on Tandy 2000 HD which was either a display model or possibly used in their office as it came with every option offered and it was all unboxed.

10mb HD, high res option board along with the high res color chip kit, CM-1 color monitor, 768K RAM and a DCM-II 300 baud modem all for $100!

I already had a 1000EX and after getting that 2000 home, I had buyers remorse...talk about a red headed stepchild that was kinda/sorta IBM compatible.

Ended up giving it to a friend so we could play TradeWars on some of the local BBSs. I'll have to see if he still has it.

Edited by Turbo-Torch
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