Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Live On The Internet

Greetings Fahrfans!  I have had an exciting couple of weeks, and I wanted to share a little news...


Two weekends ago, I attended the 24th annual "Last" Chicago CoCoFEST! in Lombard, IL. Along with the usual participants, there were a number of new faces there. While I am sure there are many motivations to go to CoCoFEST!, I do take some measure of personal credit for getting the word out about CoCoFEST! and getting some newcomers to attend over the past several years.

I also engaged in the first sales of Fahrfall cartridges. I timed the one eBay auction for a Fahrfall cartridge to end at noon on the first day of CoCoFEST!  It did not disappoint, closing at $113.50!  In the 10 minutes or so after that, I sold the remaining six Fahrfall cartridges for a price of $40 each. Now if you want one, you'll have to send me a message to be added to the waiting list...


This past weekend, I packed-up once again and headed off to the Atlanta area for VCFSE 3.0. This was a nice event, with lots of participation from various parts of the vintage computing community. Alas, it mostly fell to me to represent the CoCo...but, Fahrve was up for the challenge! A number of new people got to experience Fahrfall and lots of other retro stuff.

Internet Archive

Now for the big news item -- Fahrfall is available live in your browser!  Thanks to Jason Scott, the folks at the Internet Archive, and the magic known as JSMESS, now you can run Fahrfall almost effortlessly. All you have to do is access the right link -- enjoy!

I am very excited about Fahrfall being live on the Internet, and I hope you are too!  As for what might come next...well, stay tuned!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cartridge Debut

Fahrfall fans, I present to you the "CoCoFEST! Edition" of Fahrfall -- the first new CoCo game cartridge released in...decades?!?!

Fahrfall as a Program Pak
Limited Availability

I will have a limited number of Fahrfall cartridges available for sale at the 24th annual "Last" Chicago CoCoFEST! on April 25-26, 2015 in Lombard, IL.  These will be available as shown above, with a physical Fahrfall cartridge and a plastic box with a printed Fahrfall cover insert.  There is no manual, since I didn't write one... ;-)

I also intend to be at VCFSE 3.0 in Atlanta on May 2-3, 2015.  I'm not sure I can sell any cartridges there, but at least you should be able to get a "hands on" look at the merchandise.

Auction Option

I do intend to put a single Fahrfall package up for sale on eBay, with the auction starting on April 18th and ending on April 25th.  That's right, even if you are unable (or unwilling) to come to CoCoFEST!, you still have a chance at getting one of these packages!  Watch this space, or setup a search for Fahrfall on eBay.  If there are any packages left over after CoCoFEST! and VCFSE then I'll probably make those available on eBay as well.

More To Come?

Although the cartridge cases are poured resin, they do require some finish work and a fair amount of labor -- I consider them "hand made".  Add to that the labor of assembling PCBs, burning EPROMs, cutting and stuffing printed materials, and applying labels.  Economically, this is not the best use of my time!  I am making these available out of a love for the CoCo and the people in the community.  If there is strong interest in more Fahrfall cartridges then I will probably make more...sometime.  I wish I could make a firmer commitment on that, but that is all I can say for now.

This is the culmination of a long term project.  Fahrfall was the first "serious" game I ever wrote, and it was my first involvement with Retrochallenge.  I have learned a lot from this project, including not only the treasured skills of a 6809 assembly language programmer but also the arts and crafts skills associated with casting plastic resin, producing nice boxes, etc. Now, I am giving my fellow fans of the Tandy Color Computer what I hope is only the first of a series of homebrew game cartridges. Some will come from me, and I hope that other CoCo software developers will join me as well in the future!

So what comes next in Fahrve's adventures?  Maybe a dalliance at KansasFest with the Apple of his eye?  If you want to find out then you will have to stay tuned... ;-)