[Coco] CoCoMax (was) Re: Introducing myself - Carlos Bragatto - Now: OT Amiga / CoCo musings

Joel Ewy jcewy at swbell.net
Fri Apr 6 18:23:58 EDT 2007

Gene Heskett wrote:
> On Friday 06 April 2007, Joel Ewy wrote:
> ...
>> Don't forget that the Tim Jennison of NewTek fame is the original author
>> of CoCoMax.  That, if nothing else, is some direct cross-pollination.
> I hadn't been aware of that!  Talk about cross-pollination, that's hand 
> carrying the flowers to each other with introductions.  To heck with the 
> bees.  Now I have to give credit for the history lesson, thanks Joel.  
> Now I'm sorry I never bought a cocomax kit.

CoCoMax was indeed very cool.  It defined my idea of what a computer
paint program should be, how it should look, and how it should feel. 
This was on the CoCo 1/2, mind you.  I used it long before I ever got an
opportunity to play with MacPaint, of which it is an obvious clone (down
to the name, by implication).  Upon using the original MacPaint, my
impression was, "pretty neat, but it's no CoCoMax." 

When the CoCo 3 came out, the CoCoMax copy protection dongle, er, I mean
high-resolution joystick Pak, stepped on the GIME.  I wanted to continue
using CoCoMax until CoCoMax III was available, so I added a switch to
the Pak to make it respond to an alternate address, and patched the
CoCoMax joystick routine.  I used CoCoMax to draw up an instruction
sheet on how to do this mod, and distributed a few copies at the Wichita
Area Color Computer Club one evening.  And though CoCoMax III was not
done (or re-done) by Tim Jennison, but Dave Stampe, I think it was just
as good at making the best use of the CoCo's capabilities.  The 64-color
palette selection routine alone was a pretty impressive trick in its
time.  (Nothing like Sock's HiColor routines though.  Hey Sock, how
about a high-color paint program?  :) )

I'm not sure what the time relationship was between CoCoMax III's
palette-swapping routine and NewTek's Dynamic HAM. (Of course, by this
time Jennison was doing Amiga stuff, so any connection would be
indirect.)  Probably the idea of re-loading the palette registers
multiple times per screen isn't original with either the CoCo or the
Amiga.  Anyone have any idea where it was done first?

BTW, the original CoCoMax / CoCoMax II joystick interface is just an
8-bit ADC, which could pretty easily be used for other things as well.


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