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Larry Cole


Back To Homebrews


Larry spent many years working for Coleco.

He started out cutting plastic pools out of their vacuform carousel.
(And he almost cutting his hand off right in front of Mr. Greenberg) to assembling boxes for the pool ladder line.
He worked himself up to materials control planner for many of the Electronic / Cabbage Patch doll eras.

Larry saw no Idea in Coleco should takeover of Alouette Snowmobiles.
It was a terrible timing, gas crisis and a year devoid of snow made ​​it a disaster.

Some other points:

Larry says the major problem with the Adam was the tape drive, and not because of its design.
The problem was that Coleco had no idea what a clean room was.

Larry remember the time when Leonard called the Mass.
State Police on a Sunday to track down the owner of Memtex whose tape drive it was that he had purchased the rights to.
We were having a horrible reject rate, and finally the owner of Memtex came out to see what the problem was.
He was aghast at seeing the assembly of the tape drives being done on the open floor and was watching dust settle down onto the units from the fork trucks driving overhead.

Larry told the building was an old carpet mill that Coleco had purchased from the city, and it was 6 stories high and two basement floors.
The whole building would shake when the fork trucks where crossing the floors.

Larry said also the "Wafer" was being picked up by hand and put into the assembly which meant each one was getting the oils from the fingers on them making them worthless.
No one had the idea that Larry and other employees needed to use vacuum pens to pick them up.

The Telstar game had an RF shielding problem that was "corrected" by the painting of the inside of the housing with gold flecked paint and Larry said it was actually gold!.
Of course, we had a painter who painted himself all gold hoping to get home and take the paint off for its gold.
The problem was that his body couldn't breath, and he collapsed at work and had to be rushed to the hospital.

Another story about the housing. Well, actually two.

There were problems when handling the housings in assembly and they would get discolored scratches on them.

One of our engineers came up with the solution: touch them up with brown shoe polish. !
Another problem with the housing Larry must confess, He found the solution for it.

On the upper housing there were two dimples in the housing where the studs were for screwing the housing together.
Efforts of hot melt glue and shoe polish didn't do the trick.

So one day Larry and the other employees having a meeting about it on the floor and kicking ideas around, said Larry "hell, put a label over it".
Everyone turned to look at him like he had just uttered some strange language.
Within an hour, we had a small Coleco label that covered the stress marks.

Ahh, those were the days.

Larry could tell hundreds of stories about those years at Coleco.
And I must admit that these stories are very interesting.

More to come

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To get in touch with Larry, try this: e-mail.