[Coco] Re: Coco Digest, Vol 8, Issue 11

farna at att.net farna at att.net
Mon Jun 7 21:45:22 EDT 2004

Frank Swygert
Publisher, "American Independent 
Magazine" (AIM)
*Elite* publication for those 
interested in all 
aspects of AMC 
(free download available!)

Back when most e-mail was still text only, I preferred using my CoCo over a PC. When it started becoming difficult to
view even Delphi pages without full graphics, I finally relegated my CoCo to some programming, experimenting (especially 
with hardware), and a couple specialized tasks (like keeping the mailing list and printing labels for "the world of 68' 
micros". The CoCo has its limitations as well as strong points. It's no longer well suited as a general purpose computer.
Technology has passed it. It is still optimal because of its robust simplicity for many hardware experiments. The CoCo 
has outlived the usefulness of the other "home" computers. Trying to make it do much more than the hardware can pratically
cope with only serves as a programming learning experience at this point. Some things just need to be accepted. 

While making an upgraded system using things like programmable logic chips does seem appealing, it is mainly a learning 
experience also. PC emulators appear to be the "best" CoCo upgrade on the programing and software compatibility level,
especially when the emulator is writtten in such a way as to take advantage of the PC hardware as well as be backward 
compatible. If the hardware emulator (programmable logic) based machine is as rrobust and easy to program and interrface 
to, it would be the "best" for hardware experimenters. Maaybe a combiination would be goood though -- an emulator with a 
hardware card that brought the most used programmable lines out the back of the machine. I suppose that would be difficult
to do though. 

Please forgive any spelling erors, my keyboard is acting up right now! I went back and fixed at least most of them though.

> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 05 Jun 2004 22:16:48 -0500
> From: Roger Taylor <rtaylor at bayou.com>
> Subject: Re: [Coco] Coco 3 and the Internet
> To: CoCoList for Color Computer Enthusiasts <coco at maltedmedia.com>
> Message-ID: < at pop.bayou.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
> At 08:11 AM 6/5/2004, you wrote:
> >At the very least, it should be trivial to design a simple HTML parser 
> >which would get HTML text from some input path and call "tag handlers" to 
> >handle the various tags in the text.  This can be done now, simply by 
> >using test HTML pages on a floppy or hard drive.
> >
> >It would be tedious to write in assembly, but would probably offer the 
> >best in terms of speed and code size.  I say someone should take up the 
> >challenge and start on one!
> >
> >Boisy
> Sock's Hi-Color trick would be great for this.  That, or my old/unreleased 
> Net-Mate video that does 8 colors per foreground/background on the graphics 
> screen.  It prints all of the "IBM" graphics characters/lines/angles, etc. 
> but the text font is kinda compressed.
> It would be very easy to render simple HTML content, but most stuff on the 
> web today would choke a weak browser.  You'd just have to ignore tags you 
> couldn't process and hope for the best.  Images would be impractical to 
> support, especially since we've never pull off the JPEG format, and GIF 
> does take a while to render.  Animated GIFs would be hard to display.
> Another thing to consider is the height limit of a page... some pages just 
> keep going on forever it seems.  To support this on the CoCo, you'd have to 
> render directly to a virtual screen that runs from block #0 to #55 or so, 
> or perhaps block #64 to #255 on a 2-meg machine.  Blocks #64 to #127 are 
> free (in Disk BASIC) on a 1-meg machine.  You'd scroll through that memory 
> just like the PC does when you scroll up or down on a tall web page.

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