[Coco] RE: [Color Computer] Building an embedded OS9 system from CoCo OS9

KnudsenMJ at aol.com KnudsenMJ at aol.com
Wed Jun 23 23:11:41 EDT 2004

In a message dated 6/23/04 2:15:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
lamune at doki-doki.net writes:

> I have a ton of 68xx chips that I've been meaning to do something with. Sure
>  PICs are great, but I already have these and I want to use them!

One place that tons of 68xx chips are still used, especially 8-bit 
peripherals and 680x CPUs, is in pinball machines.  Since 1978 pinballs have used 
microprocessors in place of the older relays and stepping switches.  Lots of 
Motorola hardware.
>  I already have experience with OS/9. I have the CoCo versions of the
>  software... it seems logical that if I build a little single board computer
>  that's very similar to the CoCo I've already got a working, debugged,
>  realtime OS I can run without having to write something myself. Heck I've
>  even got BASIC09!

Yep, you could debug a BASIC09 program, compact it into I-code, and burn it 
into an EPROM as an OS-9 Module and have it execute -- no need to write 
everything in assembly or C.  Of course your ROMs would have to include RUNB.  I 
believe this was all quite standard procedure in OS9's heyday.
>  I picture using these boards for rather mundane purposes; data collectors,
>  process controllers, Nixie clocks, stuff like that. Nothing practical, just
>  fun.

I'd like to build such things for MIDI organ controllers, MIDI merge boxes, 
etc.  If I still had my ROM-blowing equipment (well I do, but no manual!) I'd 
probably be doing stuff like that right now.
>  Whatever I build though will not likely have any sort of floppy controller
>  though.

If you can re-blow ROMs easily enough and just pop them in and out of a 
socket, no need for a floppy.  Of course, sometimes it's cool to have a serial port 
and some code that will let you download new code into the beast and run it.

  I used to do all that stuff at Bell Labs.  In later years we, uh, outgrew 
that sort of technology.  NOW I know why I lost interest in my job ... Mike K.

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