rtaylor at bayou.com
Fri Sep 24 13:08:41 EDT 2004
At 05:22 PM 9/23/2004, you wrote:
>Jim Cox wrote:
>>How about USB networking with a PC along the same lines as the DriveWire
>>from Cloud 9?
>What do you mean by 'networking'? AFAIK the DriveWire simply emulates a
>floppy disk - exactly what I intend with my device.
>Are there any IP stacks and/or internet software available for the CoCo? I
>was thinking of using the PC as a 'conduit' to the net and emulating a
>simple network device to allow the CoCo to surf the web...
The idea of making a proxy for the CoCo is not new, but it's not realling
giving the CoCo any real internet capabilities and it requires anybody
using the scheme to also own the same platform that the proxy is running
on. Still, if you just have to see the CoCo display a live web page,
sure... why not. It's these small steps that lead to bigger things.
For a real CoCo web browser to be written, we need an expert in 6809
assembly, CoCo graphics, HTML, and HTTP. And that's just to make a
graphics-based text browser. Adding graphics is going to require GIF and
JPEG support. Decoding a GIF requires a lot of RAM for the LZW table and
color stack which probably means only one or two at a time could be
rendered. The virtually-endless web screen will also require the longest
contiguous chunk of video RAM possible. With a 512k CoCo, you'd do fair
but the screen would still be very limited. This is why we need the
"SuperBoard" with it's extra memory (1 or 2 megs?).
I've always said that the following 3 CoCo programs will be priceless when
it comes to starting such a browser, and they are: Projector-3,
Net-Mate(mine, never released), and Sockmaster's Twilight Term. Net-Mate
was actually my attempt at *starting* an internet app for the CoCo back in
the early 90's. It started as an ANSI/VT-100/TTY color terminal with
several popular file transfer protocols, etc. It's almost like Twilight
Term but with many more features, although Twi has an awesome color
scheme. Projector-3, ofcourse, is the graphics beast that uses ~409-line
smooth-scrolling video and dithers down GIFs so you can actually see them
on a CoCo and know what they are. It's built like a mini operating system,
in a way.
So, with everything hashed through and stripped for what it's worth, those
3 programs are what I think should be put on the table for using as a start
to such a web browser for the CoCo. The complete source code is online for
P-3, and I can make Net-Mate and it's source available at any time, even as
a Portal-9 project.
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