[Coco] Re: [Color Computer] Is this a discussion about a new Coco?
jimcox at miba51.com
Thu Apr 21 12:06:06 EDT 2005
Those are some great comments, and I couldn't agree with
People often ask me "why do you collect those ancient
comptuers?" My reply is "why do people collect and work
on old cars" In my opinion, it is for the exact same
reason, which is the very same reason you listed. "For
the fun of it"
While I have been dragging my feet with respect to getting
going with the CoCo again, I am making progress.
The Superboard from Cloud-9 is like a blower for a 57
Chevy. Is it necessary for every application? No, but
it's cool and sounds like it will do a lot of things. I
have made a down payment on at least one Superboard (maybe
two, need to check with Mark) and I plan to have a lot of
fun with my CoCo once it gets it's new "blower"
James does have some good points about the cost. This is
a small niche market and not everyone can afford a
Superboard, so he has offered his opinion and he does have
A while back I purchased an "Ethernut" board to play
around with, and I have toyed with the idea of interfacing
it with the CoCo, and it is the Superboard that is
inspiring me to do this.
I compared the Superboard to a "blower" for a older car,
my Ethernut tweak or someone else tweaks, will be more
like boring out the carborator to get some more speed.
Some of these tweaks will work and some won't, but
getting there will be fun, and that is what it is all
about. BTW, the Ethernut is no cheap solution, and there
is a lot of developement time, but like I said, it's going
to be fun and I am looking forward to playing with both
the SuperBoard and the Ethernut and maybe a few other
On Thu, 21 Apr 2005 09:30:44 +1000
Mark McDougall <msmcdoug at optushome.com.au> wrote:
> At the risk of being caught in the crossfire, I'm going
>to add my (humble) opinion to the mix...
>First of all, some background. I'm a former CoCo owner
>who mostly lurks on this list because I have a very keen
>interest in retro-computing and retro-gaming. My time
>only allows me to focus on certain aspects of my hobby
>and whilst I am fond of the CoCo, it's not currently my
>#1 interest (I'll get back to it one day). So whilst I
>know a little about what's going on in the CoCo world,
>I'm certainly not dabbling daily with Nitros-09 or add-on
> I should also add that I'm a qualified software and
>hardware engineer - though it would be fair to say that
>my expertise is more in software (20+ years) than
>hardware. However, I'm doing my best to even things up
>and as luck would have it, I'm currently working on a
>commerical design that incorporates the opencores IDE
>controller (which someone eluded to in this thread). I've
>been working for a small R&D house doing contract design
>work for the last 7 or so years so I know *something*
>about the realities of product development.
> Back to my point. IMHO both James and Mark & 'Boisy' are
> From what I know Cloud-9 have been around for some time
>and are well
> respected and active contributors to the CoCo hobbyist
>scene. They're developing a product that is keenly
>awaited by many CoCo enthusiasts but that James has
>decided is too expensive (and perhaps over-engineered)
>for what it does.
> I'm not going to offer any opinion on this myself, other
>than to say that, regardless of whether or not James is
>technically correct, he misses the point entirely!
> This is not a mass consumer market. There aren't
>hundreds of manufacturers producing thousands of
>peripherals for the CoCo. You can't go to TomsHardware
>and read a review on the best value IDE controller for
>the CoCo! Or drop into the local computer market and play
>a few vendors off against one another to get the best
>price. We're talking about enthusiasts for a machine that
>rightly should have disappeared from the planet a decade
>ago! Enthusiasts that love playing around with an old
>8-bit micro and delight in pushing the machine to its
>limits - and beyond - getting it to do things that were
>never dreamt of when it was conceived. Interfacing it to
>hardware that was never meant to be used. Just plain cool
> Now take Cloud-9. Clearly interested in the CoCo
>themselves. They come up with some neat ideas for some
>new hardware that they believe would appeal to a
>reasonably large percentage of the CoCo community. It's
>still a relatively small, niche market. They're not
>getting paid to spend 8 hours a day on designing CoCo
>hardware. I suspect to some degree that cost to
>manufacture suffers at the expense of development effort
>and time-to-market (Mark even admits this much!). Perhaps
>(and I'm speculating based on personal experience) the
>design is also influenced somewhat by a combination of
>(i) the proficiency of the designers, (ii) the
>availability of the parts, (iii) how 'cool' the new
>technology is to work with and (iv) opportunity for
>future enhancement based on an arguably over-engineered
>design. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that!
> [Check this out
>if you want to see an example of exactly what I'm talking
> James, OTOH, has proposed an alternate design he
>believes can do the job for a fraction of the
>(manufacturing) cost. Again, I'm not going to offer an
>opinion on that myself, other than to say I have no
>reason at this point to doubt him. I will say that to me,
>his design is not as 'exciting'. And let's face it, we're
>only in this for the fun - right!?!
> I also suspect that there's more developmental effort
>involved in getting his design up-and-running. More
>effort spent in software, perhaps. And certainly less
>versatile. But I suspect perfectly able to do the job.
> So I put myself in the position of a CoCo enthusiast. I
>know I can buy a 4-port USB hub for AUD$10. I can buy a
>PCI ethernet card for AUD$12. Am I concerned that Cloud-9
>want (AFAIK) >USD$300 for a CoCo IDE controller with some
>flash and a few extras? Hell no! I recognise it for what
>it is! Yes I'm paying a premium for the reasons I've
>outlined above - but this is my *hobby* and I do it for
>fun and the SuperBoard or whatever it's called is - FUN!
>It's great that these guys are putting so much effort
>into the CoCo community and I have no qualms supporting
>them and the future of the CoCo.
> But let's not begrudge James his opinion! I'm not privvy
>to his original post but James has just as much right to
>state that he's not interested in the SuperBoard, and
>cite his reasons. He's free to offer a counter-argument
>by example. He *may* have a perfectly economically sound
>argument. He *may* be wrong too. But there *will* be some
>CoCo enthusiasts who can see James' point, and will agree
> There is no right and wrong design - just a wrong design
>for the wrong person. That's why we can buy PCs and we
>can buy Macs (OK, so that really *is* an example of a
>wrong design - just kidding!). Why we can buy Windows or
>download Linux for free!
> So James and Mark & 'Boisy' - there's no need to defend
>your respective designs any further.
> | Mark McDougall |
>"Electrical Engineers do it
> | <http://members.optushome.com.au/msmcdoug> | with
> Coco mailing list
> Coco at maltedmedia.com
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