[Coco] Re: CoCo video? (CoCo4)
mark at cloud9tech.com
Sat Mar 4 14:13:40 EST 2006
Not to burst anyone's bubble here but here are some things to
consider on a project of this nature. Carl Krieder made an AT306
computer that used an ISA video card. Carl's capabilities as a
designer and programmer have zero questionability. Carl had an
incredibly difficult time getting these ISA video card to function
properly in the AT306. Even a rev change of the board would break the
driver. This was until Carl genius idea of making a 68306 x86
emulator that would allow the BIOS on the card to initialize the
card. Not sure how long it took Carl to do this but it was a long
time. I have an AT306 and love it. It drained Carl though, IMHO.
Chris Hawks could add something here, as he worked side by side Carl
and helped on the AT306 project. These guys credentials are
There are many people in this world today who's full time job is to
write drivers for these EXTREMELY complex devices. Even though a P3
isn't the latest, doesn't matter, it is complex and the inter
workings of the initialization process. The time for a hobbist to do
this would be man years. So does this person buy 100-200 motherboards
at once for this shot? Because by then time the development is
complete the motherboard will be long gone. When we quote Compaq to
do electrical test on their motherboards, from conception to end of
production life run was 6 months! That is incredible! That is today's
The process that Carl used on his AT306. He designed his own
motherboard using PC superchip set, and used the off the shelf video
cards. Wrote the drivers, licensed the OS and had virtual consoles. AWESOME.
For someone or company to take a PC motherboard and write drivers to
get it to work under an emulated platform. Maybe?? Considerable
amount of work though. Then what? You still don't really have a CoCo
to the fundamentalist. Does it matter? To me it does, to some one
else it might not.
My point again? This thread appears almost predictably. I have shut
down sales until I have completed the SuperBoard. Sales this past
year kept me from working on it and I had orders out 90 days in many
cases. To me the SuperBoard will be as close to a CoCo4 as we might ever get???
Someone, group, or company has to step up and take this dream to
reality. Any takers??
At 3/4/2006 08:52 AM, you wrote:
>Making an FPGA enhanced CoCo does sound feasible, but I have to ask
>why? That's a lot of work for a product that will end up costing
>more than most would want to pay. I understand the desire for a high
>performance CoCo, but with the cost of PC hardware and fast
>emulators, the "CoCo4" is already there. A decent Pentium 3
>processor will run an emulator much faster than a CoCo. So why not
>tweak an emulator to extend the CoCo capabilities? That should be
>doable while still maintaining compatibility. It would be easy
>enough in NitrOS-9. DECB could always have the option of running a
>standard emulator. Make the thing self booting with one of the free
>DOS systems, and run from something like a VIA mini computer board,
>package in a small case with either a small laptop HD or a flash
>card to boot from, and there you have it!
>I'd like to see DECB patched to something like the old 512K BASIC
>capabilities, and most of the ADOS enhancements added. A
>configuration utility similar to a BIOS editing screen on the PC so
>that configuration of drives (at least) could be changed easily, and
>as often as desired, would be nice. Support for larger disk drives
>would be a necessity also (and that might be a problem -- but maybe
>not if an enhanced and standard emulator were with each machine...)
>Once all that was worked out and running nicely, it could then be
>programmed into an FPGA and a new board made if that's a real
>desire. At least a standard for the extended capabilities would be worked out.
>The only thing missing is an easy way to interface to the outside
>world. There's your hardware project: an external interface board
>that plugs into a PCI slot. I always liked being able to easily use
>the CoCo joystick ports (and even the cassette port) for easy I/O.
>Maybe even emulate the CoCo cartridge port on the same card! Some
>easy to program data I/O ports and a half dozen relays on a card
>would be realy nice. The CoCo's strong point has always been
>experimentation and easy programming -- an I/O card and the standard
>DECB with extended memory capabilities (long BASIC programs -- and
>might want to extend variables to more than two character names)
>would really open things up.
>Publisher, "American Independent
>For all AMC enthusiasts
>(free download available!)
> -------------- Original message ----------------------
>Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2006 14:36:04 EST
>From: KnudsenMJ at aol.com
>Subject: Re: [Coco] Re: [Color Computer] Re: CoCo video?
>In a message dated 3/3/06 2:08:53 PM Eastern Standard Time, jdag
>gett at gate.net writes:
> >How Fast for the 6809?
>Well, let's see. Some tinkerers managed to run a real 6309 up to 4 MHz.
>7 years ago at Bell Labs we were designing ASICs that ran at 50 MHz, and
>sections of some of them ran at 400. ISTR the Xilinx FPGAs were
>10 or 20 MHz.
>By now, you could probably build a 6809 ASIC that would almost output the
>results before you fed in the data ;-) But RAM could be an issue -- though
>fast static 64K or even 512K RAM might be feasible, too. Maybe even put 64K
>right on the chip -- in fact, I think we had ASICs with more than that back
>in my project.
>Any of this should be fast enough to enrich your fantasy life ;-) --Mike K.
>Coco mailing list
>Coco at maltedmedia.com
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
>Version: 7.1.375 / Virus Database: 268.1.2/274 - Release Date: 3/3/2006
-------------- next part --------------
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.1.375 / Virus Database: 268.1.2/274 - Release Date: 3/3/2006
More information about the Coco