[Coco] Introducing myself - Carlos Bragatto - Now: OT Amiga / CoCo musings

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Fri Apr 6 17:01:04 EDT 2007

On Friday 06 April 2007, Joel Ewy wrote:
>Gene Heskett wrote:
>> On Friday 06 April 2007, coco at yourdvd.net wrote:
>>> I used to remark that the Amiga OS was the greatest OS ever made. Got
>>> me flamed alot.
>>> ...
>What would have been even better was the Amiga GUI over OS-9 -- and then
>Open Source.  And something like that would technically have been
>possible.  While it isn't as pretty, GEM is now GPL...  I've thought a
>little about how that might be ported to the MM/1.  Might be a bit much
>for a CoCo3.  But what about a 12-40MHz FPGA (or emulated) NextGen CoCo
>with 4M RAM?
>>> Back in 1998 there was a company going to revive the Amiga (I think
>>> they had bought rights to the OS at the time) but they canned the
>>> project and continued to develop the OS. I lost touch after that.
>Amiga was bought first by Escom, which soon fell over.  Gateway bought
>the smoldering remains and kept it on life support for a few years, but
>didn't do much more than that.  There were talks with Transmeta (of
>Linus Torvalds fame) about doing the 68k on their Crusoe processor in
>the same way Crusoe does x86 (something like caching JIT compilation in
>hardware ?) but that never went anywhere.  Then Amiga was bought away
>from Gateway by a group of private investors for its current
>incarnation, which licenses the trademark to hardware and OS developers,
>and sells a cross-platform development environment which has almost
>nothing to do with the original Amiga computer.  Or something like that.
>>>  Forgot about the
>>> Amiga until last week. Thinking about buying one and an ATARI ST.
>>> Would love to Get a SINCLAIR QL just to see if I could make OS-K run
>>> on it :-)
>I've always wanted an ST, just to complete my collection, if nothing
>else.  Shares some hardware with the MM/1.  And a Sinclair -- well, that
>would get points for obscure cool.  The Q40 and Q60 ( http://www.q40.de/
>) are new (still produced?) Ql descendants that also run Linux/m68k.

I've got one!  I made the remark at the last cocofest that Ron held up in 
PA that it oughta be worth $50, and darned if I didn't have to write a 
check and haul it home.  Comes with a 10 meg drive, and around 300 pounds 
of assorted software and manuals.  Freight will cost that much, and if I 
could clear that spot in the basement I'd be happy.  The monitor is a bit 
dim though.

>> This is off-topic, more of a history lesson I think.
>> I have to give the Amiga credit...
>I suspect there is quite a bit of overlap between CoCo enthusiasts and
>Amiga enthusiasts.

Yes, there are several amiga or ex amiga users still on this list.  I'm 
not the only one.

>> We still have 3 or 4 Amiga's including that one, an A2k with a fusion
>> 40 card and a 1 GB scsi drive, we just can't quite bring ourselves to
>> bin them but they've not had power applied for quite a while.  Not
>> just yet anyway.  Maybe somebody would make us an offer?  os3.1 is in
>> all of them IIRC.  A couple of A4k's with video toasters, one with an
>> 060 in it, and a 1200 round out the list.  We would still be using the
>> 1200+supergen for animated station ID's, but the supergen tried to
>> start a fire, so that was the end of that, it wasn't salvageable.
>I wish I could afford to make an offer.  I hope somebody else makes you
>a good one.  If not, I could probably scrape together the funds to ship
>at least one of them to the computer landfill in my attic as an
>alternative to the general purpose landfill in the ground...  :)  But
>they do deserve a dignified retirement.
The A4k's have been liberally hacked on, one even having an external psu I 
put in when the original got down to about 4.5 volts and there were 
nowhere near enough ready virgins to keep a scsi buss running under those 
conditions.  I also had to patch the toasters a couple of times for 
failed traces, now that was fun, NOT!  Similar to trying to replace all 
the electrolytics on the A3460 that commie installed reversed polarity.  
The one with the external psu also has a decent sized fan nounted where 
the old psu's little puny power was, and that puppy actually runs pretty 

>> Yeah, those were the days, and it seems like that period just 10 years
>> ago was back to forever.  In computer terms, it was.
>> But I will to my last breath, always figure that the CoCo had an
>> influence on the Amiga, because it was the ideal demo machine that
>> could show a bunch of college kids in State College PA just what a
>> properly programmed Motorola CPU could be made to do.  And out of that
>> grew the Amiga.  At least that's how I see it, looking back on the
>> last 20 years of history. In turn, looking at the timeline, I wonder
>> how much influence the Amiga's Agnus chip had on the GIME in the
>> CoCo3?  Will we ever know?  Doubtfull, but the influence has to be
>> there in copycat effect if not in fact.
>Don't forget that the Tim Jennison of NewTek fame is the original author
>of CoCoMax.  That, if nothing else, is some direct cross-pollination.

I hadn't been aware of that!  Talk about cross-pollination, that's hand 
carrying the flowers to each other with introductions.  To heck with the 
bees.  Now I have to give credit for the history lesson, thanks Joel.  
Now I'm sorry I never bought a cocomax kit.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
The recent proliferation of Nuclear Testing

More information about the Coco mailing list