[Coco] CC-Five (was Re: Pseudo CoCo4???)
farna at att.net
farna at att.net
Mon Jan 22 18:00:30 EST 2007
I'm not going to quote anyone, but all have hit on the various pros and cons. Ideally, I'd want a computer that's ready to go when turned on. Booting from a flash card or USB thumb drive would help, and make the system changeable as well. 1GB thumb drives and flash cards are affordable -- could the system be packaged in that small a space? Then you'd need a way to burn it all on CD-ROM just in case the drive was erased or modified.
The main reason I was thinking the emulator/live CD (ala "Amiga Forever" -- www.amigaforever.com) is that it could be done NOW with a lot less development. Ideally it would re-route standard CoCo I/O to existing PC peripherals, with the PC type OS running transparently in the background -- in essence similar to a CoCo used as a terminal for a PC, but with the features you'd have to walk over and physically interact with the PC integrated into the terminal, maybe through a separate pop-up window, or something similar. There's no way to maintain backward compatibility AND integrate some new features seamlessly. It can be made easier than the current emulators, but not seamless. The underlying OS would be more of a slave to the CoCo emulator than now. The background OS should have a simple redirection interface to handle the new USB ports and such. A menu driven selection would be easiest, but there would be no way around having to switch over and select what goes where.
Of course the more features added, the larger the storage medai and boot time. Just checked -- *4GB* SD cards are $50 at Tiger Direct, 2GB $25. If everything could be packed into one and the system booted driectly from an SD cards, I'd definitely go that route, would be worth another $50! 2GB compact flash cards are $30-$70, 4GB $55-$150, so one of those in an IDE adapter would be a good way to go.
I like the idea of an FPGA hardware device, but that would take a lot of time and development. The software solution would as well, but not as much. The best thing is the software solution allows a bit of flexibility in the way enhancements are handled. I'm thinking more of just CoCo3 capabilities re-routed to newer peripheral interfaces, such as USB, and mass storage -- no need for more memory than the 4MB or so available now -- not enhanced capabilites. This would be a retro machine more than a CC5, but there is the capability of easily expanding memory and video. It certainly wouldn't hurt to add enhanced modes for those who did want to write software for it, but it would just be for experimental or fun purposes. There's enough production software and computers out there! The downside is it's just to much to learn to program for fun. An enhanced CoCo could be fun to start programming on, whether it lead to a career (as it did for some of you!) or just remained a recreation
eavour. I can't see programming on a PC as recreational -- but a slightly enhanced Disk BASIC (maybe something like 512 BASIC) would be.
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