[Coco] Color computer these days... (double reply)
keeper63 at cox.net
Thu Dec 11 10:35:15 EST 2008
This is kinda a "double reply" - so please bear with me...
> Message: 4
> Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 15:47:48 +0000 (UTC)
> From: BookWorm <bookworm at cavenet.com>
> Subject: Re: [Coco] Color computer these days...
> I thought about playing with linux on my ibm, then I found out there are 500
> different versions, probably all incompatible, and I've never seen any real
In Linux, nothing is really incompatible - everything will work with any
distro provided you have all the libraries, headers, etc, and the gcc
Ok - that was a flip answer, but honestly, its nearly the truth. I have
even managed to get some really old stuff working on newer distros,
sometimes stuff not even written for Linux (but was designed to be POSIX
compliant) - had to change a few things in the source and sometimes come
up with an alternate make file, but it can be done!
In truth, nowadays most distros are based on RPM or DEB package sets
(RPM came from Redhat distros, and DEB came from Debian distros). There
is also a tool to convert between the packages that tends to work fairly
well, called "Alien".
If you just want a simple desktop, go out and get a copy of ubuntu or
kubuntu (currently both at 8.10) for your machine (32 or 64 bit - if you
are unsure or want the greatest compatibility with current software,
stick with the 32 bit version - compatability libraries for 64 bit do
exist, though). This is one desktop distro (and they have a server
edition as well, but for desktop use you will want that version as it
will have a GUI) that really shows off Linux today. Ubuntu has the GNOME
window manager, Kubuntu uses the KDE window manager (KDE tends to be
more "feature rich", you will want a nice graphics card for it).
All in all - yes, there are a ton of distros out there, but the most
vibrant community (read that as "hacking" community) has fell in love
with Ubuntu - and for good reason.
> software for linux. Even the linux version of <gag> arachne appears to be
I am not sure what you mean by this - even on my current box (in the
middle of an upgrade), using a 4 year old copy of Mandrake 10.1, I have
everything I have ever needed. I am not sure what you mean by "real
software". If you are meaning "software made by well known
corporations", then yes, not much out there (but some does exist!). If
you mean games, same thing (but again, some does exist!). But real
software written by people for the love of the software, and written
very, very well (including many slick applications and games, some of
which you can only find ON linux) do exist. Hit me off-list if you want
> I'll stick with NitrOS-9, with RSB & Multi-Vue. :)
I suppose if they do the job for you, and you don't need anything else,
then why worry?
> Message: 6
> Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 11:53:22 -0500
> From: Frank Swygert <farna at att.net>
> Subject: Re: [Coco] Color computer these days... (source for 360K
> As for the "CoCo4", I like the software emulation model. Compact P4
computers with a couple PCI slots can be bought for under $100. Even an
FPGA system board would cost over $200. A generic PC already has
everything needed built in and is cheap. The only thing it lacks is the
CoCo expansion connector, or something similar that is easily
accessible. The Parallel port is close -- it's bi-directional and can be
reprogrammed, but not under Windows (at least not easily).
I agree with you on this - if you want to see some real small
"powerhouses" - check out the line of Intel's ATOM motherboards - small
and nearly fanless (but even so, very quiet). They are even 64 bit! You
can drop oodles of memory onto them (4 gig, I think), and their on-board
everything is wonderful (audio, video, and ethernet - one model you can
get 1 gig ethernet). 8 USB ports, too. Plus, they are very cheap (around
here in Phoenix they range from $65-75 dollars - the board and
processor, memory and powersupply is extra - but a PICO psu is cheap -
great for embedded systems like a car computer or robotics).
They also have a parallel port, but I hate to break it to you: most new
motherboards nowadays are dropping the parallel port (!) - you are
expected to use USB. But it really isn't that big a deal - there do
exist USB->Parallel Port dongles, so all is not lost. Plus, interfacing
to USB today is fairly easy. My new machine that I am upgrading to
doesn't have a parallel port, but it does have 10 (!) USB 2.0 ports, as
well as an onboard dual-head NVidia chipset video card (drives both of
my new 1680x1050 widescreen LCDs very nicely, both with accellerated
3D), plus 6.1 surround sound. While I miss the parallel port for its
interfacing capabilities, I am not that wedded to it. I figure if I
really need something like that, then I will just communicate via USB to
an Arduino or something, and use the data ports off of that.
-- Andrew L. Ayers, Glendale, Arizona
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