[Coco] The X9
farna at att.net
Wed Jul 9 22:16:51 EDT 2008
Chuck, you have to remember that lot of people doing things for the CoCo and the old "home" computers are self-taught hobbyists. I understand your criticism, and it's probably deserved, but the guy did get the thing out there, and he does deserve a lot of credit just for that! So take what he did and improve it. Should be easier/quicker than writing from scratch, even if you do have to re-write 75% or so of the code.
For your own benefit having preipherals as add-ons might be fine, but for max usefulness to others having what I consider the basics (FDC, dual IDE headers, and a couple serial ports) on board would be extremely nice. I'd rather see video on the board too, then it would make a nice little stand-alone computer, but using another PC (or even a CoCo!) as a terminal seems like an acceptable proposal. It's not like people interested in computers don't have one or two lying around now, and older computers that would work fine as a terminal are cheap and easy to find. Might be a good use for that old 486 Compaq laptop I've still got in good working order!
Am I understanding correctly that the expansion buss would be pin compatible with the CoCo buss? That would be wonderful! I understand the decoding part. Since the computer will really be a NitrOS-9 dedicated machine, that shouldn't be a big problem.
I'd really like to see a USB port on board, but a plug-in "smart card" would probably be better -- USB implemented via a microcontroller that translates signals for the CoCo buss. Drivers would have to be written specifically for certain peripherals, which would increase processor overhead, but as you said, running the 6809 at 10-20 mhz should help things out a lot! My main interest would be to operate a printer. Even if the card/port had to be dedicated to a certain brand/type printer it would still be useful since the only thing you can get anymore is USB inkjets (inexpensively). As long as it's a popular printer a ROM dedicated to a certain model would be fine. Even an adapter that plugged into the CoCo serial port, sort of like the old serial to parallel adapter, would be wonderful! Of course plugged into a terminal I suppose output can be redirected to the terminal printer. If using a PC not a problem, using something like a CoCo greatly limits printer output.
Like others here I have lots of ideas, but not real skills to implement them with. The USB/printer idea might not be practical because of costs -- would likely end up retailing for $100 or more, then a new ROM might need to be developed when a printer model gets dropped!
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2008 21:45:25 -0400
From: Chuck Youse <cyouse at serialtechnologies.com>
Subject: Re: [Coco] The X9
On Thu, 2008-07-10 at 11:04 +1000, Mark McDougall wrote:
> > Since the discussions, Gary Becker has released an operational Coco 3 FPGA
> > design based on John Kent's 6809 core. IIRC he has an "overclocking" mode.
> > Note that I could never get his design working on my own hardware. YMMV.
And for the record -- no insult to John -- his 6809 core reeks of lack
of actual ASIC design experience.
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