[Coco] The CoCo Crew Podcast -- Episode 35 is available!

Rob Rosenbrock bester at adamswells.com
Wed Apr 18 10:17:45 EDT 2018

I was just getting ready to correct myself, but you got there first. MCA had good specs, but the closed nature of it cut out the third parties.

I have no doubt that Radio Shack could have been the dominant computer manufacturer once again if they’d have expanded the Color Computer into a more powerful system. But the board was never one to take risks and put their efforts into competing against IBM. (They stayed with a 1950’s marketing model into 2010!) After they surrendered, it was only a matter of time before they’d leave the market altogether.

I can still recall hearing how our district lost a school bid. It came down to Apple, Tandy, and IBM. Apple was ruled out, and the board asked why they should purchase a ‘Compatible’ computer when they could get the real thing. You can’t argue with flawed logic...

> On Apr 18, 2018, at 9:55 AM, Deny Wilson <deny.wilson at gmail.com> wrote:
> IBM's failed architecture was called Micro Channel Architecture or MCA.
> Back to Mark for a second: Windows 10 tried to reverse most of the damage
> that 8 did (I still encounter that stupid paradigm on some of our servers).
> Unfortunately, now that Windows is a service, I get a ton of ads in my
> Start Menu, which is incredibly frustrating since I paid for Pro. Yeesh.
> Anyway, I'm getting horribly off topic.
> I still think, with the power of the 6809 compared to chips like the Z80
> and the 6502, that had Tandy added hardware sprites, a decent sound chip,
> and more colors, that they could have been more dominant than the other
> 8-bit systems of the time. I realize that all those things add to cost of
> the machine, but honestly, had they done it, my favorite 8-bit system
> possibly could have been more of a threat to the C64. Don't get me wrong, I
> love my CoCo, but man.... what might have been. But maybe that's part of
> the reason I love the CoCo, because it's an underdog system.
> On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 6:52 AM, Rob Rosenbrock <bester at adamswells.com>
> wrote:
>> I don’t think IBM had an open system; at least not in the way we’d use
>> that term today.
>> IBM saw that people were using Apples and TRS-80’s on their desktops,
>> alongside their terminals, and realized there was a market that they were
>> missing out on. But there was also the idea that if people were using the
>> desktops, they weren’t using the mainframe. Eventually, they realized,
>> people would shift away from the mainframe environment where IBM made its
>> money.
>> From what I’ve read, they contracted the design of the PC to an
>> independent hobbyist - I can’t recall his name, though. He used
>> off-the-shelf components that were available, but details of the BIOS were
>> not released. It was only through reverse engineering that Compaq was able
>> to design the IBM compatible computer. Foolishly, IBM allowed Microsoft to
>> retain the rights to MS-DOS, believing that it could only be used on a IBM
>> PC.
>> After the PC compatible market expanded, IBM tried to recover that market
>> by releasing the PS/2 with the Microbus (?) architecture, which was really
>> an attempt to move that market to a proprietary system that they would be
>> able to control. Needless to say, that didn’t succeed.
>> I’ve always thought that Apple’s early success with the Apple II was that
>> it was open, with full schematics available. I recall seeing many add-in
>> cards that were available to expand the Apple’s architecture.
>>> On Apr 18, 2018, at 7:40 AM, Francis Swygert <farna at att.net> wrote:
>>> Salvador hit the nail on the head -- the intro of the IBM PC (XT) was
>> the nail in the coffin for all the other, smaller computer manufacturers.
>> IBM had an "open system" -- they used more or less off-the-shelf components
>> that were readily available, then published full specs so anyone could make
>> hardware and software for it without special licensing or development kits.
>> The exact opposite of Apple! That eventually led to headaches for IBM, as
>> they quickly lost control of the market. That's why they tried to introduce
>> a proprietary buss some years later... can't remember what it was now...
>> that quickly flopped because no one wanted to go back to proprietary
>> hardware. It (proprietary systems) worked for Apple all these years, but
>> they never have had the market penetration of the PC Clones. Probably as
>> much as IBM itself, but when they came out with that open system it didn't
>> take long for other manufacturers to jump in and play! IBM legitimized the
>> computer as a business machine, which is probably their largest
>> contribution to the PC revolution.  Frank Swygert
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