[Coco] CoCo 4 - was Radio Shack CEO Resigns.

farna at att.net farna at att.net
Tue Feb 21 21:36:59 EST 2006

I know you didn't mean anything, but you hit a nail right on the head -- by accident! The whole "CoCo4" thing was really upset by the vast difference between the typical CoCo user and OS-9 types. OS-9 (now really NitrOS-9) really turns the CoCo into a totally different machine. The draw of simple computing pulled most CoCoers in, only a relative few (back in 91 or so, about when Tandy announced no more CoCo3s would be made) were really into OS-9. 

If more had been into OS-9 instead of DECB, there could have been an affordable machine made that would carry most of them. But DECB compatibility was a problem. It's really not now, but with emulators and cheap PCs available, what is the point in creating new hardware? 

Unless it's simplified and easy to interface with there really is none. Want a CoCo4? Get an ITX mini board system and have it boot into MESS right away, preferably never even see the DOS interface, just MESS. Or better yet, port NitrOS-9 directly to it. Nitros is really to much like Linux, or the opposite if you prefer, to go to that much trouble though. 

Using the emulation for compatibility works now, with the processor speeds available, but except for nostalgia is there really a point? I understand the nostalgia, beleive me! It's great, emulators and used machines fill that need nicely. That and the few new add-ons that help out. 

Don't get me wrong! I 've done my share of wising there had been, or even would be, a "CoCo4". If it was targeted as a hobby machine with easy interfacing and programming, maybe even something like a relay control board marketed with it, I just don't think it would be a worthwhile endeavor. The CoCo had a good following, but never the masses like the C=64 or even Apple II. 

But I still think something along the lines of a "super PIC controller" that was easily programmable by plugging into a TV -- more like a super CoCo 2 than 3, really, would work. It would need a good line editor built in and a slightly enhanced BASIC (ADOS fits!), and would have to be enhanced to handle more memory for long BASIC files -- so think like the old 512K BASIC with some ADOS enhancements, but built into DECB. Color really wouldn't be necessary, but while we're at it leave the color and a low level VGA support so it can be used as a good programming teaching/beginners machine too. If it could be made compatible with at least CoCo 3 cartridge games all the better! Package it in something like one of the keyboard PCs that used to be out there. A standard parallel port is bidirectional, so using it for I/O (such as the relay board) is a natural. Keyboard could be hard coded or a PC type. A 1.44MB 3.5" floppy built in (even if it's limnited to 720K, as long as the format is such that a PC can read it, even if by use of a special prgram), laptop hard drive built in (yes, would have to have a way for BASIC to at least transfer files, could be an external program that searches the HD as if it were a database then transfers what's needed to memory) and/or a flash card. Come to think of it, using a 512K flash card INSTEAD of a hard drive might be the better way to go. Limit max size to that of the floppy and use it as if it were a floppy. And have the CoCo cartridge port as well. All that could be handled with a fast processor and emulation, or burn the enhanced 6809 and supporting chips into one of the programmable chips. 

Oh well, we can always dream! 

Frank Swygert
Publisher, "American Independent 
Magazine" (AIM)
For all AMC enthusiasts
(free download available!)

 -------------- Original message ----------------------
Message: 6
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 10:22:45 -0500
From: James Hrubik <jimhrubik at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [Coco] Raido Shack CEO Resigns.
To: CoCoList for Color Computer Enthusiasts <coco at maltedmedia.com>
Message-ID: <0125A51C-B199-4285-8D08-5D4E8E95FD74 at earthlink.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed

But without Motorola being the big player any more, maybe IBM should  
buy Tandy, sell off everything but Radio Shack, market their PowerPC  
Linux machines through the retail stores, and provide both Apple and  
Billysoft with some competition on the consumer front.  Nitros9 could  
be ported to the PPCs, and the PPC CoCo would rise above the crud.

On Feb 21, 2006, at 10:07 AM, Rod Barnhart wrote:

> Maybe bring in Sockmaster to do his dream design of a CoCo4?

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