[Coco] Retro computing and what's worth it...

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Tue Dec 16 23:15:51 EST 2008

On Tuesday 16 December 2008, Michael Robinson wrote:
>Okay, a coco is a dead computer architecture that won't compete at all
>with what's currently available.  Why is the coco interesting to me?
>Well, my nephew is interested in it as a low power computer that is
>fairly easy to program.  Now then, does he have to get used to disk
>drives just because he wants to use a COCO 3?  I'd rather not bother
>with that.  If retro computing means that you have to use the old
>methods of accessing data, then I suppose someone should have
>a punch card machine.  Practically speaking, there are different
>levels of retro computing and different goals.  For example, adding
>memory to a COCO 3 doesn't change it significantly.  Getting away from
>disk drives without going to tape is a major change, but not so major
>depending on how done.  A virtual disk drive and an original disk
>controller combination can potentially relieve the need to work with
>floppy disks without losing the functionality of floppy disks.  Right
>now, the SVD II may not be out and I don't know what it costs.  Now
>then, the drivewire solution breaks down when and if I need the serial
>port or a program breaks the disk access rules.  In my case, the
>way my COCO 3 has been being used, drivewire has been an inexpensive
>and effective solution.
>I have a working drivewire image of Cloud 9's 512k test program for
>example.  I've seen countless COCO 2 games played on my COCO 3
>via drivewire.
>I decided to get a Playstation II hoping to put Linux on it so my
>nephew can C program and play more modern games.  Well, how do I
>get a Playstation II compatible Linux system without paying a
>mint?  Someone on the Linux list has suggested that I need a $60
>mod chip, but how will that affect the Playstation when it comes
>to supporting video games? I know, this is off topic for a coco
>list ;-)

Not to mention that the courts have put the mod-chip people out of business, 
theoretically.  No great loss to me, I only got stuck with putting one of 
them in, and found I needed the same size soldering iron one would use for 
bonding out wires internal to a chip.  One place less than 1/4" in diameter 
has 9 wires tagged onto the via pads.  I wouldn't touch another of those for 
all the tea in boston harbor.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
<james> but, then I used an Atari, I was more likely to win the lottery in
        ten countries simultaneously than get accelerated X

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