[Coco] possible coco 4

Frank Swygert farna at att.net
Mon Dec 21 16:26:01 EST 2009

I agree Joel. Booting up from a SD or CF card should be pretty fast, and for the cost savings (using a low cost Atom or Via ITX board) is acceptable. A minimal Linux and MESS pared down to just CoCo emulation (or even just a half dozen of the more popular "home" computers to make it more acceptable) should boot pretty fast from a memory card. 

That's also why I suggested using the parallel printer port emulating an 8 bit PIA. That's programmable from DECB, and there are other parallel port lines that could be used. Something relatively easy to program I/O through is essential. 

The newer ITX and Atom boards, among others, qualify for low power consumption. Many don't require a fan, unless you need more than Pentium 4 performance. There are smaller single board computers than the relatively common ITX boards, but cost starts to go up significantly. 

Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2009 16:32:26 -0600
From: Joel Ewy <jcewy at swbell.net>

For my taste though, I'd have a hard time calling it a CoCo-anything 
until it has some kind of usable, programmable, operating environment 
(e.g. some thing reminiscent of DECB) that starts almost instantly and 
can be powered off immediately (ie. running from (flash) ROM, not 
booting from mass storage); and a "Geek port" you can actually hook your 
own gadgets up to.  Until I see another computer with these qualities, 
they're all just more PC clones.  I'll grant that the ISA bus was 
relatively easy to interface with, but the most recent PC motherboard 
I've seen with one of those was an early Socket A Athlon board.  But 
then you lose the other neat, CoCo-like qualities of the keyboard PC, 
such as the small form factor, relative portability, and presumably low 
power consumption.

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

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