[Coco] Why do a next Gen CoCo? was Any news on the so called CoCo4 or NextCoCo

Mark McDougall msmcdoug at iinet.net.au
Thu Nov 18 18:26:10 EST 2010

On 19/11/2010 9:50 AM, Steve Bjork wrote:

> Oh, there is some talk about FPGA board approach can run programs about 10
> times faster. Big deal! I can build a Linux box for the price of a FPGA
> board that will run software 1,000's times faster with better graphics,
> sound and the Internet to boot. But the FPGA board has no (or little)
> interface for CoCo hardware. (if I reading the messages right.) Nor will it
> use any modern computer technology directly. Not much of a next gen CoCo.

With much respect Steve, what you describe has IMHO as much to do with being 
a Coco 4 as it does an Atari 2700, or an Amiga 5000, or a Nintendo 128.

> As you can see, the CoCo4.com project was all about unlocking modern
> computer technology in the same the computers did back in the 80's.
> Something that modern computer designers just don't do any more.

That's great, and I would imagine definitely what some people would be 
looking for in a "Coco 4".

The real problem here is not people "pulling in different directions" but 
rather making the mistake of trying to define the "Coco 4" as a single 
product/project that encompasses the wishes/goals of everyone that is 
interested in the Coco.

As you point out Steve, the first step is to define what you're trying to 
do. In your case, you've done that with your "Coco 4" project. Now everyone 
else has to do the same, and then get together to work out:

(1) How many different projects are required to achieve this cross-section 
of goals. Obviously the less the better.

(2) Decide if there are any common aspects that can be designed into each 
distinct project/product, in order to both reduce the development effort and 
provide as much cross-compatibility as possible.

The real reason that Coco3FPGA is the defacto standard atm is that it is the 
only tangible "Coco 4" project. And the real reasons the DE1 is the defacto 
standard are because they're cheap, a few coco people have one, and Gary is 
actively supporting it. Personally, I think it's a good start.

As I said, this doesn't embody everyone's idea of what a Coco 4 should be - 
and that obviously includes you Steve - and I certainly understand. I have 
ideas of my own that are to a large degree along these (Coco3FPGA) lines, 
but diverge down the track towards your "Coco 4" project. But that's a 
long-term goal.


|              Mark McDougall                | "Electrical Engineers do it
|  <http://members.iinet.net.au/~msmcdoug>   |   with less resistance!"

More information about the Coco mailing list