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

Steve Batson steve at batsonphotography.com
Fri Nov 19 13:32:10 EST 2010

Well as I said, there may be more than one soution that could come out. 
Seems to me that the work is increased quite a bit if new hardware must 
created and an emulator still writen to support that hardware. That's 
double the work, or at least a bunch more work. Also, so the PC and Windows 
and Linux are massively available and widely supported, it's much more 
efficent and practical to leverage them. What happens when that spcial 
hardware that is created can't be found anymore and no one steps up to 
create the next new solution because a few don't like the PC and/or 

It's much easier to expand the user base if an emulator runs on what most 
people have, and again cheaper. I think for those that need or badly want 
the new hardware solution, it will happen regardless. I do think an 
emulation on popular platforms opens the doors to future development and 
more users because people don't need to go buy and learn new hardware. And 
if the new hardware requires the do it yourself approach, it severely 
limits the future new user/developer because people can't just load it up 
and go, they have to fiddle and tinker and learn before they can even get 

Not everyone will be happy with a single solution. But I think many would 
be very happy if they could have their coco 4+ emulator running in a window 
on their machine so they could do more than one thing at a time and not 
have to dedicate a box to one thing or need to reboot to start it up. 
Free's up desk space too.


From: "Frank Pittel" <fwp at deepthought.com>
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2010 9:31 AM
To: "CoCoList for Color Computer Enthusiasts" <coco at maltedmedia.com>
Subject: Re: [Coco] Why do a next Gen CoCo? was Any news on the so called 
CoCo4 or NextCoCo 

Whether running on dedicated hardware or an emulator running under an OS 
linux or windows the "coco4" will be emulated. I have a number of issues 
with the
"pc emulator" approach. The first is that I don't run windows and the odds 
that any pc emulator will be a windows app. I can get around that with 
and possibly wine but that's proven to be a major pain with vcc and so I 
don't use

Aonther thing to take into consideration is that we're not the board of 
of a corperation that will make a decision on how to proceed and then 
dictate that
decision down to be implemented. My guess is that the limit of most of our
involvement in the project will be to offer suggestions and act as 
testers. This means people will need to step up and actually develop the 
To my knowledge the only work actually being done is on the fpga approach. 
current goal there is to successfully and completely emulate the coco3 and 
that's done I'm sure features will be added and the project will evolve. 
Much like
Aaron has done with drivewire. He took something that had a specific role 
added functionality and features.

In my never humble opinion the coco3fpga project will evolve into the 
"coco4". If
for the only reason that someone stepped up and started to actually do it.

The Other Frank

On Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 08:51:11AM -0800, Steve Batson wrote:
> I agree with Steve on this. I've followed this thread and others on the 
> topic for quite some time. I've commented a few times in the past.
> I really do think a good, solid emulator is the best option and here's my 

> reasons.
> 1) Can run and millions of available boxes that most people already have 

> and are cheap
> 2) Can be made "Extensible" so that add-ons can be created for it to 
> continaully improve it. Can also be easily and cheaply upgraded without 
> constantly spending more on hardware.
> 3) A card or USB device could allow simple connection to the PC to 
> to Coco specific devices
> 4) Can take advantage of PC hardware, memory, storage, etc.
> 5) Replacement parts are in abundance
> 6) Emulator will live on much longer than the hardware.
> 7) Software is much easier to mass produce the hardware and certainly 
> easier and cheaper to distribute.
> Yes I know some whant the look and feel of a "Real Coco". Well then get a 

> netbook, package it in a coco case with a Coco I/O interface device to 
> up all the ports too. With the speed and power of today's processors and 

> hardware, there's absolutely no reason a well done emulator could not run 

> so well you would know it wasn't the real thing. William's Arcade 
> that Jeff Vavasour worked on.
> I could go on and on. I'll just close this message with this. With the 
> disagreements of hardware vs. emulation, the hardware side always seems 
> go to either look and feel of the "Real Coco" or some specialized board 
> CHIP(s) that can be used. The big issue with the hardware is, that 
> eventually there won't be anyone with the knowledge of the Coco or the 
> desire to keep on creating solutions in terms of products or designs that 

> people can do themselves if they have the skills. If someone is dead set 
> designing and building some hardware solution to meet their needs and 
> taste, more power to them. There's no reason that there must only be one 

> solution. Still, I think Emulation is the best choice for the reasons I 
> mentioned and some I'm sure I've missed.
> My 2 cents! :)
> ----------------------------------------
> From: "Steve Bjork" <6809er at srbsoftware.com>
> Sent: Thursday, November 18, 2010 2:50 PM
> To: "CoCoList for Color Computer Enthusiasts" 
> Subject: [Coco] Why do a next Gen CoCo? was Any news on the so called 
> or NextCoCo 
> I've been watching everyone speak their minds on what the next gen CoCo 
> should be. Pulling in four directions is getting nowhere, as some have 
> pointed out.
> But you are putting the horse before the buggy, literally.
> I don't hear is what you are planing to use this next gen CoCo for? In 
> other words, what will use it for when you are done?
> Are you trying to build a faster CoCo to run programs on?
> 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.
> Or are you trying to make modern technology accessible to the casual 
> CoCo programmer?
> This was one of the main goals of the CoCo4.com project. (Besides 
> making a CoCo emulator that could run on cheap modern computers.)
> The Super CoCo 4 BASIC was to support the new display graphic modes of a 

> modern Digital TV along with better and easy to use sound system. Add 
> in an easy to use (and understand) Internet command set (under BASIC) so 

> you can use the internet like a hardcore net programmer.
> 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.
> All I'm saying is to layout just what you want the new computer to do 
> before you put that time and $$$ into it.
> Steve Bjork
> On 11/18/2010 1:07 PM, jdaggett at gate.net wrote:
> > Frank:
> >
> > This is my observation of where the COCO4 concept is at this point:
> >
> > The COCO4, what ever it is or will be, is like a person with ropes tied 

> to each arm and leg
> > with four horses pulling in all different directions. Right now the 
> FPGA board approach
> > is winning out and the rest is going to be left behind. Rip to shreads 

> and the pieces left for the
> > buzzards to pick.
> >
> > Any other idea or suggestion will probably meet with some resistance 
> really is not totally
> > worth persueing. Unless it solves a personal niche, it probably is no 
> longer worth persueing.
> >
> > just my thoughts
> > james
> >
> >
> > On 18 Nov 2010 at 9:41, Frank Swygert wrote:
> >
> >> Still two camps -- hardware (FPGA) and software )streamlined 
> emulator/OS
> >> combined). I'm of the software camp because it would be easier, 
> cheaper,
> >> and quicker to accomplish. If you bought all new hardware cost would 
> >> comparable, but even an old Pentium 1I computer can be had for a song
> >> and would still have the computing power to emulate a CoCo at a
> >> relatively high speed -- though there's no reason to go so far as a 
> >> when even P4 machines are relatively cheap now. And most of us have 
> >> older board that would be great for this at little to no cost.
> >>
> >> What I really advocate is both -- do the streamlined emulator with an
> >> advanced DECB and use it to develop a higher level Nitros, then put 
> >> resulting "machine" in an FPGA hardware configuration. Both would be
> >> compatible software wise, but for those who needed/wanted a compact
> >> board it could be done. Of course the emulation/OS combo would run
> >> easily on something like an ITX or embedded Intel board too.
> >>
> >> -------------
> >> It's the attempt at a "coco4" by Steve b. that's dead. The dream 
> >> on!! :-)
> >>
> >>
> >> On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 08:29:28AM -0800, Steve Batson wrote:
> >>
> >>>> I know many would love to see a CoCo 4 come into existence, but I
> >>> thought
> >>>> the project was dead. Says it's dead on coco4.com
> >>>>
> >>>> Is there new info or activity on this, or just more discussion?
> >>>>
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