[Coco] Hosting for CoCo Projects - Can Anyone Help???

Little John sales at gimechip.com
Tue Oct 19 05:07:42 EDT 2010

Hey folks:

As you are probably aware, I am John's Father, also John. John has a website: http://www.GIMEchip.com/
I have been working, in his absence, to make his pages more readable. Now, something unexpected happened to me - when I started working on this stuff for my Son, I got bitten by the CoCo Bug again after all of these years. I've been going over a lot of my Son's designs. As a result, I have a lot of information that I would like to make available on the web, however, my Son's website has a very limited amount of available space. What I would like to ask is if there is anyone out there who might be willing to host a few files/pages/etc. for me - they would be linked to from GIMEchip.com. This would allow me to make all of my work available in addition to my son's. Currently, what I am working on is a complete set of webpages that detail CoCo 3 memory expansion from 256K through 2-Megabytes of RAM, with possible expansion as high as 512Megabytes (Some RAM, some FLASH). Now, a lot of this work was done by my son, however, this was the project that he was working on when he fell ill this last time. What I have done is taken his designs and debugged them. It was driving him to frustration - so I thought I'd finish the designs for him. His (and my) ultimate goal is to design a replacement CoCo 3 Motherboard - you just pop the GIME out of a CoCo 3 and into this Mobo (which is still in the early design phase). The mobo will have two co-procesors as well - a Z80 and a 68008 (these are two cards my son designed that I want to integrate into the new Mobo design.) What John did was to develop a Z80 card and a 68008 card (I have a lot of 68008's which is why John used them and not later 68K chips). These two cards both run at a clock rate of 7.3728Mhz and the serial clocks are derived from this clock as well. The Z80 card was John's idea - having a CP/M card for the CoCo was something he really wanted. Now, I mentioned Chris Burke's "Rocket" to John and told him how it was supposed to allow a 68008 to plug into a 6809E socket and thus have full access to the CoCo hardware. John responded with: "Father (yes - he calls me Father) - the 68008's that you have are rated at 8Mhz - if I try to run one in the 68B09E socket, it'll be limited by the bus speed of the CoCo. Rather than do that, this is what I propose:...." (okay - I don't remember the conversation word for word, but it was something to the above effect...anyway, his proposal was as follows: (now I don't actually remember everything that was said - I am copying a lot of the following from his notes and adding in some of my own dialogue:)
"I'll take the 68008 and create a card that functions exactly as my Z80 card - it'll be clocked at 7.3728 rather than 8Mhz so the serial clock can be derived from the system clock. The DUART will be a MC68681. One of the serial ports will be a full rs-232 level port for connecting an external terminal if desired or other equipment. The other serial port will be left at TTL levels and will connect directly to a 6551 UART which will be mapped into the CoCo memory space as either a Deluxe RS-232 PAK or a DC-Modem Pak (of course, jumpers will allow it to be mapped anywhere in the available I/O space, but allowing it to work as a Deluxe RS-232 or DC Modem PAK will allow it to communicate with the CoCo via any popular Terminal software - my Son uses VTERM because it is the obvious choice - it makes the CoCo act like a VT-52 or VT-100 terminal, so should allow any OSK and CP/M [for the Z80 card] software to display correctly."
And, of course, my son went right to work, completed the design on paper and I am currently working to layout the PCB. Anyway, all of this will be detailed in webpages.
So, if there is anyone out there who can spare some webspace for some of these pages, please let me know. You would be doing a great service to my Son and myself :)
I forgot to mention: John designed the Z80 and 68K cards to use compact flash as virtual floppy drives. I may eventually modify his designs to allow them to access the CoCo floppy drive controller, although I really don't think that this would be needed - the CF is probably the best storage to use for these cards.

Also, does anyone out there have any copies of OS-9/68K that they would be willing to sell and at what cost? I'd like to make sure that this card design works perfectly before attempting to contact RadiSys about the possibility of licensing OS9/68K for the card. I know I'd have to do some work to get any version of OS-K going with John's card, but I'm willing to give it a shot.

Thanks to you all - I appreciate all that you folks have done for my Son. He will be home Saturday! I cannot wait - I want to show him all of the progress I have made with some of his projects. I can't wait to show him his new shop.... in short - I just can't wait to see my Son all happy and feeling better.

THANKS ALL :-) As my son would say : "You guys ROCK OUT LOUD!"

John #1 a.k.a. Big John, Father of John #2 a.k.a. Little John

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