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

gene heskett gheskett at wdtv.com
Tue Oct 19 12:47:07 EDT 2010

On Tuesday, October 19, 2010 12:04:39 pm Little John did opine:

> 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.

Aaron might, or I might be able to do that, bearing in mind my cable 
circuit is only a 3megabit circuit.  Drive space shouldn't be a problem 
unless there are gigabyte sized files and quite a few of them.  However, if 
you have the bandwidth, why not setup your own web page on a machine that 
you leave running 24/7? 

This <http://gene.homelinux.net:85/gene> is actually this machine.  The 
address is courtesy DynDNS.com and free for small users like me.  The :85 
is a port redirection that takes place in my router, and was originally 
used because verizon blocks all inbound port 80 accesses, encouraging folks 
to put their web pages on their servers where they can wrap them up with 
advertising.  Scrooem, its my machine.  As you can see, I am not much of a 
web page designer, but it works and I can add another entry fairly easily.

> 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 i ll 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?

An Aussie named Digby Tarvan was offering it, at exactly what MicroWare was 
charging him about 20 years ago, $600 AUD.  I have an email, or did, from 
him someplace in the many gigs of my inbox that relates how that came 
about.  FWIW, he never sold a copy at that price, so he is still out 
several large in that project.  And now I can't find that message, at least 
in the inbox.

> 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.

If some real memory can be fitted, say 256 megs or more, debian is still 
supporting the M68k nommu configurations I believe, and that has the 
advantage that its free and being fairly actively developed.  Geert 
Utterhoven is the head m68k maintainer and he could probably get you 
started.  He lives on the linux kernel mailing list.  I tried a very early 
version on my amiga once, but the memory architecture of the amiga starves 
it for memory and while it did function, it was excruciatingly slow because 
it never saw the 68040 and the 64 megs of ram on my PP&S accelerator card.  
Which meant it was running on 2 megs of chip and 2 megs on the A2091 scsi 
card, and the 68000 running at 7 something megahertz.  So in essence it was 
running on the swap partition.  Very very slow, with lots of disk 
hammering.  That 1Gb disk is now on my coco3, and probably has well over 
100k hours on the spindle motor.

> 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!"
So do you Big John.  I am very impressed that you have the inclination, 
resources and time to do all this for your son.  Congratulations.

> John #1 a.k.a. Big John, Father of John #2 a.k.a. Little John
> --
> Coco mailing list
> Coco at maltedmedia.com
> http://five.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/coco

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)
Possessions increase to fill the space available for their storage.
		-- Ryan

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