[Coco] Any news on the so called CoCo4 or NextCoCo projectthatBjork was heading?

Joel Ewy jcewy at swbell.net
Thu Oct 21 00:36:03 EDT 2010

On 10/20/2010 11:20 PM, Little John wrote:
> The TC-9 was a 6809 based machine. It was basically a CoCo 3 (GIME and 
> all) but without the BASIC ROMs and the audio DAC was mapped 
> differently. I don't think it went over too well - it was geared 
> towards OS-9 L2 usage. It could be connected to one of the other FHL 
> OS-K machines (was that the TC70?). Actually up to 14 TC-9's I think 
> could be connected to the 68K machine and appear in it's memory map. I 
> can't remember exactly - it was something like that...

I've got both a TC-9 Tomcat and an MM/1.  The TC-9 was always flaky and 
unreliable.  The MM/1 still works, though I need to put another HD in 
it.  The MM/1 was really a neat computer, and I just wish there had been 
more software developed for it.


> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Sean" <badfrog at gmail.com>
> To: "CoCoList for Color Computer Enthusiasts" <coco at maltedmedia.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 11:02 PM
> Subject: Re: [Coco] Any news on the so called CoCo4 or NextCoCo 
> projectthatBjork was heading?
> I remember seeing the MM/1 at the '91 Rainbowfest in IL, and wanting
> one.    I was just a poor high school student at the time.  If I was
> in the position I am now, I'm absolutely sure I would have bought one.
> I remember being torn between the MM/1, and the other 68k boxes being
> shown at that show - I think the TC-9 was one of them, was that Frank
> Hogg?
> Somewhat proof of my willingness for beta devices would be that I'm
> still on the waiting list for a Pandora.  (www.openpandora.org).
> Homebrew originated, taking much longer than promised, etc....
> But I also have a netbook thanks to my job, and that works just fine
> as an emulator box, and weighs a lot less than a CoCo.  So I would
> agree that 'coco 4' hardware might be kind of silly.
> On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 9:44 PM, Boisy G. Pitre <boisy at tee-boy.com> 
> wrote:
>> Aside from your stance on software emulation (I prefer an FPGA based 
>> hardware solution), this is a great post and right on target. The 
>> MM/1 was a dream that was just too laborious to realize, and several 
>> people sunk a lot of effort only to realize little gain. The one who 
>> I believe was most affected was the creator himself, Paul K. Ward. My 
>> understanding is that he put a lot of his money on the MM/1 and ended 
>> up loosing it all, including his marriage. Suppliers (including 
>> Microware, as I was told when I worked there) got paid little or 
>> nothing from IMS. As tough a lesson as it must have been for him, I 
>> admire that he did it. Trying to follow an act like Tandy just felt 
>> like a loosing proposition at the time, but you have to hand it to 
>> him.... he tried.
>> I still have my old MM/1 VHS video that Paul shipped to me back in 
>> late 1990. Holy cow, it's been 20 years already! I recently digitized 
>> it an aside from some bad spots and skips, it's pretty watchable. I 
>> should put it up on YouTube.
>> Fast forward to now, and we have computational power that can emulate 
>> the MM/1 40 times over. It's a different world now... a software 
>> world, where hardware is a commodity. Building good software is 
>> enough of a job without adding hardware to the mix.
>> -- 
>> Boisy G. Pitre
>> http://www.tee-boy.com/
>> On Oct 20, 2010, at 8:31 PM, Paul Fitch wrote:
>>> I think the FPGA route is the only realistic method available to do 
>>> this in
>>> hardware. I'm just not that interested in a hardware project. Doing 
>>> it in
>>> emulation (the Coco4) however, has had me wishing very hard that I 
>>> could
>>> program at that level. I just don't see spending hundreds of dollars on
>>> duplicating hardware that in most any matchup would be inferior to 
>>> the stuff
>>> found on every bargin basement Windows 7 starter computer available 
>>> today
>>> for under $400.00. And that's just the brand new stuff.
>>> I would love to be able fire up VCC v2.0 and get a 1024 x 768, 64k 
>>> color
>>> screen under Uber-DECB or Nitros9 v3.0. With native USB awareness 
>>> built in,
>>> I would run it on my netbook, it would talk to my X-10 stuff, it 
>>> would get
>>> my email, I would surf the web.
>>> The thing about that (now dead) Coco4 wishlist is it could all have 
>>> been
>>> realized two or three years ago fully in software, without the 
>>> thousands of
>>> hours necessary to design hardware to run it. Then finding the money 
>>> to get
>>> it into production, then the need to convince 50 or 60 or 100 
>>> people, out of
>>> how many of us are there left these days, 400-500 tops, to buy it?
>>> It reminds me so much of what the MM/1 guys went thru. They spent their
>>> dreams trying to get the hardware available at the time to live up 
>>> to their
>>> (and mine, and everyone elses) expectations. Today you don't need that
>>> hardware headache. The hardware is here, it's a software problem.
>>> I dearly wish someone would code a solution. I wish even more I had the
>>> skills to do it myself.
>>> I'm not interested in a hardware Coco4, but I would buy the emulation.
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