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

gene heskett gheskett at wdtv.com
Thu Oct 21 09:57:13 EDT 2010

On Thursday, October 21, 2010 09:43:20 am Mark Marlette did opine:

> Curtis can correct me if I am wrong but IIRC, there were only three
> TC-9s ever made.
> I have one, Curtis I hope still has his, not sure who had the other
> Wes???
> AT306, MM1, TC-9 and a Japanese based dual processor 6x09, in my
> collection. All functioning.
> A guy in our local club had the FHL OSK machine, forget the name ATM,
> very expensive but VERY nice and FAST(68040), I think. Would be nice to
> collect that one as well. Would need another wall in the warehouse
> though. :)
Chuckle, I hear that, too loud and too clear.  But I was given the A4k/060 
machine we did all the graphics rendering on for years at the tv station 
just a year back.  Unforch, that ones PSU had faded to about 4.6 volts as 
all of those commie supplies did eventually, and I had rigged a pc PSU that 
plugged into the back panel, and the old PSU's space was then occupied by a 
pair of disk drives, but in the tear-down and upgrade of the facility, that 
PSU got lost, so I need to rig another & haven't had the time.  But that 50 
mhz 68060 positively smokes, not taking any guff from the biggest baddest 
PC's around today.  I think it would make a great box to put linux-m68k on, 
but I'd have to write drivers for much of the other hardware in it, which 
includes a toaster and kitchen sync.  OTOH, its stuck in the NTSC world 
too, a definite disadvantage today.

To get back on topic, the only machine running in the basement ATM is my 
coco3.  Must be 100k hours or more on the spindle of that 1Gb Seagate Hawk 
scsi drive.

> FPGA = software loadable hardware......The best of both worlds, hands
> down.
> Regards,
> Mark
> Cloud-9
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Little John <sales at gimechip.com>
> To: CoCoList for Color Computer Enthusiasts <coco at maltedmedia.com>
> Sent: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 04:20:10 -0000 (UTC)
> Subject: Re: [Coco] Any news on the so called CoCo4 or
> NextCoCo	projectthatBjork was heading?
> 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...
> ----- 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> 
> > 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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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)
No question is so difficult as one to which the answer is obvious.

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