[Coco] Any news on the so called CoCo4 or Next CoCo project that Bjork was heading?

Aaron Wolfe aawolfe at gmail.com
Thu Oct 21 21:36:54 EDT 2010

On Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 8:57 PM, Frank Swygert <farna at att.net> wrote:
> The FPGA solution ISN'T cheaper than an inexpensive generic P4 computer.
> Even a new small basic computer has everything needed and is no more than
> the Altera DE-1 board -- and it has everything needed including a hard
> drive, unlike the DE-1.  Actually I'd start with something like this:
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119018
> or this:
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856107036
> I know, not complete systems. The only complete systems at NewEgg have the
> OS (Win7 Home) with them, but are still not much more than the DE-1 and FPGA
> at $299 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883114089,

The Altera DE1 costs only $150.

> but for a little more $$ you get a lot more computer:
> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883241031).
> Use a P4 that you already have in a compact case and it gets much cheaper.
> Of find one of the mini PCs without an OS.
> The software side needs work! I agree that booting into an OS then running
> an emulator takes away from the experience, even if you do have a script
> that will take you straight to the emulator. Having the emulator and OS
> integrated and booting from an SD card or USB thumb drive (or the hard
> drive, but takes a bit longer) would eliminate most of that. Wouldn't quite
> be almost instantaneous like the DE-1, but would be much faster than the
> current emulators. The OS and emulator need to be as seamlessly integrated
> as possible, with an "escape" hot key sequence to get out of the emulator to
> a command line or simple OS utility interface. Something you have to go out
> of your way to do. Turn it on and it boots up straight into the emulator,
> and shuts down from there too. The only reason to go to the native OS would
> be for upgrades, some maintenance, and possibly modifications. Alas, I'm not
> a programmer and can't actually do this! Otherwise I'd have yet another
> project on my plate -- as if I don't have enough unfinished projects! I tell
> ya what though, I'll contribute $100 to get such a software integration
> project rolling.
> --------------
> Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 14:55:48 -0400
> From: Aaron Wolfe <aawolfe at gmail.com>
> Personally, I see the FPGA solution the Gary Becker has created as the
> best "CoCo 4" experience available.
> It's hard to describe how amazing it is to use. I am not one to buy
> into the "user experience" hype normally, but using the CoCo3FPGA on
> and Altera DE1 feels "real". It feels like a real CoCo in a way that
> no emulator ever has to me.
> It turns on and offers the OK prompt instantly, just like a real CoCo.
> It resets instantly with the push of a button, just like a real CoCo.
> And.. there is more to it than just that... hard to put into words.
> One example I can offer is that although I've had emulators running on
> my PC for some years, I never bothered to mess around in BASIC like I
> did as a kid. The very first time (and several times since) I turned
> on the CoCo3FPGA, I was just draw to it.. started writing little BASIC
> programs and experimenting, remembering the stuff I'd done as a kid.
> Why use a general purpose PC, with all the extra overhead and
> configuration needed for even the simplest emulator only
> configuration, when FPGA hardware can be put together more cheaply and
> can provide a better CoCo experience. I am not a hardware guy, but it
> would seem creating adapters for connecting real coco peripherals to
> an FPGA board would be simpler than some PCI or USB solution as well.
> -Aaron
> --
> Frank Swygert
> Publisher, "American Motors Cars"
> Magazine (AMC)
> For all AMC enthusiasts
> http://www.amc-mag.com
> (free download available!)
> --
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