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

Mark McDougall msmcdoug at iinet.net.au
Thu Oct 21 22:33:27 EDT 2010

On 22/10/2010 10:57 AM, Frank Swygert wrote:

> The FPGA solution ISN'T cheaper than an inexpensive generic P4 computer.

You'd be hard-pressed to argue that an FPGA solution is going to be more 
cost effective - particularly if you're talking about a custom design done 
specifically to emulate the Coco. Sure, the base hardware can be quite 
cheap, but then you need to add all the peripherals, and the screen, to 
bring it in line - functionally - with a software emulation on a cheap notebook.

My argument is specifically about the "experience". It's my personal opinion 
that a software emulator running on a notebook - regardless of how 
seamlessly it is wrapped under auto-boot scripts - just doesn't cut the 
mustard. At the end of the day - to me - it seems ludicrous that I'd 
"cripple" my PC by running a soft-core CPU to emulate a mythical machine.

[An aside: it makes much more sense to me to simply write a DECB compiler 
for the PC, and/or perhaps a graphics emulation layer, and bypass the need 
for a 6809 core at all, if what you ultimately want to develop for is a 
"Coco4". Even then, this is not really anything that can't be done 
relatively easily in any modern graphics library using any modern language 
on the PC (or browser for that matter)]

But I get that it makes no difference to others. And that's fine.

So no point debating it with me or anyone else. I don't think any of us on 
either side of the fence are going to be swayed at all.

A significant factor for me, personally, is the interfacing to legacy 
hardware, and that includes the Coco keyboard, floppy drives, the original 
joysticks, cartridges and even the composite monitors. At the same time, 
some - or even all - of those can be augmented/replaced with modern 
equivalents; PS/2 keyboard, SD/MMC card, GameCube/PSX joysticks, flash and 
VGA/DVI monitors. I like the idea of being able to plug my DoD cartridge 
into the "Coco4", but also have it running on a DVI monitor with Gamecube 
joysticks. Sure, I don't *need* to use a DoD cartridge, but it's pretty darn 
cool that I can! Ditto for using the original Coco keyboard.

One day.... ;)


|              Mark McDougall                | "Electrical Engineers do it
|  <http://members.iinet.net.au/~msmcdoug>   |   with less resistance!"

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