Frank Pittel fwp at deepthought.com
Sat Dec 24 18:31:10 EST 2011


I agree completely about what drivewire has done for the coco! I use
it instead the CF card on my superide and avoid physical floppies whenever
and however possible! They're getting old and their reliability leaves a lot
to be desired these days.

If you're interested in getting a coco3fpga it's already possible. I got
my altera DE1 from Terasic for about $200 with shipping and the coco3fpga software
is available for free download.

The Other Frank

On Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 08:13:46PM -0600, John Orwen wrote:
> I have to agree .  I soon want to get rid of floppy drives and
> everything connected to the coco.
> Two years ago, before my medical problems, I copied about 800
> floppies to the hard drive on my PC
> and backed up the folders to a 16GB thumb drive.  I threw away the
> floppies and gave to Good Willl
> the 16 Tandy flip top boxes that held them.
> I started with a Coco I in 1980, and have had at one time or for a
> long period of time just about every upgrade you could get for it,
> including getting several Coco II's and several Coco III's.  I have
> had an Atomtronics add on board
> that I ran FLex on, I had a Burke and Burke controller connected to
> 20 MB seagate Hard drives and also
> a Cloud 9  TC3 Scsi controller.  For a time I had a Nocan3 board
> attached to a Coco III with 8 MB of memory
> that it could access.  I never got into OS9 until recently so I
> never did much with it.  I have in the past had
> Speech cards and Orchestra 90 cards.
> I used the Coco to drive midi keyboards and used Lyra and Jukebox.
> I have always had a good interest in what this tiny 8-bit machine
> could be made to do.  I would very much like to see this tiny 8-bit
> power preserved in this overwhelming technology that exists today.
> I want to see its power of
> programming kept intact but embrace the technology that exists
> today.  I don't want to see the years of baggage
> that it aquired over the last thirty years preserved along with it.
> The more simple a replacement board ( FPGA  ) can be made that will
> connect to the current technology the
> better I think it will be.  I don't want to connect power hungry
> noisy floppy drives to it.  I don't want to plug
> bulky clumsy cards into it.  I don't want to hook up no so good
> monitor to it.  If it has flash rom that will replace cartridges ,
> has a slot for for a tiny camera size SDHC card into to store files
> on, a serial port to connect devices
> like the bitbanger, and has a VGA port to connect to a current LCD
> monitor and will run drivewire to connect
> to a PC, it will have everything I could have ever dreamed a
> replacement for the coco would have.
> I think that Drivewire is absolutely the best software that has ever
> come along for the coco in its entire history.
> I know first hand that Drivewire will go well into the future.
> I have Drivewire4 installed as an App in the UI of Windows 8
> Ultimate 64 bit PR.  If you have a touch screen type monitor in the
> summer of 2012 when Windows 8 is designed to be released, all you
> will have to do is touch the App
> for DW4 on the monitor and it will open up active on the desktop.
> It is working 100% right now on the Windows 8 PR.
> As soon as the CCoco3 FPGA is released for sale by someone, I will
> be one of the first in line to get one.  I am hoping that all one
> will have to do is connect it to the PC, connect a monitor  a
> Joystick , a power supply and a PC type keyboard and download the
> roms and drivewire right into it.
> Thats my take on it
> On 12/23/2011 11:05 AM, Frank Pittel wrote:
> >My understanding is that work is being done to allow access to the SD card on the
> >altera de1 board with coco3fpga. In my case I've been using drivewire with my
> >physical coco for a long time and am doing what I can to move away from physical
> >floppies as fast as I can. As a result I never considered needing to connect to a
> >physical machine as a limitation.
> >
> >The Other Frank
> >
> >
> >On Fri, Dec 23, 2011 at 11:23:46AM -0500, Frank Swygert wrote:
> >>I agree, but this means that another computer must be used with the CoCo3FPGA for any storage. That makes it a bit less desirable as a CoCo replacement, but since the CoCo can't connect directly to the internet I suppose another computer will always be necessary to some degree. I think it is still imperative that the computer be able to function without another computer. Emulating floppy and/or hard discs with the SD card slot is probably the best way to do that -- just not currently implemented. Maybe going through Drivewire (since that's built in, I think) to the SD card would be possible? Is there a way to detect when an SD card is present? I'm not familiar enough with SD card electronics to know. Would be nice if Drivewire could be programmed to look to the SD card when present instead of the serial port.
> >>
> >>Hmmm.... how hard would it be to make a small stand-alone board that could access an SD card and plug into the serial port? Could that be done cheaply enough with something like an Arduino? It would have to run a version of DW in order to work, so that would have to be ported/written, but that might be the easiest to implement stand-alone storage. Then one could plug into the SD card box or a regular computer. Or could something like this be programmed into the FPGA on the DE-1 board and use the SD slot already there??
> >>
> >>--------------------
> >>Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 20:00:31 -0600
> >>From: Frank Pittel<fwp at deepthought.com>
> >>
> >>The coco3fpga connects to a computer via drivewire so things like the
> >>SuperIDE, and other floppy controllers aren't of much use.
> >>
> >>-- 
> >>Frank Swygert
> >>Publisher, "American Motors Cars"
> >>Magazine (AMC)
> >>For all AMC enthusiasts
> >>http://www.amc-mag.com
> >>(free download available!)
> >>
> >>
> >>--
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> >
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