[Coco] CoCo Video Player

Steve Bjork 6809er at srbsoftware.com
Thu Mar 17 14:34:58 EDT 2011

First, I never put down John's coding.  I said...
"Not saying you (or any one else) could do better.  It's just that the 
CoCo can't do video. "

As others have noted, this "video" could not been done back then.  The 
source data for this "video" is stored in modern SD card.  A stock CoCo 
3 with parts sold in Radio Shack stores could play only about a minute 
of this type of " video".  I had a Tandy 5 MB drive (special order) and 
even that would only hold a few minutes of "video".

As for "revolutionary", I don't think so.  The Apple ][ was doing short 
little "video" before the CoCo hit the market.  Most of the coders used 
a smaller video window to get better quality of "video".  (Maybe John 
should redesign his player to use a smaller window to overcome the 
limits of a 8-bit system.)

If we go back to when the CoCo 3 first hit the market, there were many 
computers that where doing real video.  Both the Mac and Amiga where 
playing real full screen video that any consumer would want to watch.  
Move forward to the early 90's and you got the Amiga/Video Toaster, a 
video studio on your desk.

As for your statement ...
"If that was done in the late 80's or early 90's it would be classed as 
revolutionary for a 8bit system no matter what the video quality was like."

Either you are looking back in time with rose color glasses or you only 
had CoCo and never seen what other computer systems where doing back then.

We talked earlier about John's program needed a modern storage system to 
hold the video, but there is more then that here.  John needed modern 
computers to digitize the video and convert it into a format that his 
video program on the CoCo 3 could use.  Once again, this is stuff the 
CoCo 3 just can't do.

Even when I was creating games for the CoCo, I need other computer 
systems to get the job done.  Mac, IBM PC and Amiga where just a few of 
the computers I used to create the Graphics, sound, music and level 
design of the final product.  Why? The CoCo was falling behind other 
systems of the day.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the little CoCo.  It was a simply designed a 
computer that was easy know and control.  The 6809 was a true 
programmer's CPU that never got in the way of writing code. (The last 
great 8-bit CPU.)

But with a simple design came limits to what the computer can do.  There 
is a maximum limit to the speed that memory could be access.  Even if 
the video image was DMA into memory, you could only do 1/2 the frame 
rate since only 8-bits of 16-bit memory bus access per cycle.   The 
simple designed was also the wall that kept me from creating better 
games for the CoCo.  (I went on to creating games for Sega, Nintendo and 
Sony with better graphics and sound systems.)

As for the 6309 being that much better than the 6809 and would have 
saved the CoCo 3...
1) The 6309 was not available at the time the CoCo 3 was being designed.
2) The only reason that we got the CoCo3 was it cost less to 
manufactured than the CoCo 2.  (The 6309 was too costly.)
3) The 6309 is a bit better than a 6809, but not by a factor of 10.

One more thing, did you what to say to John....

I Congratulate John on even attemp"ting such a demo lol?"

The lol is "Laughing Out Loud".  Do you really what to laugh at him?  
While some use it for "lots of love", most do not.  Since you are using 
a keyboard then maybe you should stick with "King's English" and not use 
abbreviations that can be taken the wrong way.

Steve (6809er) Bjork

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