[Coco] The BIGGEST PROBLEM with (So-Called) NEW CoCo Hardware...

Gene Heskett gheskett at shentel.net
Sun Mar 5 09:51:54 EST 2017

On Sunday 05 March 2017 08:45:43 Joe Schutts via Coco wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> I have been involved with the CoCo since the CoCo 1 came out after I
> switched over from an old Altair 8080 (I got tired of throwing
> switches). There has been a large uptake of (So Called) NEW hardware
> MOD's out there for the CoCo but there is a major problem with most of
> them. That problem is that most of these "NEW" Hardware MOD's require
> OLDER hardware than is available in many cases. Let me give you some
> examples. 1. Some people are making CoCo Video Adapters that use a VGA
> adapter for monitors while many of the newer TV's tend to require an
> HDMI adapter for their input. Why not design an HDMI adapter instead?

> 2. Others are making MIDI adapters that use the older (round 5-PIN
> Serial Port) adapters when more of the modern MIDI keyboards
> (especially the cheaper keyboards) are switching over to the NEWER
> USB-B adapters. Granted that the HIGHER END keyboards tend to stay
> with the older 5-PIN adapters. Why not make an adapter that uses BOTH
> connectors?

> 3. Others have made Hard Drive adapters that use the older 
> SCSI or MFM or even IDE Hard Drives for storage. Has anyone tried to
> buy a "NEW" SCSI or MFM or even an IDE Hard Drive recently? Does
> anyone even know WHAT the "MFM" stood for? Not only are they getting
> harder and harder to find, but getting one that "ISN'T" Re-Conditioned
> is darn near impossible. Why not design a Hard Drive adapter that uses
> a SATA connector? 

And smallish solid state SATA drives are commodity stuff fron Kingston 
these days. I have one in an old Dell I was going to use on my new (to 
me, its pushing 70 yo) lathe I am CNC'ing.  But its at least 200x the 
volume, power consumption, and weight of the $35 raspberry pi 3b I am 
using. Technology does move on folks.

> At least it would be whole lot easier to find a NEW 
> Hard Drive for it and probably cheaper too.

> 4. Then there is the OLD 
> Serial Port "Printer" adapters. How many of you CoCo users out there
> STILL have an OLD Serial Port Printer? Why not build a NEW "USB"
> Printer Port adapter so we can use our Ink Jet or Laser Printers???
> Does anyplace even sell fanfold paper anymore? Probably not. This is
> something I would buy in a second.

I believe I saw a box of tractor feed at Staples recently. A bit dusty 

> Right now I have to send any file I 
> want to print from the CoCo to my PC and print from the PC (which is a
> PAIN IN THE "You know where"). I'm sure others will find something I
> missed and add to the list. Let me know what you think of this... Take
> care...
> Joe...

drivewire, and some scripts I wrote make that 100% automatic, so its not 
a pita. I list the file to the drivewire version of /p, and walk up the 
stairs to the b&w laser printer here to pick up the listing as the laser 
spits it out at 19 pages a minute. Usually done by the time I get these 
82 yo legs to get me up the stairs. In a beautiful and easy to read 
typeface, not the error prone 7x9 that a dot matrix gives you.  Those 
scripts, 2 of them, which might need a trip thru your fav editor to 
adjust for your hardware are on my web page. You will need to install 
inotifywait, or whatever your PC's OS calls it, to synchronize it all.

The rest of your rant is 100% valid.

Cheers, Gene Heskett
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Genes Web page <http://geneslinuxbox.net:6309/gene>

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