Sitenotice: 11/29/2018: The wiki is back. It turns out, some anti-virus product on my web server had an issue with the latest version of PHP. My server techs have resolved this issue, and things should be working again. During the investigation, I did restore to a backup from September. There is a chance that any changes done since then were lost, but I do not recall any edits. --OS-9 Al
8/30/2016: Massive re-work is being done on the InfoBox Templates. Read that page to keep up with the plan for that, and adding better keyword tags (categories) to all the pages. --OS-9 Al (talk) 15:28, 31 August 2016 (CDT)
|Looking for CoCo help? If you are trying to do something with your old Color Computer, read this quick reference. Want to contribute to this wiki? Be sure to read this first. This CoCo wiki project was started on October 29, 2004. --OS-9 Al|
This page was last updated on 02/6/2007. Total Pages: 649. Total Files: 937.
Emulation First...??? Anything emulated can be put into hardware later. It's important for this to be possible. The emulator will just lack one thing that hardware will have -- a CoCo bus (cartridge port) to attach things to. Otherwise, the two should strictly follow each other. There are things that could be done in emulation that can't be done in hardware, and vice-versa. If the emulator is designed with hardware in mind, the two "levels" of CC5 (emulation and hardware) will be compatible, increasing the potential number of users. This is imperative!
An emulator doesn't have to look like a PC. There are many small boards out there that can be used to build a custom cased system. So what a CC5 looks like is open to the individual's initerpretation -- whether it's an emulator or new hardware.
For this reason it would be best, IMHO, if the emulator didn't require Windows. Some form of DOS would work, maybe even a scaled down Linux. Something that would easily boot from a flash memory card. One thing I miss about a CoCo is turning it on and having it ready to go in a few seconds. I don't think it's necessary to boot immediately from ROM -- all computer users are used to having to wait for a system to boot now. Windows just takes so long to boot it's not worht the overhead. Besides, the goal is to have the emulator look and "feel" like something other than a standard PC. It should boot straight into the emulator with the background OS as transparent as possible.
The URLs for the two most common CC3 emulators are:
1. http://www.vavasour.ca/jeff/trs80.html -- By Jeff Vavasour. Freeware, no support from author. Written in 16 bit Intel machine language. Site includes source code. Will not run under Windows. There is also a beta version in source code only that has 640x480 16-color and 320x200 256-color video modes, support for the full PC keyboard, and 16MB of RAM.
2. http://discover-net.net/~dmkeil/coco/coco3.htm -- By David Kiel. Supported by author. Written in 16 bit Intel machine language. No source code. Will run under Windows 95 and 98. Will run under 2000 and XP, but access to PC hardware such as: Sound / Joystick / Floppy or Serial I/O are not supported in 2000 or XP.
The Kiel emulator also has some added features such as additional graphics resolutions. I suggest all the added features be included in the CC5 emulator. What I'd really think would be best is if the Kiel emulator could be re-written to include any added features that can be translated into hardware, delete those that can't (but not utilities that work in the underlying DOS, such as disk transfers), and/or change features that can't be translated into hardware in such a way that they will work on the emulator and in a hardware translation in the same manner. Since Jeff Vavasour has generously given the community source code, it might be best to start with his beta version code and work from there. Both of these require a programmer with 16 bit Intel experience. Any takers?
I'd also like to see memory mapping expanded to allow more memory in BASIC, and some enhancements to BASIC. Enhancing BASIC in such a way that it will remain backwards compatible will be the most difficult. Since any programs written on a CC5 that take advantage of enhancements won't run on a CC3, maybe backwards compatibility of BASIC isn't important. There could always be a way to switch to an original CoCo ROM for compatibility, maybe a boot software switch for the emulator, and a hardware switch for the actual board, to allow booting in one or the other at start-up. There could be a third position for OS-9 -- which would also need some tweaking to take advantage of any new enhancements to the "hardware".
As far as a base hardware platform for the emulator, both the above will run on P166 machines. I'm setting an HP Omnibook P133 up with the Vavasour emulator now... or at least attempting to!