A Report: "Why I Like Emulators"

From: Roger Merchberger <zmerch_at_northernway.net>
Date: Thu Jun 19 15:31:04 1997

Due to massive amounts of caffeine & sleep deprivation, A.R. Duell said:

>> >I really don't see the interest in emulators if the real hardware still
>> >exists. I'd much rather have the real thing.....

>I think we're rather missing each other's points here. There's nothing at
>all 'wrong' with using an emulator as an aid to writing software or
>whatever to run on a classic computer. I know plenty of people who've used
>the PDP11 emulator to do just that. And I used one of the PDP8 emulators
>to try things on when I was rebuilding some bits of my 8/e.

Ah. Now I see... your first comments on that were a bit vague and I didn't
know that was the point you were trying to make.

>But too many people (not on this list, thankfully :-)) seem to regard the
>emualtor as a _replacement_ for preserving the hardware. This is what I
>commenting on...

Yes, for that, I do agree... emulators are an augmentation and a tool, not
a replacement.

>> Also, I plan on getting a CD-RW (that's re-writable!) within the next two
>> weeks, and I plan on archiving all my software on CD-R... cain't do that on
>> a CoCo! ;^>
>Give me one good reason why not? It should be _trivial_ to use a 5380 or
>something like it to make a SCSI cartridge for the CoCo. Add an OS-9
>device driver and you should be able to burn CDs....

Reason? OK. 2 words: Buffer Underrun. If you can't keep the buffer of the
CD-ROM recorder full, you now have an instant "5-inch Digital Dog
Frisbee"(TM) and I don't think a CoCo (8-bit, 1.78Mhz) has enough bandwidth
to keep the buffer full -- remember, the CoCo would have to pull the data
from a hard drive to put on the CD-R at the same time, plus OS-9's
overhead, etc.

It would require a dedicated box with lotsa memory & a fast hard drive for
the CoCo to send the data to, so the CD-R drive would have data fast enough
to burn one... Uhhhh, can you say '486+? (or '040+ for you Mac aficionados)

_Reading_ a CD-ROM would be trivial... personally, if there's such a thing
as "impossible for a CoCo" burning a functional CD-R is the closest I've
ever encountered.

Roger Merchberger       | If at first you don't succeed,
Programmer, NorthernWay | nuclear warhead disarmament should
zmerch_at_northernway.net  | *not* be your first career choice.
Received on Thu Jun 19 1997 - 15:31:04 BST

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