Micro$oft Biz'droid Lusers (was: OT email response format)

From: Richard Erlacher <edick_at_idcomm.com>
Date: Wed Apr 24 10:43:52 2002

See below, plz.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Smith" <csmith_at_amdocs.com>
To: <classiccmp_at_classiccmp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 24, 2002 8:36 AM
Subject: RE: Micro$oft Biz'droid Lusers (was: OT email response format)

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Richard Erlacher [mailto:edick_at_idcomm.com]
> Knowing this it probably more rhetorical:
> > I haven't looked at the insides of the COCO2 I've got sitting
> > here, but I
> > don't see any place for a FDD or a HDD. Are there serial
> Yep, that's a problem. Mine had a Floppy controller that plugged
> into the cartridge slot. The tape setup wasn't bad either, for the
> time.
An easy way to spot a product intended for the toy market as opposed to one
intended to be seen as a computer, is that the disk drive interface is
> > ports anywhere that
> Yeah, I'm certain there was a serial port, but I can't tell you
> about it. It's been a while.
> > I can use? How much R/W memory does it have? How do you
> R/W memory? It has up to 64k of RAM if that's what you mean. If
> it were a CoCo 3, it would have up to 512.
What I meant, of course, is how much memory is in the box as shipped.
> > expand it to do
> > something useful?
> It's not bad with _only_ the computer, and a disk setup.
> > ... see what I mean? You have to do so much to the thing
> > that RS sells you
> > that it takes up a whole tabletop just to get to what's in
> > the PC's box, and
> You didn't mention that the PSUs were external on many peripherals
> too ;)
> > if you compare the price of a typical PC Clone available the
> > same year the
> > COCO2 was offered, how do they compare in price, avaialble
> > software base, etc?
> There's lots of software for CoCo, but I don't have numbers.
> > With the COCO, you're better off starting from a wirewrap
> > panel and a bucket
> I think that may be an exaggeration. :)
The COCO schematics I once saw were pretty much direct copies of the Motorola
application notes for their 6847+"sequential address multiplexer" approach to
a "video terminal." It's been at least a decade, probably more like two,
since I had any interest in the 6847, but IIRC, the only character display
format that the 6847 would support was 16 lines of 32 characters. It was
capable of 256x192 graphics in 4 colors, and (maybe) some slightly higher
resolution in monochrome. It was, compared to other sorts of video display
hardware, a complete toy. There must have been some better way of displaying
characters from the COCO, with as many people as seem to like it, but I've no
idea how.
> > of parts, since the video on the COCO is not "up to snuff,"
> > i.e. 80x24 characters-capable. It uses that ridiculous 6847, IIRC, and
> Actually, there are applications that do 80x24 in some high-res
> video mode, for word processing and the like. I ran at least one
> on my CoCo1 with 64k of RAM.
Did they require some sort of hardware enhancement to do that? Once I get
through with what I'm doing today, I'll get out the screwdriver and have a
look inside the COCO2. I did peek inside to see whether the WD 1772 was
inside, which it wasn't, and that was what I was after when I snagged the
Computers of the '80's had mass storage. Video toys did not. That's why I
refer to things that didn't/couldn't have internal mass storage interfaces as
toys and allow that things that did/could have them as computers. Later on,
that was no longer a valid basis for classifying them, since it simply became
cheaper to put the mass storage interface inside the box. In the '80's, toy
vendors wanted you to buy small, at an inflated price, and then buy small
again, also at an inflated price. Computer makers had to compete with one
another, while game/toy vendors didn't have to compete with computer makers.
Received on Wed Apr 24 2002 - 10:43:52 BST

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