[Coladam] Coladam Digest, Vol 88, Issue 9

Joe Blenkle - Comcast jblenkle at comcast.net
Wed Oct 24 08:15:26 CEST 2012

I would welcome a new CV only because...

What do you do when the last original CV dies? There will be a day...

Then no new games, no new hardware, no nothing...

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim Notini" <jnoti2 at comcast.net>
To: "Eduardo Mello" <eduardo at opcodegames.com>; <coladam at adamcon.org>
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 10:40 PM
Subject: Re: [Coladam] Coladam Digest, Vol 88, Issue 9

> Eduardo,
> While I commend your incredible vision concerning this new and improved CV
> idea, I really do fear that there will be a VERY limited market for such 
> an
> item seeing as the retrogaming market for the CV, and especially the ADAM,
> is very small already. Even with full backwards compatibility with the
> current CV library and controllers (Roller Controller with it's odd-ball
> power adapter would have to be supported as well via an adapter or the
> inclusion of a compatible port on the new CV that would act as a
> pass-through to the new power supply), a greatly enhanced CV as you have
> listed out would probably draw the interest of only the hardcore CV fans 
> and
> a small amount of casual CV fans... especially in the price range of
> $150-$175. It's not so much that I am against the idea, so much as I would
> be very fearful of the amount of time and money that you would have to
> invest in such a project. It's a huge risk in my opinion, not the
> development of it because I am sure that you could pull it off, and I
> commend you for even considering it.
> Some things that come to mind concerning all the suped-up specs of this
> proposed new CV or CV2...
> - while all the spec improvements are awe-inspiring, without a library of
> games that take advantage of them and a group of programmers lined up to
> pump games out, it could be a tough sell except for the fact that it would
> function as a perfect replacement to the aging CV. I know you would have a
> couple game ready by the time of launch, but how many other programmers
> would be willing to write games for it especially seeing as there has only
> been one programmer to date, besides yourself, willing to develop a 
> MegaCart
> game in all the years that it's been available although 2 more (Nanochess
> and Mystery Man) are close to having their MegaCart games released. Aside
> for the fact that the CV2 would be backward compatiible with the CV, I 
> would
> be very weery of purchasing it with only one person supporting it with new
> games that take advantage of it's enhanced hardware features. Even then, I
> don't know how interested I would be in these "improved" games seeing as
> they just wouldn't be the CV style and feel anymore, it would be more on 
> the
> lines of MSX2, Amiga, ST, Super NES or Genesis.
> - If I or someone else wanted a vastly improved gaming system, wouldn't it
> be more logical to just pickup a SuperNES or Genesis at ridiculously low
> prices and then have access to either of those system's game libraries 
> which
> number in the 1000s. Most loose carts and even CIB can be had for dirt 
> cheap
> and then there is the option of using their versions of MultiCarts /
> Everdrives. Again, because of the easy availability of all these "newer 
> than
> CV" retro systems, it could prove to be extremely hard sell for a CV2. The
> main advantage the CV2 would hold is compatbility with all existng CV 
> warez,
> which leads me to believe that a more simple design concentrating on the
> improving the CV's main weaknesses of Video Output, Power Supply, 
> Controller
> ICs, overall aging of components, etc.would be the more feasible way to go
> either as a replacement board or as a new system.
> One example that comes to mind is the F18A by Matthew Haggerty. I guess I
> should re-read all the enhancements that it provides before using it as an
> example, but it seems to me that the only function it will ever provide 
> when
> installed in a CV or ADAM is improved video output via VGA. Will any CV
> programmers support it and it's enhanced capabilities especially seeing 
> that
> maybe ten CV owners have purchased one and I know with 100% certainty that
> there will not be any ADAM specific software written to take advantage of
> it's features especially seeing as I only know of one person, Tempest, 
> that
> has one.
> As far as the listed ADAM enhancements,  very cool to even consider them,
> but all of these proposed enhancements like 16Mb RAM, Ethernet, etc. would
> more than likely go unused. It's actually pretty awesome to even consider
> having such things available on the ADAM, but again, when it all boils 
> down
> to it, the average person in the retro scene just want to play games on 
> all
> this old gear, not perform any serious computer tasks, and any prospective
> new hardware should focus on making this a possibility. So what the ADAM
> World really needs most is an ADAMnet SD Drive like the one developed by
> Else a couple years ago but that uses a menu program to control mounting 
> and
> unmounting of Disk/DDP Image Files versus Else's method of using DIP
> Switches.
> Whatever route you decide to take, I know the end result will be an 
> amazing
> product and I wish you the best of luck. Maybe I am just too cautious when
> it comes to matters like this or prefer to keep things simpler.
> Jim
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Eduardo Mello" <eduardo at opcodegames.com>
> To: <coladam at adamcon.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 10:49 PM
> Subject: Re: [Coladam] Coladam Digest, Vol 88, Issue 9
>> Jim,
>> Now how about something a little more advanced than that. How about an
>> improved ADAM.
>> Because once the SGM is out, I was planning to start working to on an
>> improved ColecoVision. So we would expand on that and have an improved
>> ADAM based on the new CV architecture. Of course we would need to add
>> ADAMnet, which I am not totally familiar with, but I guess that can be
>> emulated by a large CPLD.
>> For the new CV I am planning a Z80 at 7.14MHz, with software
>> selectable clock, a V9958 for video, which is TMS9928 compatible but
>> offers a number of interesting improvements specially for computer
>> applications. It has four new bitmap modes, maximum resolution of
>> 512x424 interlaced, 256 simultaneous RGB colors on screen, and a 80
>> columns text mode. 16 programmable color palettes from 512 colors on
>> all modes, hardware scroll. It also offers a special variation of the
>> 256 color modes where we can have 19,000 colors on screen, using YJK
>> encoding (a kind of JPEG variation). The V9958 also offers a blitter,
>> like some 16 bits from the 80s.
>> In addition to that a DMA and interruption controllers. And a couple
>> of new sound chips, the extra PSG from the SGM + a YM2151, awesome for
>> music.
>> For the ADAM variation we would add a RTC, a more flexible and
>> powerful MMU (perhaps allowing 16MB of RAM to be mapped), a few on
>> board connection ports like serial and parallel, and of course
>> ADAMnet. And was you mentioned, SD. Perhaps even ethernet, I know that
>> you can buy an ethernet controller those days that even includes a
>> TCP/IP stack, so you don't need to implement that by software, which
>> would be very inefficient anyway using a Z80.
>> So it would still keep the retro flavor of the original, but expand on
>> many areas. Of course I would need help with the base software stuff,
>> like OS, BIOS, etc.
>> But I believe that with good planning it would be possible.
>> Eduardo
>> On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM, Jim Notini <jnoti2 at comcast.net> wrote:
>>> That could be a tall order to accomplish, Shon, to emulate thru the
>>> AtariMax cart.
>>> Actually, something on the lines of Opcode's upcoming SGM might be 
>>> easier
>>> seeing as it's " BASICALLY " (and I say this very lightly as I don't 
>>> have
>>> the hardware skills to know for sure) a very scalled down Expansion
>>> Module #3 ADAM Logic Board that retains the onboard 32K of RAM, but adds
>>> an additional sound chip.
>>> What could be a very interesting project for someone with the abilities
>>> such as Opcode would be to expand upon the SGM and add the necessary
>>> elements of the ADAM Computer (ADAMnet, E.O.S., I/O, 96K of RAM (32K
>>> standard plus 64K expanded to cover programs that require expanded
>>> memory), etc. and do away with items that wouldn't be necessary such as
>>> the Digital Data Drives, BUT replace them with an ADAMnet compatible and
>>> built-in SD Drive. So in essense, you have a miniaturized Expansion
>>> Module #3 (probably could be the size of the originally planned Coleco
>>> SGM) with the additional sound chip that Opcode's SGM provides that 
>>> would
>>> install in the CV's Expansion Bus. Again, I'm no hardware guru, but it
>>> probably could even be powered by the CV Power Supply. Seeing as this
>>> dream configuration would contain the ADAMnet communications protocol,
>>> one could even connect an ADAM Keyboard and Disk Drive to it as long as 
>>> 2
>>> ADAMnet ports where provided as well.
>>> Something like this could be very enticing for current CV owners who
>>> would have all the benefits of Opcode's SGM along with having a nearly
>>> complete ADAM (everything someone would want) without the space drawback
>>> and then have access to all ADAM software via the SD Drive and disk
>>> images. While there are a lot of dudes among the ADAM Homebrew software,
>>> there are indeed enough quality titles that could make this a worthwhile
>>> project as well as all the Coleco made ADAM software.
>>> Also, if an SD Drive could be developed in the manner mentioned above, 
>>> it
>>> could be offered as an individual product as well for those that own an
>>> ADAM.
>>> Kinda reminds me of a series of articles that Barry Wilson used to 
>>> write,
>>> "What the ADAM World Really Needs...".
>>>   ----- Original Message -----
>>>   From: Kevin Powers
>>>   To: Jim Notini
>>>   Cc: coladam at adamcon.org
>>>   Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 6:50 PM
>>>   Subject: Re: [Coladam] Coladam Digest, Vol 88, Issue 9
>>>   I would love to have access to any of the below!
>>>   On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 6:19 PM, Jim Notini <jnoti2 at comcast.net> 
>>> wrote:
>>>     Back in the day, late 80's and early 90's, Jim Walters of Walters
>>> Software Co. started producing cartridges for use with the ADAM 
>>> Computer.
>>> His initial cartridge release was the "SmartDSK Cart", which was a set 
>>> of
>>> ramdisk utilties, later he drastically updated this cart and changed the
>>> name to "ADAM's DeskTop" and also made it available on a Prom Chip which
>>> could be installed in an open socket on the M.I. Parallel Interface 
>>> Card.
>>> He also developed a cart called "SmartMATE", which was for use with the
>>> original MFM (and RLL ??? ) line of M.I. Hard Disk Drives... I don't
>>> think that he ever updated this Hard Drive utility for use with M.I.'s
>>> later line of IDE Hard Drives, but if he did, then all we need to do is
>>> track down one of these carts and dump it to a rom image file and then
>>> place on either the AtariMax 128-in-1 USB or Ultimate SD MultiCarts to
>>> use with ADAMcon's new IDE/CF package.
>>>     Seeing as Jim Walters spent all the time and effort to get setup to
>>> produce cartridges, he also made available a service to place numerous
>>> ADAM programs onto cart as a special order service. There were
>>> limitations as to what could be placed onto a cart and the program had 
>>> to
>>> be 32K or smaller... SmartBASIC v1.0 was one of these program that could
>>> be placed onto cart and numerous copies were sold although I haven't 
>>> seen
>>> one become available since getting back into the scene in late 2009.
>>>     Probably the only people that might have some of these different
>>> carts are ADAMcon and Rich Clee seeing as they were smart enough to keep
>>> there original collections all these years as well as acquire numerous
>>> systems over the years from people looking to find a good home for them
>>> when they didn't need them anymore.
>>>     I've been meaning to send Jim an email to discuss some things and 
>>> now
>>> I have even more reason to do so.
>>>     Jim
>>>     ----- Original Message ----- From: "Kevin Powers" 
>>> <kjpmail at gmail.com>
>>>     To: <coladam at adamcon.org>
>>>     Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 4:10 PM
>>>     Subject: Re: [Coladam] Coladam Digest, Vol 88, Issue 9
>>>       What's this about a SmartBASIC boot cartridge?  And where do I get
>>>       one?  And how much does it cost?  And can its ROM be used via the
>>>       Atarimax Ultimate SD cart... when/if I get one?
>>>         Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2012 04:16:34 GMT
>>>         From: "shonmccallum at juno.com" <shonmccallum at juno.com>
>>>         Subject: Re: [Coladam] Coladam Digest, Vol 88, Issue 7
>>>         To: coladam at adamcon.org
>>>         Message-ID: <20121023.001634.21103.3 at webmail08.vgs.untd.com>
>>>         Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252
>>>         The Atarimax Ultimate SD cartirdge could be used as a boot
>>> cartridge if someone spends the time to do so. Just like the old
>>> SmartBasic and Walters EOS boot cartridges.
>>>       _______________________________________________
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>>>       Coladam at adamcon.org
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>>> Coladam mailing list
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