[Coladam] Super ColecoVision/ADAM

Jim Notini jnoti2 at comcast.net
Thu Oct 25 00:25:42 CEST 2012

Actually, I have to give Marcel de Kogel (author of ADAMem) credit for 
releasing the last know "NEW" software program for the ADAM in 1997 called 
"Cosmo Fighter - The Super Game".

Funny thing is that while setting this program up to work on the IDE Card/CF 
Card package that was just released, I noticed after all these years in one 
of the text screens that Marcel credits me for helping him develop the game. 
I still remember all the late nights using a hand scanner to copy all the 
technical info. that I had back then and emailing it to Marcel on a 56K 
dial-up connection.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eduardo Mello" <eduardo at opcodegames.com>
To: "Joe Blenkle - Comcast" <jblenkle at comcast.net>
Cc: "Jim Notini" <jnoti2 at comcast.net>; <coladam at adamcon.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 3:24 PM
Subject: Re: [Coladam] Super ColecoVision/ADAM

> Ok, but how about utilities, applications, even regular games....
> BASIC programs? I mean, anything would benefit from an slightly
> improved ADAM.
> Eduardo
> On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM, Joe Blenkle - Comcast
> <jblenkle at comcast.net> wrote:
>> Don't tell you guys don't create new stuff for the ADAM? I mean, have you
>> been playing a half dozen Super Games for 30 years?
>> Yup, pretty much so...I don't think anyone has created a true super game
>> since Coleco dumped ADAM way back when...
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Eduardo Mello" 
>> <eduardo at opcodegames.com>
>> To: "Jim Notini" <jnoti2 at comcast.net>
>> Cc: <coladam at adamcon.org>
>> Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 6:33 AM
>> Subject: [Coladam] Super ColecoVision/ADAM
>>> Jim,
>>> Well, it was you that proposed a new sort of ADAM in your original
>>> message,
>>> so I just expanded on the concept based on ideas I have for the CV2 or
>>> whatever we call it.
>>> Now, I understand your concerns, we have already discussed that and I
>>> think
>>> you are being very realistic and have pretty good points.
>>> However you might be super-estimating things a bit in some areas. Let me
>>> clarify.
>>> First, this isn't a 16 bit caliber console as you mention below. Not by 
>>> a
>>> long shot. As powerful as the V9958 may sound for example, it isn't an
>>> Amiga killer, neither is it more capable than let's say a Sega Master
>>> System. There is a 3rd chip in the V99 line, the V9990, now that is the
>>> Genesis meets the Amiga on steroid, but we are not talking about it 
>>> here.
>>> Second, you are forgetting that all the new stuff can be used optionally
>>> by
>>> new games, most of them with very little effort. The V9958 offers 
>>> hardware
>>> scroll, programmable color palette and 8 sprites per scanline. Those are
>>> all features seriously missing in the original TMS9928, and are features
>>> that could be used with little programming effort by any new game to
>>> create
>>> an enhanced experience if the hypothetical new console is detected for
>>> example.
>>> Sound stuff is another thing that can be used optionally. In fact
>>> nanochess
>>> is creating a new game that run on regular CVs and use the SGM second 
>>> PSG
>>> if it detected, for improved music.
>>> That said, let's review your points...
>>>> 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.
>>> You kidding me. People are playing almost $100 to get their CV 
>>> refurbished
>>> by Todd. Lot's of people...
>>>> 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.
>>> The big question how much it would cost to have an exact clone of the CV
>>> produced, versus how much to have all those improvements. If the price
>>> different is minimum, let's say, less than $50, then I don't see why 
>>> don't
>>> go with the improvements, if just because we can.
>>>> 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.
>>> Actually CollectorVision Mario Bros is also a MegaCart.
>>>> 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.
>>> We surely don't get as far as Super NES/Genesis capabilities. But again
>>> remember the enhanced features that can be used optionally.
>>>> - 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.
>>> A valid point, but we get again to the matter of total production costs. 
>>> I
>>> checked with my sources in China for example, and they are some of the
>>> best
>>> out there, they can get you any NOS chip next day, and new V9958s are 
>>> now
>>> cheaper than TMS9928, actually half the price. Besides the V9958 has a
>>> much
>>> improved RGB video output. So why would I pay more for something when I
>>> can
>>> get some other that is half the price, has better video quality, more
>>> features? Even if I don't touch any of the new features, it is still a
>>> better buy option. Z80 is another example. It is much easier to get a 
>>> PLCC
>>> 8MHz Z80 today than look for NOS 4MHz DIP Z80. So why don't take 
>>> advantage
>>> of that and have the option to double the CV Z80 speed by software, even
>>> if
>>> it never get used. I understand your point if it was a matter of paying
>>> more for stuff you are never going to use, but how about paying less for
>>> stuff you are never going to use but still backward compatible?
>>>> 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.
>>> We are talking about a VDP replacement that costs as much as an ADAM
>>> itself, not a very good comparison I think. The cost/benefit ratio is 
>>> very
>>> low, as it solves a single problem at a very high cost.
>>>> 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.
>>> Don't tell you guys don't create new stuff for the ADAM? I mean, have 
>>> you
>>> been playing a half dozen Super Games for 30 years?
>>> The V9958 80 columns text mode is exactly the same as the TMS9928, 
>>> just...
>>> with 80 columns. So applications can be easily ported. Don't you have
>>> DOSes
>>> or anything? CP/M stuff?
>>>> 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.
>>> Well, thanks for the kind words. Again, I understand your points, I 
>>> think
>>> they are valid concerns. But if we can produce something that is better
>>> for
>>> about the same price as it would cost to produce a clone (because no
>>> matter
>>> if it is V9958, TMS9928, 4MHz or 8MHz Z80s, this is all very old tech, 
>>> you
>>> know), then I think it is worth a shot.
>>> Eduardo
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> Coladam at adamcon.org
>>> http://adamcon.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/coladam
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