Wednesday, September 20, 2017

RetroChallenge Entry -- RC2017/10

Over the years I have participated in RetroChallenge events several times. They are a lot of fun, plus the idea of an organized event helps to provide some discipline to help with motivation for spending time on a silly project.

Organizer vs. Participant

During the past year I have actually taken on the role of organizing the RetroChallenge events. Being the organizer (and judge) certainly counts as participation, but not in the really fun way. Sadly, during the last RetroChallenge event I never got around to actually entering with a real project. Good fun was still had by all, but with all things considered I would prefer to have a project even if (as the judge) I must recuse myself from prize eligibility... ;-)

What is my entry?

Friends and fans alike will know of my fondness for the Tandy Color Computer. Part of the CoCo's history is a precursor machine known as the TRS-80 VIDEOTEX terminal. This machine was not much different than a "TV typewriter" with a built-in modem. However, the VIDEOTEX terminal had a similar appearance to the CoCo and it shared the same basic chipset as the CoCo. Nevertheless, little is known about this CoCo progenitor today.

I just so happen to have two examples of this type of machine. For my project, I intend to do some reverse engineering of the system, hopefully producing at least a "block diagram" schematic and/or basic "memory map". If things go really well, then I might even attempt to throw together a new machine emulation for MAME. Or if nothing else, maybe I can hack together a replacement ROM for the machine? Oh, the possibilities...

Does that sound interesting to you? Then I guess you'll have to stay tuned...

UPDATE: 18 November 2017

Well...too sick, lame, and/or lazy to do much for RC2017/10. Hopefully I can revisit this project before too long! As always, stay tuned...