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Remember the TRS-80 MC-10?

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Are the graphics similar to the COCO 2, or a litte better like the COCO 3?

No!!!!, they are much worse!!!!!, if you like green screens and big blocky characters then you will probably love it.

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Are the graphics similar to the COCO 2, or a litte better like the COCO 3?

There are only two games that had graphics kinda on par with coco 2 PMODE3

Lost Worlds Pinball, and the port done of Pac-Man.

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Are the graphics similar to the COCO 2, or a litte better like the COCO 3?

The MC-10 has most of the graphics modes of the CoCo 2 with a few exceptions.

Modes that take 6K of RAM can't be used because an address line on the 6847 VDG isn't attached and it doesn't have the SAM chip used in the CoCo 1/2 so the semi-graphics modes the SAM adds aren't supported. So no 256x192 2 color mode, no 128x192 4 color mode and some semigraphics modes that aren't supported in the CoCo3 either.

The 128x192 4 color mode has rectangular pixels so the 128x96 4 color mode isn't too bad. That mode was used for PAC-MAN and Lost World Pinball which are pretty good examples of what the machine is capable of.

Only one of the semigraphics modes the SAM added was very useful so most people won't miss those.

It's the missing 256x192 2 color mode that is the biggest drawback since it offered better colors though artifacting and offered much more detailed graphics.

 

There is a mod to add the two 6K hi-res modes if you don't mind doing some soldering, but even if you modify the MC-10 so it can use 6K of video RAM, the ROM points interrupts to memory used by the hi-res modes. The only way around that is by using some sort of external expansion that disables the internal ROM and replaces it with it's own. It's doable but certainly not simple.

The other key drawback is lack of support for graphics modes from BASIC. Since the machine came with so little RAM, it doesn't really let you even use all the modes it supported.

That's why BASIC programs use the standard text (Semi-Graphics 4) mode and anything higher resolution is machine code.

 

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There are only two games that had graphics kinda on par with coco 2 PMODE3

Lost Worlds Pinball, and the port done of Pac-Man.

PMODE3 on the CoCo uses 128x192.

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Lost World Pinball and Pac-Man show what the Timex/Sinclair MC10 could do. But none of the other games for the MC10 (again, 98% of which were written in the last 10-15 years) look nearly this good or achieve this kind of resolution. Except maybe the 16K ML Tetris game.

Imagine a really crappy BASIC game for the CoCo 1/2. That's essentially what MC10 games look like. (Not that they aren't fun!)

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Are the graphics similar to the COCO 2, or a litte better like the COCO 3?

The graphics are not as good as the Coco 2 because you cannot access the very highest 256X192 B/W resolution, only the 128X96, 4 color resolution. That being said, I've never missed high res. The MC-10's really for having that ZX-81-low-budget-8-bit kind of fun--i.e. chunky graphics galore. Take a look here for some games of that ilk:

http://faculty.cbu.ca/jgerrie/Home/jgames.html

GAME2048 and JIMVADERS will run in 4K.

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There's an old redneck fudd at a local flea market that has one of these for sale for like $60, bare bones I might add. I really want to get it but he won't budge on price so it's gonna sit there. It's one of those things that he knows is not worth much but he thinks its interesting and a conversation piece and doesn't care if he doesn't ever sell it.

 

Really a shame if you ask me.

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Not to mention how bad Tandy neutered the MC-10.

They should have at least included 8K and the rest of the 6847 graphics modes.

The ROM should have been socketed so they could offer an extended BASIC if the machine was successful.

The memory map was a mess and BASIC wouldn't detect if RAM were added in lower memory.

You have to wonder what they were thinking.

 

By the time the MC-10 came out you would think Motorola could have improved the 6847 too.

There was a 6847 that had the data latch built in and added lower case characters but I don't think that was available yet.

That would have reduced the internal parts count and cost on the MC-10 if it had been available.

 

They did make a pretty decent CPU choice though.

The 6803 isn't as powerful as the 6809 but it does pretty well vs the Z80 and 6502.

 

*edit*

FWIW, I think the memory size was due to the SRAM chips available at the time and space.

A couple of things here, for starters, the $99 price point was pre-set as this device was intended to compete with the Sinclair, and considering an MC10 vs a Sinclair, it beats it hands down in every way. Secondly, they already sold the Color Computer 2 which outperformed the MC10, they didn't want to make a $120 cheaper computer that outperformed the CoCo 2, they wanted a device that competed with the Sinclair.

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A couple of things here, for starters, the $99 price point was pre-set as this device was intended to compete with the Sinclair, and considering an MC10 vs a Sinclair, it beats it hands down in every way. Secondly, they already sold the Color Computer 2 which outperformed the MC10, they didn't want to make a $120 cheaper computer that outperformed the CoCo 2, they wanted a device that competed with the Sinclair.

Not quite sure if I am reading this right, do you mean that the MC10 outperformed the Sinclair ZX81 or the Spectrum?

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Not quite sure if I am reading this right, do you mean that the MC10 outperformed the Sinclair ZX81 or the Spectrum?

 

In the US, at least, it was targeted to compete with that awful Timex-Sinclair 1000.

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Except that the TS-1000 mostly was a defunct product by the time the MC-10 hit the stores? So yes, it might have been a better buy compared to a product that no longer was sold and very few would be interested in buying anyway.

 

One gotta imagine what had happened if Commodore had managed to produce that $49 or even $79 computer Commodore 116 with rubber keyboard in early 1984. Although I'm not very fond of the TED series, if you compare the final Commodore 16 to a Tandy MC-10, the Commodore blows away the MC-10. Hey, even an aging VIC-20 to most part does, perhaps except for CPU performance but then again how many bought a MC-10 for its calculation capacity?

 

Of course you're right that Tandy would not want to compete with themselves, so it put them in a difficult situation which kind of computer to launch, at which price segment and customer group. Perhaps the CoCo line could have been cut down with less RAM, cheaper keyboard but still mostly compatible, so even more customers could be reached by the CoCo line, including those upgrading from a VIC-20, a TI-99/4A, an Atari 400 or some other brand.

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In the US, at least, it was targeted to compete with that awful Timex-Sinclair 1000.

I thought so but in the UK the MC10 was being sold at the exact same price point as a 16K Spectrum-no prizes for guessing which one the masses went for.

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I had a Coco, and a buddy of mine had an MC-10. He brought over a tape with a massive BASIC Star Trek game that he had written or ported. (He did a CS degree a few years later.) We assumed that the two were (at least broadly) software compatible. The cassette loaded ok, but the result was mostly garbage because the BASIC was tokenized differently. We were both very disappointed!

 

Many years later, I discovered third-party software that would convert tokenized BASIC programs between the MC-10 and the Coco, but really they should have used the same format (as much as possible) from the beginning.

 

He was the only person that I knew with an MC-10, but I did see another one at a neighbourhood yard sale in the late-1980s. :)

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In the US, at least, it was targeted to compete with that awful Timex-Sinclair 1000.

Heh, all of the above, the zx-81 and the 1000 were effectively the same unit weren't they?

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Heh, all of the above, the zx-81 and the 1000 were effectively the same unit weren't they?

Essentially, yes. The Timex had 2K RAM instead of 1K, "New Line" was changed to "Enter," and, obviously, there's a different badge on the case, but that was about it as far as any differences.

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I had a Coco, and a buddy of mine had an MC-10. He brought over a tape with a massive BASIC Star Trek game that he had written or ported. (He did a CS degree a few years later.) We assumed that the two were (at least broadly) software compatible. The cassette loaded ok, but the result was mostly garbage because the BASIC was tokenized differently. We were both very disappointed!

 

Many years later, I discovered third-party software that would convert tokenized BASIC programs between the MC-10 and the Coco, but really they should have used the same format (as much as possible) from the beginning.

 

He was the only person that I knew with an MC-10, but I did see another one at a neighbourhood yard sale in the late-1980s. :)

jhd,

CSAVE "FILENAME",A

solved this problem - saves keywords in ASCII instead.

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Yeah, I think they were worried about too much overlap, so they purposely did a few things different. The MC-10 also had a 6803 if I recall, which was mostly compatible with the 6809. I'm pretty sure they probably could have done more towards compatibility, but that wasn't huge on their list. I think they were sort of worried about a sub $100 "home computer" that would steal sales from the CoCo world, and wanted something in the same category to compete with the Sinclair. Personally, the only thing that was impressive to me about the Sinclair computer(s), and even the MC-10, which, IMHO, smoked the Sinclair computers, was the sub $100 price point. Growing up in a world where computers were multi-million dollar behemoths that only large corporations, universities, and governments could afford, all the way down to sub $100 pricing was a BIG leap for such a short period of time. It's almost as if the industry did it just because they could. Honestly though, those sub $100 computers like the Sinclair, MC-10, Alice, etc, were more of a curiosity, a toy, something cheap to buy a young interested kid to learn on, and some other limited uses as a really decent programmable controller in some applications. They never really had the power to be a decent home computer. Even today a low end system is going to run $500-$600. $100 in 1982 dollars translates into about $250 bucks today. Even the lowest end systems worth their salt are going to cost more than that. Those machines were computers designed around a price point. Functionality and usefulness, as well as compatibility with other systems,took a back seat to price, specifically to fill a "niche" that the market thought existed, when honestly, it really didn't. $200-$230 machines from the same time period, like the CoCo2 and C64 were far more capable machines, and most people were willing to spend the extra $150 bucks or so to gain all the functionality those machines had. Alot of people, even today think it was "sad" that those systems were abandoned, but it was just a natural inevitability. Even then, when the industry was still young, in alot of flux technologically with advancements coming at supersonic speeds, that market failed because the industry misjudged the market. Steve Jobs had it right, it wasn't as much about the cost as it was the usefulness and ease of use of the product. Nothing drives that point home more than the iconic iPhone. It's hardly a cheap device at a base retail price of $650 for the entry level iPhone, although carrier subsidies does alot to drive the initial cost down. Maybe the iPad is a better example. A WiFi only iPad is $500 and there's a plethora of $200 tablets out there, yet the iPad owns the tablet market. I don't really view the demise of these micro-systems as sad, just simply an experiment that failed, the industry simply feeling out the price point, and they figured it out, unfortunately at the cost of the existence of these neat little cheapy computers.

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The 6803 is partially source compatible with the 6809. That is to say, they use the same basic assembler syntax.
6803 code can be assembled for the 6809 with only minor changes but porting code the other way requires a lot of work.

The reason Tandy chose the 6803 is because it was a microcontroller and it was really cheap.
The ADAM actually used the 6803 as a keyboard controller, the controller for ADAMnet and as the controller for their tape drives.

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User zippster on the Yahoo! MC-10 mailing list yesterday posted he's considering a limited run of the MCX-128 expansion, about 20 units. In case there are MC-10 users here who are not members of either the MC-10 list or the CoCo list, you might want to look it up and join either list to take part of the run.

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I own some Matra Alice (the small 4k ones) and as it was mentioned here ... it is the same like the MC-10.

 

post-47392-0-39044600-1483277281_thumb.jpg

 

You could use all the available extensions listed here:

 

http://alice.system-cfg.com/extensions.php

 

The official 16 kb RAM add-on will work with the MC-10 too.

Edited by YuT666
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I own some Matra Alice (the small 4k ones) and as it was mentioned here ... it is the same like the MC-10.

 

attachicon.gifDSCN1923.JPG

 

You could use all the available extensions listed here:

 

http://alice.system-cfg.com/extensions.php

 

The official 16 kb RAM add-on will work with the MC-10 too.

If I remember right, the Alice has an input on the expansion buss for sound that the MC-10 doesn't. Or maybe that was added with the Alice 32?

This lets you output sound through the RF modulator from an expansion board.

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This seems like an opportunity to resurrect an old iPod Nanite to act as a cassette loading device. Is there a repo for MC-10 program audio files?

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Man, what a memory trip! This computer was the first thing I'd ever actually seen in someone's home. My best friend back in the 80s, his old man was a big fan of Tandy products. While he eventually bought a CoCo 2, the first computer was this MC10 thing. We thought it was adorable. The first basic programs we ever typed was into this thing! We knew it wasn't the greatest thing at all (we'd already seen the VCS by then) but we didn't care, it was a COMPUTER :D

 

I've tried to track down some info on a coded game for this, and I have no idea why I remember the name of it some THIRTY YEARS later, but...it was called "Broken-Field Nightmare". I believe it ran off a cassette tape and that his Dad typed it in. It was a very simple game where you used the keys to navigate a two-pixel thing across a screen to the other side. We loved that damn thing! Years later I found out it was supposed to be a FOOTBALL game of sorts, lol...me don't know sports :D

 

Does anybody remember that 'game'? :D

 

I've got some more hard to locate games for the Coco 2 but that's for another thread :D

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