Cloud9Tech Ceases Taking Orders, Focuses on SuperBoard
TRS-80/Tandy Color Computer hardware developer Cloud9Tech posted to their main web page that, as of December 1st, they are no longer taking orders for their product offerings. The site says that all existing orders will be filled while their focus will shift to completing the SuperBoard projects.
The Cloud9 SuperBoard (no direct link, it's under Coming Soon off the main page tabs at the top) is an upgrade board for the Tandy Color Computer 3. Stated features include up to 2 Megabytes of SIMM RAM, an enhanced version of the Cloud9 Protector board that buffers all lines to the CoCo's CPU, two 16C550 UARTS for high speed serial connections, and a built-in parallel port. All are items that modern CoCoists have needed for many moons!
More exciting is something Cloud9 calls VROM, which allows 8 32K virtual ROMs that can be flashed with anything the user likes. This would make it unneccesary to use difficult to obtain EPROMS to burn new ROMs for the CoCo. I don't know of any other 8-bit machine that can do that! To top it off, 512 bytes will be available in an EEPROM to store configuration options that will applt at power on in both RS-DOS and OS/9.
Optional add-ons are also planned, including a real-time clock, SCSI, IDE and Compact flash capability, a PS/2 mouse/keyboard port, and Ethernet support. Some of these devices have been available seperately before, from Cloud9 and other vendors, but never all in one. The base system with inclusion of VROM and the Protector buffers alone should be worth the price.
The last communication I received from Mark Marlette of Cloud9 (I was considering a SuperIDE and memory upgrade, which I should have just broken down and bought then, dammit) in March indicated pricing for the Superboard would be around $150.00. Add-ons would run in the $40-$50 range (no pricing was available for the Ethernet add-on), not including shipping and handling. While those quotes are not confirmed, by any means (stay tuned to the Cloud9 site for information), it's a hell of a bargain considering the capabilities of the board.
No timetable was given for completion of the SuperBoard project, but it seems to be eagerly awaited by all the CoCo community. Order fufillment, according to the web site, is not expected to start up again until the 2nd quarter of 2006.