The first thing I want to talk about is the name: Liber809. This came to me some years ago when I was first planning the project. The name is, of course, an amalgamation of the words "liberate" and "6809". The idea was to convey a sense of freedom and liberation... that the 6809 could actually run on something outside of just the CoCo. The choice of name was never meant to imply that systems who can use the 6809 are somehow liberated from the 6502.
Second, some people have used the term "CoCoTari" or similar names to describe the Liber809's success in the Atari XEGS. I want to discourage use of that term, because this project has more to do with the 6809 than the platform that it was popular on. Sure, the CoCo has the 6809 and also has NitrOS-9, but both of these elements existed outside of the CoCo. There were other 6809 systems back in the day that ran OS-9, such as the GIMIX, Smoke Signal, and others. And while the CoCo was certainly the jumping point for me to get this project going, it should in no way be seen as an attempt to meld the two systems together per se.
With all of that said, there were a few goals that I aimed to accomplish with this project:
- Get my hardware chops up and learn the hardware of another platform.
- Bring the 6809 to other home computing platforms with first-rate graphics and sound features. The CoCo has always been hobbled with less than ideal sound and graphics. The CoCo 3 did manage to elevate the graphics a bit, but sound still lacked. And yes, we made do with it, and did quite well considering the limitations. However, bringing the powerful 6809 together with equally powerful hardware on the Atari and other platforms is just a dream come true.
- Doing something that others said couldn't be done, or wouldn't be done.
- Bring people from different platform camps together, to mix the pot up, so to speak. For years, each group has had its own cliques and personalities. With all of that talent being segregated, I thought that the Liber809 could be one way to bring some of these folks together for greater collaboration.
- See NitrOS-9 used on other hardware platforms. It's a great little operating system, and the fact that it runs on the CoCo, the Dragon, and now the Atari shows just how versatile it can be.
Pretty much every one of these goals has been met to some degree. But this is just the start. Getting the hardware working and proven is one thing. Now the real challenge is to see if people will take it to the next level with software that takes advantage of this new platform.