Okay, first my disclaimer:

I think I've pretty much established how ignorant of the hardware side 
of things I am (not much better on software), but I throw out ideas and 
ask questions both to alleviate my ignorance, and to maybe give an idea 
to someone who *does* know something, who can use that to develop maybe 
something completely different.

I've been following the TDock discussion, and the debate over using 
superior hardware vs limited hardware.
Most popular seems to be some kind of external video without tying up 
the parallel or serial port.

Elsewhere I saw a project (which I intend to pursue when I have 
funds/tools/basic skills) to build an XT SBC onto an 8-bit ISA card. The 
same place had a project for a matching 8-bit ISA backplane.

What I want to suggest is, instead of tying up the expansion port with a 
dedicated external video solution, or external video with storage 
solution, or even tying it into a Pi, some capable person tie it into 
such an ISA backplane.

The reason 8-bit ISA comes to mind is, *as I understand it*, is that 
it's slow, simple, and common. Do I expect connecting to it to enable 
people to use an 8-bit VGA card with their Model T? Nope. But it might 
allow for custom ISA boards to be developed to expand the capability of 
the Model T. Someone linked to a serial VGA adapter... so someone could 
theoretically develop an ISA adapter for it. Or maybe develop a 
multi-I/O card that would give the Model T more serial/parallel ports 
for expansion. Or a custom IDE and/or floppy drive adapter.

I would imagine the first card developed would have to be an interface 
board to talk between the other slots and the M100 and do whatever 
conversion, mapping, routing that would need to be done.

I don't know; maybe an ISA CGA, EGA or VGA card *could* be adapted to 
work with the model T. Maybe an adlib or even soundblaster audio card 
could be adapted to work with the model T. Maybe even a network card 
could be adapted to it. I would think if a serial port bluetooth or wifi 
adapter can be made for the Model T, such an adapter should be doable on 
an ISA card connected to the system bus.

Or getting really wild, maybe a dedicated co-processor board, such as an 
FPGA or 8087 card, or a form of Rex and/or Quad. Or a 2nd custom Rom ISA 
card. Or a CP/M card with all the extra memory etc CP/M needs. Or a RAM 
expansion with an MMU so one could write software using more than the 
system's 32k.

It just seems to me that such a standardized docking station with 
multiple card slots (and it doesn't have to be ISA, I just chose that 
for above reasons and it's what inspired the thought) would be more 
versatile and useful than dedicated solutions for specific functions, 
with the added benefit that it doesn't require an OP 2nd computer to do 
it. It's just an expansion dock as has existed for PC laptops since the 80s.

Can I do any of this? Not a bit of it, not until I did a LOT of 
learning, at best. But there are people on this list who *do* like doing 
hardware mods. And there are people on this list, myself included, 
who've already expressed a willingness to pay for expanded capabilities 
for their Model T. So if this inspires some hardware guru... mission 
accomplished. At the very least I hope to learn why this is a stupid idea.

So... flame away...

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