Introducing the CoCoPilot DriveWire Server


Sub-Etha Software is proud to announce plans for its latest bit of vaporware: The CoCoPilot DriveWire Server, or “CoPi” for short.

The CoPi is a tiny device (which is approximately the size of a Raspberry Pi in a case) that comes with everything you need to have a functioning DriveWire server without having to keep your Mac or Windows machine nearby and powered on just so you can type “dir /x0”.

Pricing is to be announced but hopefully it will be around $50. Kit versions will also be available so you can just buy the bits you need in case you already have some of the other bits.

CoCoPilot Configurations

  • Turnkey – This is a “plug and go” version, where all you have to do is install the DriveWire drivers for NitrOS-9, or load the appropriate RS-DOS software (like the special DriveWire version of HDB-DOS), and plug it in. It comes complete with the server hardware, power supply, server-to-CoCo interface device (often called an RS232 cable), and internal solid-state boot device (sometimes called an “SD card”).
  • BYOE – The bring-your-own-everything edition is shipped as a set of simple instructions that will let you transform a boring Raspberry Pi in to the amazing CoCoPilot DriveWrite Server. All you have to do is provide the Raspberry Pi, SD card, RS232 adapter and CoCo serial cable. And do a bunch of typing*. And downloading. And editing. And configuring. But the end result is you have everything that the Turnkey edition has at a fraction of the price.
  • Custom – Also planned to be available are various custom configurations. Already have a Pi? Don’t need another CoCo serial cable? Our custom configuration engineers are ready to custom tailor your order.


We estimate complete pricing will be around $50. Or maybe $60. But probably not more than $75.Unless someone really wants to overpay for this.


The first working prototype was just turned on last night. Quit rushing us. We’ll announce availability when it is ready.

For more information, be sure to follow this blog.

(In case you didn’t get it, I started working with DriveWire on my Raspberry Pi. I will try to document all my steps to make things easier for you if you want to try it. And if you just want a Pi already setup, I’ll probably be able to do that as well.)

* Actually, it’s not really that much typing. I will have a full “from getting a Pi, to using DriveWire” tutorial next. But if you already know your away around the Pi, you pretty much can boot a freshly installed Pi, login and type:

cd DriveWire4_4.3.3

Then, you have to edit the “config.xml” file to tell it what serial port you are using. For instance, if you plug in a USB-RS232 adapter, it might appear as device “/dev/ttyUSB0”. You just edit the file and change two bits:

<DeviceType category="device" list="serial,tcp-server,tcp-client,dummy" type="list">serial</DeviceType>


<SerialDevice category="device" type="serialdev">/dev/ttyUSB0</SerialDevice>

Then all you have to do to start it up is type:

java -jar DW4UI.jar -noui

Tada! Now your DriveWire-enabled CoCo should be able to start issuing commands to the server.

However, DriveWire has many more features that you can only get to using the DriveWire GUI. If you have a display, mouse and keyboard hooked to your Pi, you can instead run the GUI like this:


That will start up the X-Windows desktop GUI on the Pi. Now all you have to do is run the DriveWire GUI. One way to do this is by opening up a Terminal to get to a shell prompt (Ctrl-Escape -> Accessories -> Terminal).

But wait! The GUI requires a few elements that are not part of the default Pi Linux installation, so you need to add them first by typing:

sudo apt-get install libswt-gtk-3-java
sudo apt-get install  libswt-cairo-gtk-3-jni

Now you are ready to run the DriveWire 4 GUI:

cd DriveWire4_4.3.3
java -jar DW4UI.jar

Now you can do things like update the DriveWire software and many other things you cannot do without a mouse (apparently).

Check back later for a full, step-by-step article on taking a fresh out-of-the-box Pi and turning it in to a DriveWire server. (Or I can sell you one already configured.)

One thought on “Introducing the CoCoPilot DriveWire Server

  1. Pingback: Introducing the Sir Sound CoCo Sound Card | Sub-Etha Software

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