Archive for Commodore
The Commodore 16 home computer was another of Jack Trammels creations. To be honest it was not one of his greatest ventures by any means, but still it was made by Commodore computers and released in 1984. The system came in a starter pack which consisted of a Commodore 16 computer, a 1531 cassette player and an Introduction to Basic part 1 that was on 2 cassettes as the basic language was made easier to use than that of the Vic 20 and the C64. The Commodore 16 was mainly known by users as the C16 and the system was one of three computers in its family, with its bread-bin style casing and a keyboard similar to the Vic 20 & C64, but in different colours. That is where the similarities end.
On the Commodore 16s release I didn’t know much about the system and its hardware. However I still seriously wanted to own one when it made its appearance in the local high street stores, mainly because the C16 arrived after the C64 so I assumed it would exceed the C64′s capabilities and it would automatically be a far superior system (nothing wrong in wishful thinking ). After a bit of research I abandoned the idea of buying a C16 and it wasn’t until a few years back when i found a fairly nice boxed system to add to my collection. . .
The Commodore Amiga 500 was a fantastic 16-bit computer that was just one from a large family of Amiga computers. The Amiga 500 reached us in 1985 and basically was a cheaper version of the A1000 (the A1000 being Commodores first Amiga to be released) that was aimed at the home market. Eventually the 500 became the leading home computer of the late 80′s. Its code name was actually ‘Rock Lobster’.
The Amiga 500 was an important platform for games in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Of all the 16-bit home computers, the Amiga 500 was the one to gain the greatest success as a games machine due to its graphic and sound subsystems, which were widely considered to be far ahead of their time. A game made for the Amiga platform generally had much better sound and graphics than for example the same game running on an IBM PC, and it was also a more powerful machine than its nearest rival, the Atari ST. I can remember being very impressed with the Amiga 500s power when they were first released and i still regularly use it to playing fantastic retro games such as Zool, James Pond II,Pinball Dreams, Turrican II, R-Type, Jumpin Jackson (which has a sound track similar to the Rolling Stones song ‘Jumpin Jack Flash‘) and many others. A personal favorite of mine was Shadow of the Beast II with the ending sequence that could have been taken from a film, something like maybe Miami Vice for example. . .
The Commodore Plus/4 was released in June 1984 and was to become Commodore’s new flagship replacing the Commodore 64.
The name Plus/4 refers to the four-application on-board ROM office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, database, and graphing).
Originally the Plus/4 was called the Commodore 264 during the prototype stage, and at least one unit bearing the 264 nameplate (without the intergrated software) is believed to be owned by a hardware collector.
Four models of the plus/4 were manufactured and are extremely rare; they are the commodore 116, 232, 264 and the 364.
Unfortunately the plus/4 was not finished but was in final buildstage when Jack Tremmel left Commodore to go to Atari. The engineers who took over when Jack left, unfortunately made a bit of a mess of things. . . In the US it was known as the Commodore Minus/60 as a pun on the difference between the Plus/4 and the dominant Commodore 64. I think the best way sum this computer up, is to compare the two machines.
Here we have yet another fantastic television commercial but would it make you think ‘Mmmm, I must buy myself a Commodore Plus/4′ . . .
The Commodore SX-64 portable, often known as ‘The Executive 64‘ was released in 1984. This was a briefcase/suitcase size portable version of the infamous Commodore 64 and holds the distinction of being the worlds first full-colour portable computer and was priced at $995.
The SX-64 featured a five inch built in colour monitor and a built in 1541 floppy disk drive. These machines were also very well built, the SX-64 had a rigid metal casing, and a sturdy handle which doubled up as an adjustable stand. With the unit weighing in at 23lbs (10.5kg) your really needed to be built like Arnie to carry this computer any real distance lol.
Only subtle changes were made from that of the ordinary Commodore 64. Blue text on a white background enabled easier reading due to the small screen. Also, due the disk drive and a small screen there was no cassette or RF port on the back of the unit aswell. What i like about the SX-64 is when the ‘Shift/Runstop’ buttons are depressed, this process automatically boots the disk were as on the Commodore 64 it would say (press play on tape) to load a program or game. Also due to the size of the monitor, games look to be at a higher resolution due the graphics on the screen being so compact Great. . .
The Commodore VIC-20 started life in June 1980. Initially it was going to be called the Micro-pet but due to the 6056 chip ‘Video Interface Chip‘ which was engineered and manufactured specifically for the Commodore VIC, the Commodore Executive, Michael Tomczyk, added the ’20′ part simply though that it sounded good.
The Commodore VIC-20′s development starting in 1979 but it only reached the shops in 1981 giving it a relatively short life span. At the peak of the Commodore VIC-20′s life, Commodore was producing 9,000 units daily and had sold over 2.5 Million units throughout. This made the Commodore VIC-20 the first Computer the sell more than 1 million units. There was an estimated 300 titles on cartridge and over 500 titles available on tape.
I find it quite amusing when I read the box as it states on the side “The Commodore VIC-20 for the Home and Business” and to think that in the US, a television commercial featuring Star Trek’s – James T Kirk (William Shatner) was made to promote the Vic-20′s sales. Sadly due to poor sales and despite these efforts the VIC-20 production line was to be shut down in January 1985.