"Single instance" machines

From: Hans Franke <Hans.Franke_at_mch20.sbs.de>
Date: Fri Dec 11 11:55:57 1998

> On Thu, 10 Dec 1998 Hans.Franke_at_mch20.sbs.de wrote:
> > Don't forget: the V(I)C-20 was a bit faster and a way better
> > design then the C64.

> I learned many things about the C64 recently.
> First, that it was a underpowered, low quality computer that was more
> expensive than an Apple ][ and had less features. I disagree because I
> have never liked the Apple ][ more than the C64.

Its less a term of 'like' maybe you discovered the Apple
in a less friendly environment :)

First of all the Apple has been 5 years of software development
ahead - there have been already zillions of programms, when the
C64 could just show his ready prompt. Second the A][ had an open
hardware concept with extension in mind (althrough some real
nasty quirks) so anything from serial to HPIB and from tapes
to Harddisks have been already available in '82. Coprocessors
from Z80 (SoftCard) and 6809 (The Mill) up to 68K or 8086 have
been wiedly available, together with fiting OSes (CP/M, OS/9,...)

And I liked the open system where you could start at a well
defined level of clariety, while on the C64 (like the PETs)
you had to start with a stick called peek and poke to find
your way thru the fog of unknown.

> Second, I learn that the VIC-20, a predecessor to the C-64, was better
> than it. How is this? Last I heard, it is the VIC that was underpowered
> because it only had 8k ram or something like. Please explain; how was it
> better?

(it had only 5 K :)

The VIC20 was running at 1 MHz, while the C64 was running at 0.98
MHz (PAL) and did spend a lot time in hold for the video access
(The Apple had a complete hidden video access, so no time was
taken from the CPU). Efectivly the CPU of the C64 was some 13%
slower than the VIC20 (The higher clock rate in the NTSC version
(~ 1.02 MHz) was countered by the higher frame rate :) - and not
to forget that using tricks like sprites again decreased the
performance. With an exception of the 128 in fast mode (and
of course the fast 600/700 Models) the VIC-20 has been the
fastest Commodore 8-Bit computer.

Also the VIC20 Kernal was better designed and even the same
devices (like the 1540) have been supported faster and more

And last but not least, the cardridge system, including the
add on box, did make almost an open system - VIC20s with
PET floppies via IEEE bus or VICs as replacement of PETs
have been quite common.


Ich denke, also bin ich, also gut
Received on Fri Dec 11 1998 - 11:55:57 GMT

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