Commodore Ramblings

From: Larry Anderson & Diane Hare <>
Date: Wed Feb 18 22:09:53 1998

From: "Jeff Kaneko" <>
Subject: RE: IEEE-488 and Commodore (was: GP-IB)

>Pardon me if I ask a stupid question, but If they were going to
>implement a high-speed serial bus for the C64/VIC/1541's, why would
>they use a device that was primarily designed for PARALLEL

For one thing Commodore OWNED MOS Technologies (one of Tramiels more
shrewder decisions after getting burned in the pocket calculator wars by
their then calculator chip supplier, Texas Instruments). So all of MOSs
chips were dirt cheap to Commodore. The 6520/6522 played multiple roles
in the PET/VIC/64 handling the keyboard, parallel port, etc. also the
PET's parallel user port was very popular among the experimenters and
having it on the VIC and 64 added to it's appeal (besides being cheap
and in COLOR with SOUND!)

>It seems that a 6850/6851 ACIA would have been much more appropriate,
>and would have not been such a software mess.

If that were the case it would be as easy to interface as an ATARI...
yuk. I am glad, with those two CIAs you can hook just about anything to
the computer (easily given the parallel port). If it didn't it may have
fared worse than thier competition.


From: Sam Ismail <>
Subject: RE: IEEE-488 and Commodore (was: GP-IB)

>If computer holy war zealots knew the story behind this Commodore debacle
>back in the 80's when the flames were at their highest temperatures, the
>anti-C64 contingent would have had a field day.

They did, ever hear the term "the lumbering hippo", that was a nickname
many gave the 1541 disk drive...

>Oh well, you gotta love it.

>PS. So the Commodore did suck after all ;)

You forget that the VIC and 64 had an advantage over the competition,
performance for a very low price. (albiet slower than necessary). Also
the 64 had other merits such as its graphics ability and incredible
sound... Every one rips the Commodores, but you have to remwmber who
was posting profits and who was going bankrupt in the 80s... the
nineties are a different matter I'm afraid.. :(


From: Cord Coslor <>
Subject: Weekend finds! (CPU's, Printers, Disk Drives, Software, etc.!!)

>*Commodore 128D computer. Mint condition CPU. No monitor, disk drives,
>cables, etc. What does it take... also what type of keyboard does it

Disk drive is built-in, uses either a composite or split-composite
(Svideo) for the 40 column mode and a TTL RGBI for the 80 column mode.
Can run in three modes, Commodore 64 Emulation (99.94% bug free...),
expanded '128' mode some 64 likeness but offers better BASIC and speed
as well as access to 80 column output, and last but not least, CP/M mode
runs latter CP/M versions and the built-in drive can read a variety of
forigen CP/M format disks...

The keyboard is a non-ascii encoded keyboard that is used on the
Commodore 128. The D version is the same but in a separate unit and a
coiled cable.

>*Imagewriter // printer for Apple
Very fast, even for today, can do multi-part and does COLOR! Good
utility printer, downside is that it uses a serial (RS-422) interface.
Still supported on Macs.

>*Commodore MPS 802
Decent text output (8-pin) but only 'one-character programmable
graphics'. (there were programs that would do hi-res dumps by
constantly redefining that character and reprinting it on the same line
till it was complete, a hi-res page would take HOURS!!!)

>*Vic 1525 Graphic Printer
(note, 1525 uses THIN paper not 9 1/2" form feed, a misunderstanding in
the design specs, they thought 8 1/2" wide WITH the carrier.)
yawn... either for printing speed or 7-pin graphics printing matrix - or
both... The 7-pin 1525 printhead design set back the printer industry
for a couple years with cheap parallel versions like the Shiekosha and
Gorilla Banana.

>*KoalaPad. I think for the Commodore computer. Does anyone have some
>more info on this? Maybe some software?
Should work on the Commodore VIC-20/64/128 and Atari Computers. My
favorite Koalapad program is Dancing Bear for the VIC-20 (64 version
sucks) It's claim to fame though is Koala Paint which defined the
multi-color graphics file format standard for the 64.

>*Commodore Model 1200 Model #1670
Very nice 1200 baud direct connect modem can be used on the VIC, 64,
128, and Plus/4 (though on the +4 you have to flip one switch or cut a
trace depending on the modem version) Uses Hayes type modem commands.

>*MasterType cart for the C-64
I bought that recently, a pretty cool typing aid!

>*Below the Root (???) game copy on disk for the Commodore 64.
IMHO one of THE BEST 64 games made, a graphics adventure with a solid
story that is non-violent, a wonderful game for the kids!!!! Based on
the Below the Root book triligy by Zylpha Keatly Snyder.

>*Aztec game original box, manual, and game disk for the Apple/Commodore.
Another quality Graphics Adventure, keep it for your library. Follow in
the footsteps of the missing Professor Forrester looking for Aztec

>*Choplifter by Broderbund orginal game disk for the Apple (?)
A computer-to-videogame classic on it's original platform.

>* Vic-20 cartridges: Pin Ball, Omega Race, Jupiter Lander, Gorf, Radar
>Rat Race, Raid on Fort Knox, Avenger, Poker, Cosmic Cruncher, and Mole
>Attack In 8 cartridge storace holder.

There are some great ones: Omega Race (THE BEST translation I've seen is
the VIC-20 one), Radar Rat Race (like arcade Rally-X, the 64 version is
just a lame port of this fine VIC version), Cosmic Cruncher (what can I
say it's a Pac-Man variant with the Commodore logo as the main
character! COOL!), Mole Attack (a fun one for the 'little kids' bonk
the moles on the head, uses keyboard) The rest are pretty good too...

>Was it all worth my $150. :-)
VERY MUCH SO, take the stuff you don't want to VCF 2.0 and you will make
your money back I'm sure... (even at reasonable prices)


From: "kroma" <>
Subject: Re: C64 Modem issue

>I have a C-64c and a Commodore brand 1200 modem. Since I still haven't had
>a chance to resolve the problem with my 1541 disk drive, I'd like to
>explore using the modem a bit. Can it be done in BASIC? Meaning, can I
>issue certain BASIC commands to init the modem and dial out? It's been a
>while since I've messed with any Commie machine, and when I did, I couldn't
>afford the "luxury" of a 1200 baud modem. This may be something simple, and
>I'd appreciate any help, even a pointer to info on the internet.

The Modem 1200 uses a standard Hayes command set fortunately.

10 open 2,2,3,chr$(8)+chr$(0)
20 get a$:ifa$="" goto40
30 print#2,a$;
40 get#2,a$:print a$;:goto 20

I THINK that will give you enough to use the modem at 1200baud-8/n/1...
There was a program in an issue of BBS magazine that also supported
X-Modem downloading (in BASIC!), I'll try to find it.


Subject: Re: GP-IB (was Re: Atari 8-bit Find)

At 12:09 AM 2/18/98 -0500, you wrote:
>At 08:52 PM 2/17/98 -0600, you wrote:
>>It's used by:
>>Commodore Pets << *** capitalize PET, it is an acronym! ***
>>GRiD Compass
>>HP 3000
>>HP 1000 (I think)
>On a side note, the GRiD 15xx series also had an add-in pod that supported

And for only a few hundred bucks you can buy a NEW IEEE-488 interface
card for your IBM or compatible PC... It is used ALOT in
scientific/electronic measuring devices, as well as plotters (HP mostly,
no wonder...)
      Visit our web page at:
Call our Commodore 64 BBS (Silicon Realms 300-2400 baud) at: (209)
Received on Wed Feb 18 1998 - 22:09:53 GMT

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