C-64 vs the world (vintage flamebait) (was Re: Micro$oft Biz'droid Lusers)

From: Richard Erlacher <edick_at_idcomm.com>
Date: Tue Apr 23 23:42:00 2002

see below, plz.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ethan Dicks" <erd_6502_at_yahoo.com>
To: <classiccmp_at_classiccmp.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 23, 2002 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: C-64 vs the world (vintage flamebait) (was Re: Micro$oft
Biz'droid Lusers)

> --- Richard Erlacher <edick_at_idcomm.com> wrote:
> > > The PC-AT came out several years later with a
> > > standard configuration price (including hard disk) of $5K.
> > >
> > August of '81, IIRC. I got my technical reference in March of '82.
> AT AT AT 80286 IBM PC AT
Yup, that was spring of '84. IIRC. Clones were available from Korea before
one could even get an IBM version around here.

Were the AMIGAs available then? What did they cost? How were they equipped?
> I don't think that model was available in 1981. I am fairly certain
> that the only model available in 1981 was the IBM 5150 PC. Not the XT.
> It came in two basic flavors - 16KB and 64KB. CGA extra. Disk drives
> extra. Just about everything extra.
Was the AMIGA available in '81? What did it cost?

I had no interest in the PC for quite some time after that, having seen the
way they performed. Aside from that, there was little software that wasn't
available for CP/M, so nobody I knew had enough exposure to the PC in a
real-world environment. One of my friends had a '186-based machine in early
'83, so, having seen that it worked OK with CP/M 86, and with MS-DOS, I
endeavored to snag one, along with a memory expansion that provided a full
256K of RAM. It used those funny "stacker" sockets that often failed,
however, so once I convinced myself that I didn't like MS-DOS because of the
dearth of software and that I didn't like CP/M-86 well enough to learn its
quirks and foibles, I sold it to someone who wanted it worse than I.
> > > But it wasn't the graphics that did it - 80 column text was important
> > > to the PC, as was compatbility between home and work.
> > >
> > Compatibility? Could the PC easily read Commodore 64 diskettes?
> You missed my point. No it couldn't. I was attempting to suggest why
> the PC became the preeminent platform at home, sweeping aside the C-64
> and other challengers. After 1981, people tended to have a PC at work,
> so they wanted something at home that could a) run software they took
> home with them and b) read disks and files they took home, too. If
> someone was going to spend more than $1,000, they wanted compatibility
> with the box on their desk at work.
I remember quite a few people who had PC's at home but didn't have PC's at
work, wishing that they did, rather than the terminal to the PDP-whatever, or
IBM mainframe down the hall. That might have been for the same reason you
mention, though. It was quite some time before PC's, particularly PC/XT's
went down under $1k. PC/AT's were slow getting to the general market, and
clones got there first around here. It was easy to understand why someone
would buy a $1200 clone rather than paying $5k for the "real McCoy" when the
clone often ran faster.
> Real world example of the transition: in 1984, a company I worked for
> (Software Productions) debated producing a PC port of our widely successful
> children's products for the BBC Micro, Apple II and C-64. In 1984 there
> was not substantial demand for home software for DOS, not compared to
> the armada of 8-bit machines people had at home.
> A few years later, there would have been no debate. By the time EGA
> graphics became ordinary, no serious software company could ignore
> the massive quantity of PC clones in the home. There were still millions
> of C-64s in place, but it wasn't the undisputed king any longer.

> -ethan
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Received on Tue Apr 23 2002 - 23:42:00 BST

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