Questions tagged [commodore]

Commodore Business Machines and their products. Use more specific tags like [commodore-64] or [amiga] instead if appropriate.

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What are the safest temporary zero-page locations across all Commodore (CBM) machines?

I have some 6502 machine-language routines that I'd like to be as portable as possible across all, or as many as possible, Commodore 8-bit machines, including the PET (BASIC 1.0, 2.0, 4.0), VIC-20 and ...
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8 votes
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Why didn't the original Commodore PET computer use a standard typewriter style keyboard?

Being a huge fan of Commodore, I've often wondered why Commodore would use such a horrible keyboard layout for their premier computer utilizing an alpha-numeric keyboard. My only guesses would be ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Why was Paperback Writer renamed to Pocket Writer?

I was a big fan of Digital Solutions Inc.'s Paperback Software, a Commodore 64/128 productivity suite that featured an interoperable word processor (Paperback Writer), spreadsheet (Paperback Planner), ...
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25 votes
5 answers
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Why did the stock Amigas not have a battery for keeping the time/date?

The Amiga computers were advanced machines meant to do all sorts of things, including file management. They had a GUI OS (Workbench) and everything right from the very start. They were not some games-...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Is there a version of Python that runs on a QL, Speccy or a Commodore?

Does any Python port run on any Speccies or Commodores? I am hopeful about QL, since: Based on a Motorola 68008 processor clocked at 7.5 MHz, the QL included 128 KB of RAM, which was officially ...
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8 votes
2 answers
724 views

Did Commodore ever produce gray colored Commodore 64?

The Commodore 64 was produced for a 12 years from 1982 to 1994. It had several iterations of case color, keyboard color & keyboard labels, badge etc. Commodore was famous for using whatever parts ...
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20 votes
4 answers
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Can powering on/off a 1541 damage a disk left inside?

The User's Guide for the Commodore 1541 disk drive includes a vague warning, on page 7, to "remember to always remove the diskette before the drive is turned off or on". Some third-party ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Commodore 1352 mouse converter

My Commodore PC30-III can only handle a Commodore 1352 mouse, but it is practically impossible to buy one. I own a couple of Amiga and serial PC mice that if I plug in, the buttons seem to work, but ...
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can I enter BIOS setup on a Commodore PC 30-III?

I have a Commodore PC 30-III but I can't find a way to start the BIOS menu. It displays the following message during startup:
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15 votes
5 answers
2k views

Commodore Mouse not recognized by a Commodore PC30-III 286 machine

I have Commodore PC 30-III 286 machine with a serial port at the back labelled "mouse". If I plug my Commodore mouse 1900 serial mouse then execute mouse.com at the DOS prompt then I get the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Which early computer games supported "English" from the paddle controller?

In relation to this answer about the "English" control of the Magnavox Odyssey, I am wondering if the concept found its way into other games for later computers and consoles that supported ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How to properly convert an active-low joystick routine to active-high

My last question wasn't specific enough so I'll rephrase it. I've been having trouble with programming game consoles/computers like Commodore 64 that have active-low joysticks, where the bits are all ...
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21 votes
3 answers
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Why doesn’t my VGA-to-HDMI converter work with my 286 PC?

I have a Commodore PC 30-III with a Cirrus ISA VGA card in it. I wanted to connect to an HDMI display by using a mini VGA-to-HDMI converter The converter doesn't generate any output. The machine ...
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6 votes
1 answer
253 views

Commodore 1581 crashes during format

I have a Commodore 1581 (800k 3.5" DD) floppy drive which reads and writes data just fine (with DD disks only of course), but it crashes (drive keeps spinning forever, stops moving the head and ...
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1 answer
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How was end-of-file stored on a Commodore 1541 disk? [duplicate]

On a VIC-20 or C-64, you could open a sequential file on a 1541, write exactly N bytes (say, 47 bytes) to it, then close it. Then you could open the same file for reading and start reading byte by ...
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How did Commodore drives produce program listings from disk directories?

CBM BASIC 2.0 has no built-in command for listing the contents of a floppy disk. Instead, the usual way is to LOAD a pseudo-file named $ from the disk into memory. The file can then be LISTed like a ...
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11 votes
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How was "GEOS" meant to be pronounced?

GEOS was a hugely popular operating environment for 8-bit Commodore and Apple machines. It was developed and published by Berkeley Softworks, who eventually released a 16-bit version for IBM-...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Why does the VICE "load" command skip the first two bytes?

I am studying assembly of the C64, and of course using VICE to do so. VICE has the load command to load data straight into the C64 RAM. I reckoned I could use that to put machine code into RAM and run ...
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23 votes
8 answers
4k views

Why did the VIC-20 and C64 have only 22 and 40 columns when the earlier PET had 80 column text?

When I was a kid, the "real" computers in movies looked so cool with that 80-column monochrome green text. My first computer was a VIC-20 and it always felt very "toy-like" to me ...
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16 votes
3 answers
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VIC20, VIC-20, or VIC 20?

The 'tag' on this website calls it 'VIC-20', but the VIC20 user manual (Personal Computing on the VIC20) http://cini.classiccmp.org/pdf/Commodore/VIC-20%20User's%20Manual.pdf calls the VIC either ...
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2 answers
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Amiga 500 WorkBench 1.2 Freezes

When I load the Workbench, it loads normally and I can use the mouse to select and open folders and load programs as expected. What happens is, at random, if I double-click on an icon the icon will ...
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12 votes
4 answers
835 views

Commodore BASIC: why was the PET's GOTO so slow?

Received wisdom has it that Commodore didn't want to pay Microsoft extra for updated BASIC interpreters, and thus very little changed in Commodore BASIC v2 from the PETs to the C64. But consider the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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How can I restore the VDC RAM to usable text mode after clearing memory for hi-res graphics?

So, I've got a C-128 with only 16K of VDC video RAM. I've finished my lovely high-resolution graphics routine on the RGBI display and want to exit to BASIC with a functional 80-column text screen, ...
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12 votes
4 answers
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Did the Commodore datasette interface provide greater reliability?

Cassette, being cheaper than a floppy disk drive, was a popular storage medium in the 8-bit era. Some computers such as the Sinclair Spectrum, just provided a port to plug in an existing cassette deck....
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1 vote
3 answers
285 views

Commodore C386SX-LT, what is causing this hissing sound

I'm trying to work out what is wrong with this laptop. There is a hissing sound coming from the power board mid left. The laptop screen remains off and there is no output to external VGA unless it ...
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4 votes
1 answer
240 views

From what errors could Commodore's tape loader recover

The Commodore PET/VIC-20/C64 tape routines write out the leader for each file twice, and then write the data twice. While it would seem that this should allow data to be loaded more reliably, ...
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6 votes
3 answers
829 views

What can be done with a USR file on the Commodore 1541 disk drive?

The USR filetype on the Commodore VC 1541 disk drive is a less common sequential file that according to some book sources can be executed as a program directly on the drive. The drive has its own 6502 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
272 views

Could a double-sided Commodore disk be written to be used as a "flippy" on a 1541, without requiring flipping on a 1571?

Although the 1571 is capable of reading and writing both sides of a disk, accesses to the second side using the second head will be performed with the drive spinning in opposite direction from how it ...
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10 votes
1 answer
813 views

Is it possible to boot C64/C128 from floppy

When powered on 1541 reads the disk for a brief moment. Is it used to boot system from floppy? Is it possible to create a bootable commodore 64 floppy?
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24 votes
1 answer
2k views

Who ended up owning Commodore's semiconductor IP?

The question of ownership of Amiga-related intellectual property post-Commodore is famously difficult to answer. My question is: does anyone "own" Commodore's semiconductor IP now, and if so,...
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12 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is this an Amiga? If so, which model?

In the 1998 Swedish comedy musical "Åke från Åstol", there's a moment toward the end when a man is pushing around some sort of Amiga-looking computer with a monitor and mouse on a ...
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5 votes
1 answer
290 views

Why are the CBM control codes for color setting so spread out?

The control codes (my C64 handbook actually calls them ASCII codes) for color changing on the Commodore 64 are as follows: Color Control Code Color number BLACK $90 0 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
408 views

Commodore Plus/4 jiffy clock tied to screen refresh frequency? (warning: flashing images)

Warning: There are flashing images below, do not scroll down if you are sensitive to them! According to various sources (for example this for the Plus/4), both the C64 and Plus/4 have a "jiffy&...
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5 votes
1 answer
366 views

How to get GOTEK to work with CDTV?

I'm trying to connect Gotek drive to my CDTV using external caddy (amitek). The drive has 3 digit LED display, after boot i can see F-F. When I insert Flash drive it detects images on it, I can ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is solder-on memory upgrade an option here and how to check it

I have this system with 2MB onboard RAM, but I noticed there are additional soldering pads to the right from memory chips (NEC 424400-80L, but there are also TOSHIBAs TC511664JL-10 on daughter board ...
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3 votes
1 answer
506 views

Is this real Commodore C386SX-LT

Is the model shown on pictures an authentic Commodore C386SX-LT? Why does it look different to other photos on the Internet (some additional grey keys? above keyboard): http://www.spacereh.de/hc/com/...
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8 votes
2 answers
747 views

Why did the Commodore PET 2001 take so long to ship?

In 1976 Commodore as a company had been running for more than twenty years and had extensive experience with designining and selling consumer electronics products: they were one of the top-selling ...
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8 votes
2 answers
920 views

What does Shift-RETURN do on Commodore's 8-bit computers?

Someone recently commented that, "a shift-Return is really different from a normal one. It moves the cursor to the next line, but does not complete an input operation." This would be interesting and ...
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8 votes
2 answers
600 views

What's the timeline of Commodore diskette drives?

Commodore produced a number of different floppy diskette drive units, both 8" and 5.25", over the course of its history. Can someone provide a chronological list of the drives, their release dates, ...
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18 votes
3 answers
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Are pixels on the Commodore 64 square?

Are "tile pixels" the same size as "sprite pixels", and are they both square (ignoring the rule that multicolor sprites can only be colored in groups of two pixels)? By "square" I mean that the ...
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3 votes
0 answers
2k views

How many Amiga 590 units were sold?

The A590 was an external hard disk for the Amiga 500, in 'sidecar' form factor, that could also hold an extra megabyte of RAM. How many 590s were sold, throughout its life?
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13 votes
2 answers
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Who were the Atari ST designers pilfered from Commodore?

After Jack Tramiel was fired from Commodore and became the owner of Atari, I believe he offered jobs to a number of key technical people who followed him from Commodore. Who were the key people (if ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Commodore – The Inside Story [closed]

Commodore – The Inside Story, by David Pleasance, who was a manager in Commodore UK. Sounds like a very interesting book, supposedly available, but when I look on Amazon, hoping in particular for the ...
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20 votes
7 answers
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Which 8-bit computers were used in German schools in the 1980s?

In the 1980s, each country had a particular brand of computer that was most commonly used in schools; often, there was pressure to go with a local manufacturer. In the US, the Apple II. In Britain, ...
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24 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why was it not possible to cost-reduce the Amiga 500?

According to 'Commodore: The Final Years' (whole trilogy highly recommended, BTW), page 129, 'Jeff Porter realized it would not be possible to significantly cost reduce the Amiga 500 to get it into ...
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22 votes
4 answers
6k views

Why was IBM BASIC so Huge?

The early versions of Microsoft BASIC required 4KB of ROM, and many versions existed in the 8KB and 16KB size. But Microsoft's IBM BASIC (known as "Cassette BASIC") for the original IBM PC (Model 5150)...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Finding replacement LEDs for Commodore gear?

Around 1984, Commodore transitioned from using round LED bulbs for power and drive indicators to rectangular ones. Some of these could be quite wide, like the ones pictured for a 1571 disk drive. They ...
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did all integrated Commodore PET monitors always use 60 Hz refresh?

All models of the Commodore PET line had built-in monitors, and at least the U.S. models had 60 Hz refresh. For the European models there was no need for compatibility with European television ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Commodore monitor to VGA or HDMI

I have this monitor, which I think is a Commodore 64 monitor. I would like to connect it to a pc. Anyone know how to convert VGA or HDMI to this connector format? I've tried searching, but so far I'...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What were Commodore's keyboard layouts before the VIC-20?

Starting in 1980 the VIC-20 keyboard seems to have become sort of a standard for Commmodore, being re-used on the MAX Machine (in membrane form), C64, C16 and (with additional keys added) the 128. ...
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