Questions tagged [commodore]

For quesitons regarding Commodore Business Machines itself or its products that do not have a more specific tag such as commodore-64 or amiga.

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5
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
11
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4answers
937 views

Amiga floppy disks and GCR vs MFM

According to the Wikipedia article on GCR, the Commodore 1541 disk drive used a particularly efficient GCR encoding scheme to cram 170K onto the same 5.25" disks that in an Apple drive only ...
5
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2answers
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
216 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/...
40
votes
7answers
5k views

Why does the Commodore C128 perform poorly when running CP/M?

I have seen several claims of poor performance of the C128 when running CP/M, and would like to better understand these claims, especially in comparison to other CP/M machines of the early to mid-...
6
votes
2answers
392 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
559 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
726 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 ...
15
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4answers
721 views

Is there software that will run across multiple Commodore 8-bit machines without modification?

I noticed in some of the answers in this question that the Commodore 8-bit line apparently used a jump table at $03xx for entry into the kernel ("kernal" for the pedantic) routines. Figuring that the ...
4
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1answer
398 views

Commodore C128 MOS 6526A interchangeability?

I have a working C128 desktop that I'm using to troubleshoot a non-working C128D-CR. I suspected a problem with CIA 2 on the C128D, so I swapped its chip labelled "6526A" with a 1988 year stamp with ...
7
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1answer
445 views

Does the Commodore 64 power switch have a history of failing?

My original (1983?) Commodore 64 (brown breadbox with grey function keys) has trouble powering on. Specifically, when I flip the power switch the power LED will glow dimly and the machine fails to ...
1
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0answers
722 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?
18
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3answers
4k views

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
529 views

How do I adjust the OS print output to different screen dimensions on VIC-20?

The graphics chip of the VIC-20 has a setting for the number of columns and the number of rows to display. So, instead of the default values of 22 columns and 23 rows, for example, it is possible to ...
22
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4answers
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)...
12
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1answer
894 views

What is the proper way to test the PSU output for a Commodore 128D?

This question is directly related to comments on the more general question and answer here. The Commodore 128D and 128D-CR have an internal PSU that can be readily and safely disconnected from the ...
8
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2answers
628 views

Why did Commodore files not include metadata to say where in memory to load it?

On the Commodore 64, (and I believe also the VIC-20, PETs etc.) you may instruct BASIC to LOAD "something",8 to load a file to the start of BASIC's area (and that address may vary between machines),...
13
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
8
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3answers
740 views

Commodore 8-bit character sets

Is the character set format same on every Commodore 8-bit computer or are there any character size, character order, or other differences between the machines? I'm purely interested in the character ...
20
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7answers
5k views

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, ...
0
votes
1answer
171 views

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 ...
21
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3answers
2k 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 ...
12
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7answers
1k views

Part-bad chips other than RAM

In the early eighties, you could buy half-bad 64k RAM chips at a discount. Some cost-conscious manufacturers such as Sinclair and Tandy took advantage of this, buying eight such chips to make a 32K ...
6
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3answers
553 views

Did any devices use the Commodore 64 joystick ports as outputs or two-way communications ports?

Looking at the schematic and explanation of how the C64 joystick ports work, it seems clear that the stick direction and button lines (JOYA0, through JOYA3 for port 1 and JOYB0, through JOYB3 for port ...
3
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1answer
178 views

How to write directly to the Commodore 64 (or similar) DAC [duplicate]

I read some related information in a SAM question but I want to know exactly how to write amplitudes directly to the DAC, sample by sample, like in a bytebeat formula. I understand it is possible on ...
9
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4answers
754 views

How is PETSCII used by assembly-language programs?

First, a bit of context. I wrote an interactive disassembler for 6502 code that, among other things, attempts to identify ASCII strings automatically. Appropriate source code for different assemblers ...
5
votes
1answer
221 views

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 ...
11
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2answers
894 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 ...
47
votes
4answers
3k views

What precautions to take when powering on old computer for the first time in years

I have a Commodore 128D that hasn't been powered in about 15 years. I want to begin using it again. It has been stored in cool dry places like attached garages, in a cardboard box. I hope this ...
11
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3answers
489 views

Commodore 64 with partly working keyboard (part 2)

I have a C64 that has recently stopped responding to two 'columns' of keys, namely '9,0' 'i,o' 'j,k' and 'n,m' - I've swapped the CIA chips (U1 and U2) to no effect, so I pulled a keyboard from a ...
8
votes
2answers
560 views

How advanced was the Amiga Walker prototype?

The Amiga Walker was a prototype Amiga computer that never made it to market. Wikipedia has some info including a photo of a motherboard. How advanced was the prototype? Could it boot and run Amiga ...
6
votes
2answers
496 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'...
3
votes
1answer
257 views

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. ...
19
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4answers
1k views

Commodore BASIC and binary floating point precision

I am mildly curious that though the 6502 provides BCD arithmetic which would be useful for implementing decimal floating point, Commodore BASIC uses, like all (?) Micro-Soft BASIC, binary floating ...
10
votes
1answer
518 views

Possible cause for C128 A/V output containing faintly coloured columns and failing shortly after?

I recently acquired a Commodore 128. It worked fine for about an hour, in both C64 and C128 mode, at the exception of some coloured bars, before displaying garbage and not booting anymore into any ...
13
votes
1answer
863 views

Does the Commodore CDTV-CR contain a 65C02 for some reason?

Browsing around the FS-UAE source code I discovered a 65(S)C02 emulation core, which appears to not be referenced anywhere outside of some CDTV-CR related source file. Apparently, a CDTV is ...
9
votes
2answers
576 views

How do you send code to a Commodore disk drive and run it?

Commodore disk drives such as the 1541 used with the Commodore 64 and similar computers, and the earlier 8050 used with the PET series, had their own 6502 CPU and 2 kB or so of RAM used to run the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a device that will take composite video from a vintage computer and filter it so it is green or amber like the old monochrome monitors?

I know some monitors have a mono/green switch, but I'd like to do this with my 1702. If one doesn't exist, I'll probably try and make one (somehow).
18
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2answers
2k views

What was the role of Commodore-West Germany?

Most of the history of Commodore in personal computers took place while East and West Germany were divided, and Commodore maintained a significant corporate presence in West Germany. While I believe ...
7
votes
1answer
385 views

Digital PCB Plans for Retro Computers

I use software like Fritzing or Autodesk EAGLE to draw my Raspberry Pi or Arduino projects and was wondering if there is a source for PCB plans of for example an Amiga 500 in a format readable for ...
4
votes
1answer
243 views

Was there any VIC-20 expansion to bring memory beyond the default maximum of 40 KiB?

The Commodore 64 was very flexible in terms of how RAM could be controlled. ROMs and I/O devices could easily be swapped out by setting bits in the first two addresses of memory. The VIC-20's ROMs and ...
9
votes
4answers
830 views

Early BASIC memory management

Can anyone verify or correct my memory here? Long ago, I had access to a Commodore PET which I think had 8kB of memory. Also slightly less long ago, I had a Commodore 64 with its "elephatine" 64kB. ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best option to connect old computer to modern TV

I was exploring different options of connecting both my Atari ST and C64 to a modern TV. I opted for a composite signal passed through a cheap AV to VGA converter, and although the display works, ...
9
votes
0answers
442 views

How many Amiga 3000's were produced?

While revisiting this question: Seeking details relating to Amiga 3000 serial numbers I began to wonder how many actual Amiga 3000's were produced by Commodore. I suspect (like most production ...
4
votes
0answers
130 views

Vic-20 total game cartridge sales

The Vic-20, like many home computers of its time, had a cartridge slot that could be used both as a general expansion slot, and for game cartridges like a console. Game cartridges on the Commodore ...
2
votes
1answer
280 views

Commodore PC-1 power supply measurements off

I have a Commodore PC-1 with a busted power supply. I have no desire to fix it as I don't have the know-how it is already 30 years old It is difficult to debug / find replacement components So I ...
4
votes
1answer
359 views

First Commodore 80-column monitor

While the Amiga could be used with a TV in a pinch, it was primarily intended for use with an RGBA monitor; memory says, and Google seems to confirm, that was the 1084. Commodore made color monitors ...
5
votes
1answer
426 views

Commodore Plus/4 60671 bytes free - how?

It is widely known that, while the Commodore 64 did indeed provide 64K of RAM for machine code programs, only 38K was usable from BASIC; this was because bank switching was needed to get at the rest, ...
5
votes
2answers
493 views

C116 vs C64 cost

The Commodore 116 was the start of the ill-fated TED line of 8-bit computers, which sold poorly (for several reasons, particularly including lack of compatibility with the Commodore 64) until they ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Getting your Commodore VIC-20, 64 or 128 online

Back in the day, of course we used modems ("dial-up modems" in today's parlance) to get our Commodores connected to other systems. These days I know several people have concocted options to get ...