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Author Topic: Commodore 64  (Read 3554 times)

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Offline Chuffington

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #60 on: May 20, 2020, 06:31:23 PM »
Somewhere I still have my old ZX Spectrum - complete with microdrives & printer...might have to dig it out.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2020, 11:23:57 PM »
Good pic, there, squiddy!  :thumbsup:

I was going to quote it, but thought you may be embarrassed, so I thought I'd post this one instead:



As can be seen, nothing much has changed, except he's got glasses and has taken up drinking  :beers:

I'm the good looking one, by the way.  :D
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Offline Bealman

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #62 on: May 21, 2020, 12:14:23 AM »
Actually it's great to hear the stories on this thread about people who played around with these 'toy' home computers back then went on to a lifetime career in the industry!  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 04:53:40 AM by Bealman »
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Offline Bealman

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #63 on: May 21, 2020, 04:59:33 AM »
Apologies, @Paddy I've just been looking through the reviews (and you're right, they're mostly positive), and I see there is a VIC-20 mode included, which is pretty cool!

And yes, I do remember Your Computer magazine and a host of others that were around in those days. I too, spent hours typing programs in from listings contained therein!

I also loved the green text on the black screen. In fact the first thing I would do upon power-up of my VIC-20 then later the C64, would be to change the screen to green text on a black background, to make it look like a 'real' computer!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 05:13:27 AM by Bealman »
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Offline Graham Walters

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #64 on: May 21, 2020, 07:42:04 AM »
I wish I could get hold of an Amiga 600 with the 1Mb memory expansion port, just to play ATrain !

Both my sons were brought up on it, and now both are in IT.
Oh the joys of buying commodoe magazine, spending hours typing in the "free" game, and having it crash !

My first PC was a Compaq all in one !
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Offline Bealman

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #65 on: May 21, 2020, 08:12:44 AM »
Yeah, there was a very comprehensive space shuttle simulator for the Amiga. But I used to love my C64 flight simulator - flying around the chunky Statue of Liberty, and between the towers of the World Trade Centre, rather than into them!
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Offline Paddy

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #66 on: May 21, 2020, 08:46:01 AM »
Not sure if I have said this before, but I was fortunate to work for one of those independent computer stores that were around in the 1980/90s.  The pay was awful but it was one of my best jobs as I was like a kid (well I was 18 so still a kid!) in a toy shop.

I had access to almost everything - 8 bit computers from the usual players, Amiga, Atari ST and Amstrad PCs.  The best sellers during my time (I worked there for just over a year before getting a proper job as a mainframe programmer) were the Amstrad PCW (hard to keep up with demand and mostly I sold the 512K model which surprises me now as they seem rather rare secondhand) and Atari ST.

Many customers came in to look at the Amiga but left with the Atari.  This was before the Amiga 500 came out so the price difference was significant.  Also, the ST had a trick up it’s sleeve - simply show it running in high-res mode on the monochrome monitor and compare it to the Apple Mac!  We had one ST modded with the Mac ROMs so could even boot it in to Mac OS. 😉

I left just as the Amstrad PC1512 came out.  My goodness that was a lot of computer for the price at the time.  It sold really well too but I was not a fan personally.  Now, the EGA based PC1640 was a really good machine,  I actually bought one with my own  money - I seem to recall it had a 20MB hard disk.

Spent about six months being trained as a professional programmer (Jackson structured programming, PL/I, JCL, VSAM etc.) before being let loose on the real systems.  My next move was to Intel as a programmer and this was “toy shop” number two.

I joined Intel around the time the 386 was released and then came Windows 3.0.  Whilst I started as a mainframe programmer (COBOL this time), I switched to their Application Development Centre that evaluated new PC development tools.  It was great fun as we were able to order PCs internally (Intel made its own motherboards etc. then) and I had a top spec 486 with 16MB RAM etc.

One fantastic event at Intel was when they decided everyone in the company needed to understand the PC.  This was before everyone had a personal Intel based PC at home.  Plus they were still very expensive.  Intel gave everyone a brand new free PC with top spec monitor, IBM Model M keyboard, DOS, Windows etc.  I remember how proud I was to collect mine from the warehouse in Swindon.

Ah happy days...

Kind regards

Paddy


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Offline Bealman

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #67 on: May 21, 2020, 08:54:32 AM »
Awesome!  :thumbsup:
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Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #68 on: May 21, 2020, 09:48:26 AM »
I started with the Tandy TRS Model 80 ( 16k of throbbing RAM). And then  upgraded with the 32k add on box and a 48k floppy. The original 16k was nearly £600 ( with green screen) in 1980! It was replaced by a floppy tape drive ( as per Sinclair QL)

I then  migrated to Ataris, the BBC MIcro ( all night sessions playing E lite) an IBM PC Jr ( SWMBO got it cheap through the Company) and eventually  the first IBM AT in a GP practice ein W London ( 1985)

I’ve retired with my Big Mac, ( 40GB RAM, 4 TB SSD) and a PC.

I now restore old PCs/ laptops for charity/ good causes - its amazing what extra RAM, an SSD drive And Win10 can do for an old machine! ( alas not for its owner).

It’s amazing how much demand there is for free PCs - people on benefits, kids doing GCSEs, older isolateD people.

If you have any old machines in the garage, consider refurbishing them and use Freecycle or Nextdoor to give them away.

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Offline Paddy

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #69 on: May 21, 2020, 10:09:49 AM »
Hi @Railwaygun

Totally agree about upgrades.  I purchased a new ThinkPad X121e laptop back in 2011 from Lenovo.  It was not amazing then i.e. Intel i3, 4GB RAM and a 120GB mechanical drive.  Over the years, I upgraded the RAM to 8GB (the max it can take), replaced the drive with a Samsung 850 PRO SSD and upgraded to Windows 10.

The machine still looked like new as it has mainly been used on a desk attached to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Last year, I donated it to my brother and it is still doing good work for him - that is 11 years from one machine.  Not bad in my book.

What really annoys me is the current trend (thanks to Apple) for laptops not to be upgradeable.  Personally, I believe all machines should be able to have additional RAM and storage added.  Even the latest ThinkPads are now coming with soldered RAM and no slots.

In my book this is a retro-grade step and it is not good for the environment.  I understand why manufacturers do it - cheaper to make, more reliable, lighter, thinner etc. but it is a pain.

Kind regards

Paddy
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 10:10:55 AM by Paddy »
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Offline zwilnik

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #70 on: May 21, 2020, 10:40:40 AM »
Hi @Railwaygun


What really annoys me is the current trend (thanks to Apple) for laptops not to be upgradeable. 
In my book this is a retro-grade step and it is not good for the environment.  I understand why manufacturers do it - cheaper to make, more reliable, lighter, thinner etc. but it is a pain.

Kind regards

Paddy


We've still got decades old Macs in use. By being reliable and fully usable with an optimised OS in the first place, you don't need to keep replacing or bolting bits on to keep them useable. Generally older Macs and iPhones get passed along to family and friend and stay in use. Also, by not using cheap, disposable components, Apple devices are all extremely recyclable when they do reach the end of their working life.

By their nature, Laptops aren't really machines that users consider upgrading internally, probably only 1% of their users would consider bolting in more RAM or a new drive. So it's kind of wasteful to build that feature into all of them. The serious pro users just get the top spec machine when they get a new one, knowing it'll be good for them for the next 3-5 years and can be sold off or passed down the friends and family chain when they need a new one.

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #71 on: May 21, 2020, 10:45:16 AM »
Hi @Railwaygun

Totally agree about upgrades.  I purchased a new ThinkPad X121e laptop back in 2011 from Lenovo.  It was not amazing then i.e. Intel i3, 4GB RAM and a 120GB mechanical drive.  Over the years, I upgraded the RAM to 8GB (the max it can take), replaced the drive with a Samsung 850 PRO SSD and upgraded to Windows 10.

The machine still looked like new as it has mainly been used on a desk attached to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Last year, I donated it to my brother and it is still doing good work for him - that is 11 years from one machine.  Not bad in my book.

What really annoys me is the current trend (thanks to Apple) for laptops not to be upgradeable.  Personally, I believe all machines should be able to have additional RAM and storage added.  Even the latest ThinkPads are now coming with soldered RAM and no slots.

In my book this is a retro-grade step and it is not good for the environment.  I understand why manufacturers do it - cheaper to make, more reliable, lighter, thinner etc. but it is a pain.

Kind regards

Paddy


if you can get them open,( V difficult on modern laptops , and if you do, build quality is poor). the cases need a set of phone repair tools ( or a plectrum) to prise the shells apart.)  the HD is nearly always pluggable SATA and an SSD will drop in, 4GB runs Win10 well, and its my standard for refurbished machines.

2/3GB will work as well ( usually XP PCs) but most XPs get skipped ( and win10 is picky about older pentiums) ! getting runnable s/w is the problem - browsers, skype etc.
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Offline stevewalker

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #72 on: May 21, 2020, 11:01:30 AM »
By their nature, Laptops aren't really machines that users consider upgrading internally, probably only 1% of their users would consider bolting in more RAM or a new drive. So it's kind of wasteful to build that feature into all of them. The serious pro users just get the top spec machine when they get a new one, knowing it'll be good for them for the next 3-5 years and can be sold off or passed down the friends and family chain when they need a new one.

Laptops used to have a couple of hatches on the bottom. Remove a single screw and open the hatch to reveal spare RAM sockets. The other hatch allowing access to the hard-disk. Simple, cheap upgrades that, many users could carry out for themselves, allowed older machines that struggled with newer operating systems, new application versions and larger file sizes to be massively speeded up by the addition of more RAM and replacing hard-disks with SSDs. Removal of these options condemns many laptops to being scrapped many years before they would otherwise need to be. That makes them more costly over their lifecycle and more wasteful of resources.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 11:03:15 AM by stevewalker »

Offline zwilnik

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #73 on: May 21, 2020, 11:14:48 AM »
By their nature, Laptops aren't really machines that users consider upgrading internally, probably only 1% of their users would consider bolting in more RAM or a new drive. So it's kind of wasteful to build that feature into all of them. The serious pro users just get the top spec machine when they get a new one, knowing it'll be good for them for the next 3-5 years and can be sold off or passed down the friends and family chain when they need a new one.

Laptops used to have a couple of hatches on the bottom. Remove a single screw and open the hatch to reveal spare RAM sockets. The other hatch allowing access to the hard-disk. Simple, cheap upgrades that, many users could carry out for themselves, allowed older machines that struggled with newer operating systems, new application versions and larger file sizes to be massively speeded up by the addition of more RAM and replacing hard-disks with SSDs. Removal of these options condemns many laptops to being scrapped many years before they would otherwise need to be. That makes them more costly over their lifecycle and more wasteful of resources.

Except most of the cheap ones got thrown away before anyone ever considered using those hatches and *most* laptop users aren't technically minded enough to install even a simple RAM upgrade.

Like I said, most Apple laptops carry on in use for years and are typically extremely cost effective over their lifecycle as well as recyclable at the end. I still use my 2011 MacBook Air for game dev for instance. It's pretty much done a lap or two of the world by now and it's still got enough oomph for professional game dev (just). When I retire it, my Mum will probably end up using it for a few more years at least.

OS wise, it's only just hit the point where it's not supported by the absolute latest version of macOS, but the version it does run is still fully supported and optimised so it's not a slow device. The only area where it's right on the limit now is when I'm working on huge Unity projects, so it's relegated to only working on prototypes.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 11:17:47 AM by zwilnik »

Offline Paddy

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Re: Commodore 64
« Reply #74 on: May 21, 2020, 11:21:30 AM »
Hi @Railwaygun


What really annoys me is the current trend (thanks to Apple) for laptops not to be upgradeable. 
In my book this is a retro-grade step and it is not good for the environment.  I understand why manufacturers do it - cheaper to make, more reliable, lighter, thinner etc. but it is a pain.

Kind regards

Paddy


We've still got decades old Macs in use. By being reliable and fully usable with an optimised OS in the first place, you don't need to keep replacing or bolting bits on to keep them useable. Generally older Macs and iPhones get passed along to family and friend and stay in use. Also, by not using cheap, disposable components, Apple devices are all extremely recyclable when they do reach the end of their working life.

By their nature, Laptops aren't really machines that users consider upgrading internally, probably only 1% of their users would consider bolting in more RAM or a new drive. So it's kind of wasteful to build that feature into all of them. The serious pro users just get the top spec machine when they get a new one, knowing it'll be good for them for the next 3-5 years and can be sold off or passed down the friends and family chain when they need a new one.

Oh God no, not the Apple vs. PC debate.  ::)

If you buy decent quality PCs then they are just as good as Apple - personally I have always purchased ThinkPads.  Like Mac's these go on for ever and use high quality components - actually the same components as Apple is most cases.  Apple also benefits because there is no low cost version of the Mac - Intel, Microsoft etc. have to contend with the budget manufacturers.

It is true that Apple benefit from having a closed, proprietary environment which allows them to tightly integrate hardware/software.  I have no problem with Apple kit - it is beautifully made in the main although a wee bit of style over substance on occasion for me.

The closed ecosystem was a debate that went on between Jobs and Woz from almost day one at Apple.  Obviously Jobs won and one can see the benefit in the iPhone which is a wonderful piece of kit.

Kind regards

Paddy


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