Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 1st Aug 2012 22:45 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Hardware, Embedded Systems "It is 30 years since the Commodore 64 went on sale to the public. The machine was hugely successful for its time, helping to encourage personal computing, popularise video games and pioneer homemade computer-created music. [...] BBC News invited Commodore enthusiast Mat Allen to show schoolchildren his carefully preserved computer, at a primary school and secondary school in London."
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RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Zbigniew on Mon 6th Aug 2012 10:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Zbigniew
Member since:
2008-08-28

* Its chips (video and sound) were great, but they could not be accessed from BASIC without POKEing. Apart from that its BASIC wasn't very good, being almost the same as the VIC-20. Not everybody likes Simon's BASIC, but it would have been an improvement and provide a way to do video and sound stuff from BASIC.
Of course you're right, that it would be better to have it "out of the box" - but, on the other hand, it made a place for variety of extensions: not everyone preferred BASIC (remember Logo, Comal, variety of BASIC extensions, etc.?).

* Fix the bug preventing fast disk access! Disk access was very slow compared to other systems. Fastloaders proved disk access could have been much faster.
It wasn't possible. Commodore engineers too late realized, that VIA6522 (used in 1541 floppy disk station) has "hardware bug". Only the later models (1571) had VIA6522 replaced with CIA6526, having the transfer 5x faster since the very beginning (burst mode).

And once more "of course": as we all saw, it could be "fixed in software" anyway (variety of free "fastloaders") - but most probably they had no time.

* Tape access was slow too.
Indeed it was. But almost every commercial program/game used its own "fast-load" routine.

* There was no reset button.
Yes, actually it was strange, that one had to build it in by himself.

* The C64 would have been much easier to type on (and look at) had they used the C64-C model from the start.
...but maybe more expensive as well. Remember: Tramiel always was going to cut the costs.

* When a C64 was turned on LETTERS WERE CAPS. A bit ugly.
...but also standard behaviour for 8-bitters at these days.

There is another thing, that attracted my attention: fixed colour pallette. It seems to me, that it would be quite easy to make it selectable, e.g. by reserving a few memory cells for intensity of red, green, blue (for every of 16 colours available at the same time), and such solution doesn't seem to raise the costs. Maybe they thought "16 colours will be enough"?

P.S. It could be only 16 cells, each one reserving 2 bits for R,G,B intensity value, respectively. Such way we could have 16 colours at the same time, selectable out of 4*4*4=64 possible colours pallette. And if the remaining 2 bits were used for e.g. "overall intensity", then we could have even more.

Edited 2012-08-06 10:37 UTC

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