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[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Cartridges, in large part, fixed my suggestions to make the C64 better. I.e. they provided what the C64 lacked and the users missed.

If the C64 already had these things it made room for other stuff in the cart or the user may not need a cart at all. You could only insert one. If I inserted my Simon's BASIC cart I didn't have the fast loader and the reset button, if I inserted my Final Cartridge III I couldn't run my Simon's BASIC programs.

The shape could have been better if they did some testing, but instead they used the VIC-20 design (the breadbox). Commodore made typewriters and the PET computers before the VIC-20/C64, so they should have had some experience with professional typists and keyboards. The C128 keyboard was great.

The CAPS never bothered me either, but looking back now it did seem a bit weird.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by zima on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 15:28 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

How long was it, at C64 introduction, since Commodore made an exit from typewriter business? (edit: over two decades http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_International#Founding_and_e... - and CBM didn't really ever design them, it seems: only repaired and license-produced) Maybe a case of organisation as a whole forgetting things.
Oh, and the first version of PET had a horrible keyboard, much worse than Volkscomputer/C64 (and when PET improved on it, I guess it still wasn't really better? ...seems similarly fat)

If one was forced to swap between 2+ cartridges, that could made a difference - but then, it didn't bother vast majority of users, I guess. Their one cart was just sitting there.

PS. Look what I found in PET article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tentoonstelling_mens_en_computer_... (does the narrator say anything curious / funny / quaint beyond what EN-sounding words and the description suggests? And w8, such TV transmissions were still b&w in 1979?...)

Edited 2012-08-02 15:36 UTC

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RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 15:34 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

My FC3 indeed just sat there, but that meant I never did anything in Simon's BASIC anymore. Maybe I will again one day, apparently I have 2 SB carts and I may find the manual somewhere.

If the first PET keyboard was so bad that would have been even more incentive to pay attention to the VIC/C64 keyboard. The ZX Spectrum keyboard was even worse, but the IBM PC, which predates the C64, had a great keyboard. So examples were about.

To me it seems the C64 keyboard and its BASIC 2.0 was just Commodore being cheap. Despite is also being presented as a serious computer Commodore and we know it would be mainly used as a games machine, not some to write novels on (a novel in CAPS).

Reply Parent Score: 2