C64 magazine exposé!   Leave a comment

 

There was a computer magazine called “INPUT” designed to teach readers  how to program in the language BASIC, which was built in on ROM to nearly all “home computers” of the early 1980’s, with the exception of the Jupiter Ace, which had the language Forth on ROM instead.
INPUT magazine was published in 52 instalments  which built up into a kind of encyclopedia. Binders were available for it. I really regret that the first issue I bought was No. 4 and I didn’t get my hands on No. 3 until years later. In that issue, INPUT exposed the Commodore 64 as having an inferior BASIC to all other computers which they had program listings for. These computers were the Sinclair Spectrum, the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron (both using BBC BASIC) and the Dragon computer. Apart from this, they pointed out that some of their programs would also run on the Sinclair ZX81, Commodore VIC-20, and Tandy Colour Computer. In practice, MOST or even all of the Dragon listings ran on the Tandy, a lot of the listings also ran with some modifications on the ZX81 and Commodore VIC-20.

Issue No. 3. of INPUT had a feature called “HOW TO PLOT, DRAW, LINE AND PAINT”. This contained a short explanation saying that the Commodore 64 had no provision for accessing its “very sophisticated” (i.e. high resolution) graphics facilities from BASIC. To do that, you had to buy an add on cartridge called “Simon’s BASIC”. This provided Commodore 64 owners with the commands that were built in to all other computers, with the exception of the Commodore VIC-20, so it was the SECOND time Commodore had pulled this dirty trick. Obviously, Commodore should have provided these cartridges free of charge to all Commodore VIC-20 AND Commodore 64 owners!

 

 

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Posted August 5, 2012 by C64hater in Uncategorized

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