TMR’s COMMENT ANSWERED   Leave a comment


The Commodore 64 as it should have been, so that people would have known it wasn’t possible for them to program it (pic edited using GrafX2 instead of the nasty Photoshop which costs an extortionate price and is totally user unfriendly, the same as its open source clone, The GIMP. It took me 2-3 hours to doctor the original pic, but still TMR has the cheek to complain!)

The blog was started because I rejected ONE comment from TMR. Here’s a copy of the comment below, which was in reply to my post “Why was the Commodore 64 such crap?” .

Point 1 is wrong: the C64 was developed AT THE SAME TIME as the Max by a different team.

Point 2 is also wrong: 64K CAN BE accessed from machine code and you were TOLD THIS when you made the same mistake over at Atari Age. If you didn’t understand the “gobbledegook excuses” when people explained what was happening it would’ve been better to admit that than trudge on making the same mistakes regardless.

Point 3… Commodore didn’t sell ROM upgrades you say? You might want to check your own blog then because you’ve got a post complaining about Simon’s BASIC, a ROM upgrade for C64 BASIC sold by Commodore.

I will now finally reply to this comment below.

  1. The Commodore Max was a predecessor of the Commodore 64, mentioned in an official Commodore book, which was either the User Guide, or the Programmers’ Reference Guide. It said that the Commodore 64 could use Commodore Max games cartridges. I’d never heard of the Commodore Max before reading about it in one of those books. It was released before the Commodore 64 and it failed. It’s almost totally irrelevant to me and other budding BASIC programmers lumbered with the C64 whether or not the development period for the Commodore 64 started before development of the Commodore Max had finished.

    2. I was SHOCKED to find out that I couldn’t use anything like 64K in my BASIC programs, as well as that the Sinclair Spectrum 48K had more RAM free to BASIC than the Commodore 64! Based on various comments, even software houses programming in Assembly Language/Machine Code didn’t think they could use anything like 64K. At the department store John Lewis, they quite rightly had a sign on display next to the Commodore 64, saying it was a 38K computer.

    3. I was talking about a potential ROM upgrade in the form of a new BASIC ROM which would have been fitted to the C64 motherboard, totally replacing the original C64 BASIC ROM with its “COMMODORE BASIC V2”. This would have sorted out the problem. Before you mention it, I know that the original Atari BASIC for the Atari 400 and 800 computers was supplied on a plug in cartridge, but this was the standard BASIC for those computers. Atari BASIC on all later Atari 8 bit computers was supplied on a ROM chip fitted to the motherboard, though. I think that Commodore should have recalled all Commodore 64 computers to have a BASIC ROM upgrade done. Simons’ BASIC was a commercial package marketed by Commodore on a plug in cartridge, which extended Commodore BASIC V2’_BASIC . Programmer David Simons had also done work on the Commodore PET and Commodore VIC-20, so he wasn’t just thrown into the nightmare which was the Commodore 64, but had some time to get used to crappy Commodore computers. Commodore BASIC V2 was suitable for the Commodore PET range, but NOT for even for the Commodore VIC-20, let alone the Commodore 64. Even so, David Simons had already used Commodore computers over a period of about 3 years, starting at a time when computers didn’t have many facilities. You could say that even I learnt to program on a Commodore 64. However, what I learnt wasn’t much and not really any more use than a Sinclair ZX81. All I wanted was a computer that could be easily programmed, like non Commodore computers on the market at the same time (1984). I often wonder how different things would’ve been if my first computer had been a ZX81, followed up by a Sinclair Spectrum. I remember one heated discussion with my Dad where he said I should “Think yourself lucky” because I didn’t have to make do with a Spectrum. My reply was “The Spectrum wipes the floor with it!” By this comment I meant that the Sinclair Spectrum was supplied with a version of BASIC that was perfectly adequate or even GOOD for controlling the Spectrum hardware.


The C64GS, showing when Commodore finally released the proper version of the Commodore 64, not pretending to be a computer at all

I think this is all I need to say about TMR’s original comment above. I’m already planning my next article, which I’ve titled “The Story of BASIC”. Look forward to that! Meanwhile, here’s a link to a good put down of Commodore BASIC V2 in a review of Simons’ BASIC.

Posted January 14, 2013 by C64hater in Uncategorized

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