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C256 Foenix Project – What could have succeeded the C128?
Edited by: au_chadl on 2018-08-08 22:53
It is a nice project but I
It is a nice project but I have not heard a lot of progress or news which makes me wonder what is happening. The Amiga succeeded the Commodore 128. The 6502 was based off of the Motorolla 68000 chip and Apple already had the Apple II Gs. Commodore was competing with the Mac and the reason the C-128 had CPM was they were afraid the Z80 would make a comeback. Atari was competing with the Atari ST and Amiga was competing with VGA. In college, my Computer Science classroom was filled with IBM PCs and my computer science professor showed me publications on the IBM PC and told me that was the only place I would get a job from. There were memory expanders for the Commodore line but they were expensive and Commodore never incorporated them into one big console which may have been more attractive to consumers but I believe they didn't want the C-64 or 128 to compete with the Amiga. The fact that the C-16 and other computers were given less memory meant that Commodore was going backwards instead of forwards. Commodore basically had an audience that bought their computers from Toys R Us and mail order outlets and tried to take that audience from a $200 console to an $800 dollar console or more depending on which Amiga version they bought. I felt gouged from the third party peripheral prices and some of the wait lists were a year and a half. On top of that, they were making my computer obsolete by introducing more chip memory, updating roms and the operating system and charging a premium at it. I don't think we've ever paid for a new iOS version on the iPad or for updates to Android phones. I really think Commodore lost their way because of the new owner who tried to run a company based on the old audience that bought the $200 dollar systems, was basically easy for people to program and took it to the Amiga which a lot of programmers didn't know how to learn how to program and had to buy a library of Abacus books to program. And if we wanted more information about the machine, we could have bought into the developer program. It was an economic cult that was driven by a few rich people who said they wanted new stuff all of the time and the rest of us could not pay for it. Meanwhile I can buy a Dell computer for a couple of hundreds of dollars. I went broke trying to keep up and when I came out of college, Commodore was bankrupt. I waited for companies to do something with the intellectual property and it seems no one did. What we lost was a computer that people could program at home and what I want you to do is price the cost of Visual Basic or Visual Studio from Microsoft and tell me if you can afford it or not. Visual Studio is $499. So basically you have to be a businessman to program a lot of computers because programming is no longer free. Companies could not give their web browsers away for free and compete with Internet Explorer. Sun Microsystems basically gave their software away for free because they could not compete for market share and average programmers cannot compete with a company like Microsoft that can pay their employees to write code 365 days a year. I feel that ARM is the real successor to the 6502 and they started on the 6502 but wanted to speed it up and now it is in a lot of phones. Your audience were the kids next door who learned how to write programs in BASIC and weren't gouged a lot by the price of the C-64 and software. We went from writing programs in color to vanilla IBM clone programs.
Now less than 2% of the
Now less than 2% of the public programs. BASIC was to teach people how to program and it taught some people but it is a failure.
>The 6502 was based off of

>The 6502 was based off of the Motorolla 68000 chip

I assume you mean the 6801/68xx family which is entirely different than the 16/32 bit 68000

>the reason the C-128 had CPM was they were afraid the Z80 would make a comeback.

Not really, I am the one that made the decision to build the Z80 into the C128 and it was due to multiple problems that could be solved by putting it on board. Namely the CPM cartridge would have meant that I had to build in over an Amp of excess capability into the power supply ("switcher" instead of "get warmer") and the cartridge that had problems on the C64 had even worse problems ion the C128.  It also meant we had apps to use the 80 coulumn on day one.

>The fact that the C-16 and other computers were given less memory meant that Commodore was going backwards instead of forwards.

That was a weird computer that was completed before we even knew about it as it was done in Tokyo. I think they were trying to use up TED chips to get their investment back out of it and the 16Kx4 DRAMs (64K total) made the 16K machine possible (Didn't exist in '82/'83)

"... the MOS Technology 6502

"... the MOS Technology 6502 was based on the Motorola 6800 CPU (released the same year as the 8080, and both chips initially sold for $360). In fact, many of the engineers behind the 6502 had worked on the 6800 at Motorola."


" (MOS Technology also made a 6501 CPU that could be used to replace the 6800 on a logic board, but Motorola filed suit against the upstart company, which agreed to withdraw the 6501 and pay Motorola $200,000.)"-IBID

It is mistake for adding an extra digit and confusing the two.

As a customer, I started on
As a customer, I started on the Commodore 64. I did have other computers but a majority of the programs in magazines like Run, Ahoy, Compute!, Compute's Gazette, the Transactor were written for the Commodore 64. When a Computer like the C-16 came out and had less memory, the issue is that it is messing with the best selling computer of all time from that era, all the programs written for the magazines had a C-64 majority and we wanted compatibility. A new BASIC was introduced at some point but a company has to assure users that it is compatible, it has support, it has more capabilities and it is here to stay. What do you do with a C-16 if the programs are mostly written for the C-64 or 128? You have to hunt and look hard. It means that you are now in the minority and a minority programmer. It means you will spend less time on the machine. So in a sense, Commodore could not get past their success. Had Commodore invented their version of batch files and were able to load modules in BASIC and run then the 1541 disk drive and the computer would not have seen so limiting. If Commodore said, we increased the room for variables in BASIC or we made the new BASIC compatible with the old computer then maybe I would have bought. If they included the Print Using statement that Apple had, it would have been a plus. If more machines included a built in Machine Language Monitor or assembler, they would have been more popular.
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