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Is a RAM SYSTEM a computer?

Was the Commodore 64 a real computer?  The reason I'm asking is because people would see the blue screen that says "64K RAM SYSTEM 38911 BASIC BYTES FREE" and somehow come up with the suggestion that it wasn't a computer.

Was this a real question? 

Was this a real question?  The reason I'm asking is because those people come up with silly suggestions.

I'm kupo for Kupo nuts!

Yes, it is a real question by

Yes, it is a real question by a programmer but it was never fully explained and I'm sure they don't know everything either.
Ever since Commodore lost their footing in schools, I feel they were never taken seriously and my computer science professor showed me IBM computer magazines and said that is where the money is at and that those IBM magazines were the Bible.
How many vendors serve IBM equipment?  You have Seagate, Maxtor and then you have graphic card makers and thousands of makers.  AMD and IBM had government contracts so it was Commodore battling it out against these tech giants with governement money which was poured into R&D.
My memory isn't that good but ARM was created because they wanted to speed up the clock on the 6502.
I can only go by what I've read in the news but I remember reading that Bill Gates didn't believe in something Commodore was doing and he has his own reasons but you don't make a lot of money off of computers that are sold for $200 dollars or less which get sold through outlets like Toys R Us.  When Toys R Us is one of your vendors, it creates a different image than business machines.
The other issue is that as an Amiga owner, I always felt that I was getting gouged by third party peripheral makers and I felt that IBM compatibles were bucking the trend on that.

I still don't think I

I still don't think I understand the question... was the C64 real computer?
Well, it was more of a real computer than the Nintendo Entertainment System or Sony PlayStation, although it was less powerful.
It was also more of a real computer than your microwave or toaster, even though the embedded controllers used nowadays are about as powerful (although your toaster usually lacks sprites and polyphonic voices).
Yeah, I've read Mr.Gates didn't think much of 6502 which is one of the reasons he was anxious to "cash out" on his investment in BASIC for that CPU.
Of course these days, people think of a "real computer" as something that can read email, browse the web, play music, play games, and edit a text document or spreadsheet.  The C64 does all of those things, so by that definition it is a real computer.
Of course some people might think a "real computer" must have dual-core 64-bit CPU with at least 4GB of RAM.  By that definition, the C64 is not a real computer.
Is an Abacus a real computer?  Is my Texas Instruments calculator a real computer?  I can program it, but I can't read email.
Based on your description, it seems that some people consider a "real computer" to have some sort of slot system; ISA , PCI, slots for example... or whatever the Amiga has.  The C64 doesn't have those, so by that definition, it is not a real computer.
It does have an expansion port (cartridge port) which might be the closest analogy; normally you could only plug in one device, so it was not a real bus like ISA/PCI.
The C64 has an IEC bus built-in, and also an IEEE bus was available with a cartridge.  These buses allow a variety of devices to be connected to a C64, although it is quite different from ISA/PCI bus... more like a USB bus.
In summary, the answer is whatever you want, unless you define your terms more precisely.

I'm kupo for Kupo nuts!


Yes the C64, VIC20, PET and KIM-1 were all computers.  They display how much memory is available to the microprocessor on their opening screen, something PC's do today.  They ran one of the fast processors of the day available to consumers where a 1Mhz 6502 was roughly equal to a 4mhz 8080 or Z80.  In addition to RAM the C64 had dedicated video and sound chips which set it apart from thee competition who were using off-the-shelf graphics chips.
The amount of memory available is actually a test result on the C64, something we knew all to well when working on the 128.  I spent a couple of weeks with the wrong number coming up until I had banged through all of the bugs affecting memory.
Generally computers are defined as having an instruction processor, an optional math processor or capability, a place for instruction memory, and a place for variable or calculated memory.  The C64 was written in 6502 assembler, and understood Basic as a live interpretation... harder to get more of a real computer than all of those things combined. :)

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