Friday, January 4, 2013

Multiple Personality Disorder...

King Tut by Tokra & Akronyme Analogiker (2011) 
Multiple Personality Disorder isn't such a bad thing if you're an 8-bit computer.  Appearing in 1985, the Commodore 128 (review|manual) was one of the last 8-bits and certainly the best of any make or model.  It represented the end of the road for a line which began with the PET 2001-8 back in 1977.  Some say it was what the C64 should have been.  It didn't sell as well as the C64, but several millions did make their way into people's homes around the world.  People got a lot for their money!  I'll have to devote a few blog entries to cover it all.

I just have three computers in my little computer collection, but they are all set up to be daily drivers (if I'm in the mood), and this one is my current favorite.  It is my favorite because I can explore and tinker with so many interesting things:  CP/M from the computer science genius, Gary Kildall, of Digital Research; the GEOS family of operating systems and productivity software; multiple CPUs and computer languages, including Commodore's most powerful BASIC v7; all of the fun Commodore 64 games; a  slew of peripherals as powerful and impressive as the main computer itself; a lead designer who still engages with a very vibrant online community; disk magazines, like LoadStar Quarterly, that I had no prior exposure to before; and a metric ton of software that will run on this thing!  It's basically a hacker's dream.

"Megabit ROM" main menu (1 of 3)
This unit has some really nice features, like the "1986" ROM upgrade; dual-SIDs; 512k RAM expansion; the Function ROM from Megabit (Dan Newbury); µIEC from Jim Brain; JiffyDOS for both modes; dual floppy disk drives with JiffyDOS; LCD VGA monitor support using Richard42's PCB and GBS-8220; and a 64k print buffer.  I'll discuss some of these in greater detail when I focus on CP/M and Wheels (GEOS v4.4).

More to come in another blog post!...

For more information you can research the following resources:
WWW Pages:
Documentation Archives:
Software Repositories:
Search Engines:

I have additional C=128 & C=64 material over on my web site:

Are you interested in computer history?  Join the irregular regulars Earl Evans, David Greelish, and Carrington Vanston, plus surprise guests, in the show where everything old is news again.  Gather 'round a virtual table where today's talk is about yesterday's computers. Get the skinny from the world of vintage computer hobbyists, collectors, enthusiasts, and old school geeks. They cover modern day vintage tech events, new developments for old hardware, the revival of retro tech, the best of 8 bit culture, and take many strolls down memory lane.  Head on over to and explore podcasts, review show notes and be informed of upcoming episodes.  You'll be glad you did!

1 comment:

  1. Did I forget any C128 web sites that should not be missed? Please contribute your suggestions, helpful information and/or personal stories!...