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Hello from an original former Commodore 16 owner!

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 10:02 pm
by robers7
Hello forum! I'm Scott in Southampton, UK, and I started watching Terry's YouTube videos about a year ago.

When I saw Terry's video on the Commodore 16 I was over the moon! I was about 9 years old when my father bought me a Commodore 16 for Christmas (probably Christmas 1985, perhaps 1984). It was my first computer and I remember vividly the box and the polystyrene packaging. My C16 came with datasette, some introductory tapes and a book on CBM Basic.

It was interesting because the computer was bought from the UK department store chain Alders (since closed down) and was offered at a massive discount even thought the machine had only recently been released. I remember well the "Made in England" sticker on the base of the machine, so it wasn't a US import for offloading on the European market (unless it was originally destined for the US market...).

Of course as a 9 year old I didn't appreciate the chronology of CBM at that time but in retrospect it fascinates me that the C16 actually post-dates the Vic-20 and C64! At the time I felt very left out as all my friends had C64s and Vic-20s and none of their games were compatible. I think I maxed out at about 10 games total for the C16.

It wasn't all games though: I went on to study computer science at school and acquired an Acorn Electron (for which I obtained a Plus 1 interface clone - not the real thing - and even attached a mouse!), a BBC model B+ and subsequently a Commodore Amiga 500 (into which I placed an adapter card mounting an 8086 chip to run PC-XT MS DOS software!).

I was an avid computer programmer spending many nights in my bedroom writing software. Initially these were text-based games on the Electron. I grew into graphics (lots of user-defined graphic characters "UDGs") and tried writing primitive flight simulator software etc.

When I came towards the end of my school studies I took A-Level computer science and acquired a PC 486 DX with probably 120MB hard drive. I was then well into object oriented programming using Borland's OWL libraries and produced route-planning software with traffic simulator for emergency services in my home town of Cardiff, South Wales. This was my A-Level project.

I studied computer science majoring in software engineering on a sponsorship with IBM and after graduating worked in many IBM software engineering roles. I am now a technology lawyer specialising in patents and the like for a telecoms company in London.

Terry's videos are excellent and I thoroughly enjoy every single one. They are extremely well researched and most informative.

While I have no association with New Zealand it is somewhere I fully intend to visit - my wife was there about 20 years ago and speaks very highly of it. It is interesting that somewhere so far away can seem so European (and there seems to be much commonality on the vintage computing front too!)

Keep up the excellent work on YouTube Terry.

Re: Hello from an original former Commodore 16 owner!

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 11:38 pm
by tezza
Hi Scott,

Thanks for those kind words about the videos and that personal narrative on your early computing experience. Unlike you, I didn't see my first microcomputer until I was around 21 or so. It was a TRS-80 Model 1.

The Commodore 16 might have been an orphan compared to the C64 but I do like that very cool charcoal black case :)

Regarding computers back in the '80 in some way we got the best of both worlds here in NZ. American, British and Asian clone machines (Apple and PC) were common here, with the (very few) odd local machines thrown into the mix. Of course they were all hellishly expensive. Our dollar was very low at the time and we also had import taxes. The Dick Smith System 80 made a mark, more so than it did as the Video Genie in the UK. It was really an Asian TRS-80 Model 1 clone of course.

I've just got another British machine. An Amstrad CPC 464. It will get the video treatment at some stage although I really need to get a colour monitor for it first. Those things are very rare down here so it might be a while.

Anyway, welcome to the forums!

Re: Hello from an original former Commodore 16 owner!

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 4:31 am
by sidney
Ah the Commodore 16! I have recently purchased one of these as I love the other Commodore machines and I had to have one of these in my collection! I have to say that despite not being blessed with a lot of hardware grunt the C16 does have a lot of great little pick up and play titles that don't take forever to load. Kikstart on the C16 is vastly superior to it's C64 cousin and a lot of games written by Shaun Southern later of Lotus fame are simply awesome.