Wellington Commodore Alert!

Introduce yourself. Tell people why you are interested in vintage computers and what (if anything) you've got.

Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby tezza on Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:13 am

Aww heck, blowing things up is part of the fun with this hobby :)

Good luck!
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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby lizardb0y on Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:58 am

Hi SparkyNZ,

Welcome to the forums :) I'm also Wellington based, and it occurs to me that there are a few of others on the forums from around these parts. I'd be keen to have a vintage computing meetup sometime early in the new year. I'll start a thread to see if we can rustle up some interest :)
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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby SparkyNZ on Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:09 am

lizardb0y wrote:Hi SparkyNZ,

Welcome to the forums :) I'm also Wellington based, and it occurs to me that there are a few of others on the forums from around these parts. I'd be keen to have a vintage computing meetup sometime early in the new year. I'll start a thread to see if we can rustle up some interest :)


Hi LizardBoy. Yeah I'd be interested in having a look along (as long as I leave my soldering iron at home :) ). What sort of machines do you play about with?
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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby lizardb0y on Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:19 am

SparkyNZ wrote:
lizardb0y wrote:Hi SparkyNZ,

Welcome to the forums :) I'm also Wellington based, and it occurs to me that there are a few of others on the forums from around these parts. I'd be keen to have a vintage computing meetup sometime early in the new year. I'll start a thread to see if we can rustle up some interest :)


Hi LizardBoy. Yeah I'd be interested in having a look along (as long as I leave my soldering iron at home :) ). What sort of machines do you play about with?


I'm a Sinclair enthusiast first and foremost, but have a keen interest in most of the machines of the 80s that I remember.

My personal collection includes a few Commodores; Vic 20s, C64s, C64Cs, an SX64, Amiga (1000), Amiga 500, C128Ds, CDTV and a couple of CD32s. I really want a PET as well as this was one of the first computers - along with a TRS-80 Model 1 - that I remember seeing. I also have assortments of Ataris, Spectravideos, a couple of TI 99/4as, Dick Smith System 80 and VZs, and many others including games consoles. I have a partial list up on my Old Copmuters profile.
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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby Harvey on Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:07 pm

I find it strange that people can get so worked up over a Vic-20. When I had a good look at some Vic-20 games running, at a Christchurch address - I was very unimpressed. Now, if you were to compare the same sort of games running on an Atari 400 - can you tell which one is better?
I did eventually buy a C-64, and got the essential AR-II cartridge, disk drive - and sampled the best of the various C-64 games. Everyone should know by now - the difference between the Atari computers and the C-64. The C-64 had a fixed colour palette, whereas you could choose your colours on the Atari. The C-64 had more sprites available, that were independent, whereas the Atari had a limited sprite system - and they were essentially single-coloured, whereas the C-64's were multicoloured. You had to perform programming tricks on the Atari to make the sprites there, more versatile, and to make them appear to be multicoloured. I believe that the design of the Atari 400/800 hardware were done around 1980? Amiga owners/users will know that Jay Miner was responsible for the chip design. With the C-64 design done 2? years later - it is no wonder it had an edge over the Ataris. Tramiel's takeover of Atari - led to the 65XE and 130XE design, or rather re-design - in which there was no major redesign done at all - that is the problem when you stay compatible with the old software. The XE's show that they had cheaper manufacture in mind, because anyone knows that the 800XL had the nicest keyboard to touch type with, and it has nice solid construction overall. I've owned an Atari 800, Atari 800XL and a 130XE. I should have kept them - but because of money problems - I always sold my old computer to help purchase a new one. I've owned a C-64, Atari 1040ST, Amiga 500 and two desktop PCs - and have only purchased my first laptop PC of late. I also purchased a Sega Megadrive and a Nintendo SNES - the later with a cartridge copy device, that enables you to load ROMs from 3.5" floppies.
I did not do much with the C-64, although I did draw a few graphics - which are on Youtube - along with all the artwork I've done on the Atari 800, and Atari ST.
I did make contact with some C64 moder or demoguy in Wellington - but our contact did not result in anything much. I always made better contacts with Atari enthusiasts...

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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby tezza on Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:23 pm

Harvey wrote:I believe that the design of the Atari 400/800 hardware were done around 1980?


Well the machines were announced in 1978 and available in 1979 so the design would have been even before that.

I agree about the feel of the Atari 800XL keyboard. I never owned one back in the 1980s but acquired one for the collection a few years ago. For a home computer, it felt pretty good.
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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby Harvey on Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:31 pm

"Well the machines were announced in 1978 and available in 1979 so the design would have been even before that"...

If you take it, it was designed around 1978 - that makes the Atari 400/800 design pretty old - and ten years later they were still trying to sell that same design - the 65XE was not radically different from the Atari 800 design.
I think you would be hard pressed to be able to purchase an Atari 800 in 1979 - that it would be around 1980 that they were available in significant numbers.
With the Atari 800, you can easily pop the top off, seeing the 10K OS ROM plugged in - and I think there were two? slots for memory boards, typically a 16K one, and to plug in a 32K one to take it to 48K. But overheating was a problem with these memory boards contained within a plastic casing - so that it was usual for the plastic casing to be removed so that a better flow of air would be possible.
Of course, no one really wanted a 16K 6502 computer at that time - games jumped significantly from 8K to 16K, and to 32K in size fairly quickly. 48K became the desired minimum in the early 80s' - the change from 48K to 64K for the Atari 800XL, was more for a sales pitch than a necessity - probably to make it seem to be the equal of the C-64.

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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby Carcenomy on Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:01 pm

IIRC the reason the VIC20 seems so terrible is because at the end of the day, it was a small boarded Commodore PET with a VIC chip. But it was cheap! ;)
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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby Harvey on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:16 am

I will guess that the Vic-20 did not have sprites nor fine scrolling available in hardware - and the only reason it sold, was because of it's Pet heritage - and William Shatner advertising, and what he was promoting was not some futuristic computer - but a dinosaur. That it could not compete that well against the Atari 400 - sums it up. And it was only the keyboard difference, that made it seem superior.

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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby Carcenomy on Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:04 pm

I thought it was because it was an nth of the price of an Atari 400 and could play games like the 2600.
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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby lizardb0y on Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:57 pm

From Bits & Bytes October 1981:
Vic-20 $899
Atari 400 $1295
Atari 800 $2695
ZX81 $199
2nd Hand OSI Challenger 1P, 12" Green screen $850 ono.

What was the best computer of the early 80s? The one you could afford.
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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby tezza on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:07 pm

lizardb0y wrote:From Bits & Bytes October 1981:
Vic-20 $899
Atari 400 $1295
Atari 800 $2695
ZX81 $199
2nd Hand OSI Challenger 1P, 12" Green screen $850 ono.

What was the best computer of the early 80s? The one you could afford.


Yes, that's right. Not only was the marketing far better, the VIC 20 was a lot cheaper than the Atari 400 and remained that way until May 1984 (although you might be thinking of the October 1982 issue Andrew. There was no October 1981 unless it's an overseas mag. you are citing).
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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby lizardb0y on Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:07 pm

Yes, 1982 :)
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Re: Wellington Commodore Alert!

Postby Harvey on Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:03 am

Yes - those prices recall how the Atari's were vastly overpriced, and unaffordable for many, and why Sinclair and the Vic-20 were more affordable in comparison.
Few were committed towards the Atari at it's early start - but anyone who paid attention to what you could run on it, knew there was little choice, as far as graphics capability was concerned, and arcade-quality videogaming...

Defender was a classic coin-op game, and even Atari failed to deliver a decent home version of this popular game - and it was only when Dropzone appeared that - Defender was accurately represented on the Atari 8-bit hardware.

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