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View Full Version : Who wants an EDUCATOR 64... Ebay



CanadaPhil
January 26th, 2017, 02:03 AM
http://http://www.ebay.ca/itm/RARE-Vintage-Commodore-EDUCATOR-64-CBM-4064-Tested-and-WORKING-/252740700724?hash=item3ad8850a34:g:JSwAAOSw241YiSy 0 (http://www.ebay.ca/itm/RARE-Vintage-Commodore-EDUCATOR-64-CBM-4064-Tested-and-WORKING-/252740700724?hash=item3ad8850a34:g:JSwAAOSw241YiSy 0)

It's NOT mine... but it is from a Canadian seller.

icbrkr
January 26th, 2017, 05:34 PM
Funny, we were just talking about Educator 64s the other day on FB. However, that has too many zeros to be interesting :)

rittwage
January 27th, 2017, 06:06 AM
Yeah, there isn't that much of a potential market and rarity for that kind of price.

They have recently gone for a third of that to a half on the high end...

Druid6900
January 27th, 2017, 06:12 AM
Obviously, reality hasn't caught up to the east coast yet...

Bish500
January 29th, 2017, 07:17 AM
Does anyone know what Commodore's logic was in putting a nice colour computer in a case with a monochrome monitor?

CanadaPhil
January 29th, 2017, 01:28 PM
Does anyone know what Commodore's logic was in putting a nice colour computer in a case with a monochrome monitor?

Teenage High school students!

Bish500
January 29th, 2017, 03:29 PM
Teenage High school students!

Teenage high school students like colour too!

KevinO
January 29th, 2017, 04:59 PM
I wouldn't mind having one in my collection. At the risk of being a hypocrite, I wouldn't pay that much, but if I was selling one, I'd hope to get that much! :roll:

KC9UDX
January 29th, 2017, 05:34 PM
They do have a certain appeal, even if the first time I saw one in use I was confounded with the same question as Bish500.

But I'm the same guy that wishes there'd been a monochrome variant of the SX-64.

Pet Rescue
January 30th, 2017, 09:00 AM
They do have a certain appeal, even if the first time I saw one in use I was confounded with the same question as Bish500.

But I'm the same guy that wishes there'd been a monochrome variant of the SX-64.

You would have liked the SX-100 monochrome SX-64 that never got put into production, do any exist out there?

KC9UDX
January 30th, 2017, 02:42 PM
You would have liked the SX-100 monochrome SX-64 that never got put into production, do any exist out there?

I don't think so.

RobertB
January 30th, 2017, 07:52 PM
Does anyone know what Commodore's logic was in putting a nice colour computer in a case with a monochrome monitor? Probably to save on costs. Also, in the upper area where the monitor and its circuit board are located, there isn't any room to put in a color circuit board and a color CRT. (Of course, it they had made a bigger case...)

However, you can still hook up a 1701/1702/etc. through the video port located on the side of the Educator.

Works very well in that kind of set-up,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

KC9UDX
January 30th, 2017, 08:38 PM
What does the board that's in there look like? Is it a standard C64 board?

It occurs to me that possibly one of the reasons I'm not bothered by a monochrome display is that the first monitor I had for my C64 was a black and white TV, and when I finally did get a colour monitor, the colour quit working anyway.

AdamAnt316
January 30th, 2017, 10:09 PM
Best I can tell, the board in the Educator 64 seen in the auction is more-or-less a standard C=64 board, at least at the basic level. I'm guessing some modifications were done to move the ports farther out, as well as provisions for feeding the built-in monitor, but it appears to be roughly the same otherwise. According to this page (http://www.swtpc.com/commodor.htm), some of them had a different ROM installed in order to disable the color/sound functions, but not all of them were modified in this way.

I also ran a C=64 into a B&W TV at one time. It didn't matter a whole lot, since the C=64 in question had a bad 6526, so joystick-based games were out of the question. I used it that way until I finally found a color monitor, and eventually amassed enough C=64 parts to replace the bad IC, and make it fully-capable.
-Adam

KC9UDX
January 30th, 2017, 10:55 PM
I wonder if anyone has a copy of that ROM. I don't know how ROM code could prevent colour and sound output on a C64.

More likely, I think, is that it merely changed the default light blue on blue colours at startup, much the way the SX-64 does.

A modified PLA could inhibit access to the VIC-II and SID registers, but that would remove an awful lot more functionality than just colour and sound.

snuci
January 31st, 2017, 03:21 AM
I have a couple of Educator 64's including one that I am working on right now (waiting to find the right C64 motherboard). Commodore used older motherboards in these units and I have successfully swapped a specific revision plain Jane C64 board in my earlier Educator 64. You have to remove the power switch and the RCA jack from the metal video modulator and then solder the wires to the right spots on the back of the motherboard to successfully swap motherboards. Since the Educator 64 has an internal speaker and a separate video board that drives the internal monitor, these are the wires that need to be soldered on including power.

As such, the ROM is the same because, as mentioned, you can drive a 1702 monitor in color through the regular video DIN connector and video output goes to both. The port connectors are standard and are not extended at all but there is tight tolerance hence why the metal video modulator needs the RCA type jack removed or the motherboard won't fit properly. If I recall correctly, the original motherboard had no video modulator at all.

The Educator 64 has shades of green for the colors. From my understanding (since I don't have one but would love to find one), the PET 64 (a similar model) is purely monochrome.

If you like a PET and you like a C64, this computer is pretty awesome but maybe it's just me. These were used mainly in schools so students wouldn't walk away with a normal sized breadbin C64, from what I've read.

RobertB
January 31st, 2017, 09:20 PM
The Educator 64 has shades of green for the colors. From my understanding (since I don't have one but would love to find one), the PET 64 (a similar model) is purely monochrome.
The PET 64 version of the Educator used a XY monitor with a special XY circuit (located at the bottom of the metal base of the system) to drive it.

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

crock
January 31st, 2017, 10:44 PM
The PET 64 version of the Educator used a XY monitor with a special XY circuit (located at the bottom of the metal base of the system) to drive it.

If by XY you mean a vector display, no it didn't, the PET64 (aka Commodore 4064) used a standard PET raster monitor, with no luma support, so no 'shades of green', the pixels are just 'on' or 'off'. The board which you refer to takes the luma signal from the VIC-II and splits it into a v-sync, h-sync and video on/off signal expected by a standard PET display.

In general the the 4064 is a much more interesting beast than the Educator64. It had no SID, colour RAM, modulator, nor any of the supporting passive components. The board is jumpered such that any reads from the colour RAM return 'white', and the dedicated kernal forces the screen and border colour back to black via the interrupt routine. There is dumps of the ROM on zimmers.

There's a bunch of pictures from mine here:
http://www.inchocks.co.uk/commodore/4064/

And the ROM here:
http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/kernal.4064.901246-01.bin
cheers, Rob

KC9UDX
February 1st, 2017, 12:12 AM
Very interesting... So all it takes to make the border and background "white" is to write a custom ISR and set the VIC registers as usual.

I suppose it would be pretty useless though to change the background if the only possible colour for the text is "white".

JonB
February 1st, 2017, 05:42 AM
Honestly, I can barely believe they did this. A C=64 in a PET case, with no colour or sound? I get the PET case, it is indestructable (and so is the keyboard) but even so.. And it looks a bit rubbish with that enormous font. Why would a school buy them? They might have stuck with 4032 PETs and saved money.

ClassicHasClass
February 1st, 2017, 05:52 AM
The board is jumpered such that any reads from the colour RAM return 'white',

I think it's the Kernal doing that. If you set the high bit on location 646, which ordinarily controls text colour, the Kernal releases its control of the colour registers and you can use it as mostly a regular 64, which would not be possible if the board were jumpered to force colour RAM one particular way. It also doesn't square with Commodore's habitual penny pinching: they would had to have done actual work modifying the motherboard for that! ;)


Why would a school buy them? They might have stuck with 4032 PETs and saved money.

You got a monitor for free, and breadboxes fit nicely in student knapsacks, so they do you no good if they're stolen. A PET is rather harder to walk off with, or at least that's been the quoted rationale. Commodore just jammed refurbished boards in cases they had lying around from the PET, slapped a few labels on, and shipped them out at bargain rates. There were also Commodore-sponsored public domain educational titles available in those days for the 64 (I was subjected to a number of them as a kid), so the idea was not completely crazy.

crock
February 1st, 2017, 06:10 AM
I think it's the Kernal doing that. If you set the high bit on location 646, which ordinarily controls text colour, the Kernal releases its control of the colour registers and you can use it as mostly a regular 64, which would not be possible if the board were jumpered to force colour RAM one particular way. It also doesn't square with Commodore's habitual penny pinching: they would had to have done actual work modifying the motherboard for that! ;)

Trust me, I'm right. Go look at the picture of the mainboard I posted. The jumper is actually used to pull the the outputs of the missing 4066 at U16 high by a 3.3k resistor so the VIC-II will always see $0F (light grey) as the character colour.

KC9UDX
February 1st, 2017, 07:46 AM
The story of shoving left over C64 boards in leftover PET case never jibed with me. C64s were selling so fast that there shouldn't have been leftover boards. For what it cost to produce them, how many would they refurbish, anyway? And no way will a C64 board /and/ keyboard just fit in a standard PET case, as far as I know.

Sure the cases are similar, but not the same, and must have been manufactured separately and intently. At least that's always been my opinion.

MikeS
February 1st, 2017, 08:13 AM
Probably to save on costs. Also, in the upper area where the monitor and its circuit board are located, there isn't any room to put in a color circuit board and a color CRT. (Of course, it they had made a bigger case...)

However, you can still hook up a 1701/1702/etc. through the video port located on the side of the Educator.

That's a problem Steve G.'s having with the Colour PET; colour CRTs tend to be longer than monochrome tubes, so the upper case needs to be extended somehow.

http://www.6502.org/users/sjgray/projects/colourpet/

Note the various 'official' colour PETs that never made it past the prototype stage.

rittwage
February 1st, 2017, 09:08 AM
If by XY you mean a vector display, no it didn't, the PET64 (aka Commodore 4064) used a standard PET raster monitor, with no luma support, so no 'shades of green', the pixels are just 'on' or 'off'. The board which you refer to takes the luma signal from the VIC-II and splits it into a v-sync, h-sync and video on/off signal expected by a standard PET display.

In general the the 4064 is a much more interesting beast than the Educator64. It had no SID, colour RAM, modulator, nor any of the supporting passive components. The board is jumpered such that any reads from the colour RAM return 'white', and the dedicated kernal forces the screen and border colour back to black via the interrupt routine. There is dumps of the ROM on zimmers.

There's a bunch of pictures from mine here:
http://www.inchocks.co.uk/commodore/4064/

And the ROM here:
http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/kernal.4064.901246-01.bin
cheers, Rob

Hey, this is a PAL machine. I didn't realize they were available across the ocean. I wonder if the US only got Educator 64's and they were PET 64's in Europe?

CanadaPhil
February 1st, 2017, 03:32 PM
S O L D !!!

For $780 Cdn plus $130 for Shipping!

ClassicHasClass
February 1st, 2017, 03:32 PM
Trust me, I'm right. Go look at the picture of the mainboard I posted. The jumper is actually used to pull the the outputs of the missing 4066 at U16 high by a 3.3k resistor so the VIC-II will always see $0F (light grey) as the character colour.

Maybe this is something about the European models? I haven't seen many on this side of the pond, but I certainly don't remember that.

RobertB
February 1st, 2017, 10:21 PM
If by XY you mean a vector display, no it didn't... Ah, I must be getting confused with the explanation that Ray Carlsen gave me when he worked on my Educator 64.

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

RobertB
February 1st, 2017, 10:31 PM
The story of shoving left over C64 boards in leftover PET case never jibed with me. C64s were selling so fast that there shouldn't have been leftover boards. For what it cost to produce them, how many would they refurbish, anyway? In the early days of the C64, there were many, many returns, due to board failures.

Sure the cases are similar, but not the same, and must have been manufactured separately and intently. The metal base of the Educator 64 is different, due to different holes for the ports. The thick plastic, upper case of the Educator 64 is different, because it has a C64 keyboard to house.

By the way, if you guys come to the June 10-11 Pacific Commodore Expo NW at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, Washington, USA, you'll see my Educator 64 on display. Perhaps I can convince my friend Stephen J. to bring his Teacher's PET to sit alongside.

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

RobertB
February 1st, 2017, 10:38 PM
Why would a school buy them? They might have stuck with 4032 PETs and saved money.
School districts around the San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon areas used many PETs. As for Educator 64's, CBM was going after the education market that Apple had. If CBM gave them a better deal than Apple...

Having placed a C64 in my classroom starting in 1984,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

P.S. Ah, what heady days! I'd load in Sea Route to India (via datasette!) or Speedscript v1.0 (via datasette!), among others. The students were happy with those.

RobertB
February 1st, 2017, 10:45 PM
I wonder if the US only got Educator 64's and they were PET 64's in Europe?
I have a friend in the Mid-Atlantic Retro-Computing Hobbyists (MARCH) club, and he has a PET 64. After seeing it at VCF East, I don't remember it being PAL.

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

KC9UDX
February 2nd, 2017, 02:32 AM
In the early days of the C64, there were many, many returns, due to board failures.

Sure, but I can't picture them fixing all of them and then storing them. If they fixed them, I'd expect they sold them right away, or, sent them back for one that was returned. Considering production cost, though, I expect they wrote them off and threw them away.

RizThomas
February 2nd, 2017, 05:41 AM
S O L D !!!

For $780 Cdn plus $130 for Shipping!

I remember when Robert B. described how he drove across 3 states, pass through border checkpoints, take the ferry to Victoria, B.C., Canada to pick up his Educator64 and drove back home again 😀😁😀

RobertB
February 2nd, 2017, 12:11 PM
I remember when Robert B. described...
:) Good memory! Now what did I do with the original article? ;)

...how he drove across 3 states...
That was a long drive!

...pass through border checkpoints...
Canadian border official - lots of questions. U.S. border official (looking at the Educator 64 upon the wheeled luggage cart), "What's that?" :)

...take the ferry to Victoria, B.C., Canada...
The MV Coho is always a relaxing ride. Eat a little snack from the on-board cafe, sit by a window overlooking the water, and have the murmur of the ship's engines lull you to sleep.

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

RobertB
February 3rd, 2017, 07:35 AM
Perhaps I can convince my friend Stephen J. to bring his Teacher's PET...
Stephen just message me saying that he had donated the Teacher's PET to the Telephone Museum a few blocks away from the Living Computer Museum.

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

Ral-Clan
February 3rd, 2017, 03:10 PM
If by XY you mean a vector display, no it didn't, the PET64 (aka Commodore 4064) used a standard PET raster monitor, with no luma support, so no 'shades of green', the pixels are just 'on' or 'off'. The board which you refer to takes the luma signal from the VIC-II and splits it into a v-sync, h-sync and video on/off signal expected by a standard PET display.

In general the the 4064 is a much more interesting beast than the Educator64. It had no SID, colour RAM, modulator, nor any of the supporting passive components. The board is jumpered such that any reads from the colour RAM return 'white', and the dedicated kernal forces the screen and border colour back to black via the interrupt routine. There is dumps of the ROM on zimmers.

There's a bunch of pictures from mine here:
http://www.inchocks.co.uk/commodore/4064/

And the ROM here:
http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/kernal.4064.901246-01.bin
cheers, Rob

Neat....because of the on/off nature of the video display, it looks a lot nicer and crisper than the Educator64 screen does. I like it (I love the PET, though). I would definitely pick one of these up if I ever saw it - it actually appeals to me more than a regular C64 in some ways.