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Thread: THE128RM (The 128 Remastered)

  1. #21
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    Everything is different in hindsight. Most of it seemed to make sense at the time, from my perspective. I'm guessing those in charge at Commodore thought moreso.

    Keep in mind that things were changing very rapidly. By the time the C128 was on the shelves, it didn't make as much sense as it did when it was first rumoured, even though it ended up being better than the rumours. Most computers had that problem during that time. The C64 was the opposite. It made more sense after it went to market. Of course that could probably be best said about all models of Amiga until the A4000, too.

  2. #22

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    The C128 came from Commodore wanting to have something new to show at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1985, after the big debut of the Amiga in 1984. The 1985 CES was Atari's debut of the ST and XE series, so Commodore didn't want their old boss to totally steal the show.

    Too bad it resulted in a disjointed, unwieldy, expensive to produce machine with two CPUs, two video chips, three incompatible modes of operation, and two incompatible monitor outputs. Software and hardware developers couldn't take full advantage of its new capabilities without giving up any hope of C64 compatibility, so most of them didn't even try.

  3. #23

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    Software and hardware developers couldn't take full advantage of its new capabilities without giving up any hope of C64 compatibility
    I dispute this. There were a number of titles that ran "enhanced" on the 128, like The Last V8 and at least one of the Ultimas. They also ran on the C64 without the advanced features. Many of them didn't advertise they could do this. It was the relatively small install base that made this unattractive, not the technology.

    I rather like the 128 and consider it an evolutionary upgrade. It's overengineered and more complex than it needed to be, and the 128CR/DCR did not fully rectify this, but I find the 128 more "pro" and convenient to use even though most of the time I admit it's in 64 mode.
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
    Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

  4. #24
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    I also disagree. The 128 showed Commodore could actually design and build something right! The boys done good.
    Rick Ethridge

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicHasClass View Post
    I dispute this. There were a number of titles that ran "enhanced" on the 128,
    Compared to the thousands of C64 titles, that's a very small number of titles.

    Many of them didn't advertise they could do this.
    Who knows why? Most games which could run on a standard IBM PC but provided improved graphics and sound on the IBM PCjr or Tandy 1000 were clearly advertised as such. But maybe in this case one extra level for C128 users wasn't worth bragging about.

    I find the 128 more "pro" and convenient to use even though most of the time I admit it's in 64 mode.
    Like I've said before, most people who owned a C128 simply used it as a C64 with a larger case, better keyboard, and higher capacity floppy drive (if they got the 1571) -- all features which could've been implemented in a "C64 Pro" at lower cost and with better success.

    But as the story goes, Commodore had a bunch of leftover MOS 8563 video chips from the cancelled C900 UNIX machine, so they stuck it in the C128 -- and then the Z80 CPU was added like I mentioned, and soon it became more of a Frankenstein's monster of spare parts nobody asked for, rather than a cohesive design with a clear goal of how it was going to improve upon the C64.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Ethridge View Post
    I also disagree. The 128 showed Commodore could actually design and build something right! The boys done good.
    Ill dispute this,, good idea. Bad product (as far as final product from a technical standpoint.. Its a convoluted mess. Its not refined. Seems rushed. probably was)

  7. #27
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    Sure not the way I see it. The B128 was rushed, the Plus/4 was rushed. But the '128 is a work of art.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    Sure not the way I see it. The B128 was rushed, the Plus/4 was rushed. But the '128 is a work of art.
    You mean its your goto box over the C64? Youd rather boot a 128 up everytime unless you have a specific C64 need? Really?

  9. #29

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    Youd rather boot a 128 up everytime unless you have a specific C64 need? Really?
    Given that it's on my desk ... yeah. Hold down the C= key and you're in 64 mode (or, in my case, flip the multicart switch to the Epyx FastLoad).

    Compared to the thousands of C64 titles, that's a very small number of titles.
    Sure. But the assertion was that developers couldn't take full advantage of its capabilities without giving up 64 compatibility, and that isn't true. They did, and the principles were well known. The small 128 install base was why it wasn't more common, not programming difficulty.
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
    Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwestlife View Post

    The C128 wasn't really meant to have the Z80 CPU or CP/M capability. In development they discovered that it was incompatible with the C64's CP/M cartridge, so the "fix" was to simply build the Z80 CPU into the machine!
    Given how unreliable/buggy the original CP/M cartridge was, I don't know why anyone would seriously consider that as a reasonable design decision. I have heard that the Z80 was necessary for determining whether to come up in 128 or 64 mode.

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