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Thread: A rather strange Commodore C128D

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by snuci View Post
    Do you have any pictures? Do the internals look any different? Perhaps it's a prototype?
    Bil Herd posted pics of his, which has a sticker on it that says sample 9, and it’s got text by the LEDs. I’d imagine it’s unlikely that an earlier one escaped, but anything is possible I guess.

    http://c128.com/real-commodore-c128d...designed-least

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    Following Occam's Razor, could it have been an injection molding issue or manufacturing error?

    That would be my guess. The molds had an issue and someone decided to keep pumping them out blank until the text could be repaired. Of course I’m just writing fiction here, I have no evidence in reality, but I’d imagine the text would wear out first on the molds.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jafir View Post
    Bil Herd posted pics of his, which has a sticker on it that says sample 9, and it’s got text by the LEDs.

    http://c128.com/real-commodore-c128d...designed-least
    That's what I was looking for too. Bil Herd's early sample has the writing. I wonder if your 128 is like that because of the 120V market that needed another language instead of English (and stickers were cheaper)? it's still pretty cool.

  4. #14

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    It has to be a prototype. The plastic case 128D was never sold in the USA because they could not get FCC approval for it. That's why they had to redesign it in a metal case.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    Following Occam's Razor, could it have been an injection molding issue or manufacturing error?
    Very unlikely. You don't forget to put raised lettering in a plastic injection mold. Once it's there, it's very hard (and expensive) to remove. This would have been done intentionally. Someone decided to make cases without lettering, and then the mold was changed to add it.

  6. #16
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    Was the C128 ever sold in any numbers to educational customers? I know Commodore had a reputation for filling those orders with machines that were slapped together from essentially random parts they had lying around. Other possibility is it may have come from one of those big inventory dumps to discount resellers they seemed to do on a regular basis even well before they were actually going out of business; quite a few prototype bits surfaced through those channels over the years.

  7. #17
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    All interesting theories, but it begs the question, if you have a viable casting, I doubt it would wear evenly so that all the raised (or even sunken) text would go at the same time. There would, likely, be some evidence of some text or remnants of it.
    Why make a mold without the text when it would, obviously, be rejected.
    I suppose the lettering in the mold could have been masked, for some reason (although it would probably ruin the mold at the temperatures they work at) and then slap a Commodore 128D label on it.
    Then there is the matter of it being a 110V NTSC unit. Could it have been a prototype of the case there were GOING to release in North America that was subsequently shot down by the FCC?
    If there were a LOT of them, I could see it as an inventory dump, but, I have never seen or heard of one before and even "slapped together units would have had the text when they were initially molded.
    No one theory seems to fit the facts....
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  8. #18

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    There's just no way that that mold will make a usable part if the lettering is that far gone. Masking the lettering is not an option. The mold would have to be designed with different inserts for lettering or not lettering; this is no minor issue (or expense!). If the same mold that made this one made parts with lettering, the lettering was added (permanently) after this part was run, I'd bank on it. So most likely, this part was run before Commodore finalised what text would be used for the ports. I.E., this is a very early molded part. Then this C128 is either a pre-production unit, or they just used a leftover pre-production case. Or, there are more of these out there somewhere than we know of. Did all other plastic-cased Commodores have molded English lettering?

  9. #19
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    Well, I just spent too much time looking at too many plastic 128Ds and, in every case, where the test was legible, it was English (although I searched on European 128D) and, even in ones where the text wasn't legible, you could see that the number of characters for power and disk were the correct number and that the raised emblem in the bottom right corner square was there.
    My case has none of these.
    I was also thinking, and I'm not an expert on injection molding forms, that it would be easier to add the text to an existing mold than it would be to remove it.
    Legacy Computers and Parts

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