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Thread: Belgian Commmodore 128?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    178

    Default Belgian Commmodore 128?

    Just won an Ebay auction for a boxed C128 (even including the CPM disk) +1541C drive (odd pairing for a 128 but happy to have it anyway). Slight catch - it is from Belgium but I got it for a song compared to normal UK prices. Looking at the listing only the user manual seems to be translated, the box and the C128 seems to be the same as the UK version.

    Anyone know if there are any differences on The Belgian issued machines? Really hoping the ROMs aren't translated or anything like that!

  2. #2

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    The Belgian C128 and in fact most of the internationalized C128 variants have modified Kernal and Char ROMs for the altered keyboard layout and additional characters, plus code to reload the VDC's character set in 80-column mode, but prompts and everything else are still in English. The CAPS LOCK key controls this feature (in C64 mode as well, though here it only selects the alternate Char ROM, not the alternate Kernal). See

    http://www.floodgap.com/retrobits/ckb/secret/fr128.html

    and for the general idea,

    http://www.floodgap.com/retrobits/ck...et/sven64.html
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
    Machine room updated for 2019!: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    178

    Default

    Thanks,

    Other than a Dutch manual (and demo disk) it's all English (including English box and Introductory guide), no AZERTY layout or any special characters on the keys at all. Possibly an import? Or the 'Belgian version' only had French and the AZERTY layout in the French speaking part of Belgium but there was also a 'Dutch version' for Flanders which simply had a translated manual?

    Either way, I think I've done quite well. Dirty and yellowed but actual condition not too bad. A shame the drive is only a 1541 as my existing 1571 only has the top head running but on the other hand it is a 1541C which I haven't seen a lot of so happy to throw it on the pile!

    This is the listing:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Commodore...rdt=true&rt=nc

  4. #4

    Default

    Yes, this looks more like an import than a localized system. Still, check it out when it arrives.
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
    Machine room updated for 2019!: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

  5. #5

    Default

    If it has a Dutch manual, it does not mean it has been imported from the Netherlands. In Flanders it was common to order your computer with a US keyboard instead of a French one. In those days there was a strong antipathy against everything that was French so if people had a choice between a French or US keyboard, the choice was easy.
    Regarding the import: "Dutch" Commodores were made in Germany. They just added or replaced the original manuals with Dutch ones. So why not ship a load of these systems to the Dutch speaking part of Belgium?
    With kind regards / met vriendelijke groet, Ruud Baltissen

    www.baltissen.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    178

    Default

    It's turned up (although seller forgot to include the manuals and disks, they're still on the way). Hardware itself is exactly the same as UK C128 (even has Commodore UK address on the box). Did come with a European PSU. It and the 1541C included are both rated 220V on the label. I'm running it on UK 240V and it seems quite happy, don't know if there is actually any difference or not in the PSU hardware?

    Incidentally - I wasn't sure if the RGBI port would work on any monitors I have as I heard the output on PAL models is 50Hz whereas CGA should be 60Hz. However it works fine on my IBM 5154, image is rock solid no evidence of the monitor being run at the wrong frequency. Is RGBI still 60Hz on the PAL 128? Or is the 5154 able to be driven with a 50Hz signal?

  7. #7

    Default

    Most CGA monitors will display a 50Hz signal fine. A few marginal monitors will have deflection issues (and a very few will be really upset by such a signal), but the IBM 5154 shouldn't be one of them.
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
    Machine room updated for 2019!: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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