In this thread, we fight the Commodore vs Spectrum wars all over again.

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Seriously, nearly 25 years on now, and I still can't understand why anyone would rather play a Spectrum than a C64. Try and "discuss" here.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Sunday, 25 September 2005 15:41 (seventeen years ago) link

i cannot understand why anyone would buy a C64 when they could have a spectrum.

i.e. you are wrong. (lock thread)

Britain's Obtusest Shepherd (Alan), Sunday, 25 September 2005 17:05 (seventeen years ago) link

I mean, what did you people play on the Spectrum? Seriously, I'm "intrigued".

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Sunday, 25 September 2005 17:16 (seventeen years ago) link

pick up a retro gaming mag. which has the most pages dedicated to it? SPECTRUM every time - we win! :-) i guess it might be the Ultimate effect - they developed all those great games on the spectrum, and their c64 games just sucked.

what i played just for info like.

ant attack. jet pac. manic miner. jet set willy. knight lore. elite. chuckie egg.

that'll do for now. and text adventures obv

Britain's Obtusest Shepherd (Alan), Sunday, 25 September 2005 17:25 (seventeen years ago) link

also check out shoot out here


Britain's Obtusest Shepherd (Alan), Sunday, 25 September 2005 17:28 (seventeen years ago) link

don't forget skool daze and back 2 skool.

rio natsume, Sunday, 25 September 2005 17:49 (seventeen years ago) link has some great reworkings of these games

skool daze specifically

Britain's Obtusest Shepherd (Alan), Sunday, 25 September 2005 17:59 (seventeen years ago) link

and have you tried to program the c64? you can't even command a basic circle.

yuk blocky graphics etc

Ste (Fuzzy), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 07:20 (seventeen years ago) link

why do screenshots of (and my memory of the actual) c64 games look so blocky when it's resolution was 320x200 at 16 cols? were most games done at a lower res to save ram?

Britain's Obtusest Shepherd (Alan), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 07:54 (seventeen years ago) link

it *looks* like the sprites were stretched most of the time. i could be absoloutely wrong though.

Ste (Fuzzy), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 07:56 (seventeen years ago) link

For some reason, Commodore games never seemed all there, as if there was a passion missing from them or something. The spectrum seemed to use the obsessive homebrew, right-by-the-metal programming to get impossible things to happen - they felt like design genius on a small scale. Its no surprise they inspired a fervent following.

Humpy Neighbour (Total Magnus), Tuesday, 27 September 2005 10:50 (seventeen years ago) link

four years pass...

i remember playing some kind of dancing game on the 64 and at some point it involved dancing skeletons. anyone any idea what game this is?

bracken free ditch (Ste), Saturday, 27 March 2010 00:59 (twelve years ago) link

seven months pass...

(btw my post above, think it was breakdance)

anyway. just reading through some old mag reviews and it's amazing to see that reviewers made such a big deal back then between the price difference of £8.95 to £10.95

F-Unit (Ste), Tuesday, 2 November 2010 18:24 (twelve years ago) link

two weeks pass...

new C64 game!!

mo loko (cozen), Sunday, 21 November 2010 12:33 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

want this book, but out of stock at the moment. It's an anniversary book of both the spectrum and commodore. (flip the book over and the Commodore front page is on the back page)

PSOD (Ste), Monday, 16 April 2012 20:39 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

why do screenshots of (and my memory of the actual) c64 games look so blocky when it's resolution was 320x200 at 16 cols? were most games done at a lower res to save ram?
― Britain's Obtusest Shepherd (Alan),

I can answer this now. the commodore sprites could either be hires or lores, the lores were multicoloured and had to be lores as they used 2 bits to represent the colours in each pixel. therefore ended up being stretched in the horizontal.

PSOD (Ste), Wednesday, 16 May 2012 00:13 (ten years ago) link

three years pass...

Does anyone know of a good book that would go into the history (and technical details if possible) of the microprocessor and its design?

I've seen this one on Amazon:
The ZX Spectrum Ula: How to Design a Microcomputer (ZX Design Retro Computer)

but wondered if there was a more general, ie not ZX specific, book?

Drop soap, not bombs (Ste), Monday, 17 August 2015 12:32 (seven years ago) link

(not really after a detailed book about the electronics, more of a higher level - the people involved, history of how the designing came about etc)

Drop soap, not bombs (Ste), Monday, 17 August 2015 12:33 (seven years ago) link

I typed a thing and ILX ate it. Bah. Anyway. I glanced at a friend's copy of ULA book, seems v heavy on technical electronics details.

Brian Bagnall's "Commodore: A Company on the Edge" is a p. readable mix of personal history, comparisons of rivals, etc, with a little technical detail, but maybe not enough for you, especially if you want something specifically about microprocessors and custom logic arrays? I was pleased to see a couple of pages about the SID sound chip but they weren't very in-depth regarding the electronics or the audio capabilities, and here's all it has to say about the C64's equivalent of the ULA:

The engineers wondered how they could create such a complex memory layout before CES. They found their salvation in the Programmable Logic Array chip (PLA). According to Russell, “I remember finding that chip and saying, ‘Oh, that will do exactly what we want!’”

The PLA chip acted like glue to hold the different parts of the system together. Yannes could simply insert the PLA chip and program it later. “I didn’t have time to design all the logic before they laid the PC board out, so I just took a PLA and named the signals I needed and told them to lay that out,” recalls Yannes. “While they were laying it out, I could figure out the coding for the PLA. That got us to the show.”

Also it doesn't get into the Amiga - there's an interesting-looking book about that which I haven't read called "The Future Was Here" but I think that's more about how software programmers worked around hardware limitations rather than how those limitations came to be. I think it's more technical than the Commodore book but less so than the Spectrum book, though, but maybe too late in the home micro era for you.

Can't think of anything not platform-specific, sorry, and even there most of what I've read has been either glossy picture books with no real content or online anyway. The Register had a series of (mostly) 30th anniversary posts which were surprisingly interesting: (they don't seem to have a browseable archive, though I'm not sure all the articles I'm thinking of have that buzzword at the top)

a passing spacecadet, Wednesday, 19 August 2015 18:24 (seven years ago) link

btw above half-formed opinions of the Amiga book are (mostly) from reading the Amazon preview but also partly from reading an Atari VCS book in the same series - the VCS one ("Racing the Beam") is p. flimsy for the price but the Amiga one looks better

a passing spacecadet, Wednesday, 19 August 2015 18:27 (seven years ago) link

Thanks, I'll definitely check that Commodore one out. I think I'll have to read multiple books about this subject to fully appreciate it.

Currently reading The Story of the Computer, not the most inventive of titles and it's not great but its a good starting point. Was only cheap (as you'd guess) and goes into analogue computing too.

Drop soap, not bombs (Ste), Wednesday, 19 August 2015 19:54 (seven years ago) link

It's got good reviews hasn't it. Noticed someone in the reviews mentioned a new edition covering the Amiga, but I don't see any proof of that.

Drop soap, not bombs (Ste), Wednesday, 19 August 2015 20:03 (seven years ago) link

This was one of the online articles I was trying to remember, about cartridges and other design decisions in the early days of home consoles at Fairchild and Atari:

(admittedly not quite what you asked for, which is probably why I couldn't remember enough about it to find it at the time)

a passing spacecadet, Saturday, 22 August 2015 18:34 (seven years ago) link

three years pass...

"Sex Mission (Disc 2 of 2, Side A)"

JimD, Wednesday, 10 October 2018 14:35 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

They've released a full sized C64-mini. I'm so tempted but what can it really do that I can't already do with emulation? That keyboard though, ooooh.

Ste, Friday, 20 December 2019 15:04 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

If anyone used to play Dizzy games, there's a free new one :

Two Meter Peter (Ste), Monday, 21 December 2020 10:13 (one year ago) link

well that's my week sorted

Uptown Top Scamping (Noodle Vague), Monday, 21 December 2020 11:42 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

1984 llamasoft game gets update in 2021

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 20 May 2021 14:22 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair (81)

Sorry, but that is how I feel (Ste), Thursday, 16 September 2021 17:34 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Sonic on the C64 (needs RAM expansion) but wow

More info

Ste, Monday, 13 December 2021 20:22 (eleven months ago) link

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