Donors: John Stix & Dora Knez
Location: Williamsburg, VA
The successor to the almighty C64! The C128 was three,
three, three computers in one. First and formost, it was
the 128. Basically a souped-up C64, in 128 mode, you had
twice as much memory with which to play. You also had an
extended BASIC and 80 columns of 16 color text. (The 80
column colored text required a real monitor. Composite
monitors didn't cut it. The C128 did have a cable to feed
80 column text to a composite monitor, but the text was
monochrome, fuzzy and hard to read. You could also run it
in 128 mode but with just 40 columns.) The second mode
was a C64 emulation mode. Entering C64 mode really did
make your 128 a C64. Everything for the C64 worked! (Even
my MIDI keyboard cartridge works great!) The third mode
was a CP/M mode. You could run CP/M in either 40 or 80
column mode. Of course, you need a CP/M boot disk to do
this. I think the C128 came with one, but, in a pinch,
I've been able to boot it using my Superbrain CP/M disks.
In my opinion, all this makes the C128 the ultimate
computer at the time. Why didn't it do better in the
market? Well, it was expensive for one. (Since it had two
computers in it.) Second, Commodore, as usual, couldn't
sell water in the dessert. Third, the 1571 drive, while
loads faster than the old 1541, was still an inherently
slow serial device.
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