My First Computer - Commodore 128
How Came to Me
My grandfather was a great mechanic. One day he did a job and the owner of the car couldn't pay him, but instead offered to my grandfather 3 boxes "full of technology" he said. My grandfather refused but the man insisted. As you can imagine inside was the Commodore 128 but not only that, was the Commodore Monitor and the Floppy Disk Driver, plus lots of 5 1/4 diskettes, cables, books and magazines. My grandfather left the boxes untouched for almost 3 months until he decided to give it a try; he did not realized the was opening the window of what become his hobby...and mine.
He (my grandfather) had a little room outside the house, in the back, full of everything and was there where he put the Commodore together. I remember the first time I saw it, feels like yesterday, I was only 8 years old. I wanted to touch it so much but how...? And to do what? The learning process was just watching him patiently and trying to remember what he was writing.
Was something like this:
(After inserting the diskette)
Load "name of the program",8,1
(Now you wait like half a hour and then)
And the magic began!!!
I did not realize at the time, that this computer would change my life forever and lead me to what I am now and where I am working now: one of the best IT companies in the world.
Lets Get Technical for a Moment
Lets explore a little the technical side of this piece of history:
o MOS Technology 8502 @ 2 MHz (1 MHz selectable for C64 compatibility mode)
o Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz (running at an effective 2 MHz because of wait states in order to allow the VIC-II video chip access to the system bus)
o (C128D(CR)): MOS Technology 6502 for the integrated floppy controller
· MMU: Memory Management Unit controls 8502/Z80 processor selection; ROM/RAM banking; common RAM areas; relocation of zero page and stack
· RAM: 128 KB system RAM, 2 KB 4-bit dedicated color RAM (for the VIC-II E), 16 KB or 64 KB dedicated video RAM (for the VDC), up to 512 KB REU expansion RAM
· ROM: 72 KB
o MOS 8564/8566 VIC-II E (NTSC/PAL) for 40-column composite video (a TV set can be used instead of a monitor if desired)
o MOS 6581 SID (or, in the C128DCR, the MOS 8580 SID) synthesizer chip
· I/O Ports:
o All Commodore 64 ports with 100 percent compatibility, plus the following:
o Higher "burst mode" speed possible on the serial bus
o Expansion port more flexibly programmable
o RGBI video output (DE9-connector) logically similar to the IBM PC CGA connector, but with an added monochrome composite signal. This added signal causes a minor incompatibility with certain CGA monitors that can be rectified by removing pin 7 from the plug at one end of the connecting cable.
o External keyboard input (DB25-connector) (C128D(CR) only)
Time for Some Fun!view quiz statistics
Yesterday and Today
It's funny to remember how different was the technology and comparing how is now. I remember waiting like 10 minutes or more to load a simple program and of course in the meantime using that bad vocabulary exclusive for computers... Today everything is "now" or nothing! Imagine waiting 5 minutes for Word to start, no chance. Now I have a huge PC, 3 laptops, 2 smartphones, and IT courses made in India. Incredible to look back and think that all started with the Commodore 128. THANK YOU GRANDPA!!