I was thinking last night about what I would have done differently if I was running Commodore in the 80's. Here it is: Vic-20 - I would have done nothing different with the vic-20. I would have released it and pulled it at about the same times. C-64 - My initial release of this would have been also the same. SX-64 - I would have never considered putting this out at all, even though it was my first computer. CP/M cartridge - Although CP/M was a viable market these days, I would have found the cartridge to have been inferior. On top of that, the CP/M crowd and the c-64 crowd were remarkably different. I would have instead put out a dedicated CP/M machine, perhaps in the SX-64 case (like a Kaypro). PET series - since these were popular in universities, I would have made a model with x terminal support. 264/364/+4/16 - I would have never considered for even a second the +4 or 16, I would have stuck with the 264/364 concept. This would have been the "home business" machine. I would have only put out the 364, because it has a numeric keypad. This machine would have Basic 4.0, but would also have an 80-column chip. The integrated utilities would have still been there, but better, and with 80-column support. I would have put a SID and a VIC-II in this machine as well, so my 364 would have been kind of like a c128 minus the three-modes and 128k. I would call this machine the CBM 400 (after basic 4.0). I wouldn't call it "commodore" because I'd be aiming at the more businessy crowd. This computer would have built-in fastload routines (conflicts wouldnt arise since it's a new machine with no current software) and the DOS wedge. The port layout would have been the same as the c-64, with the exceptions being the cartridge port (which I may have omitted altogether) and the 80-column port. At this point I would release a BASIC4.0 cartridge for the c-64, allowing BASIC programs to be usable on either machine. This cartridge would have a disable switch for running programs written in 2.0. ML programs of course would still have been incompatible between machines; but this wouldn't be so critical because this consisted of mostly games for the c-64. Magazines such as Compute! would make their type-in programs all in basic 4 (most likely), so both machines would have a better future. All future-shipped c-64's would be bundled with this cartridge as well. Basic 2.0 would probably have been faster than 4.0 on the c-64 due to this design, but this would have been OK -- "power users" could use Basic 2.0 easily, and typical users would enjoy the easier-to-program-in BASIC 4.0. Also included on this BASIC 4.0 cartridge would have been fastload routines (both for disk and tape) and a DOS wedge. When Jiffy DOS came out, I would have bought it and put them in all new c-64's, making a new model: C-64d - (d for disk-optimized). This would have jiffy dos built in, and the BASIC 4.0 cartridge would have also been built in, with the DOS wedge and fastload routines removed (since they'd no longer be needed). A disable switch would have been installed both for the JD and the BASIC 4. This would have been in a dark case, kind of like the color that the sx-64 was, with white keys. A new 1541 model would have been released, I'd probably call it the 1542, again with the black case and JD installed. ROMS would have also been available for people to install JD on their older c64's -- although they'd obviously still have to use the basic 4.0 in cartridge form. I would have considered removing the cassette port on this model. Commodore LCD - I would have at least test marketed this thing. If it flopped, I would have tried very hard to license the display technology. If that failed, I'd sell the technology altogether to someone else. C-128 - The C-128 might not have existed if I'd been running things. The c-128 was C='s way of shoving everything they'd done before into one machine .... the +4 (albeit an upgraded one, and minus the built-in programs), the 64, CP/M, 80 columns. The only thing it would have added to my C= line would have been more memory. The REU's would have taken care of this effectively. Perhaps if my CBM 400 flopped like the +4/16 did in the real world I would have shoved them all into one model like C= did, but I doubt it, I probably would have just let it go -- instead just designing an 80-column board for the c-64 and calling it a day. When GEOS 2.0 came out, I would have seriously considered bundling it with the machine in cartridge form. Commodore 900 - I would have put this out. calling it the CBM 900. The PET line would be revamped and sold as terminals for this machine. C65 - I probably would have never put this out, unless working prototypes had been available by 1988 or so. Commodore Magazine - I would have kept this going longer. Now, for the Amiga: Amiga 1000 - the same. Amiga 500, 2000 - the same, although I probably would have given the 500 a model number higher than the 1000, perhaps I'd call the models the 2000 and 2500 (the 2000 number going to the lesser machine, the 500). Unlike C=, I would have not sat on the Amiga technology until 1993. (Six years with no new models! Retards!) I would have upgraded the Amiga models constantly, including built-in networking support, improved video and speed, a laser printer, SVGA, built-in cdrom drives, etc. Basically any time the Apple or PC line came up with something new that had capabilities beyond the Amiga, I'd make an Amiga model with the same capabilites. I'd shoot for a new hardware model with tangible upgrades every 18 months. Another thing I would have done is insisted that Qlink make a client for the Amiga, I would have even offered to pay for it or even design it altogether. From: email@example.com (Lonnie McClure) Newsgroups: comp.sys.cbm Subject: Re: If I had run Commodore...... Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 02:45:01 -0500 Message-ID: <MPG.firstname.lastname@example.org> References: <35BA5C2E.8DF1DD14@nabi.net> X-Newsreader: MicroPlanet Gravity v2.10.957 NNTP-Posting-Host: 184.108.40.206 X-Trace: 28 Jul 1998 07:47:03 GMT, 220.127.116.11 Organization: IBM.NET X-Notice: Items posted that violate the IBM.NET Acceptable Use Policy X-Notice: should be reported to email@example.com X-Complaints-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Path: news.uninet.ee!kadri.ut.ee!news.planetc.com!newsfeed.usit.net!news.idt.net!news-peer.gip.net!news.gsl.net!gip.net!newsm2.ibm.net!ibm.net!news2.ibm.net!18.104.22.168 Xref: news.uninet.ee comp.sys.cbm:35727 In article <35BA5C2E.8DF1DD14@nabi.net>, gippah (email@example.com) stated: > C-64 - My initial release of this would have been also the same. I would used the 64's potential for faster disk speeds, even at the expense of making it incompatible with the existing 1540 drives for the VIC-20 (by making use of the properly working shift register in the 6526). I imagine Commodore might have as well, had they any clue how many 64 users would purchase disk drives, and how long lived the 64 would be. To be fair, from 1998, I do have the advantage of amazing hindsight. I would have likely also investing in tooling for a new, more appealing case long before they did with the 64C, possibly even from the date of introduction (if I had faith it was going to be even more popular than the VIC-20), and would almost have certainly used a different color scheme for the case and keyboard. If circuitry design considerations permitted, I would have made the break to separate, non-shifted cursor keys. > SX-64 - I would have never considered putting this out at all, even > though it was my first computer. An example of how something that may not be good for the company is appreciated by the consumer. Certainly there are a number of us who wish Commodore has made the "mistake" of finishing and releasing the C65 to the mass market. > CP/M cartridge - Although CP/M was a viable market these days, I would > have found the cartridge to have been inferior. On top of that, the > CP/M crowd and the c-64 crowd were remarkably different. I would have > instead put out a dedicated CP/M machine, perhaps in the SX-64 case > (like a Kaypro). I would wager even Commodore did not want to introduce the CP/M cart (at least once they actually started to design the thing). From my understanding, since CP/M compatibility as an option was mentioned on the 64 box, the FTC apparently "encouraged" them to follow through. ================= firstname.lastname@example.org
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