Re: C128D

From: Howard Herman (
Date: 1999-03-17 22:22:52

Richard Atkinson wrote:
> Hi all. My latest acquisition has been a rather nice C128D with 1901
> monitor and Xetec parallel printer adaptor. I've been looking at the C128D
> pictures in George Page's collection, and I have a question regarding the
> C128DCR (which I will hopefully find here in England in due course)
> Where is the cassette port on the C128DCR? It looks like they completely
> re-engineered the board, changing the spacing of the ports and lowering
> its position in the case relative to the original C128D. Was the cassette
> port left out completely, or just moved to another side?

A bit of history, as I recall it:

I had had my flat C128 (here in New York) for some time, before the
European plastic version C128D (with its seperate keyboard) was
introduced.  We were told at the time that a flat version of the C128 was
never released in Europe.  It was only some time later that the US metal
version of the C128D (with seperate keyboard) began to sell here.

As has already been noted, the sound chip was different.  As a result it
played considerably quieter than the chip on the flat C128.  This seemed
to effect all the older sound programs.  As I recall it, it was shortly
after the C128D was introduced that programmers learned some routine to
modify programs, so that there was no longer any issue about differences
in sound volume.

I never changed the sound chip in my C128D, so sometimes sound plays at a
very low level.  I did buy a CMD JiffyDos ROM for the C128's internal
1571, however.

As for the flat C128, I bought one of the early ones.  So, subsequent
modifications included implanting 2 (as I recall) upgrade ROM,s which CBM
sold for a few dollars.  After the C128D came out, with its 64k video ram
(as opposed to the flat C128's 16k), I did the modification to add the
extra ram.

Subsequently, when Basic 8 programs began to appear both the flat C128
and C128D had display problems, and I upgraded both computer VDC chips. 
As I recall these were relatively expensive, something like $30(US) each
at the time.  But the new VDC's let me successfully run all the new
Basic8 programming.

For anyone not Familiar with Basic 8, it is a graphical programming
language that gives the C128 the graphic commands in 80 column mode, that
are imbedded in Basic 7, but only for the 40 column screen.  Lou Wallace
was the author.  Actually, it added a lot more wiz-bang graphic commands
that never existed in Basic 7.

Shortly after Basic 8 came on the market, Walrusoft its distributor,
began selling a Basic 8 ROM to sit in the infamous empty C128's ROM
socket.  I bought the original ROM.  But shortly after its release, Basic
8 had some upgrade programming modifications, so even though I could
quickly boot from ROM, I then had to run some routines from disk to bring
the program up to date.  A second updated ROM was also released, but I
did not feel like paying the price again.  Much, much, much later, when
RAMLink appeared it completely negated any advantage that using the empty
ROM socket might offer.

oh! As we were told at the time, the European C128D has a cooling fan. 
No fan came with the US metal C128D.  And, as long as its top was kept
clear of stuff, it ran cool.  Nevertheless, I installed a fan into my

Sorry if I rambled too long.....
                    ___  ___  ___      ___  ___
                   / //_/ // / //     / //_/ //
Howard Herman     / ___  // / //___  / ___  //    /_// /_// /_____// /_// /_//
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