Re: Secret Weapons of Commodore 13th edition

From: André Fachat (
Date: 2007-07-02 20:25:29


my information is derived from the Commodore LOS-Kit documentation
and from technical investigation of the schematics.

The 8x96 started as a 64k expansion to the 8032.
It was designed to be under the video RAM, I/O and ROM area
in two banks with 32k each, switchable in 16 blocks.
Unfortunately I don't think there is a schematics available
for this board.
The "LOS-96" "operating system" for the 8x96 started with the
8096. A quote from the "LOS-Kit"

"LOS-96 (Loadable Operating System for 96K Machine) ist 
ein BASIC-4 kompatibles BASIC/Betriebssystem für CBM 8096 
(CBM 8032 mit 64K-Erweiterungsplatine von Commodore)."


"(LOS-96 is a basic4-compatible BASIC/OS for the 8096 (CBM 8032 with a
64k expansion board from Commodore)"

which proves this point.

Later Commodore redesigned the old universal board to include this
memory bank of 64k (whether this was optional or not is not clear),
plus expanding the original 32k to a full 64k of memory (probably
it got cheaper to use 64kbit DRAM chips than what was used before),
to make a total of 128k RAM. Note: It was still possible to make this
board either 40col or 80col, although I have not seen a 40col
version (but I plan to modify one of my boards :-)
Another change is that the I/O area is 256 byte only ($E8xx) and not
2k ($E800-$EFFF). AFAIK this has been used (or was at least planned) for 
localized editors.

LOS-96 was also available for this machine (well, the only available
copy on the net runs on it unmodified). Maybe there's some CBM advertising
that shows both together, LOS-96 and 8296.
IMHO we can safely assume the 8296 is upward compatible with the 8096.

This new board became necessary anyway, as the new rounded case with the
swivel monitor could house the old boards only with some workarounds.
(The 8032-SK models did not have board connectors e.g. for IEEE488,
but internal cables from the board to a floppy-like IEEE488 connector
on the back, as it was not possible to put the board into the new case
in the normal way)
In Germany, AFAIK the "-SK" was nicknamed "ScheissKiste", probably 
due to the difficulties this posed when servicing the machine.

Anyway, the new 128k board was then used in the rounded cases, and
became the 8296 (or 8296-D with builtin 8250 disk drive)

Please also see:

What I think still needs to be confirmed is:

- is there really no such new board with a 40 col setup? 
- Is there actually a rounded-case model with 40 cols?
- Is there a 8032 (not 8x96!) with this specific board and only 64k
  (a good candidate would be a localized PET)
- Anyone has a localized PET who could confirm the editor assumption?
- a rather esoteric question: are there differences in the LOS-96 between
  8096 and 8296

But those questions do not change the general history as described above.


-------- Original-Nachricht --------
Datum: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 05:47:53 -0700 (PDT)
Von: Cameron Kaiser <>
Betreff: Re: Secret Weapons of Commodore 13th edition

> > I separated the quote here. Is it really clear that in the following he
> > meant the SuperPET or not 'just another' PET board version?
> > 
> > > There is also the late version of the
> > > 8096 board with 128 K onboard RAM as used in the 8096SK and
> > > 8296SK models. The memory maping was like the 8096 with the 64K
> > > board but unlike the 64K of the 6809 board. I don't know any
> > > Addition (like LOS-96) that used the additional 32K - the access
> > > was very - uh - lets say not so easy :) (BTW: there are also
> > > some units known whee this board resides inside a betal 8032/8096
> > > case and the unit is named 8096).
> > 
> > The rest is entirely clear if you relate it to the 8x96 models only.
> If you know this to be true for the 8096s, I'll alter the text to apply to
> them instead.
> -- 
> ------------------------------------ personal:
> --
>   Cameron Kaiser * Floodgap Systems * *
> -- "I'd love to go out with you, but my favourite commercial is on TV."
> -------
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