Re: about the plus4

From: Anders Carlsson <>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2012 14:53:13 +0200
Message-ID: <C818732DE3C04204A92F2F2D4CDA401B@ryds>
Jim Brain wrote:

> C116 [..] arguable bit better KB

I still wonder how cheap membrane/rubber keyboards could be made, compared 
to the volumes of full-travel keyboards Commodore already used in everything 
from the PET 2001N to the Commodore 64 at that point. It appears to me that 
they would have quite a good unit price by then. Plastic cases could be made 
smaller with a smaller rubber keyboard, of course also packaging and 
shipping weight. Is this where Commodore would really cut cents to make the 
C116 a very inexpensive entry level computer?

As for competing with the Sinclairs, no matter if you consider the 
ZX-81/TS1000 or the Spectrum/TS2068, the number of existing users, software 
etc should have been taken into account. I'm sure Commodore could've 
released a 32K Commodore 64 with cheaper keyboard for price sensitive 
customers. After all, the Japanese (and others?) had the UltiMAX a couple of 
years before.

When it comes to a replacement for the aging VIC-20, Commodore already had a 
40 column chip 6562/63 in development but apparently it never saw its way 
into production.

So yes, to me it looks like the TED initially was meant as a project to 
create a very cheap entry level computer. When more features were added, it 
was heralded a VIC-20 replacement or even a step-brother to the already best 
selling C64 and along the way it may have lost its focus and target group.

From a business perspective, I fully understand if Commodore didn't want to 
improve upon the C64 just yet. Software developers would get confused for 
which computer they should develop, the older C64 model or the newer machine 
with significantly additional features. It might've been a big enough 
transition when focus shifted from VIC-20 to C64 after only ~1.5 years.

Best regards

Anders Carlsson

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Received on 2012-04-19 12:53:13

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