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If you were in charge of Commodore 128 development in 1984-1985 at Commodore, how would you design the computer? If you ask me, I would've axe the flat model and go straight from the 128D model. I would make sure 80-column video RAM would be 64KB from the get-go and the ability to have better bitmap mode. I would take the 121-color palette from the Plus/4 series and adapt it into C128. Then, for sound, either two enhanced versions of SID chips, or one enhanced SID chip and an YM3812. Of course, it will be compatible with Commodore 64, but with no need for 'special mode', a la IBM PC compatibles, Atari and even Apple II. The 1571 disk drive would be same, although I would add my own fastloader design similar to Epyx Fastload cartridge in case it emulates the 1541 disk drive. And a faster Z80 too, making the CP/M mode more useful. How would you design the Commodore 128 if you were in charge of its development at Commodore back then?
I'm interested to see what people grew up with in the heyday of the 8bit micros and your experience? For me it started in a cupboard under the stairs... no really it did! The early 1980's - My earliest micro memory was of my dad having an old portable black and white TV and the mighty Dragon32 with an extensive library of software on (mainly) tapes. As a kid, I only ever played games and had to imagine the colourful sprites! It was at school I got to use the BBC Micro and enjoyed the speedy loading times that disk media brought to me! Most of this was educational software, but I do remember playing some normal games too like Elite and some text adventures. The late 1980's - I got my first colour portable TV and a Spectrum 128K +2 (with a built in tape deck), this was "my" first micro of my own! I had some of the classic titles, Dizzy, Ghostbusters, Pinball Simulator to name a few. This was the first system I tried my hand at programming (with some success), I managed to input the arkanoid clone from the back of the spectrum manual and it worked! But I never really caught the programming bug, at that time it was all about the latest title from Ocean or U.S. Gold's compilations. The early 1990's - I wandered away from the micro path and got embroiled in the console wars, after many many heated debates at school about the merits and drawbacks of both Sega and Nintendo I came away unscathed. The mid 1990's - I didn't have any computer or console for a while, instead I had the chance to use my friends latest and greatest machines, the Commodeore Amiga and Atari ST! These machines blew my mind, the vivid colours and sprites, the software catalog and the music!! The late nineties was amazing (in my humble opinion)! The late 1990's onwards - I left school, started to work and went back to real computers (IBM compatibles at least), this has been my life since then to now, I've done the modding scene, the gaming scene, the napster scene... Now it's 2020 and I have found myself drawn back through nostalgia to the 8bit world, to a time when I used to watch StarWars endlessly on video with friends and play outdoors with friends. YouTube has introduced me to some wonderful retro content creators, two of whom are involved with this site and who have inspired me to heat up the old soldering iron once more to rescue some retro tech! And with that comes the end of my story so far! What are your memories?