How about a Commodore 16 feature?

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sidney
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How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by sidney » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:27 am

After chatting with some chaps on various Commodore forum's I decided to get a C16 and have found it to be a great little machine to use. There are a lot of pick up and play games that are nice to play on it- particularly Kikstart --that is just pure videogame addiction!! Add that to the fact that the games load in double quick time (if you are a luddite like me and still use cassette drives with your retro machines) and that the loading is pretty reliable and the games can be had on ebay for next to nothing. The C16 is just ripe for a rediscovery and would surely make for an interesting couple of pages. It may be an obscure machine when compared to it's older brother but surely as many people would have an interest in it as an Acorn Electron?

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merman
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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by merman » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:52 am

Issue 56 had my Retroinspection on the C16, and issue 113 had a minority report special.

It's a subject (along with the Plus/4) I would be happy to revisit.
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sidney
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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by sidney » Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:59 pm

I must confess to not being a reader then (boo!) but I would love to see that article revisited Merman. Given that the next issue has Acorn stuff in it I think the C16 would deserve a little revisit at some point!

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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by Timothy Redux » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:10 am

merman wrote:Issue 56 had my Retroinspection on the C16, and issue 113 had a minority report special.

It's a subject (along with the Plus/4) I would be happy to revisit.
Hi Merman - those were both great articles - my brother had a C16 so we played a lot (mostly Mastertronic) games on it for a while. It was an odd sidewise step of a machine, but I remember it being very colourful graphically. If there's new info, I'd love to see a new article.
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sidney
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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by sidney » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:17 am

I would love to see this article. Perhaps if the C16 had been related to the 464 it would be in the mag every month!!

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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by Timothy Redux » Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:42 pm

sidney wrote:I would love to see this article. Perhaps if the C16 had been related to the 464 it would be in the mag every month!!
I think to be fair very few people had them compared to the 464 (which I had - but alas in green screen)
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sidney
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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by sidney » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:17 am

I would love to see sales figures for the 264 range. I don't think as many people had C16/plus 4 machine's as Cpc's but I do think they must have sold enough to warrant a little more coverage in the magazine.

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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by oldtimer » Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:50 am

I Have a nice boxed Commodore 16 i bought from a comic book shop a few years back, it had sat on a high shelf for 10 years ,and i kept asking about it but the price was too much,then suddenly one day the price dropped to £35 so i bought it .

Only took 10 years for the price to go down despite repeated requests lol
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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by Hiro » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:40 am

I'd second that, it was my first computer and had some interesting features. In my country it was fairly popular, more than the Amstrad and probably also the Spectrum.
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sidney
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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by sidney » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:13 am

It's interesting to note how popular the C16 is, I knew more C16 owners than Amstrad back in the 80's. It would be nice to see it getting more coverage in RG.

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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by Timothy Redux » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:31 pm

I'm sensing that people who had one of these really were fond of it.
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sidney
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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by sidney » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:17 am

I certainly am, since I bought mine I have found it to be a great retro experience, tape loading is more reliable than any other 8bit machine I have ever used, the games are dirt cheap and in plentiful supply and many are of the pick up and play variety, it is fair to say that it fascinates me to see what programmers could coax out of such a small memory too. There are also two fine sites that cover the 264 scene run by knowledgable and enthusiastic people who are the embodiment of all that is great about the retro gaming scene, commodore16.com and plus4world are well worthy of investigation. The C16 and plus4 are well worth a reapraisal.

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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by adippm82 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:58 am

The 264 series of computers are far more interesting than they first appear, unfortunately the story behind them is rather muddled, even Retrogamer this month has an incorrect boxout concerning the C116, saying it was born out of the C16, when in fact it was the other way round.

There were supposed to be three machines released, all much cheaper than computers they were to go up against in the market place, firstly the entry level C116 was originally to retail for $49 to go up against the likes of the Spectrum in Europe, this sort of happened, although it only had 50.000 odd machines released.

The C232 and C264 were the middle machines, these look like the plus 4, obviously one with 32K of Ram the second with 64K, the former was ditched very quickly, the second became the Plus 4, again these had the purpose of providing a cheap alternative to the likes of the TI99 4/A.

Then the top of the range model was the V364, which was a much larger machine, like a plus 4 but with a numerical keypad on the side, only one production prototype was ever finished, and two more, with far more brittle cases exist, there is also a demonstration video on you tube of a board in action, complete with voice synthesis, hence the V in the name, the machine was scrapped, and the Plus 4 and C16 were the only machines carried forward.

The range was a victim of marketing people, after Jack Tramiel was ousted from Commodore, they did not have a clue what to do with the computers, eventually deciding to ditch the C116, then putting a ridiculously expensive price tag on the Plus 4 ($349 instead of the intended $149), shoehorning unwanted and out of date software into it, then finally created what Bil Herd describes as 'an abomination, an inbred machine' in the form of the C16, which was merely a C64 case in black with a C116 board with a couple of tweaks rattling round in it, also the expected influx of cheap machines from Japan never happened, and Timex and Texas Instruments were leaving the market, meaning there was little use for the machines.

There are two brilliant reads from one of the creators Bil Herd here, describing what went wrong with the line.

http://hackaday.com/2014/09/02/30-years ... ry-part-i/

http://hackaday.com/2014/09/15/30-years ... y-part-ii/

It is often reported that the machines were a disaster sales wise, this is debatable, the C16 sold very respectable numbers in Europe, although it was often heavily discounted, I doubt Mastertronic would have produced 53 titles for the machine if it was not selling, and the Plus 4 did very well in eastern Europe, where to this day the homebrew scene is very healthy indeed, especially in Hungary, many of the finest C64 games have been converted to the computer, and often run a bit faster, and certainly with more colour, Sabre Wulf springs to mind here.

It is true the owners of these machines, myself included do have great affection for them, one of my most prized possessions is a C116, in pristine, fully working condition.

A new feature with the input of the design team would be most welcome, with more emphasis on what the machines were supposed to bring to the Commodore range, and what happens when marketing people interfere.

sidney
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Re: How about a Commodore 16 feature?

Post by sidney » Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:44 pm

Fantastic post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Perhaps someone at Retrogamer might like to consider getting you to do a piece. Surely any mag that can write a feature about the Acorn Electron (albeit an interesting one) should consider the 264 story worthy of being told. To me (inbred or not) I love my C16 and feel it deserves more than one RG feature every 6 years!

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