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Hardware

VIC20 As Wap Client 73

Rob Manuel writes "Why not set up your old VIC20 as a WAP client? Who could have believed it possible? But it is, and the boys at geekhaus did it."
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VIC20 As Wap Client

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  • Yeah, I remember that power drain was something you had to worry about. My first power bar was in response to overloading a 10A circuit in the basement on some computer devices. Used to have to make sure noone was watching TV before printing sometimes ...

  • On top of the other objections already pointed out, I'd like to point out that by continuing to use an older machine you also save said machine from the trash heap - most people would agree that the environmental harm caused by piled up old computer hardware is at least as great as that of their power consumption while they are still active, no?

  • They say:

    Now I know what you're thinking. No way will you fit a TCP/IP stack into the limited memory on a VIC 20. Correct. To start with we only had 19967 bytes to play with, and some of that would get taken up by the page in memory, so we decided to do away with TCP/IP and cheat.

    That's a shame. It would have been quite easy to do TCP/IP in that amount of memory.

    Maybe I should fire up my old BBC micro and do it on that...

    Tom
  • by Phexro ( 9814 ) on Friday October 20, 2000 @03:32PM (#688231)
    go look at lunix [c64.org] (alternate link [netsurf.de])

    lunix - "little unix" - is a multitasking, multiuser unix clone for a bare commodore 64. it does slip, ppp, a tcp/ip stack and has telnet and ftp clients.

    oh, and it's open-source. and has cross-development tools.
    --
  • "Trash-80" ??? I don't really know of any of the 8-bit machines that came close to the multi-user, muti-tasking ability of the TRS-80 Color Computer 1/2/3 [zeppelin.tzo.cc] with the OS-9 Operating System [wisc.edu]. We poked fun at 386's running Desqview :)
  • I believe the C-64 was 1.44 MHz and the C-128 was 2.88 MHz (I'm not sure about the Z80 chip, though). Those were the days...
  • ...I'm not going to be impressed until they get a Commodore PET to run WAP. Now *there's* a portable system for you, Arnold.

    -b
  • "But when it comes to computers, I try to educate them about the harms they do the environment by using old, power-hungry junk, instead of spending a little money (that's not doing anything in the bank but giving power to the bankers) to get a modern machine that would serve them better."

    But if they purchased a new computer, then eventually they would throw the Vic 20 out, and it would be used as landfill or some other environmentally harmful purpose. I would hate to think that it would get burnt (burned?) at some point, because I recall from school science class burning plastic releases bad (toxic?) gasses...

    I don't know anything about power consumption of hardware, but I do know the newer Voodoo cards need their own power supply. Much like the old Vic 20s needed one power supply for the computer and one for the disk drive.

    I think you have to keep in mind *why* they did it. It was probably for a challenge, but in the process they may have educated some newer programmers who have grown up with the bloated operating systems and compilers we have today (yes I know they do a lot more today than they did before). Some people will be amazed to hear "A Vic 20 does WAP!" because they never knew you could do so much in less than 20KB of RAM.

    Imagine if all of today's software was like this, efficient and hard crafted. Entire operating systems would run happily in 2 - 4MB of RAM (including graphical user interface!) and when I go out and buy my 1GHz CPU it would actually run signicantly faster! I remember GEOS on the C64 ran in 64KB, and that was a graphical operating system that could run one application at a time (eg word processor, painting, database etc.) Today your *mouse driver* is probably 64KB big, and trying to tell a new grad student that it is possible to do that much in 64KB would be difficult.

    Bah I think I'm ranting. Better stop. :)
  • A good computer,
    But if I'd used T-R-S...
    The haiku: too long!
  • HAHA! Yes I remember Action! and it's still in my parent's basement, along with the book that it came with. THAT was a cool language. Antic! Magazine used to occasionally publish listings for games done in Action! and I would feverishly get those typed in. They kicked ass!

    Glad to see someone remembers that besides me!
  • On the eighties platforms, innovation was fueled by adversity - the adversity of trying to use an extremely limited machine for something useful.

    I disagree. Back then, I didn't think of my computers as being limited. (They were limited, but I didn't know it, because I have not lived in 2000 yet. ;-) Doing things was a challenge, but the challenge was to myself, not the little machine.

    IMHO, the innovation was due to there simply being no "establishment" around yet, no preconceptions of what personal computers were for. That not only led to innovation by the programmers, but also by the computer manufacturers themselves. There was a huge variety in feature sets among the machines back then (much more than now) because it hadn't been decided yet, what a personal computer was supposed to be or what people would use it for.

    Some had a BASIC interpreter in ROM, some had a FORTH interpreter (!) in ROM, some just had little loaders in ROM that would load an interpreter from a tape or disk, some had cartridge slots so that people could insert ROMs or other expansion hardware, most had weirdo non-standard peripheral interfaces that didn't work with other manufacturers, some had smart peripherals that contained their own CPU (and some didn't), they all had wildly different ways of handling graphics (and some with sprites or "player/missile graphics"), a few had Intel CPUs, a few had Motorola CPUs, most others had Zilog or MOS Technology CPUs, some were deliberate attempts to be compatable with others (but most weren't), etc. Things were very heterogenous back then, and no idea was immediately dismissed as "stupid" the way it would be now.

    I'm typing this on right now, and there's a x86 Linux box a couple feet to my right. There are stylistic differences (and huge under-the-hood differences), but the interfaces are remarkably similar (and so is my brother's Mac in the other room, and the OS/2 and Windoze machines I use at work), and so are the applications. It has been largely agreed upon what a personal computer is for, and they've all converged into a homogenous lump. [rt66.com]


    ---
  • LUnix the next generation [netsurf.de] is the current site of LUnix. They have rewritten it and the page even contains specs.

    Great fun :-)

  • On the eighties platforms, innovation was fueled by adversity - the adversity of trying to use an extremely limited machine for something useful.

    I disagree. Back then, I didn't think of my computers as being limited. (They were limited, but I didn't know it, because I have not lived in 2000 yet. ;-) Doing things was a challenge, but the challenge was to myself, not the little machine.

    IMHO, the innovation was due to there simply being no "establishment" around yet, no preconceptions of what personal computers were for. That not only led to innovation by the programmers, but also by the computer manufacturers themselves. There was a huge variety in feature sets among the machines back then (much more than now) because it hadn't been decided yet, what a personal computer was supposed to be or what people would use it for.

    Some had a BASIC interpreter in ROM, some had a FORTH interpreter (!) in ROM, some just had little loaders in ROM that would load an interpreter from a tape or disk, some had cartridge slots so that people could insert ROMs or other expansion hardware, most had weirdo non-standard peripheral interfaces that didn't work with other manufacturers, some had smart peripherals that contained their own CPU (and some didn't), they all had wildly different ways of handling graphics (and some with sprites or "player/missile graphics"), a few had Intel CPUs, a few had Motorola CPUs, most others had Zilog or MOS Technology CPUs, some were deliberate attempts to be compatable with others (but most weren't), etc. Things were very heterogenous back then, and no idea was immediately dismissed as "stupid" the way it would be now.

    I'm typing this on an Amiga [rt66.com] right now, and there's a x86 Linux box a couple feet to my right. There are stylistic differences (and huge under-the-hood differences), but the interfaces are remarkably similar (and so is my brother's Mac in the other room, and the OS/2 and Windoze machines I use at work), and so are the applications. It has been largely agreed upon what a personal computer is for, and they've all converged into a homogenous lump.


    ---
  • You're missing the point. We did it because we could. Just like the zx81 (or timex 1000 as some called it) we got wired up to use an old Dec keyboard.
  • Thats true - and very interesting :-) You're probably right that people didn't have much of an idea what personal computers were supposed to be like back then, and that this helped fuel creativity.

    IMHO, the innovation was due to there simply being no "establishment" around yet, no preconceptions of what personal computers were for.

    This is sort of similar to what I was saying with regards to people on the Linux platform being at adversity with Microsoft - or the 'establishment'. Back in the eighties, there was no establishment, &so this helped innovation is where I agree with you :-)

    Back then, I didn't think of my computers as being limited. (They were limited, but I didn't know it, because I have not lived in 2000 yet. ;-)

    This is the only thing I quibble with. Probably my memories are different from yours, but I do remember being frustrated by the limitations of the machine. I think that users have always wanted to do the same sort of things with their machines, no matter what time we are talking about. The problem with early eighties machines was that the simplest things (by todays standards) were bloody difficult. This also helped innovation.

  • You had RAM? We would have killed for RAM. In my day we built our computers with twigs and broccoli. We'd program one problem directly into the broccoli circuits, dismember the motherboard, and then read the entrails to divine the answers. RAM? Kids today have it too easy.
  • A link to a related website is karma whoring?

    You are really dense. You should be careful because if you become too dense your head will collapse into a black hole, from which no light or anonymous postings can escape.
  • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) on Saturday October 21, 2000 @02:09PM (#688245) Homepage Journal
    You've finally found a reason for WAP to exist -- to allow old computers to access current information with new light-weight standards. Now I can't say WAP is pointless anymore.
  • Seriously, the comment about not being able to write a tcp/ip stack in almost 20k puzzled me. I know there is a full telnet / tcp/ip / ppp stack for CPC (running some form of CP/M on a Z80) in 32k. If one had a simple wap parser and changed ppp to slip and optimized, I bet one could make it go in under 20k, though I don't know what the Vic20's processor is like. People have written tcp/ip stacks in under 2k for Pic processors. I myself am sending this email via a terminal emulator (hooked up to a shell account) I wrote for a Sharp OZ-730 (Z80 at 9.5MHz, 128K SRAM, but only 32K freely available for user programs as Sharp won't release info on what parts of SRAM are free and what are reserved by the OS--we're having to reverse engineer everything: see www.ozdev.com) and I eventually hope to port the CPC's tcp/ip stack to it. True, I have 12k more available to me than the vic20 people, and a faster processor, but even so it shouldn't be so hard. Alex
  • Some of the embedded / small-device people still write small, efficient code. I myself have done a fair bit of programming for a Sharp OZ-7xx organizer, where there's only 32k sram available for programs (though there's plenty of flash) and where the cpu is a 9.5MHz Z80. (I'm typing this message on a terminal emulator running on it that runs in about 20K, though that's nothing to brag about, since it could have been done in 10k I'm sure if I coded everything in assembly instead of using some C.) Alex
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You cant do that!

    Just face facts, the Vic20 is finished. Let it die already!

    :)

    (oh, sorry, knee-jerk Amiga reaction)

    For the record, I say that computers are NEVER obsolete, so long as someone, somewhere can wring a bit of use out of 'em.

    In general, I've noticed that almost every time someone uses the word obsolete (90%+ of the time anyway), it's meant as an insult...and what they REALLY seem to be saying is "You're not using what I think you should be using".
  • a beowulf cluster of these just might be able to run vi. If you are lucky.

    Seriously though, the first time I got on the internet was with a C=64. I dialed into a bbs (I got one of the first 2400baud modems) that was connected to the net, and I got to use pine, lynx, and a gopher client that I forgot the name of. It was pretty neat.

  • I got a C=64 just dying to get fired up...
  • Alright, somebody has way too much free time on their hands. Though I'd love to find the time to write a minimal vi clone on it...
  • My first box, I never was cool enough to get the 16K RAM, I had to make due with the whole 1K of RAM. Worked I guess.

    That P.O.S. didn't even have enough RAM/ROM for a proper BASIC tokenizer. It didn't parse your BASIC and tokenize it, the input system had special modes and when it expected a BASIC keyword you'd type the key and the keyword showed up. Internally it would keep a basic token, and any time you'd do a list it would display the keyword. I loved that piece of shit.

  • If your old machine can do 80 cols. of text, has a serial port, and you have some terminal emulation software (c'mon, I know you do, especially if you were ever into BBSs) rig yourself up a nullmodem cable and use the old box as a terminal emulator. I have an old Tandy 1000 EX that wasn't good for much more than interrupting broadcasts until I rigged up a nullmodem cable--now I use the old box as a terminal emulator. Now if the little bastard didn't have such a crappy keyboard...
  • Is that groovy old thing an Osbourne or Kaypro clone? (I'm having '70s Popular Electronics flashbacks)
  • Did they have dividers? I though it was very new when they built it into 486DX2 (that was the 2, right?).

    anyone know?

    z.
  • Actually it's not the CPU/keboard unit thats at fault here. The Vic (C64 too) do get warm but the fault is in the power supply.

    The power supplies on Vics and C64s were external transformers in a block that sat under the desk. The transformer, and its related components, were totally encased in a block of white epoxy with a plastic shell. One of the components of the transformer was a sub-standard rectifier. Depending on how the rectifier blew, you had one of two situations happen. One, you would get no voltage to the computer. Two, you would get over-voltage/current supplied to the computer. IIRC - it has been a while :) . C128s and newer C64s (C64 with white case) were supplied with a better power supply. My C128 still gets quite warm but I have had it running for hours with no problems (except speed ;) ).

    I suspect number two is what happened.
  • The Apple //gs has a TCP/IP stack available -- Marinetti 2 -- but AFAIK no applications other than the semifunctional Telnet available. (Where's the mail suite?) So one could write a WAP client on the GS alone, likely with GNO/ME, without outside machinery as the VIC=20 plus 386 had to.

    And for the record, #1 - Commodore did make 32k RAM cartridges, so the 19k app mentioned could work; #2 - my own VIC=20 has a broken reset button, so I can't get to the end of a line without suddenly getting jumped to home position. Thanks a crapload, Randy Troy!

  • The reason we couldn't do it is because we're shit at assembler. Really shit.
  • ah the VIC-20, my 2nd computer and the first one i could do anything with - with a huge 19K of memory heh. massive respect to these geeks for achieving this mad feat.
  • no one who was really on the scene would ever say "blinkenlights". that was part of a line printer joke that was later misinterpreted by esr as some sort of "tribal" cant.
  • Why were the old 8-bit computers such a hive of creativity? The things people did with them back then seem to be much more way-out than the thing people do today - it must be the challenge of owning such a limited machine.

    Personally, I'd say it's the challenge of coding for such a limited machine. It's often a lot more fun coding for smaller, more restricted machines. I remember my old graphic calculator - it was the fx9000 model. Enough RAM to code on, enough screen to get a reasonable response, but still a pig to code for in the language provided.

    I wrote a text adventure for it, a football management simulator, and even a simple AI Space Invaders (I couldn't be bothered to learn the serious hacks needed to get real-time user input). All these, sadly, were lost during my A-levels when I had to wipe all the data on the machine. But I used to spend hours coding in Math lessons, lunch-breaks, etc.

    Coding for restricted machines and environments is a lot more interesting and challenging than something that you know you can do if you throw enough C / Perl / COBOL / whatever at the problem. A friend has written [cus.org.uk] an IRC client in shell scripts, for example.

    These days, coding is just too easy for most projects - we've got the processing power, the RAM, the compilers and everything. All a coder needs is enough time and inspiration to achieve the task at hand. Limited coding is a lot more fun.

    Alex

  • I miss my c64 [ozemail.com.au]. Ode to the days of "Pirates!" A princess I would marry, her lip was awfully hairy, the dutchies asses I'd whip, while sailing in my ship. Senor Cacahuete
  • Seriously, even if you can do it, is it such a cool idea? I've got an old Apple II+ and could surely make that baby into a cool device, but the power drain alone is totally a waste.

    On the other hand, if you used it to drive some Halloween Lava Lamps with Strobe Backlighting while your MP3 player pumped out some techno tunes on your stereo to get those script kiddies jivin to the beat, that might be super cool ...

  • 19967 bytes to play with

    Jesus - I almost forgot about that... ;)

  • How long until we see all the vic20 emulators [arrgh.co.uk] updated to emulate WAP? Personally, I can't stand WAP as a standard, but if you spread it around long enough, maybe it'll turn into fertilizer.
  • Addendum: It seems we should have followed the teachings of Thee Temple ov Thee Lemur, and either used Extreme Coolants or just run the VIC off a bag of spuds. But then again, their projects were hoaxes.

    Who wants to bet their last C64 that this is too?

  • 19967 bytes to play with

    Man, I remember when we had 7998 bytes to play with, and we liked it! And we used an LED to display one line of text and a card reader for input.

    We would have killed for 20K of RAM!

    We couldn't even imagine anyone using more than 16K in our wildest dreams ...

  • You are misinformed. The Commodore computers use less power then your modern day 500 watt monsters. Besides witha simple transformer you can run the Commodre computers off your car battery. Try that with a desktop Pentuim III power sucker.
  • Check out wap.org [wap.org]. Coincidence, or is something waiting in the wings?...
  • Why were the old 8-bit computers such a hive of creativity? The things people did with them back then seem to be much more way-out than the thing people do today - it must be the challenge of owning such a limited machine.

    I don't think of it like that. I think the market matured and people realized they were more interested in doing productive stuff vs screwing around programming the machine to do weird things. The home PC market just grew up, and the user base opened up to nontechnical users.

    That's not to say there isn't a segment of the population which likes this sort of thing-that's why the Amiga was popular long after it's death, and why Linux has such a nut following. I mean, every piece of oddball hardware and every crazy kludge is supported under Linux and the Amiga had some really incredible technology developed for it-Videotoaster is the most common example, but the LaserFantasy LFI professional lasershow control boards are another...simply because Amiga users were hobbyists and technically oriented.

    Calum

  • Oh, yeah, here's [outlawnet.com] a link to a picture of one, in case you needed help remembering.
    By the way, did anybody else ever mess with one of these [qwest.net] groovy old things?
  • 19967 bytes to play with
    Actually, the VIC20 has 4 Kb of memory by default. I think the reason for the "VIC20" name was the 20 column display! (The C64 did indeed have 64 Kb of RAM once you switched out the ROM, but a 40 column display.)
  • Uh, scuse the busted links... the "these" I was referring to are/were the OSI Superboard C1P. You should be able to navigate to it by clicking here [qwest.net] (not my page, just a place with a good pic). My fault for not checking the links. Dadburn HTML andyhow.
  • If you're serious, the Commodore VIC 20 was one of the first cheap personal home computers in the 80s.

    There was a series of them, most based on the MOS 6502 processor or variations, and costing All these old boxes were the same basic form factor; it was an oversized keyboard with the computer stuffed in it, compact, and hooked to your TV as a monitor (whough Apples often had monitors, damn preppies).

    These were the first generation home computers, the first that you could buy from a store and get working without a soldering iron. Many a geek hitting 20's and 30's fondly remember these. Old, slow, (.5 MHz in case of C64) and low RAM (64K address space on the 6502, most had less, and even if you had 64K RAM, the OS has to be somewhere). But they were new. K3wl before most current script kiddies were allowed to cross the street. Cutting edge for the time. You'll find many more people loving these than the PCjr, which cost over 3x the price and had better capabilities.

    Nostalgia being what it is, people want to do things with these first toys of yore. Remember the excitement of your first program work, your first sound from the SID chip, first Screen Blanking Interval sprite movenet. I had my "Mapping the C64" book for years, may not have thrown it out yet. RIP Commodore.

  • c64s had a whoping 1MHz processors. if I recall reading things correctly.

    They were fun to play with, and according to some, alive today.

    Supposedly there are 20MHz accelerators, 16MB ram modules (used like a hard drive) and some other stuff.

    I lost mine in a flood in 97.

  • I believe that was 5K of memory with 1.5K used by the OS & the display. That left a whopping 3583 bytes free! I got an 8K cart soon after buying my VIC20 back in 1982. Oh, and the screen display was 22 columns by 23 rows.
  • This here is what was once called an OSI Superboard, with the emphasis being on the word "board" Not to mention the groovy aspects of MS Basic, a whopping 2K RAM, and for a real thrill, genuine high-fidelity cassette storage, in case you didn't feel like retyping "1250 goto 1020" over and over again.

    Once my dad got hold of that damn thing, two things happened: Radio Shack stock went through the roof, and I started to understand what it meant to be one of the first techno-orphans. Ever try to get somebody's attention when they're trying to remember which command to DATA to?

  • I remember in the Cyberpunk RPG by R. Talsorian, the cheapest cyberdeck was a Radio Shack deck of some sort. One time, I made a character who basically had no cash, and couldn't afford even the cheapest deck, so we invented one with worse stats and I dubbed it "The Vic 2020".....

    Yeah, so it was a bad joke....

    Heh....
  • The internal clock of the 6502 was either 1Mhz
    or 2Mhz.
    I don't remember the divider, either 2 or 4 which
    means the xtal was either 2Mhz or 4Mhz. Often
    like with the COSMAC a TV 3.58Mhz xtal was used
    because of it's lower cost.
    The Z80 has been used in different speeds
    depending on the computer. Originally it
    was 4Mhz.

    I remember when I worked at the World Trade Center
    that our system that we install at Merril Lynch
    beat the crap out of the PC XT in speed. It was
    a ZCPR system with a Z80 (Clone of CPM/80)

    Today you can find CMOS Z80 at 10Mhz. There
    are parts that run Z80 code and more like the
    rabbit and the Z180.
  • i don't remember doing any frames on that site. odd.
  • I would say that there is a difference between the 8 bit eighties innovators and there modern descendants. On the eighties platforms, innovation was fueled by adversity - the adversity of trying to use an extremely limited machine for something useful. Now, modern hackers are also driven by adversity - the adversity of microsoft. But this seems to lead (not all the time, of course) to emulation, rather than innovation, or even invention. These days, people are constantly trying to emulate Microsoft, but do it better, by bringing out office platforms, free OS's etc. I just think that the prior type of adversity led to a more freewheeling type of creativity, and people didn't care so much what everybody else thought.

  • of course its lame. the whole site is lame. we get very very bored
  • hey, i was pissed when i wrote it. gotta find the pics to put on the site...
  • Ah, the Vic20, my first computer. An incredibly useful device that allowed you to create an endless loop which scrolled your name across the screen. If you were unusually talented, you could make a bird fly from one corner of the screen to another. Since it had no hard drive, it had to be left on in order to save your program, and after a few hours the power converter could double as a hot plate.

    Actually, it was pretty cool at the time. I remember spending hours typing in a program from Compute's Gazette just to play some crappy little text based race car game. You kids and your ./configure, make, make install. Why, in my day we typed in our programs line by line. Who needs install programs anyway. Ah, the good old days.

  • mmm.wap43.com/netropolis
  • I don't think a VIC20 is a warm device. There are fewer than 1,000,000 transistors total in the machine. The machine is running very slow - 1 megaherz. (Clock speed and transistor count are the main components of semiconductor power). There is no disk drive. There is not even a fan in the power supply (or anywhere in the machine). What component in the system do you believe draws so much power?
  • by Kiss the Blade ( 238661 ) on Friday October 20, 2000 @03:08PM (#688287) Journal
    Why were the old 8-bit computers such a hive of creativity? The things people did with them back then seem to be much more way-out than the thing people do today - it must be the challenge of owning such a limited machine.

    My favourite 8-bit memory was when I was 8 years old. I had an old Sinclair Speccy, with a rubber keyboard, and an insane surfing game that I now can't remember the name of.

    The game came with a small surf board that you affixed to the keyboard of the speccy. You then stood on the board, and leaned in various directions. On the bottom of the board were a number of protrusions that pressed the appropriate keys. You could stand and surf away all night long, against your friends, controlling the stick insect guy on the telly, with a tape of the beach boys in the background. It was truly hilarious.

    I also remember getting a CD-Rom for the Speccy in about 1990 - ages before I ever saw one on anything else. You plugged your music cd player into the speccy (or more correctly, into the expansion port that plugged into the speccy) & would then choose from about 20 (I think) games. The games loaded in an amazing 20 seconds! I was flabbergasted. I love stuff like this.

  • Cheater! You had to buy the 16k cartridge to do that. Try making a game in 4K!

    I miss my vic...

  • One of these days I need to have my parents go into their basement and dig out my Atari 800 and send it to me so I can do some cool things to it...

    I seem to recall someone making one into a web server recently. Man I loved that computer...
  • by cacahuete ( 245636 ) on Friday October 20, 2000 @03:13PM (#688290) Homepage
    ...what's a VIC20? I'm quite curious.
  • ...what a Beowulf cluster of those could do.
    --
  • As everybody knows, you get this when turning on a VIC-20. 20 kilobytes of RAM, my ass.

    **** CBM BASIC V2 ****
    3583 BYTES FREE
    READY.
    _

  • Executive 64 [retrobits.com]!

    It could probably play Beethoven in square waves WHILE it acted as a WAP client!

    ---

  • What kind of lame-ass "Geek house" has a website that requires frames? It's bitch-ass slow, as well.
  • The VIC20's limited memory created more assembly programming hobbyists than the resource plump boxes we have today ever will.

    It's hard to imagine 3.5k of RAM today. Not mb, just k!

    Try to find a file that small on your harddrive. You won't find many. Speaking of which, if you were one of the few that purchased a floppy drive ... you could write 160kb total per side. That's just 160kb!

    I wouldn't buy a pocket calculator with these limitations today, but I loved that VIC20 then.
  • First posting on your own system?

    It's the competition, the spirit, and the thrill of the chase.

  • *WARNING* Aimless old-fogie babbling ahead!

    Why, back in my day, we had 8k and cassette storage devices, and we LIKED it! We LOVED it! Sure, you had to burn your own EPROM every now and then, but who didn't back in those days? And who didn't love the POKE command?

    Oh, yeah... you can keep your Vic20s and C64s... gimme a Commodore PET any day.

    My dad still has a few of these at the old homestead. Got the first one when I was 7 or 8, a real step up from dad's homebuilt computer that used these funky routered wooden cards for storage. I wish I remembered more about that one. Good blinkenlights... impressive when I was 6, anyway.

    Oh, sure, we got into Vics and 64s, too... my favorite machine was the Executive 64. That was a class act. Had some Sinclairs, Osbornes, and an Amiga for a little while before settling comfortably into the clone PCs.

    But there's nothing quite like the first one... ours was the original 2001, with the chiclet keyboard and the built-in datasette.

    Man, I'd love to get my hands on some of those great old PET cases...

  • I suppose you didn't read that part.
  • by 575 ( 195442 )
    You call that a hack?
    An overclock'd Trash-80
    Is my pacemaker!
  • since, as a mere aspiring (read: native-speaking) tech head from somewhere in the sticks, I can clearly remember the VIC20, C64, and C128 that occupied old color tv sets in my house growing up. I also remember renumbering literally hundreds of lines of basic code because I was too stupid to number by tens. So when I see people still roughing their way through these antique machnines, I've gotta chuckle.
    It occurs to me that there was one old 8-bit machine which might just be ideal for WAP and other "tiny" codes: the Timex Sinclair 1000 [digitalcentury.com]. Does anybody remember these machines? Had as much as 16k of ram if you bought this funny box that hung on the back, a little bitty thermal printer, and a tiny little pressure-sensitive "keyboard" that could guarantee its user Carpal Tunnel Syndrome after about two weeks of regular use. These little guys did have potential, though - there was a winery across the street from me where the owner used one to do all his books! I think the beauty of the T/S 1000 was how streamlined, not to mention tiny they were. Maybe somebody else with way too much time on his hands could dummy up some code to make one of these things into a hot lil' internet deck. Yeah, right!

Nothing is faster than the speed of light ... To prove this to yourself, try opening the refrigerator door before the light comes on.

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