Date: Tue, 26-Feb-85 12:14:24 EST
Posted: Tue Feb 26 12:14:24 1985
Date-Received: Thu, 28-Feb-85 20:06:43 EST
Organization: Boeing Aerospace Co., Seattle, WA
I tried to mail this, and had no luck...
> Can anybody give me any information on Commodore 16 and Plus 4s. I know
> virtually nothing about them at the moment and would be very grateful for any
> In particular, have they got a hi-res 320 by 256 screen mode with 2 colours
> per character space like the CBM 64? How much RAM does it take? What
> other modes have they got?
They have the same 320X200 hi-res mode the C-64 has, and the same 160X200
multicolor (whoops, multicolour) mode, too. The pixel size has been expanded,
though, and the pixels are nearly square. This has resulted in a very small
border, and large letters... almost as large and as readable as the VIC, but
still 40 column.
The PLUS/4 has about 60K RAM, the C-16 has 12K. However, the hi-res mode
takes 8K away, so the C-16 is left with 4K for programs in the Hi-res mode.
They do have a "Split screen" mode, where the top 5/6 of the screen is hi-res,
and the bottom is normal mode, so you can PRINT to it.
> How compatible are the 16 and the Plus 4? (Hardware, software, operating
> system, Basic etc).
100% compatible with each other, apart from memory limitations.
> What is the CPU clock speed?
Don't know that one, but they are slightly slower in operation than a '64.
> What is the sound chip? (Is it a SID chip?) What is it capable of? Can it be
> controlled through the operating system (ie are operating system routines
> provided to simplify this)?
Don't know what they are using, but it is NOT the SID. Two voices, similar in
capability to the VIC. Uses the SOUND command to control, so no pokes.
> Are there operating systems commands to handle graphics?
Yup, the graphics command set is nearly the same as the C-64 with a Super
> Do they use standard CBM peripherals (1541 etc)?
Yes and No. The serial port works just the same, but the joystick ports and
cassette ports use different connectors.
> Have either of them got a user port?
Plus 4 only.
> Does the serial port work? (I heard of problems with it on the CBM64).
> How fast does it go?
I've had not problems with the serial port, it seems to work as well and as
fast (in a manner of speaking...) as my '64.
I posted about 6 articles of a continuing review of the +4/16 last fall, check
the archives for 'em, if you are really interested. My main advice is don't
buy them... well, maybe, buy a C-16 for a kid, when the price comes down far
enough. These are orphan machines; I've only seen one non-CBM company selling
software for them, and they have hardly sold any. The BASIC 3.5 is nice, as
is the built-in machine language monitor, but get a Super Expander and a HESMON
cartridge for your '64 instead....