• Tag Archives PET
  • MSD Systems, Inc.

    Source: Computer & Video Game Magazines – Ahoy! – Issue Number 9 – September 1984

    There were a large number of companies that made add-on hardware and peripherals for Commodore computers. MSD is perhaps one of the most well known on the 8-bit side of things. This ad from the September 1984 issue of Ahoy! features several of their products for the Commodore 64 (as well as the PET and VIC-20).

    Featured most prominently at the top is MSD’s Super Disk I and Super Disk II. The primary difference between the two is that one was a single drive and the other contained two disk drives in one enclosure. These were probably MSD’s most well known products. They were 5.25″ disk drives that were mostly compatible with Commodore’s 1541. Being only “mostly” compatible, if your primary goal was playing games then these were perhaps not the drives for you. They were more expensive than the standard 1541 model. However, their primary advantages were that they were very fast and very reliable. We are talking 20 times faster at least and sometimes much more. These would be great drives if you were running a BBS or doing any kind of serious work with your Commodore. Not quite as fast or nearly as much storage as a hard drive but much more affordably at the time.

    The other items mentioned in this ad were:

    1) An RS-232 Serial Interface – basically these were used to connect modems and other serial devices to Commodore 8-bit computers. They lacked a standard serial interface but simple adapters like this one solved that problem.

    2) Parallel Interface – Again, Commodore 8-bit computers did not come with the common standard parallel interface so an adapter was needed for things like printers.

    3) Monitor cables – Commodore computers typically used monitors with separate chroma and luma cables in addition to sound. Using such a monitor provided a much better picture than using a TV with an RF interface which could also be done. And sometimes you just need an extra cable.

    3) The CEX-4 Expandoport – This basically expanded the User Port into multiple ports that you could switch between various add-ons. This saved you from unplugging and plugging things if you had more than one device.

    4) IEEE Interface – This is a high speed IEEE-488 bus interface. You needed to use this with the SD-1 and SD-2 drives if you wanted to get that extra speed out of them. Using the standard serial interface they would be no faster than a standard 1541 drive. They were useful for interfacing other devices as well.

  • Compute! (August 1981)


    Source: Compute! – Issue Number 15 – August 1981

    If you happened to be a computer owner in 1981 then Compute! would have definitely been a magazine that you would have wanted to subscribe to. The magazine lasted for more than a decade and in these early days it was exclusively covering 8-bit computers based on the 6502 processor. There were more of these than you might think.

    The August 1981 issue includes:

    • The Editor’s Notes
    • Ask The Readers
    • Computers And Society: Some Speculations On The Well-Played Game, Part II
    • The Beginner’s Page
    • Basically Useful Basic: Checking Randomness Of Random Number Generators
    • Trenton: The Original Computer Festival
    • Basic Oneliners: Minimize Code And Maximize Speed
    • Computer Assisted Instruction – Worth The Effort?
    • Wolves, Caribou, And Other Problems
    • Add A Programmable Sound Generator
    • The Carry Bit – What It Is And How It Works
    • The Floating-Point Division Routine
    • Practical Aspects Of Assembly Language: Part II
    • The Apple Gazette
      • Apple Disk Motor Control
      • Interfacing The Apple To 6500 Family Peripherals
      • A Cassette Tape Monitor For The Apple
      • Diskette Sector Space In A Greeting Program
    • The Atari Gazette
      • Restoring And Updating Data On The Atari
      • Easy Reading Of The Atari Joystick
      • Poem Writer
      • Supercube Update
      • Atari Sound Utility
      • Blockade For The Atari
      • Define A Line On The Atari
    • The OSI Gazette
      • The OSI RS232 Port And The High Speed Printer Interface
    • The Pet Gazette
      • The CBM “Fat 40” – Boon Or Bane?
      • Digital Arrayment
      • Keyword
      • CBM/PET Loading, Chaining And Overlaying
      • Converting Pet Basic Programs To ASCII Files
    • The Single Board Computer Gazette
      • The Single Board 6502
      • Nuts And Volts: Build Your Own Controllers Part II
    • New Products
    • Advertiser’s Index

    …and more!

  • Ahoy! (April 1984)


    Source: Ahoy! – Issue Number 4 – April 1984

    Ahoy! was a magazine dedicated to Commodore computers and covered most of them throughout the years. In 1984 it was primarily the Commodore 64 with some VIC-20 and a little bit of PET thrown in for good measure. The April 1984 issue includes:


    • A View from the Bridge of the April issue of Ahoy!
    • Scuttlebutt – news of the latest 64 and VIC releases.
    • Book Reviews – a good hard look at some good hard copy.
    • The Rupert Report – on lies your computer told you.
    • Reviews – the latest games and utilities analyzed.
    • Commodares – Dale Rupert throws down the gauntlet.
    • Program listings – ready-to-enter 64 and VIC programs.
    • Glossary – the quick way to computer semi-literacy.


    • Easy Script and Easy Spell
    • Printer Interfacing, Part II
    • Introduction to Petspeed
    • Playing the Light Fantastic
    • Who Programmed J.R.?
    • Educational Software, Part II


    • Lunar Lander
    • Apple Pie
    • Commodore 64 Bug Repellent
    • Name that Star
    • Lower Case Descenders

    …and more!