• Judland's Commodore Blog

  • by judland

These are the ramblings of a happy Commodore computer user since 1983. I cover topics on both the C64 and C128, reviewing my favorite games and applications, as well as share some of my favorite memories from the 8-bit era. If you'd like to read more, you can visit my blog at: https://istilladoremy64.chorusgrove.com

Jun
20

The Under-Rated C128

I was working on a new review for the site (on a database application for the C128) and I have to say that the C128 has to be one of the most under rated and under appreciated PCs of the 8-bit era.

I really liked my C128 from the first day I got it, but it's only in the last couple of years that I've started to realize what a marvel it is. And I'm really disappointed in myself that I didn't see all the things I could have done with it, when it was my main PC. For 98% of the time, I would just use it in 64 mode.

I suppose that it had to do with the fact that I just didn't have access to the software that was being developed for it, back in the day. It's only now, owning the entire library of Loadstar and Loadstar 128 and having access to the entire GEnie archive of C128 and CP/M software, that I can try out all of this great software. I'm only guessing that this was the case for many C128 owners (or potential adopters): they just didn't see what the system could do, to really appreciate it.

After thinking about it a little bit more, another reason that kept me from doing more with my C128 was because I only had a 1701 monitor. A drawback of the 1701 is that, it did not support the RGBI 80 column resolution of the C128. I did have a video cable that allowed me to connect the RGBI output to the 1701's composite connection, but the picture quality was really terrible. The 1701 just couldn't display the smaller text adequately. So, I never used the 80 column mode, except for very brief experiments with the CP/M disk.

Kind of sad, really. Never the less, I'm enjoying my time now, discovering all of this great software I missed out on all those years ago.

Looking at it now, I can even see how the C128 would have made an excellent office PC, back in the day, too. I mean, GEOS 128 is a really good OS, especially when teamed up a 1571 or 1581 floppy drive. And there were some well written stand-alone productivity software available, too, that would have worked well in just about any small or medium sized office/business.

Ah, if only Commodore could have done a better job at marketing their products to the public and focused their efforts more effectively.

But, you tell me, did you have a C128 back in the day and did you do more with it that just GO64? If so, let me know in the comments.

More on my Commodore blog here:  https://istilladoremy64.chorusgrove.com

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