The Story of My Life so Far - Part 80: New Computers: Commodore SX-64 and Amstrad CPC 464

in story •  20 days ago

I just reached reputation 72 today!

This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France

The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 79

When I arrived in Brest at the end of 1982, I had only my first computer that I bought in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1980.
I was using it on the ship I was posted on and at home too. And I was programming it with the Pascal compiler that I had created.

Commodore 64 Portable (SX-64)

In 1983 , in Brest, I bought my second computer, a Commodore 64 Portable (SX-64).
Although it was a "portable" computer, it was rather heavy: 10.5 kg (23lb). But it had everything: small display, keyboard, CPU, a memory 0f 64 Kbytes and one floppy disk drive.

Portable Commodore 64 (SX-64)

My goal was to port my Pascal compiler to the Commodore 64.

In a small computer shop, I had met a young man, whose name I don't remember. He owned himself a Commodore 64, and he agrees to work with me to port the compiler.

The microprocessor was an 8-bit MOS Technology 6510 microprocessor, a close derivative of the 6502 from the same company.
So, it was completely different from the Intel 8080 or the Zylog Z80.

Although the Commodore 64 had 64K of RAM, the upper 20K were shadowed by a ROM that contained the BASIC interpreter and Kernal. So, to access the full 64K of memory, you had to swap out this ROM, and when you wanted to use the Kernal, you had to swap back in the ROM.

We managed to create a small operating system that roughly emulated CP/M, the operating system of my first compiler, to port my Pascal compiler in its both modes, and to write a 6502 assembler and disassembler.

I never sold all this, but I think I gave it away to most people who asked for it.

I cannot remember exactly what happened later to my Commodore 64 Portable. I believe that at some point it broke down and I threw it away.

Amstrad CPS 464

On the Cybèle, I bought another microcomputer, an Amstrad CPC 464. It was to stay on the ship and to be used by the officers and myself.

Amstrad CPC 464

I mostly bought it to play video games.

I remember that I play for many hours a game whose name I cannot recall, where the goal was to escape from prison.

When I finished the game, I was disappointed that there was no more challenge. I don't like game that finished, I much prefer never ending games.

Continue to Part 81

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Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45 - Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48
Part 49 - Part 50 - Part 51 - Part 52 - Part 53 - Part 54 - Part 55 - Part 56
Part 57 - Part 58 - Part 59 - Part 60 - Part 61 - Part 62 - Part 63 - Part 64
Part 65 - Part 66 - Part 67 - Part 68 - Part 69 - Part 70 - Part 71 - Part 72
Part 73 - Part 74 - Part 75 - Part 76 - Part 77 - Part 78 - Part 79

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Congrats for achieving such feat (72) reputation.
I am lingering with reputation 62.
You are a computer savvy.
I guess the use of computer long time ago
is way different now.
An iPhone is a computer.
Keep on steemin'

I also still remember the Commodore 64 very well! We played tons of cool games on there, but can't recall one where we had to escape a prison...

Anyhow, I love the technological history you bring into your story. It really brings me back to the beginning of the Vic 20, the first computer I ever owned.

Thanks a lot again for all of this, congratulations on the 72 Reputation score and namaste :)


but can't recall one where we had to escape a prison

This game was not on the Commodore 64, but on the Amstrad.

My first computer was an original Commodore 64. Ah, those were the days!

Ahhh, I remember playing on my Commodore 64. We had one in my class when I was in grade 5. It was like the greatest thing ever. Oh, how far we have come from those days. We all thought the floppy disk was the greatest invention. How could information actually go on that thing? lol

great story dear @vcelier
That was the first computer that came out?
I had a similar

Amazing story to read

@vcelier, I congratulate you with high reputation 72. in 1980 I was studying at the University in Moscow and we did not hear about computers at all. I'm sure you know the computer as " your five fingers." I'll read you, you're a good mind reader. thanks

excellen post thanks you very much

ah le CPC 64....