Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Classic computer confusion

  1. #1
    Reticulating Splines BetaWolf47's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    2,810
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default Classic computer confusion

    I'm reading up on all of these classic computers, most of which were before my time. I'm interested in knowing more about them and their games. However, having not been around, or old enough to know what they even were back during the heyday, looking into the past has offered nothing but confusion for me.

    I know of these systems: Commodore Amiga, Commodore 64, Apple II, Commodore 16, Atari ST, Atari 8-bit family, DOS, MSX, MSX II, and Sharp X68000. However, it gets more confusing, as each computer has about 6 different models. Amiga even has a CD add-on! That, and there are more gaming computers I haven't even mentioned! It's almost as confusing as Sega Genesis's line of consoles.

    What sites do you guys recommend to go to learn more about them? Yeah yeah, Google and Wikipedia... but I want personal recommendations from fellow gamers here.
    Last edited by BetaWolf47; 01-31-2010 at 08:25 PM.
    Selling gaming accessories. Click

  2. #2
    Cherry (Level 1) phreakindee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    316
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Honestly, I use Google and Wikipedia most often. From there it leads me to various sites that help with each system. There are some places with generic info on each of these, like http://www.old-computers.com/, http://oldcomputers.net/ and Dave's Old Computers. Tons of info at these places and they are where I check first.

    Somewhat of a personal plug, I have been making videos to answer this problem, especially regarding different versions of each machine and what to look for when starting out with them. Here's what I have so far:

    IBM PC / DOS
    Commodore 64/128/etc
    Atari 600XL/8-bit family
    Commodore VIC-20
    PC Game Collector - DOS and beyond

    Lazy Game Reviews

  3. #3
    Reticulating Splines BetaWolf47's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    2,810
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks, I'll be sure to check those out when I have the chance. The most confusing thing is choosing the right version of a game when it got a multi-platform release. Shadow of the Beast, for example, was released on Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, as well as various consoles. The Amiga version was the original and is supposedly the best, but I have little way of knowing.

    It's kind of cool how computers back then had console-style video games, and superior versions in many cases. I could start a "way back when" rant right now about today being all FPS, but I was only 4 years old when Doom came out so I've hardly got the right... heh.
    Selling gaming accessories. Click

  4. #4
    Cherry (Level 1) phreakindee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    316
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Ah, I see your dilemma. The magazine Retro Gamer is about the only people I've seen that did that, where they choose a game and compare it across all platforms. There was an online retro magazine that did this too, I can't remember it though. Still, this doesn't help if they don't have the specific game you're looking for. I wish there was a more accessible way of looking at which systems carried the best version of a game, other than comparing the screenshots and reviews on Mobygames.
    PC Game Collector - DOS and beyond

    Lazy Game Reviews

  5. #5
    Part of the #vbender crew Custom rank graphic
    Ze_ro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,520
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Abstract Zero
    PSN
    Ze_roV
    Steam
    abstractzero

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    I know of these systems: Commodore Amiga, Commodore 64, Apple II, Commodore 16, Atari ST, Atari 8-bit family, DOS, MSX, MSX II, and Sharp X68000. However, it gets more confusing, as each computer has about 6 different models.
    To make things even more confusing, in a lot of cases, the different models can have completely different capabilities which hurts compatibility (ie, a game programmed for the Amiga 500 may not necessarily work on an Amiga 4000). Figuring out this kind of crap can be a huge pain the ass. Check out this thread for recommendations on what models of computers are likely your best bet. If you have any specific questions about hardware, this forum is a good place to ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    The most confusing thing is choosing the right version of a game when it got a multi-platform release.
    Well, there are three schools of thought here:
    1. Get it on your favourite system, the one you feel most comfortable using.
    2. Get it on the original system that it was programmed for, so that you can get the version that most accurately reflects the developers vision (for example, the C64 version of Ultima III is a fairly crappy port of the original Apple II version).
    3. Get it on the most advanced system, as it will presumably have the best graphics and sound, and possibly more content (this works well with arcade ports, as each version is usually programmed separately anyways).

    Which version is "best" really depends on the individual game, and occasionally on your own preferences.

    --Zero

  6. #6
    Pear (Level 6) Soviet Conscript's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    1,361
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_ro View Post
    Which version is "best" really depends on the individual game, and occasionally on your own preferences.

    --Zero
    truth, i always try to get the "definative" version of a game but thats not always an easy task.

    btw i really enjoyed those videos phreakindee, i have the itch to pick up a a 5150 now.

  7. #7
    Red (Level 21) Jorpho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    We're all mad here
    Posts
    13,542
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by phreakindee View Post
    There was an online retro magazine that did this too, I can't remember it though.
    Retrogaming Times. HG101 does that sort of thing a lot as well.
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

  8. #8
    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    16,550
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    2
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default

    I thought there were closer to 12 models of X68000 than six. Six major revisions during the time the system was popular, sure. It gets more fun if you count up known case color variants.

  9. #9
    Reticulating Splines BetaWolf47's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    2,810
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro View Post
    I thought there were closer to 12 models of X68000 than six. Six major revisions during the time the system was popular, sure. It gets more fun if you count up known case color variants.
    Woah, wait what? There's more than just revisions?
    Selling gaming accessories. Click

  10. #10
    Flawless Rawkality Flack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    OKC, OK
    Posts
    14,269
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I suppose it would be handy if everybody picked a line of machines and did something like this:

    VIC-20 (incompatible with the C64)
    Breadbox C64 (the original)
    C128 (100% backwards compatible + 128 + CP/M)
    C128d (redesigned C128)
    C64c (redesigned C64, 100% compatible, altered sound chip)
    SX64 (portable/luggable c64, built in drive+monitor)
    C4+ (not C64 compatible, had 4 built in productivity apps)
    C16 (not C64 compatible, didn't even have the 4 productivity apps)
    C64GS (rare, cart-only C64)
    C65 (unreleased)

    Something like that?

  11. #11
    Reticulating Splines BetaWolf47's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Naples, FL
    Posts
    2,810
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    That'd be helpful for anyone here like me who was a child of the 90's. Except you'd need to be more specific, since IIRC Commodore 16 is a totally different system than Commodore 64 or VIC-20.
    Selling gaming accessories. Click

  12. #12
    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    16,550
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    2
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    Woah, wait what? There's more than just revisions?
    I've seen gray and black case versions of the Ace HD, at the least. Are you counting the Compact / regular versions too? The Compact units have 3.5" drives and are much smaller (at least a XVI compact is much smaller than the usual, between 1/2 to 1/3 as wide).

  13. #13
    Part of the #vbender crew Custom rank graphic
    Ze_ro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,520
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Abstract Zero
    PSN
    Ze_roV
    Steam
    abstractzero

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    That'd be helpful for anyone here like me who was a child of the 90's. Except you'd need to be more specific, since IIRC Commodore 16 is a totally different system than Commodore 64 or VIC-20.
    The Commodore 16 and the Plus/4 are part of the same line of hardware, though it's not immediately apparent. This line was sometimes known as the "Commodore 264" series while in-development, and it's sometimes still known as that. Commodore always wanted to have two computers in each series... one powerful expensive model, and a cheaper entry-level model. In this case, the Plus/4 was the powerful model, with more memory and built-in software. There were two other models too, the Commodore 116 (which was basically the same as the 16, and only released in Europe) and the 364 (An enhanced machine with voice synthesis, but was never released).

    The 264 series was based around the TED video chip, and did not have a SID chip... It cannot run C64 or VIC-20 software, and was generally considered inferior. It also didn't help that many ports and interfaces were also incompatible, including the joystick port. The Commodore 16 only had 16k of memory, which was downright pathetic at a time where 64k was standard. The Plus/4's built-in software is generally considered to be terrible (but at least it's available at the press of a button). The relatively poor sales of the systems also meant less software was available. On the plus side, the machines use a more advanced BASIC, and the video hardware offers more colours then the VIC-II chip (even though it lacks hardware sprites).

    While it's hard to find a single page that has everything, there are many platform-specific sites. For example, this site is good for Commodore stuff (click on Gallery/Collection for a list of basically ALL Commodore hardware).

    --Zero

Similar Threads

  1. Classic Computer Gaming
    By Flack in forum Computer Gaming
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 06-24-2018, 08:58 AM
  2. what is this? (classic computer peripheral)
    By qbertandernie in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-16-2007, 06:49 AM
  3. Best classic computer
    By Reid in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 07-26-2006, 08:50 AM
  4. The classic computer RPG canon
    By calthaer in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 12-09-2005, 03:58 AM
  5. Classic Computer Games
    By Griking in forum Buying and Selling
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-11-2003, 09:32 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •