Commodore 128D Commodore unveiled the C-128 in January 1985. What went wrong with the C-128? It was an interesting system that added a number of important features above the C-64, including the ability to run CP/M, more memory, and a built in 80 column video mode, and yet it never got the software support people needed in order to take advantage of these new features. The problem with the C-128 was that it was 100% compatible with the C-64, even as far as hardware add-ons go, so nobody bothered to make C-128 specific software or hardware. They just kept producing stuff for the C-64.

The C-128 came in two versions...the regular model which used a case very similar to the C-64C (and which appears to be the basis for the case of the Amiga 500), and the desktop model, the C-128D. The 128D had a pizza-box style case with a built in power supply, a built in 1571 floppy drive and a detachable keyboard. The regular C-128 required an external 1571 floppy disk and an external power supply brick. The C-128D also had more video RAM than the regular version. This machine could be booted any number of ways, including: into C-64 mode, into 40 column C-128 mode, into 80 column C-128 mode, into GEOS using the 1571, and into CP/M 3.0 using the 1571. Unfortunately, if one booted into C-64 mode, the additional features and speed of the 1571 floppy over the older 1541 were lost, and the drive then operated as a 1541. As longtime uses of the C-64 know, one of the earliest options one bought to get around the slowness of the 1541 was the addition of the Epyx 'FastLoad' cartridge, which sped up disk access considerably, and which also worked the same when used on a C-128 in C-64 mode. If a 'FastLoad' cartridge, or any C-64 cartridge for that matter, was plugged into the cartridge port, the C-128 booted into C-64 mode automatically.

On April 29, 1994 Commodore International shut it's doors. Early in 1995, German PC-manufacturer ESCOM bought Commodore, though they themselves would go into receivership the next year.

Jeff's Computer Haven Home Page