Jump to content

Photo

400/800 not a real computer, apparantly


68 replies to this topic

#1 ilaskey OFFLINE  

ilaskey

    Chopper Commander

  • 242 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:41 AM

I know the guy will be biased because of who he is but seriously, VIC20 was the first home computer? Atari 800 was apparently a games computer and TI99/4 wasn't 'fully featured'

 

https://www.facebook...reply&ref=notif



#2 carlsson OFFLINE  

carlsson

    Metagalactic Mule

  • 6,880 posts
  • Location:Västerås, Sweden

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:51 AM

I've come to understand he is controversial even among his former colleagues, so dismiss him as you like. But I think I know what he means, that the VIC-20 was the first really affordable home computer with colour, sound and I/O. The Atari 8-bits were great, the TI-99/4 less so, but both also priced quite a bit higher. It was no coincidence that Commodore pitched the VIC against the 2600 instead of the 400. Over in Europe, Sinclair had the even cheaper ZX-81 but it lacked colour, sound, a real keyboard and more.



#3 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

Mclaneinc

    Quadrunner

  • 5,624 posts
  • Location:Northolt, UK

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:54 AM

Good luck Ian, the man is a fan boy at heart still, he's stuck in the days of creating the Vic20 and is blinkered as hell..



#4 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

Mclaneinc

    Quadrunner

  • 5,624 posts
  • Location:Northolt, UK

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:56 AM

I've come to understand he is controversial even among his former colleagues, so dismiss him as you like. But I think I know what he means, that the VIC-20 was the first really affordable home computer with colour, sound and I/O. The Atari 8-bits were great, the TI-99/4 less so, but both also priced quite a bit higher. It was no coincidence that Commodore pitched the VIC against the 2600 instead of the 400. Over in Europe, Sinclair had the even cheaper ZX-81 but it lacked colour, sound, a real keyboard and more.

 

I understand what you are saying but the man should have enough skill in the market he was in to pitch the right reasons it was what he says, fully featured does not equate to cheap, in fact normally its the opposite..

 

People need to have the ability to see beyond their past loyalties..


Edited by Mclaneinc, Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:58 AM.


#5 R0ger OFFLINE  

R0ger

    Chopper Commander

  • 196 posts
  • Location:Olomouc, Czech Republic

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:05 AM

What do you mean, PAST loyalties ? That's treason ! :grin:



#6 carlsson OFFLINE  

carlsson

    Metagalactic Mule

  • 6,880 posts
  • Location:Västerås, Sweden

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:35 AM

To be honest, in May 1981 the 8K version of the Atari 400 was discontinued while the 16K version was lowered to $399, though BASIC cartridge now sold separately. That is only $100 more than the launch price of the VIC-20, which had a full travel keyboard, built-in BASIC but less than 1/3 of the RAM, simpler graphics and sounds. In June 1982, Atari further lowered the price on the 400 to $349 in order to issue a rebate in December that supposedly dropped the price below $200, though that isn't mentioned in the FAQ at Atarimania. Of course Commodore by the end of 1982 had lowered the price on their VIC-20 some as well, though the real price wars didn't commence until spring-summer of 1983.

 

So yes, the property of being affordable is fresh produce as the market conditions change all the time. I didn't account for TI-99/4(A), Acorn Atom, ZX-81 or any other manufacturer above.

 

http://www.atarimani...f-atari_92.html

http://oldcomputers.net/atari400.html

http://oldcomputers.net/vic20.html


Edited by carlsson, Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:35 AM.


#7 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

Mclaneinc

    Quadrunner

  • 5,624 posts
  • Location:Northolt, UK

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:49 AM

I myself owned a Vic20 and loved Omega Race etc but to just make it the kings ransom of home computers (basically because he developed it) is daft...Other computers were out and yes the Vic may have been deliberately designed to be cheap to construct and sell but its not as he claimed..



#8 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

Mclaneinc

    Quadrunner

  • 5,624 posts
  • Location:Northolt, UK

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:49 AM

What do you mean, PAST loyalties ? That's treason ! :grin:

 

He's a secret Amstrad owner :)



#9 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

flashjazzcat

    Quadrunner

  • 13,495 posts
  • Location:United Kingdom

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:16 AM

Reminds me of when the 8-Bit Guy implied that the C64 was the first machine to output s-video.

#10 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

Mclaneinc

    Quadrunner

  • 5,624 posts
  • Location:Northolt, UK

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:39 AM

Reminds me of when the 8-Bit Guy implied that the C64 was the first machine to output s-video.

 

Wow...Lol....So much for reality :)



#11 ilaskey OFFLINE  

ilaskey

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 242 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:28 AM

I've come to understand he is controversial even among his former colleagues, so dismiss him as you like. But I think I know what he means, that the VIC-20 was the first really affordable home computer with colour, sound and I/O. The Atari 8-bits were great, the TI-99/4 less so, but both also priced quite a bit higher. It was no coincidence that Commodore pitched the VIC against the 2600 instead of the 400. Over in Europe, Sinclair had the even cheaper ZX-81 but it lacked colour, sound, a real keyboard and more.

Also the ZX80 before that.



#12 youki OFFLINE  

youki

    River Patroller

  • 2,345 posts

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:17 AM

Also the ZX80 before that.

the ZX80 was sold  in Kit  , i think.

 

 

Isn't the PET the first full featured Home Computer ?   I think the first PET has been released  in 1977   as the TRS-80 .



#13 carlsson OFFLINE  

carlsson

    Metagalactic Mule

  • 6,880 posts
  • Location:Västerås, Sweden

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:38 AM

Yes, I was about to mention the PET, the TRS-80 and the Apple ][ though it depends on the reader what is a home computer, what is affordable, what is fully featured etc. I'm sure there may be a few Japanese companies wanting to claim the title "first home computer" too, like Sharp MZ-80K/80C (1979), NEC PC-8001 (1979), Hitachi MB-6890 (1980), Fujitsu FM-8 (May 1981) etc.

 

Actually I have read/heard that Commdore's inspiration for the function keys came from one of the NEC computers, which must've been the PC-8001 since the PC-6001 didn't arrive until 1981 by when the VIC-1001 already was launched. Of course they may just as well have copied the Help, Start, Select, Option, Reset layout from the Atari computers, just renamed the keys F1 - F8.


Edited by carlsson, Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:41 AM.


#14 ilaskey OFFLINE  

ilaskey

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 242 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:53 AM

the ZX80 was sold  in Kit  , i think.

It was both kit and pre-built



#15 ilaskey OFFLINE  

ilaskey

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 242 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:55 AM

I'm guessing in relation to the PET etc, being black and white and not having proper sound, they didn't count as a "home computer" hence his emphasis on "Full featured"



#16 shoestring OFFLINE  

shoestring

    Moonsweeper

  • 320 posts
  • Location:Sydney

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:44 AM

Michael was Jack's assistant and was very loyal to him.

 

He said in an interview that Commodore regarded the Atari 8 bit systems as game machines because of the way Atari marketed them. What really hurt Atari's sales was the mindset of Warner which would threaten to sue any company if they wrote software for the 800. Meanwhile you have Steve Jobs at Apple and their users are getting the most out of their machines with great applications such as Visicalc. 

 

The VIC 20 was regarded by Commodore as "The first full functional affordable home computer", Commodore wanted to get away from membrane style keyboards that everyone else was putting out at the time and although the 800 came with a real keyboard & had great colour and sound, it really was not affordable compared to the VIC 20.



#17 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

Bill Loguidice

    Quadrunner

  • 6,647 posts
  • Armchair Arcade Managing Director
  • Location:Burlington, New Jersey, USA

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:51 PM

He also stated in the Facebook comments that the VIC-20 and C-64 series combined sold between 35 - 50 million. Even the most aggressive estimates have always been well below the lowest figure in his range. Time is never kind to memories...



#18 spacecadet OFFLINE  

spacecadet

    River Patroller

  • 2,718 posts

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:52 PM

 

The VIC 20 was regarded by Commodore as "The first full functional affordable home computer", 

 

The more qualifications you put on something, the easier it is to call it "first". But the more qualifications you put on something, the less relevant that "first" is.

 

I could easily say my Packard Bell 486 was the "first computer to come with a CD-ROM, 512KB of VRAM, a 170MB hard drive and a 486SX/25 processor", but who cares about that? It's meaningless.

 

You may as well say the VIC-20 was the first (affordable, full functional) home computer available in white.


Edited by spacecadet, Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:02 PM.


#19 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

Lord Thag

    River Patroller

  • 3,334 posts
  • We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese
  • Location:The Land that Time Forgot

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:01 PM

How significant something is historically is usually skewed by how significant it was to YOU.

 

It's always bugged me when people can't separate their personal bias from objective fact. 



#20 Laner OFFLINE  

Laner

    Dragonstomper

  • 529 posts
  • Location:Spring Hill, TN

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:16 PM

Kind of silly for him to suggest the Vic-20 was anything other than a games computer. What sort of serious (or otherwise) work could you do on a 22 column display with 3K of RAM?  I'm sure someone, somewhere wrote their dissertation on a Vic-20, but c'maaaaaaaaannnn....


Edited by Laner, Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:21 PM.


#21 DrVenkman ONLINE  

DrVenkman

    River Patroller

  • 3,016 posts
  • Back off, man! I'm a scientist.
  • Location:KMBT

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:15 PM

The interview he did with Randy Kindig for the Floppy Days podcast was excellent and the guy clearly loved his job and what he was doing. But I'm pretty sure Joe Decuir would set him straight on a few points in his FB post.



#22 Tempest OFFLINE  

Tempest

    Fallen Moderator

  • 26,967 posts
  • Location:Dark Places

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:28 PM

Even the humble Videobrain beats out the Vic-20 as the first home computer.

#23 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

Mclaneinc

    Quadrunner

  • 5,624 posts
  • Location:Northolt, UK

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:01 PM

Product loyalty vs fact...Guess which he chose...



#24 KLund1 OFFLINE  

KLund1

    Dragonstomper

  • 551 posts

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:50 PM

It would be interesting to see the bar graph showing when each of the 8-bit machines (all brands) was introduced and then showing price drops over their life times. x = time, y = price.



#25 carlsson OFFLINE  

carlsson

    Metagalactic Mule

  • 6,880 posts
  • Location:Västerås, Sweden

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:40 PM

What sort of serious (or otherwise) work could you do on a 22 column display with 3K of RAM?

 

For many years - almost to 1990 if I recall correctly - the local paint and wallpaper store had a demo kiosk with videos about how to redecorate your home and other forms of home improvement. It all was run by a VIC-20 connected to some sort of VHS tape recorder and probably more hardware, that would either change VHS tape depending on which video you wanted to watch, or at least wind it forwards or backwards to the correct starting position. The first time I saw it in action, I was stunned as it was a couple years past the VIC was discontinued but hey if their system still was working, why upgrade it to new technology that wouldn't do a better job, only cost more money and time to get it running?

 

I also know the VIC was popular among RTTY people and generally it was considered easy to interface with various electronics and lab equipment, more so than the C64 with its more complex memory layout. I'm sure you can name a number of other inexpensive computers that were equally easy to interface, but supposedly the VIC-20 found its place in a few such applications where a 22 column display was not a problem and RAM could easily be expanded on the back for at least 27.5K, up to 38.5K if you squeezed a lot.






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users