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What computer would you recommend for people who are just getting into the hobby of retro computing?

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2 hours ago, youxia said:

Quite a roundabout way of saying "buy C64!" :)

 

As for the exclusive list it'd have hundreds of titles. And that's only the significant ones.

Again, I don't know if that's strictly true. True exclusives, as in a game not ported from arcade or elsewhere, or ported to elsewhere, are surprisingly rare, ESPECIALLY when it comes to what would be considered major release games. 

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17 hours ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Genuine question, but how do you figure? It has worse sound and only 5 levels versus the 16 on the other versions. It does have a big advantage in one way and that is that it's on a ROM cartridge rather than a disk, so no load times (it also happens to be the one version I still own boxed - in fact, my current copy is still sealed).

No, I have to retract that statement.  After posting I went to look it up as I got the tune caught in my head, and it was not the CoCo version I was thinking of.

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29 minutes ago, IntelliMission said:

One thing that has surprised me about the CoCo is that, unlike the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, MSX and a few others, it had about 10 Sierra graphic adventures (the first 4 King's Quests, Space Quest I and II, Larry...).

Actually, only King's Quest III: To Heir is Human and Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards were officially released on the CoCo 3 and both required 512K to run. It was part of the same deal that brought Silpheed and Thexder to the CoCo (of course, even though Sierra had a prior relationship with Tandy I don't think it would have gotten those 4 games without serious subsidization from Tandy). Any other Sierra games or games that run on that engine were fan converted. Outside of consoles, I think the only other 8-bit computer Sierra supported with their King's Quest-era adventure games was the Apple II. I think that was at the behest of Ken Williams, who had a fondness for the platform, despite the struggle to make it work on the Apple II and 128K of RAM.

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10 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Remember, folks: old computers are for serious business, and ONLY serious business.

Because clearly, that must have been what I mean even though I haven't mentioned that once in this thread.

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8 minutes ago, JamesD said:

Because clearly, that must have been what I mean even though I haven't mentioned that once in this thread.

:lol:

Edited by x=usr(1536)

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The CoCo had exclusives, but it's going to be titles most people have never heard of.
It was supported mostly by small game distributors like Tom Mix Software, Spectral Associates, Mark Data Products, Computerware, Ardvark-80,  etc...
If you dig out an old Rainbow magazine, you find quite a few unique titles buried among the arcade clones, but few of them are even on the archive.

 

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On 9/23/2020 at 3:30 PM, Bill Loguidice said:

Not really comparable in my opinion. The North American BBC Micro didn't sell a lick. I'm no expert on the European market, but I'm pretty sure Atari software was at least somewhat available and the platform somewhat supported over there. The vast majority of people never saw or even heard of the American version of the BBC Micro. I think there might have only been one obscure magazine ad as well and no other advertising. I'm not really sure what their plan was to sell over here, but whatever it was, it wasn't a good one.

Acorn relied on the BBC to do their marketing for them which fated them to the British education market.  They created a brilliant machine with upgrade paths that the Commodore hobbyists would have loved (support for co-processors, mix and match ROM sockets for various programming languages and utilities, BASIC language with built-in assembler) but they failed to advertise the system's potential.

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5 hours ago, English Invader said:

Acorn relied on the BBC to do their marketing for them which fated them to the British education market.  They created a brilliant machine with upgrade paths that the Commodore hobbyists would have loved (support for co-processors, mix and match ROM sockets for various programming languages and utilities, BASIC language with built-in assembler) but they failed to advertise the system's potential.

I have several BBC Micros in my collection still, including a Master. I really like them and have a fondness for the default font and text adventures, but even with better advertising, distribution, and pricing, I just don't see it making much of an impact in the US market. It wasn't great as an overall games machine and there were several other well-established choices for systems that were easy to expand and/or use for productivity purposes. Still, definitely classy systems.

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Here's another interesting thing I just discovered about the TRS-80 "CoCo" computers:

 

- The up and down arrows next to the "Q" and "A" keys AND the left and right arrows very close to the "O" and "P" keys were already present in the first model (1980):

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS2Ocj4t8Uc6mbwwwyBJIM

 

Which is funny, because O, P, Q, A or O, P, A, Z was the most common key configuration in computer video games in the 80s (at least in action video games for the Amstrad CPC!). So I wonder if this is where "O, P, Q, A" (or "O, P, A, Z" was born).

 

And what's even more impresive: the CoCo Model One could play 4K* games!

 

*of RAM

Edited by IntelliMission

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11 minutes ago, IntelliMission said:

And what's even more impresive: the CoCo Model One could play 4K* games!

 

*of RAM

The funnest of fun facts to me in terms of the 4K CoCo is that it played host to two of the first ever cartridge games that produced speech without any type of add-on: Dino Wars and Skiing. Both have 1980 copyrights, but most likely weren't physically available until 1981. That's still extremely early. Dino Wars works great (not that it's a great game per se) within the 4K RAM limit, but Skiing, while it works with just 4K, is better with 16K of RAM.

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8 hours ago, English Invader said:

Acorn relied on the BBC to do their marketing for them which fated them to the British education market.  They created a brilliant machine with upgrade paths that the Commodore hobbyists would have loved (support for co-processors, mix and match ROM sockets for various programming languages and utilities, BASIC language with built-in assembler) but they failed to advertise the system's potential.

 

True.  They were also more expensive than nearly all of their competition at the time, which didn't help matters - and that was a pattern that continued throughout their lifespan.  In some ways, it opened doors for the ZX Spectrum, various Amstrads, and C64 to come in at the price points they did.

 

Having said that, the hardware architecture really was very nice, and BBC BASIC was absolutely brilliant for supporting in-line procedural programming (as well as the assembler).  Overall, an extremely well-thought-out machine; it's just a pity that it was never aimed at the mass market in the ways that it could have been.

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