Welcome to my site … made by a homecomputer enthusiast of the 80s for just those and who are simply interested in it 😉
This is not only about the famous “bread box”, the Commodore C64, but generally about 8-bit home computers of the 80s … the time when we (now about 45/50 years old) had the first contact with computers.
For some time now, I can call myself the happy owner of a Commodore CBM 8096-SK. Before I introduce my own computer in more detail, I would like to give a brief overview of the Commodore PET and CBM series that were available during the 8-bit era from 1977 until around the mid-1980s. As it turns out, a brief summary is not that easy, as there were a sometimes confusing number of series and model variants. Nevertheless, I will try to give as concise an overview as possible.
To transfer software for the EPSON HX-20 from the PC, a so-called null modem cable is required. These cables usually have 9 pin D-Sub connectors at both ends. Therefore it is necessary to cut such a cable in the middle to solder a round 8 pin DIN connector to the open end.
For the HX-20 there are basically two variants for a data transmission cable. The simple variant requires only 3 cable wires, but has the disadvantage that no handshake or data flow control is possible. Ergo, only a low transfer rate is possible. I already presented such a simple cable here some time ago.
Here I now describe the more complex variant of a null modem cable, which is also suitable for higher transmission rates with data flow control. This allows a much more stable connection between PC and HX-20.
*Wessi [‘wes-see] is the flippant term for a West German citizen.
“With the production of the personal computer 1715 the VEB Robotron Büromaschinenwerk Ernst Thälmann Sömmerda makes an important contribution to the realization of the decisions of the XI party congress of the SED. By realizing the commitment of the office machine workers to provide the national economy with 10,000 personal computers in addition to the plan by the end of 1986, the acceleration of scientific-technical progress for the intensification of national economic processes and the increase of labor productivity is effectively supported.”
Source: Handbook “The Personal Computer 1715”, Publisher: VEB Kombinat Robotron, several authors, ISBN 3-349-00231-5, Issue: 1986/1987).
That’s how it was in the GDR back then! The leadership of the state power, the Unity Party SED of the German Democratic Republic, submitted a plan every five years in which it was determined what was to be developed and produced in the factories of the East German combines. Of course, the importance of computer technology was also recognized in the former Eastern Bloc, which included the then GDR, and so the company very soon began its own developments in this area.
In 1977, three computers came onto the market in the U.S.: the Apple II, the Commodore PET and the Tandy TRS-80. While Apple and Commodore were also noticed in Europe, Tandy remained largely unknown – unjustly, as this article proves. Author’s note: This article tells the story from the perspective of Germany.
My own Tandy TRS-80 Model 1 Level II from 1981, with Expansion Interface, Tape Recorder and externel Floppy Disk Drives.
The year 1977 is generally regarded as the “big bang” in the history of microcomputers — and certainly rightly so. Until then, computers were mainly something for companies, universities or government institutions. In 1977, many people began to realize that microcomputers could also find their way into many private households in the future. The clunky giant boxes of the past or the do-it-yourself kits for a handful of nerds now became affordable, compact and, for the first time, easy-to-use systems for the desktop.
The Verein zum Erhalt klassischer Computer (VzEkC – www.classic-computing.org) did a super nice Christmas campaign on the initiative of our member Helmut (axorp) by releasing a Christmas tree plug-in card for the C64 in the Classic-Computing Edition. He was supported by another member Andreas (shadow-asc).