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Who wrote this stuff?
This trivia was originally written by Jim Brain as part of the now long defunct C= Hacking Magazine, but happily Jim has kindly agreed to let me reproduce it in HTML-ized format for retro computing fans everywhere.

If you are interested in seeing the Commodore Trivia digests in their original form, take a look at this website.

For those who are interested, these pages were generated from the original text files using Perl and Velocity (and a nice template originally found here)


	What size matrix of pixels comprises a character on a PET 2001

	The matrix was 8 by 8.  

	How many bytes did the opening screen on a CBM 4016 show as
        available for use by BASIC?

	15359 bytes free.

	The character set that produces uppercase letters on unshifted keys 
        is the ________________ character set.

	"standard mode".  

	The character set that produces lowercase letters on unshifted keys
        is the ________________ character set.

	"alternate mode"

	To get to the set mentioned in $F2, what character code would be
        printed to the screen?


	What character code would one print to the screen to invoke the 
        chararacter set in $F3?


	If one does LIST 60-100, will line 100 get "listed"?

	Yes.  The above translates as: LIST 60 through to and including 100.

	The abbreviation for the BASIC 4.0 command "COLLECT" is ________.

	coL. "C" "O" "SHIFT-L".  For those who are interested, the 
        COLLECT command is analogous to the VALIDATE operation.

	When you use a subscripted variable in BASIC, how many elements
        are created by default if no DIM statement is issued?

	11 elements.  A(0) - A(10).  Almost everyone who has ever programmed 
        in Commodore BASIC has seen the "BAD SUBSCRIPT" error when they try 
        to use the 12th element in a un-DIMensioned array.

	How large is the keyboard buffer in CBM computers?

	10 bytes.  Since this area could be POKEd to, many boot programs
        would poke characters into this buffer to simulate keypresses.

	On the Commodore 1581, how large is a physical sector in bytes?

	A physical sector is 512 bytes in length.  Internally, the 1581
        creates 2 256 "logical" sectors in a physical sector, to maintain
        compatibility with older Commodore drives.

	You'll find BASIC 3.5 on the _____________ line of CBM computers.

	The X64 series.  That includes the Commodore 16, the Commodore 116,
        and the Commodore Plus/4.

	On the Commodore 1351 mouse, what registers in the Commodore
        computer would the X and Y proportional information be read

	Even though you are looking for digital information (how far the
        mouse has traveled since the last movement in a particular axis), 
        the information is read from the "paddle" or potentiometer (POT)
        registers.  On the C64, the POT registers are part of the SID
        chip, and are at 54297 ($D419) for POTX, and 54298 ($D41A) for

	What is the maximum size of a sequential file on a 1581 drive?

	802640 bytes.

	What flaw exists in the early Commodore 1670 modems?

	When the 1670 modem was first introduced, it powered up in auto-
        answer mode, which means it would answer incoming calls after
        the phone rang.  You could turn this feature off through software
        control, but if the power was reset, the modem would answer the
        phone.  So many people complained to Commodore that CBM revised
        the 1670 to include an extra DIP switch that turned this feature

	What is the model number of the first modem for the VIC and C64?

	The 1600 manual dial/manual answer 0-300 bps modem.  The author 
        owns one, and used it for many years.  To operate, you must use
        a phone with a detachable handset cord.  You dialed the number
        on the phone, waited for the answer, unplugged the handset, and
        plugged the cord into the 1600.  A switch toggled between using
        originate or answer frequencies.  The 1600 was manufactured by
        Anchor Automation for Commodore.  (As an aside, this unit claimed
        300 bps, but I never could get 300 to work well.  Most of my
        telecommunications happened at 150 bps.)

Jim Brain
[email protected]
10710 Bruhn Avenue
Bennington, NE  68007
(402) 431-7754


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