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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)


	In reference to Commodore, what does TOI stand for?

	The Other Intellect.  Evidently, it was the computer the CBM
        engineers were working on before the VIC-20 project.  The name
        sounds like it was dreamed up after the fact.  In either case, this 
        machine might have been the "Color PET" mention in _The Home
        Computer Wars_ that Chuck Peddle was designing before company 
        shifted to the VIC architecture.

	Name two values that, when poked to the screen, will yield the
        identical character appearance.

	32 and 96 or 160 and 224.  Space and Reverse space.
        103 and 106 or 101 and 116.  Left and right lines.

	What chr$ codes lock out and re enable the shift/commodore keyboard
        flip from uppercase to lowercase on the VIC-20?

	chr$(8) and chr$(9), respectively.

	What chr$ codes lock out and re enable the shift/commodore keyboard
        flip from uppercase to lowercase on the C64?

	chr$(8) and chr$(9), respectively.

	What chr$ codes lock out and re enable the shift/commodore keyboard
        flip from uppercase to lowercase on the C128?

	chr$(11) and chr$(12), respectively, while in 128 mode.

	On CBM machines prior to the VIC-20, what chr$ code outputs the
        same character as chr$(44), the comma.


	Is the character described in $195 of any use?

	To put commas in strings read via INPUT.  Remember, INPUT treats
        a comma (chr$(44)) as a delimiter between input fields, but chr$(108)
        does not produce the same effect, so you could replace 44 with 108 in
        data written to disk, and read it in with INPUT.

	The speed of Commmodore BASIC increased dramatically after the first
        OS upgrade in 1979.  Why?

	Jim Butterfield supplies us the answer:
           "The original PET 2001 suffered from the same kind of "screen 
           sparkle" that was later seen in the early Commodore 64.  So 
           the original code would write to screen memory only during 
           the "refresh" period; that really slowed down the speed of 
           output to the screen.  By the time the first revised PET came 
           out, the screen sparkle was solved, and characters were 
           delivered to the screen with no wait. (The new operating 
           system also did a massive relocation of system variables, 
           and used zero page very heavily, to the dismay of home 
           programmers.  When asked about this, Commodore pointed 
           proudly at the "new, higher speed".  But in fact it was 
           the screen reorganization that caused 95% of the 
        Related to this question is $00C, which implies that the
        "sparkle" problem was fixed in the original PETs, so some people
        increased the performance of the original PET by setting the RETRACE
        line mentioned above to an output, which fooled the system into 
        thinking the video was ALWAYS in RETRACE mode.  

	COMAL, a programming language available for Commodore computers, was
        created by whom?

	Borge Christensen and Benedict Lofstedt, although Borge is given
        the most credit.

	At the 1980 COMDEX, Commodore PETs proved instrumental during a
        crisis.  What happened?

	The following is excerpted from _The Whole PET Catalog_, page 21:
           "PET PROVEN USEFUL"  During the 1980 MGM Grand fire in Las 
           Vegas, Commodore moved its entire COMDEX '80 booth dowstairs 
           to help track rooms, guests, etc.  According to _InfoWorld_, 
           7 PETs with OZZ data-bases (predecessor to SILICON OFFICE)
           were used for two straight days.  Local police agreed they
           could not have kept of the guests as well as the PETs did.
           Also, untrained operators quickly learned the system.  In the
           crisis, PET was both powerful and useable.

	Who designed the PET/CBM 8032 computer?

	Bill Seiler, the able assistant to Chuck Peddle, designed the unit.

	What was the "cursor gone out to lunch" bug in the first PETs?

	No answer available yet (I can't find my notes!)

	On a PET/CBM (early models), what will "POKE 14,1" do?

	If done immediately prior to an INPUT, the poke will suppress the
        question mark prompt.

	What version of BASIC would not utilize disk drives?

	BASIC 1.0

	Who is Lyman Duggan and why is he important?

	He is one of the founding fathers of the Toronto PET User's Group
        (TPUG), along with Jim Butterfield.

	Jim Butterfield notes to me that he received plenty of help in
        creating the first PET memory map (Q $0D8) from the Sphinx group,
        who published critical information in their early newsletters.  How
        did Commodore influence the name of the group?

	The name "Sphinx" was chosen because of the way early PETs resembled
        the Great Sphinx, the Lion with the head of a pharoah.
The information in this between the lines marked by (BEGIN) and (END)
is copyright 1996 by Jim Brain.  Provided that the information
between the (BEGIN) and (END) lines is not changed except to correct
typographical errors, the so marked copyrighted information may be
reproduced in its entirety on other networks or in other mediums.  For 
more information about using this file, please contact the address 
shown below.
Jim Brain
[email protected]
10710 Bruhn Avenue
Bennington, NE  68007
(402) 431-7754
--------Commodore Trivia Edition #26 Questions and Answers (END)---------


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