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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 was the Code-Name of the Amiga while in Development?

	Lorraine.  Amiga was the company name.  When Commodore bought the
        company, they scrapped the model name and used the old company name.

	What is Lord British's Real Name (The creator of the Ultima

	Richard Garriott.  Scott Statton has met him and says that he is son
        of astronaut Owen Garriott.

	What is the POKE location and value that will fry an early model

	59458.  It is in the (Versatile Interface Adapter, 6522)
        No, I won't tell you what to poke into it, but I will tell you
        that it is not the only way to fry a PET.  here is a description from
        none other than Jim Butterfield
        "The poke shopwn above is correct. Its intention was to speed up early
        model PETs by masking the RETRACE line (by switching it to output)...
        however, Commodore subsequently REDESIGNED the interface in such a way
        that making the VIA pin an output caused (now) two outputs to fight
        each other ... result, VIA and/or video circuitry burnt out.
        LATER (Days of "fat 40" and 80-column PETs), the new CRT controller
        chip could be fiddled with POKES so that it generated scan rates
        completely out of the capacity of the CRT deflection circuits.  
        Result: burnt out deflection circuitry ... and that was no YOKE!"
        Richard Bradley says that 59595 is the second poke that Jim is
        referring to.
        I also have in on word from Ethan Dicks that 59409 is another
        infamous poke, but I wouldn't try any of these!

	On the Plus 4 and C-16, the VIC chip was replaced with the TED
        chip.  What does TED stand for?

	TED = Text Editing Device.  It did not have as many capabilities
        as the VIC II.

	Commodore Produced a daisy-wheel letter quality printer in North
        America (maybe elsewhere) for the Commodore Serial Line.  Name it.

	The Commodore DPS 1101.  The CBM 6400 was another earlier attempt
        at a daisy-wheel printer, but it had an IEEE-488 interface.

	What is the version of DOS in the 1541?


	What is the Version of BASIC in the Plus 4 and the C-16?


	What are the nicknames of the original three custom Amiga chips?

	Daphne/Denise, Agnes/Agnus, and Paula/Portia, or Huey, Duey, and Louie.
        Denise, Agnes, and Paula were the American names, but the the others
        crept in from somwhere.  the ducks were always a joke, but caught on
        as alternate names.

	Commodore produced a 64 in a PET case.  What is its name and model

	The Educator 64.  It was model number CBM 4064, and it was also called
        the PET64.  Note that this version of the 64 was the second attempt.
        Commodore first tried to sell the "Educator 64" to schools in the
        regular 64 case, but administrators and teachers disliked the "homey"
        look.  Thus, it was squeezed into a PET case and sold better, although
        I don't think it was ever a killer seller.

	Commodore sold a 1 megabyte floppy disk drive in a 1541 case.
        Give the model number.

	The Commodore SFD 1001.  It was actually half of an CBM 8250 LP
        with a slightly revised ROM.

	What does GCR stand for?

	Group Code Recording.

	Commodore produced a drive to accompany the Plus 4 introduction that
        was designed specifically for the Plus/4.  Give the model number.

	the CBM 1551 was the new, high-performance drive that was designed
        specifically for the Commodore Plus/4 and C-16.  The 1542 was
        actually just a repackaged 1541 in a grey case that was made available
        for people who didn't want to spend the extra money for the 1551.  The
        extra cost resulted from the 1551 sporting a new, parallel transfer
        method that increased transfer rates 400%.

	What does SID stand for?

	SID = Sound Interface Device

	What does the acronym KERNAL stand for?

	KERNAL = Keyboard Entry Read, Network, And Link.  This is most likely
        another "words after the letters" acronym, along the lines of the
        PET acronym.

	What version of DOS does the 1571 have?


	What other two Commdore Disk Drives share the same DOS version
        number as the 1571?

	I got more than I bargained for on this question, since there
        are four drives which have the same DOS version that I feel are
        adequate responses to this question. 
        The CBM D9060 and D9090, although I doubt the code is the same.
        The D series were hard drives. 
        The 8280 Dual 8" Floppy Drive.
        The 1570, which was a single sided version of the 1571 in a 1541
        case painted to match the 128.  The ROM is slightly different,
        enough to make it unrecognizable as either a 1541 or a 1571 in some
        The 1571II and the 1571D, which is the drive in the C128D, also 
        have this DOS revision, but that stands to reason, since they are 
        in the 1571 line.

	How many files will the 1571 hold?

	144 in both modes.  I am surprised Commodore didn't add a track or
        put another directory on the back.

	How many files will the 1541 hold?


	What did Commodore make right before entering the computer market?

	Calculators.  They also made office equipment, watches, adding 
        machines, and thermostats, hence the name "Commodore Business 

	Commodore introduced an ill-fated 4 color plotter.  Give the model

	the Commodore 1520.  It used 4 inch wide paper and could use 4

	Some formats of CP/M write disks using the MFM format.  What does
        MFM stand for?

	MFM = Modified Frequency Modulation

	On the Commdore 128, the user manual left three commands undocumented.
        One works, and the others give a not-implemented error.  Name the
        commands and what each one does or does not do.

	The answer depends on which manuals you have.
        In the C128 System Manual, the C128D System Manual, and the C128 
        Programmer's Reference Guide, the following commands are not
        documented and both return an unimplemented command error:
        OFF      It is, however, valid when used with the KEY command, as in
                 KEY OFF.
        The third command is actually implmented, yet is not documented in 
        the C128 System Guide:
        RREG     reads the internal registers after a SYS command.
                 On page 326 of the C128D System Guide:
                 "RREG [a[,[x][,[y][,status]]]]
                 This function returns the contents of the computer's internal
                 registers after a SYS command.  The contents of a, x, y, and
                 processor status registers are assigned to the variable list.
                 10 SYS DEC("FF59"),8             calls kernel routine "LKUPLA"
                 20 RREG A, X, Y, S
                 30 IF S AND I THEN PRINT "NOT FOUND": END
                 40 PRINT "FOUND:"; A; X; Y
                 The above example calls a standard kernel routine to check 
                 if a given logical channel is in use (in this case, logical 
                 file 8).  If it isn't, "NOT FOUND" is printed.  If it is in 
                 use, "FOUND" is printed, and the logical file number, device
                 number, and secondary address of the channel is printed."
        So, this command is documented in the C128D System Guide.  It is
        interesting to note that the command does not appear in the BASIC 7.0
        encyclopedia in the C128 PRG, but does appear in the command list
        immediately following the encyclopedia.  
        It seems that Commodore either forgot about the command when 
        introducing the C128, and remembered it when publishing the C128D
        System Guide and the C128 PRG, or decided to leave it out and then
        later broke down and included it in later manuals.
New questions coming!
Jim Brain
[email protected]
10710 Bruhn Avenue
Bennington, NE  68007
(402) 431-7754


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