Commodore Trivia
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C64 Chronology
  A comprehensive chronology of the Commodore 64
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RKO C64 Remixes
  Amazing site of C64 SID remixes

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)


	On a Commodore 64, what is the amount of RAM available for BASIC
        programs to reside in?

	Some people over-answered this question.  The correct answer is
        38911 bytes, which is what the BASIC screen says.  Now, it is true
        that BASIC can use $C000-$CFFF, and some zero pages is easily used
        by BASIC, but it is non-trivial to get BASIC to use these areas.
        The math comes out to:  $0801 (2048) to $9FFF (40959) - 1 (0 in
        location 2048).  Please note that this is not the maximum size of
        a standard BASIC program, even if it does not use variables, since
        BASIC steals 3 bytes at the end of the program to determine the end.

	Name one Commodore computer (pre-Amiga) that used two general purpose

	There are two (or more) answers to this question.  The obvious answer
        is the Commodore 128, but the Commodore SuperPET (SP9000) had two,
        also.  There was also an optional card to add another processor to
        the B-series.  Note that some Commodore peripherals also had two
        (or more) microprocessors, but that is another question.

	What are they?

	Commodore 128: 8502(6510 clone) and Z80.  SuperPET: 6502 and 6809.
        B-series: 6509 and 8088.

	Who was the Chief Executive Officer of CBM when the Commodore VIC-20
        (VC-20) was introduced?

	According to my sources, it is none other than Jack Tramiel.  While
        some claim Irving Gould as the man-in-charge since he had
        controlling interest at the time, the CEO was Jack.  Whether he was
        in charge or not is left up to the reader.

	the Commodore 64 and 128 (among others) have a TOD feature.  What does
        TOD stand for?

	TOD = Time Of Day.  The 6526 Complex Interface Adapter is the holder
        of the TOD clock, which can be used in lieu of the system jiffy
        system clock to time things, as it does not suffer from interruptions
        to service I/O and screen.  Note that the standard kernal uses the
        system clock for TI and TI$, not the TOD clock.

	What location in the Commodore 64 Kernal holds the version number?

	$ff80 (65408).

	The first computer Commdore sold was the KIM-1.  How much RAM was
        available on the KIM-1?

	1.125K or 1024+128 = 1152 bytes.

	Who designed the architecture for the 6502 integrated circuit?

	Chuck Peddle

	What was the original name of the company that produced the 6502?

	MOS Technologies

	What did the name stand for?

	MOS = Metal Oxide Semiconductor, which has three major families:
        NMOS: Negative MOS, PMOS: Positive MOS, and CMOS: Complementary MOS.
        MOS Technologies produced mainly NMOS ICs, hence the use of NMOS
        technology for the 6502 and 6510.

	Commodore acquired the company and renamed it to...?

	CSG = Commodore Semiconductor Group.  The renaming was not
        instantaneous, happening a number of months(years) after the 

	The Commodore VIC-20 graphics were powered by the VIC-I (6560)
        integrated circuit.  Was the chip designed for the computer, or was
        the computer designed for the chip?

	The VIC-I 6560-61, was designed 2 years prior to the design of the
        VIC-20 computer.  It was designed to be built into video games, but
        no one wanted to use it, so Commodore made their own system
        around it to recoup losses.

	The VIC-20 had a Video Interface Chip (VIC) inside it, yet that was
        not what the 'VIC' in the model name expanded to.  What did it
        expand to?

	VIC-20 = Video Interface Computer-20.  The 20 was a rounding down
        of the amount of memory in the VIC: ~22K.  Michael Tomczyk, who got
        stuck with the job of deciding on the name, did the rounding.

	The most widely known disk drive for Commodore computers is the 1541.
        how much RAM does the 1541 have?

	2048 bytes, or 2kB RAM. It is mapped at $0000-$07FF.

	On every Commodore disk, the drive stores a copy of the BAM.  What
        does BAM stand for?

	BAM = Block Availability Map. 

	Now, for those into 6502 machine language.  What instruction was not
        available on the first 6502 chips?

	ROR (ROtate Right) was not available until after June, 1976.  However,
        all Commodore VICs and C64s should have this instruction.  Some people
        gave instructions that are found on the 65c02, designed by Western
        Design Center, and licensed to many companies.  However, the 65c02
        itself occurs in two flavors, and neither are used in any stock
        Commodore product I know of.
Jim Brain
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10710 Bruhn Avenue
Bennington, NE  68007
(402) 431-7754


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