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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)


	When you turn on stock Commodore 16, how many bytes free does it

	According to the initial power-up indication on the monitor, a stock
        Commodore 16 has 12277 bytes free for BASIC program use. A number od
        people have calculated 12287 bytes, so the power-on message may be in
        error.  I guess it is time to dig out the C-16 and power it up.

	How many does a stock Plus/4 report?

	According to its initial power-up message, the Plus/4 has 60671
        bytes free.

	What was the VIC-20's subtitle?

	"The Friendly Computer"

	What personality announced the birth of the Commodore 64 in
        Christmas advertisements?

	Though not well-known outside of the US, Henry Morgan introduced the
        new Commodore 64 computer system in the US.  In other countries, the
        answers differ, as countries like Finland had the Statue of Liberty
        announce the C64 birth.

	What was the name of the monitor program included in the Plus/4?

	TEDMon.  TED, as you know, stood for Text Editing Device.

	How many sectors per track are there for tracks 1-17 on a 1541?


	There are two programs running in the Commodore single-6502 drives
        (1541,1571,1541 II,1581).  What is the interpreter program called?

	The interpreter program is called the Interface Processor (IP).  It
        handles the dispatching of all commands sent to the drive, as well
        as corrdinating the flow of traffic between the disk and the computer.

	How do you do a hard reset on a Plus/4 ?

	First, we need to define hard-reset.  A reset differs from a power-
	cycle, since the latter does not retain the RAM contents.  In this
	case, the answer is analogous to the RUN/STOP-RESTORE combination
	found on the 64 and VIC-20.  Hold down RUN/STOP and CTRL and press the
	recessed reset button on the side of the computer.  I believe this
 	works for the C-16 as well.

	Where did the name "Commodore" come from?

	Rumor has it that Jack Tramiel always wanted to use a military term,
        but most had been already used.  However, one day he watched a 
        furniture van pass by on the street with the name he decided to use
        as soon as he saw it: Commodore.

	Chuck Peddle, designer of the 6502, left Commodore twice. Where did he
        go first?

	He went to Apple Computer.  He stayed with them briefly, but it seems
        that Apple and Chuck got along even worse than Commodore and Chuck.

	Where did he eventually go when he left for good?

	First, he went off to start a company called Sirius, which died almost
        before it started due to a lawsuit over the name.  Then, he and some
        former Commodore designers came up with the "Victor" computer, which
        did modestly, but never took off.

	What does the Kernal routine at $FFD2 do in terms of function and what
        parameters get passed and returned?

	The KERNAL routine at $FFD2 on all Commodore 8 bit machines outputs the
        PETSCII character code contained in the .A register to the current
        output device.  The carry flag indicates the presence of an error on

	What Commodore drive has a hidden message?

	The 1581 has a couple such hidden messages.  In the idle loop of the 
        IP, the text says "am i lazy??? just wanted to save a few ms...".
        Also, in the same loop, the following can be found: "this is lazy!!!".
        Lastly, the credits in the 1581 roms are: "Software david siracusa.
        hardware greg berliNZDedicatedto my wife lisA".  (Note: the N in berliN
        and the A in lisA is typical of how strings are stored in the 1581, 
        last byte has bit 7 set.  The Z after berliN appears to have been a 
        typo, but I can't say for sure.  I have a program that displays these.
        (Email me for info.)
        The 1571 has the ROM authors' names hidden at the beginning of the
        ROM, but I don't have a 1571 to scan for them.

	What computer was the first to have a hidden message?

	The PET 2001. Some said the 128 has a hidden message, but it wasn't
	the first.

	What was it and how did you get it to come up?

	By typing:
	    wait 6502,x  (where x was a number between 1 and 255)
	    the computer printed Microsoft! x times on the screen.

	What does NTSC stand for?

	Truthfully, NTSC can stand for different things.  In regards to the
        television standard for the US, the expansion is National Television
        Standard Code.  However, the body that formed the standard is also 
        called NTSC: National Television System Committee.

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


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