General public machines (Was: Altair 8800 name Was: Re: Altair 680 Expansion Boards?

geneb geneb at
Sat Dec 24 09:46:59 CST 2016

On Fri, 23 Dec 2016, Cameron Kaiser wrote:

>>> Commodore's Z80 in the 128 was due to unnecessary fear that they might lose
>>> market share to CP/M, when IBM should have been their big worry.
>>> I don't know all of the details of the ST/Amiga technology swap, but BOTH
>>> were too late, if the primary goal was competing with IBM.
>> That might be Commodore marketing - Bil Herd said that he threw the Z-80
>> into the design essentially because he could. :)  He's done a few talks on
>> how the C-128 came about.  It's pretty interesting.
> It also saved the 100% compatibility problem (in this case, with Commodore's
> CP/M cartridge by designing it onto the board, and with Commodore Magic Voice,
> which fouled banking by altering the memory configuration lines in realtime:
> the 8502 would crash, but the Z80's activity would not be detected and the
> C= key could be checked to force a C64 memory map).

Yep.  The group actively kept one step ahead of management to keep them 
from screwing with the project too badly. :)


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