Debunking Buyers’ guide liars!!!! (part 6)
I feel I should take this opportunity to remind everyone that I speak from experience when writing about the Commodore 64. I don’t just look it all up on the Internet!
Much of what the author has written isn’t based on personal experience; he didn’t have a disk drive so any commentary on the C64’s DOS or indeed disk-based programs is just based on what he’s seen online.
And lets not forget dear reader that he has never owned the majority of the other computers he’s previously offered an “opinion” on; for example when he describes of the Camputers Lynx below it’s all based on what the internet told him and his verdicts of “amazing” and “excellent” from various posts in this series aren’t based on actually using a Camputers Lynx, they’re just baseless supposition built on top of what the author read about them on the internet.
The author doesn’t cite many of his sources, but if someone has taken time and effort to produce a decent web resource about the Camputers Lynx we’d have to assume that it views the machine in a positive light because putting all of that time and effort in would be pretty weird otherwise. And there are countless C64 websites online doing the same thing of course, but the author is willfully “blind” to this because it wouldn’t fit in with his personal worldview.
I feel I should quote the entire review of the Commodore 64 from “The A-Z of Personal Computers” with all original punctuation and spelling intact. It goes as follows… […] Obviously, there are various things which could have been pointed out or clarified.
Far more importantly, we can see dear reader that the review contains no lies despite the author’s repeated claims. It doesn’t go to the level of detail that the author feels it should but that isn’t the same thing at all and his personal opinions on what should be included are skewed anyway.
How is it an advantage or even relevant that the C64 casing and keyboard at that time were the same construction as the pathetic VIC 20? I recently read that Commodore only used the same design to make it easy to switch production from the VIC 20 to the C64.
Your correspondent’s emphasis above because basing what you’re saying on something that was “recently read” isn’t writing from experience.
And we have to note dear reader that the “pathetic” VIC 20 sold a million units before the Apple II, Atari 8-bit series and everything else for that matter – anybody in business who decided against reusing that popular and successful a design is as due for a visit from the men in white coats marginally before they turn up for the author.
Is the VIC’s keyboard relevant in a review? Yes, some readers at least would be aware of it to make a comparison.
The “totally irrelevant” (TMR) 64’er magazine did some articles about this, saying that when asked specific questions about problems with CP/M compatibility, Commodore 64 dealers were left just shrugging their shoulders.
The C64 dealers being referred to were in Germany so yes, still totally irrelevant to the author’s experience between 1984 and 1985 in the UK.
The Commodore 64 claimed to have 64K RAM, but there were serious problems using all this RAM. No mention is made of these problems in this review, though.
It was claimed to have 64K because it had 64K. Once more for the cheap seats, there are no serious problems using 64K even if the author doesn’t understand what’s involved.
The Sinclair Spectrum didn’t seem to suffer from a lack of RAM, although it was declared as 48K.
It was declared as 48K because it had 48K. Do you see a trend developing here, dear reader?
The C64 officially has 8 sprites, but the review doesn’t bother to mention that some other computers, such as Memotech MTX, and Texas Instruments TI99/4A have 32 sprites.
Or that they’re smaller, less colourful and suffer from tearing if too many appear on the same scanline. There are pros and cons like these to all of the home computers of the 1980s that just regurgitating the specifications like the author does won’t make clear.
I think the Commodore 64 version should have gone something like the following…
We’ll skip most of this waffle because it’s just what the author thinks and, as we’ve established dear reader, he’s completely missed the point of a review like the one he personally disagrees with. There was one particular untruth in the author’s missive that requires further comment, however:
The alternatives are to learn Machine Code (see Glossary) or to use an Extended BASIC. Buyers should be warned that to produce commercial software that will run on another Commodore 64, they will have to write in either the built in BASIC, or somehow produce Machine Code, because all the Extended BASICs are Copyright, so even if they come on cassette or disk, instead of a plug in cartridge, copies of these can’t be included with your finished programs for distribution!
Your correspondent has corrected previously; programs produced with Simon’s BASIC and some other commercial extended BASICs can be compiled for legal commercial distribution. Ironically, this information is available on the internet but the author refuses to acknowledge it.
 The author puts quite a bit of time and effort into his bile-laden waste of bandwidth too of course, but nowhere near the levels needed for a decent site.