The author fails to debunk

Debunking Debunking “The author’s hypocrisy”

So the author has posted another “debunking”… except of course the author didn’t actually debunk anything your correspondent has said in his post and, hysterically, just demonstrates his hypocrisy even further, makes more mistakes and occasionally debunks his own “arguments”.

TMR has written a series of debunks of my series “BUYERS’ GUIDE LIARS!!!!” on his Jack Tramiel bootlicking blog , so now I’m not writing about “The A-Z of Personal Computers” for at least the moment, I’ve decided to debunk various recent Tramielite comments he’s made.

This is a demonstration of flawed logic; it doesn’t automatically follow that, because your correspondent likes the C64, he is automatically a “Tramielite”.

As for me, I grew up in a slum because of my Dad’s unfinished DIY jobs AND he was a hoarder, so I can say what I like, but not try and con anyone!!

And yet that’s what the author is trying to do with every post, con people into believing that his version of events was the norm despite millions of C64 owners having a totally different experience. And growing up in a “slum” is completely and utterly irrelevant, it doesn’t make the author’s biased opinions or false arguments based on what he read on the internet any more valid.

Jack Tramiel also waged a violent price war against his competitors, including Atari, Texas Instruments, and Timex Sinclair, nearly bankrupting Atari, forcing Texas Instruments out of the home computer market in revenge for them suddenly bringing out cheap calculators instead of just supplying Commodore and other manufacturers with chips, forcing Timex Sinclair out of the market in North America, and scaring off most the MSX computer producers from even entering that market.

Jack Tramiel was a businessman and Commodore Business Machines was a business (it’s right there in the company name for the hard of thinking like the author) so being surprised when they do things like try to dominate the home computer market is idiotic even by the author’s “standards”. If Tramiel’s competitors at Atari, Texas Instruments, Timex, Sinclair or the various companies in the MSX consortium were given the same opportunity they would have done exactly the same thing. In fact Texas Instruments had already tried to do something similar to push Commodore out of the calculator market but there’s absolutely no sign of the author getting upset about that.

The Commodore 64 only has 16 colours, compared to the Atari 8 bit range’s 256 colours on upgraded models and later models. Programming tricks can be done to make it appear to have more than 16 colours, as featured in magazines even in 1984. The results of later tricks, involving massive RAM upgrades and interlacing usually aren’t that impressive, because of using the same old 16 colours. These screens, tend to have a lot of blue, yellow, and grey, like in the lizard animation recently posted by TMR.

The author has just managed to completely confuse several different things. For a start, each frame of the chameleon animation is displayed in a software-driven mode called NuFLI which runs on an unexpanded C64, offers 320 by 200 pixel graphics without the attribute issues usually present at that resolution – it was posted to demonstrate a point about resolution rather than anything else and the author should start making an effort to properly preserve context – and doesn’t claim to produce more colours even if it actually can. It also isn’t interlaced. The need for a large RAM expansion is down to the animation having a lot of frames which can be “loaded” quickly from RAM, the expansion isn’t required to display the frames themselves.

There are also techniques for producing extra colours that don’t require interlacing (the same techniques in fact that produce 256 colour APAC images on the Atari 8-bit) which the author is apparently ignorant of so this can all safely be ignored.

Sadly, in Britain during 1984, so such replacement language with a compatible compiler was available. If there had been, I’d have found it, because I was driven by desperation and being pushed closer to a nervous breakdown by Commodore BASIC V2 the whole time.

This doesn’t mean that the options didn’t exist, just that the author didn’t know where to look despite his egotistical insistence that he would have. And just because he didn’t own a disk drive it doesn’t automatically exclude disk-based solutions either because not everybody was in the same boat.

The Abacus 64 Compiler that TMR referred to was Copyright Data Becker 1984. I think this means it may only have been programmed in Germany in 1984, then not even released in Germany until 1985, then later released by Abacus in the USA and other countries.

There is no proof to back this supposition up dear reader; it’s merely the author guessing that what he personally wants to believe is true and trying to pass it off as fact whilst the majority of copyright dates on software reflect the year of release.

Whenever it was released, by that time I was no longer interested in the Commodore 64, while thousands or millions of other Commodore 64 owners had been brainwashed that they didn’t have the aptitude to program computers at all.

And yet there’s more code archived online for the C64 from amateur programmers than for pretty much any of the computers the author has tried to champion; for “brainwashed” users who believed they didn’t have the aptitude to program they certainly did a massive amount of programming.

Most of them have done more on the C64 than the author has done on any computer as well so, again dear reader, we have to question if the problem lies with the C64’s BASIC or the author himself.

Something about this was mentioned somewhere on the forums, where C64 owners with disk drives later wanted games as presents, while Atari owners were more likely to want programming languages and C64 programmers sometimes asked Atari programmers for help with 6502 Assembly Language programming. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this topic in recent searches, but I know it’s there somewhere.

Again, no proof so feel free to treat these claims with contempt even before remembering that not everything said on the internet is necessarily true anyway.

The author’s comment about C64 coders asking Atari coders for help is irrelevant since that sharing of information has always happened in both directions.

The term “user friendliness” can only refer to software actually supplied with computers.

This is a lie. Any piece of software can be user friendly regardless of how the user arrived at it, any dictionary definition of the term explains both that and, as noted repeatedly dear reader, that user friendliness isn’t about programming regardless of how many times the author tries to claim otherwise.

According to TMR, Atari released enough documentation about their 400 and 800 computer models to write “Elektra Glide” after “a couple of years”, but that wasn’t too bad because it only takes the story up to about 1981, when not many people had a computer at all.

This was according to books like Hackers by Steven Levy and Atari coders at that time like John Harris rather than just according to your correspondent. And we need to note dear reader that Atari kept the documentation back to benefit themselves rather than their customers; without that documentation it was very hard to pick the machine up and program games to the technical standard of Atari’s products. If Commodore had tried the same thing we would have been watching the author mewling incessantly about it for two years now, but his hypocrisy knows no bounds so Atari doing it “wasn’t too bad”.

Sinclair Spectrum graphics artist David Thorpe said he was an architect and that he planned his graphics screens first on graph paper, before drawing them in the package Melbourne Draw sometimes creating or manipulating graphics in BASIC.

The author previously claimed that David Thorpe “says he often programmed his screens using coordinates and in BASIC” (your correspondent’s emphasis) but in the interview itself David Thorpe says that he used a graphics package and that he worked with someone else who did wrote assembly language code. Your correspondent isn’t sure why the author is now repeating this false assumption with a slightly different wording after his own source has already debunked him.

I don’t think it’s important to talk about how many colours these 8 bit “home computers” could get on screen at once, because most C64 software used the 160×200 mode, with 16 colours, but only 4 colours in each 8×8 pixel square, which isn’t a 1:1 ratio, as if that was relevant!

This part is particularly amusing; apparently it isn’t important but he then goes on to talk about it at some length anyway (getting the details wrong in the process since the mode he’s discussing uses 4 by 8 pixel attribute cells) having already put a previous paragraph in the same post over to another facet of the same the subject. And if these things aren’t important as he now claims, why is the author so upset that the C64 didn’t have BASIC commands to manipulate these colours?

As for me, I’ve recently been studying some Polish to help me understand Atari demos in Polish, as well as making big progress using my Atari Assembler Editor cartridge.

It will, dear reader, be incredibly interesting to see if the author uses a cassette-based Atari 8-bit with the Assembler Editor cartridge like he would have been doing in the UK around 1984 to 1985.

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