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"II/64 created by a high school student, Chip Gracey... — Parallax Forums

"II/64 created by a high school student, Chip Gracey...

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  • evanhevanh Posts: 15,420

    Haven't read it all but it kind of bugged me all the time I was reading it that they are discovering and unsure about so many things that could so easily be answered by just asking Chip. They clearly know where to contact him.

  • evanhevanh Posts: 15,420

    I wonder if Activision ever requested other versions of the kit to also cross-develop for other machines as well?

  • It bugged me too. Chip would gladly clear things up and probably share a story or two.

  • I do not know how many of us here, have used an Apple IIE machine back in those days, I did, I also became a minor expert in how the VIC20 (a lesser known CBM machine) did things as well. However both machines did indeed grok the same varieties of machine languages. But the big differences were that the Apple IIE and its family members were all open inside, and the company invited everyone to build gadgetry to connect to their system. CBM reluctantly provided this information. The Game I/O port on the Apple IIE system is also to apply, far more so than the connector for the IBM for example, and both machines used the same ideas on how to connect a joystick to the computer, or paddles, we used a joystick. We do need comments from Chip concerning the rest of the story.
    And the mascot watched while the owner worked.

  • @"Buck Rogers" said:
    I do not know how many of us here, have used an Apple IIE machine back in those days, I did, I also became a minor expert in how the VIC20 (a lesser known CBM machine) did things as well. However both machines did indeed grok the same varieties of machine languages. But the big differences were that the Apple IIE and its family members were all open inside, and the company invited everyone to build gadgetry to connect to their system. CBM reluctantly provided this information.

    Buck,

    I had the opposite experience, having learned the inner workings of the VIC-20 before I ever actually got to operate one. Our school had the Programmer's Reference Guide, which had the schematic and complete details on the inner workings of the machine. The first time I sat down in front of one, I already had enough knowledge to write some simple programs.

    Prior to getting my hands on the C=64, it was the same thing...I actually had the Programmer's Reference Guide, and so had the schematic and internal details. I didn't originally have a disk drive (couldn't afford one), but I did have a datasette recorder, and when I finally got my first 300 baud modem, I didn't have any software with it, but I was able to write a simple terminal to allow me to connect to local Bulletin Board Systems in my area (NY 518).

    I didn't have any of that information for the Apple II, however, I did have a couple of cool games, like Jordan VS Bird One-on-One and Conan the Barbarian. Sadly, I only had a green phosphorous monitor, though my system did have two floppy drives. But other than punching in the code from COMPUTE! magazine, I didn't really have too much experience programming the Apple II.

  • @SavageCircuits said:

    @"Buck Rogers" said:
    I do not know how many of us here, have used an Apple IIE machine back in those days, I did, I also became a minor expert in how the VIC20 (a lesser known CBM machine) did things as well. However both machines did indeed grok the same varieties of machine languages. But the big differences were that the Apple IIE and its family members were all open inside, and the company invited everyone to build gadgetry to connect to their system. CBM reluctantly provided this information.

    Buck,

    I had the opposite experience, having learned the inner workings of the VIC-20 before I ever actually got to operate one. Our school had the Programmer's Reference Guide, which had the schematic and complete details on the inner workings of the machine. The first time I sat down in front of one, I already had enough knowledge to write some simple programs.

    Prior to getting my hands on the C=64, it was the same thing...I actually had the Programmer's Reference Guide, and so had the schematic and internal details. I didn't originally have a disk drive (couldn't afford one), but I did have a datasette recorder, and when I finally got my first 300 baud modem, I didn't have any software with it, but I was able to write a simple terminal to allow me to connect to local Bulletin Board Systems in my area (NY 518).

    I didn't have any of that information for the Apple II, however, I did have a couple of cool games, like Jordan VS Bird One-on-One and Conan the Barbarian. Sadly, I only had a green phosphorous monitor, though my system did have two floppy drives. But other than punching in the code from COMPUTE! magazine, I didn't really have too much experience programming the Apple II.

    Hello!
    Okay. In my case for the Apple I had the full documentation to make the system work. For the VIC20 I found a book at a (sadly now closed) computer store in White Plains New York one day. It described the internals in as much detail as possible without giving away the information that can be considered company internal use only, the contents of the ROM chips for example. It turned out I remembered enough of the book to help out the fellows at the repair weekends for the local chapter of the Vintage Computer Federation. As it happens the same was true for the odd Apple restoration specialist. Same for the Mac guys.
    Mascot watches.

  • @"Buck Rogers" said:
    Hello!
    Okay. In my case for the Apple I had the full documentation to make the system work. For the VIC20 I found a book at a (sadly now closed) computer store in White Plains New York one day. It described the internals in as much detail as possible without giving away the information that can be considered company internal use only, the contents of the ROM chips for example. It turned out I remembered enough of the book to help out the fellows at the repair weekends for the local chapter of the Vintage Computer Federation. As it happens the same was true for the odd Apple restoration specialist. Same for the Mac guys.

    Yeah, I guess all our experiences vary in some ways. But I do remember the C=64 and VIC-20 being the two computers that seemed to mark the end of great documentation for electronics. Even monitors, stereo equipment and many appliances used to have the schematic diagram and great documentation. Not to veer too far away from the original topic, I remember explaining to a local user group back in the day how the ISEPIC for C=64 worked. I remember that just before Commodore went under, I had considered making a similar device, however, once Commodore went under, I kind of jumped ship.

  • evanhevanh Posts: 15,420

    That was standard fare back then. ZX81/Spectrum/QL all had schematics in the manuals. Same for Amstrad, Amiga and ST.
    The ROMs were well documented for the Amiga too. They were integral to a functioning OS.

  • My Apple experience was open. We had the ROM listing, programmers guides and of course the monitor and mini assembler.

    Apples, like the CBM's and others came with schematics and various docs.

    The closed ones was the Atari machines..

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