Commodore 264 Series
Commodore C16 / C116
At the 1983 (or was it 84?) C.E.S., Commodore showed off a new line of computers
to follow up the Commodore 64.
They sported a new wonder chip-- the TED (Text Editing Device).
The C116 would be the low end of this spectrum, having about 12K of memory.
The C264 and V364
would have built in software, 64k of memory,
and the V364 would have speech synthesis built in.
Of these machines, only the C116 was released in Europe, though it was also morphed into the
C16 for American consumers. The C264 became the Plus/4,
while the V364 was never released.
There has been much speculation as to the reason Commodore released these machines.
They lack compatibility with the C64,
an immensely popular machine. They lack
the sound and video capabilities of the C64.
They *do* have a faster processor
and a larger color pallette, and the Plus/4 has built-in software,
but this was not quite enough.
The low end members of the 264 series are the Commodore 16 and the Commodore 116.
Of all the machines showcased at
the C.E.S., the C116 was the only model to make it to store shelves as
originally designed; though it was only in Europe, and in very small
numbers. The picture to the left here is of the Commodore 116, with a
spoon in front of it to show just how tiny it really is.
Now, the Commodore 16, shown above, was meant to be a replacement for the
VIC-20, which had been discontinued a few months before.
Compared to the VIC, it is indeed an impressive upgrade. 16K to the VICs 3.5K,
better video graphics, and full compatibility with VIC peripherals. As
mentioned above, however, consumers at this time were not looking to make
such a small step when so many other great machines were available. Commodore
tried to market the C16 as an educational computer. This marketing ploy
was not successful however. Perhaps because there is only so much you can learn
from a 16k breadbox that pales before its peers.
Statistics, features, and C16/C116 resources:
MOS Technology 7501
Variable clock rate, with max 1.76mhz
Expandable to 64k internally
C16/C116 Kernal & BASIC v3.5
50 more commands than BASIC 2.0
5 Video modes
Max. Resolution 320 X 200
40 columns text
Pallette of 16 colors in 8 shades, for 128 colors.
MOS Technology 7360 "TED"
2 voice tone-generating sound capabilities
2 Joystick/Mouse ports
Round DIN CBM Serial port
Female edge-connector 'TED' port
RF "TV" Port and switch
Round DIN CBM Monitor port
Power and reset switches
DIN Power connector
Commodore 116 -- 62 key "membrane"
8 programmable function keys
4 direction cursor-pad
Personal Note: The Commodore 16 came from an eBay
auction, while the C116 came from a German computer shop. The 116's keyboard
is extremely hard to type on, making it my least favorite "tinkering" machine.
However, I also have a 116 with 64k of memory, which was perfect for a little
PAL "demo" viewing spree I went on shortly after receiving it.