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Who wrote this stuff?
This trivia was originally written by Jim Brain as part of the now long defunct C= Hacking Magazine, but happily Jim has kindly agreed to let me reproduce it in HTML-ized format for retro computing fans everywhere.

If you are interested in seeing the Commodore Trivia digests in their original form, take a look at this website.

For those who are interested, these pages were generated from the original text files using Perl and Velocity (and a nice template originally found here)

 
TRIVIA A6A

$050)
	The Commodore 1551 Disk Drive is a parallel device.  How did it
        connect to the Commodore Plus/4 and C16?
        

	The Commodore 1551 connected via the expansion port.  Therefore, it
        was a parallel device, and could work at much faster speeds.

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$051)
	How many could you attach?

	Two, The second drive cable attached to the back of the first cable.
        

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$052)
	What were the addresses they used? (Not device numbers)

	The two drives were mapped into the Address space at $fec0 and $fef0
        of the Plus/4 or C-16.  The 6523 Triple Interface Adaptor chip is
        mapped in at these locations and has 8 registers each.
        

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$053)
	What is the maximum number of sound octaves the VIC-20 sound generator
        can reach?

	This has two equally valid answers. On the Vic-20, each sound 
        generator has a range of 3 octaves.  However, all the sound generators
        together can range 5 octaves, since each sound generator is staggered
        one octave apart.
        

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$054)
	Who wrote the reference guide that was distributed with almost every
        PET computer sold?

	The infamous Adam Osborne, of Osborne I fame.
        

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$055)
	The box that the C64 comes in has some propaganda on the side
        describing the unit.  In the specifications section, it claims how
        many sprites can be on screen at one time?

	I neglected to note that the Commodore 64 packing box has underwent
        many changes.  However, for quite a while, CBM used a blue box with
        many views of the 64, and a specification list on on side of the box.
        On that spec list, it claims that the the 64 can have "256 
        independently controlled objects, 8 on one line."  Why is this
        important?  It gives us a clue that the VIC-II designers figured people
        would and could use the interrrupts on the VIC-II to change sprite
        pointers.
        

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$056)
	The Commodore Plus/4 computer contained the first integrated software
        package to be placed in a personal computer.  What was the name of the
        software package?

	The package was called "3+1".
        

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$057)
	What popular computer software did the software package parody?

	Lotus 1-2-3.
        

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$058)
	One familiar Commodore portable computer was called the SX-64.
        What did SX really stand for?

	Depending on whom you believe, the SX stands for two things.  If you
        choose to believe Jack Tramiel, the SX stands for "sex", since Jack
        has been quoted as saying, "Business is like sex, You have to be
        involved".  This is a plausible answer, as Jack usually picked the
        names of the computers.  However, if you don't buy that, here is the 
        marketing version.  SX stands for Single Drive Executive, as the 
        portable 64 was called the Executive 64.  There was to have been a DX
        model, which would have had two drives.  You decide.
        

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$059)
	Who (what person) invented the Sound Interface Device (SID) chip?

	Bob Yannes, who also worked on one of the VIC prototypes, developed
        this chip.
        

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$05A)
	The ill-fated UltiMax (later called the MAX Machine) contained a
        number of Commodore 64 features.  However, it did not share the 64's
        feature of 64kB RAM.  How much RAM did the MAX have?

	A whopping 2 kilobytes.  If you plugged in the BASIC cartridge, 
        memory dropped to .5 kilobyte or 512 bytes.  No wonder CBM scrapped
        this one.
        

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$05B)
	What famous person was featured in U.S. television advertising for
        the VIC-20?

	William Shatner.  Yes, Captain James T. Kirk himself did the ads.
        He was not, however, in uniform, since CBM did not have rights to
        Star Trek of any sort.
        

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$05C)
	What company designed the first VICModem?

	Anchor Automation.  Sometimes called the "Most Inexpensive Modem", 
        the VICModem was designed to be sold for under $100 when most were
        $400 or more.  The secret to the cost containment was the ability to 
        use what we soetimes think of as a disadvantage of the User Port to
        the modem's advantage.  The TTL level RS-232 signals did not need to
        be buffered before driving the modem, and the +5 volt power available
        through the User Port just was not available through normal RS-232
        lines.  Not having the already TTL level signals would have meant 
        extra components that would have increased case size and cost, and not
        having the on-board power would have meant a power connector and power
        supply would need to be bundled.  Being one of those people who used
        the first VICModem, I can tell you it was worth the hassle.
        

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$05D)
	Everyone has seen or heard of BYTE Magazine.  Known for technical
        articles in the 80's, and coverage of PC products in the 90's, BYTE
        was founded by Wayne Green.  What Commodore computer magazine did
        Wayne Green later publish?

	RUN Magazine.  As of right now, CMD has purchased the rights to RUN.
        

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$05E)
	(Three part question) What are the official names of the colors
        used on the VIC-20:
        a)  case?
        b)  regular typewriter keys?
        c)  function keys?

	a)  ivory.
        b)  chocolate brown.
        c)  mustard.
        

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$05F)
	Commodore is set up as a ___________ chartered company.  Name
        the missing country.

	Bahamas.  Doing so gave CBM a great tax break.  With the tax rate in
        the Bahamas as low as 1%, more money could be kept from the 
        governments.


Jim Brain
j.brain@ieee.org
10710 Bruhn Avenue
Bennington, NE  68007
(402) 431-7754


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