Succesors to the 64 (Popular Computing Weekly, 12th-18th January 1984)

Successors to the 64

COMMODORE has exhibited two new home computers — successors to the Commodore 64 machine — at the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas. Both are based around the same, a new microprocessor chip — the 7501 — and consequently software for the new machines will not be compatible with that for either the Commodore 64 or the Vic20.

The first new micro is to becalled the Commodore 264. It has 32K Rom and 64K Ram of which 60K is addressable in Basic. Maximum screen resolution is 320 x 200 pixels and the 264 has two sound generators each with eight volume levels, programmable as either two music channels or one music and one white noise channel.

The full-size full-travel 67-key keyboard includes four pre-programmable function keys (giving up to eight user-defined keys when used together with the Shift key).

Software in the Commodore 264 Rom provides a full upper and lower-case character set, built-in machine-code monitor and ‘window’ graphics capability. Spreadsheet, word processing, file-handling and graphics software is available either as a built-in option or as a range of plug-in cartridges. Using the ‘windowing’ facility, for example, both spreadsheet and word-processing information can be viewed simultaneously.

The price of the 264 has yet to be finalised but it is expected to sell in the US for under $500 (about £335). It is scheduled to go on sale in the States from April 1 this year and it is hoped that it will arrive in Britain in May or June.

Commodore’s other machine is the Commodore V364. Very similar to the 264, this computer includes a built in speech synthesizer with a vocabulary of over 250 words, accounting for its increased Rom size of 48K. Additional vocabulary can be soft loaded from cartridge or disc. The V364 also features an 86-key Weyboard including a 19-key numeric pad.