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Commodore PET

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Petey21, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Actually in a way almost every smartphone is a decendant of the 6502, the ARM processor. Originally developed by Acorn Computer's Roger Wilson/Sophie Wilson for the Acorn Archimedes using ideas inspired by the 6502. All of Acorn's first computers used 6502, like the Acorn Atom and BBC Micro.

    ARM originally stood for Acorn RISC Machine, rather than Advanced RISC Machine. ARM Ltd. the company that designs and licenses ARM processor cores are still British, and not Chinese or American.

    So we'd definitely have to have an Acorn Phone as well, for us 30, 40 and 50 somethings to go all nostalgic over. Meanwhile checkout an emulator called Beebdroid. :thumbsupdroid:


    Acorn themselves changed to "Element 14", who where subsequently swallowed up by Broadcom.

    #26 mikedt, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
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  2. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    Lmao - wow.

    OK - so - the Acorn RISC processor was NOT inspired by the 6502 and their first machine used a National Semiconductor processor, not the 6502.

    I see you edited in this link after posting -


    I don't think it says what you think it says. :)
    mikedt likes this.
  3. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I does I think..well this Wiki article does IMO. :)

    "Wilson developed the instruction set, writing a simulation of the processor in BBC BASIC that ran on a BBC Micro with a second 6502 processor. This convinced Acorn engineers they were on the right track. Wilson approached Acorn's CEO, Hermann Hauser, and requested more resources. Once he had approval, he assembled a small team to implement Wilson's model in hardware.

    Acorn RISC Machine: ARM2
    The official Acorn RISC Machine project started in October 1983. They chose VLSI Technology as the silicon partner, as they were a source of ROMs and custom chips for Acorn. Wilson and Furber led the design. They implemented it with a similar efficiency ethos as the 6502.[22] A key design goal was achieving low-latency input/output (interrupt) handling like the 6502. The 6502's memory access architecture had let developers produce fast machines without costly direct memory access hardware."

    Acorn's first computer did use National Semiconductor's SC/MP, but that was a bit of a dead end I believe. Sinclair's first computer was SC/MP as well, but then they switched to Zilog Z80, for the ZX80, 81 and Spectrums. But one of Acorn's founders, Chris Curry, was an ex-Sinclair director.

    There's a good TV movie about Sinclair, the founding of Acorn and their involvement with the BBC Computer, and what eventually happened to them.
    Don't know how available it is to watch now though.


    I'm British, my first computer was an Acorn Atom in 1981 then a BBC, but I also had a C64 and an Amiga. :D ...I had some academic friends at the time, they had Acorn Archimedes ARM machines, by which time I was already using PCs.

    BTW Acorn was forced to label the BBC Computer, "British Broadcasting Corporation Computer", because of legal threats by Brown Boveri Co. With "BBC" being their trademark for tech and machinery products.
    #28 mikedt, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
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  4. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    Well, you're wrong and that article doesn't say that at all.

    You've put crossed over simulation with a Wikipedia author being cute.

    Read it again in this light -

    I co-authored a hard water reactor simulator that ran on a Cray - and the Cray didn't turn into a nuclear reactor, nor did the Cray inspire the reactor.

    I've simulated impulse response to a band limiting RF component in Excel (a stupid way to do it but it got my point across at the time) - and Excel didn't become an RF component nor did it inspire the RF component being built.

    I've designed and simulated RISC processors - but the simulation wasn't the final product, and the processor was not inspired by the simulation environment.

    Just because the 6502 was a RISC processor and the simulation for a new RISC processor ran on it doesn't say that it inspired the new processor.

    Acorn was inspired to replace the 6502 - and they were similarly inspired to not use other available processors.

    Did they like RISC processors already?

    Yeah. Definitely.

    Was the 6502 the big game in RISC town while the Acorn RISC was being designed?

    Not even close.


    And the biggest challenges to the mid-80s RISC designs?

    Beating the Motorola 68000 and the new Intels.
    mikedt likes this.
  5. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Let's have it from Sophie Wilson herself, and not Wikipedia authors being cute. :thumbsupdroid:
    "Sophie Wilson, chief architect of ARM and more recently of the Broadcom FirePath

    October, 2001

    Primarily the 6502. I learned about pipelines from it (by comparison with the 6800) and its designers were clear believers in the KISS principle. Plus the syntax of its assembler and general accessibility of it from the machine code perspective. I can still write in hex for it - things like A9 (LDA #) are tattoed on the inside of my skull. The assembly language syntax (but obviously not the mnemonics or the way you write code) and general feel of things are inspirations for ARM's assembly language and also for FirePath's. I'd hesitate to say that the actual design of the 6502 inspired anything in particular - both ARM and FirePath come from that mysterious ideas pool which we can't really define (its hard to believe that ARM was designed just from using the 6502, 16032 and reading the original Berkeley RISC I paper - ARM seems to have not much in common with any of them!). And clearly the 6502's follow-up, the 65816, wasn't "clean" any more, so whichever of Mensch and Moore contributed what to the 6502, Mensch by himself was a bit at sea"
    EarlyMon likes this.
  6. LitrosNub

    LitrosNub Android Expert

    From what I heard from AndroidPolice and /r/android... isn't this just a name slap on the Commodore brand? The company isn't revived at all and the people slapping the name on it are some other company. Or am I getting my facts wrong?

    Either way - - not interested. MediaTek is the bane of my existence.
    mikedt likes this.
  7. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Frankly it's not much different to other once noble and famous, but now defunct corporations, such as RCA, Sylvania, Magnavox, Schneider, Bush, Murphy, Polaroid, and are just names on whatever Chinese devices now. Like RCA TVs, DVDs, tablets etc. are actually TCL I believe. It's companies like Thomson, now Technicolor, who owns the brands and trademarks but licenses them out. And Sylvania is a brand of Funai, a Japanese budget consumer products OEM.

    Cough cough...Packard Bell! ...sure the names are used, so they appeal more to Baby Boomers and Generation X'ers, who remember these brands the first time around, and can be all nostalgic about them. LOL

    It actually could have been Commodore instead of Apple now, being very successful and making lots of $$$$.

    FWIW three years ago I remember much fanfare about this thing....
    It's not an Amiga at all, it's a PC running Windows, but included a software Amiga emulator. It was very expensive for what it was, and it was a flop.
    #32 mikedt, Jul 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
    EarlyMon likes this.
  8. bytefossil

    bytefossil Lurker

    This is why I feel that I would "believe" in Commodore product if it had at least some connection to Commodore designers.
    BTW Do you know that you can buy a genuine brand new 6502 (but modern) from a company run by one of its original designers Bill Mensh: http://www.westerndesigncenter.com/wdc/WDC_Founder.cfm

    There also was (is?) this thing AmigaOne X1000: http://www.a-eon.com/?page=x1000
    Strange computer which purpose IMHO is to not be a pc or mac.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  9. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    #34 mikedt, Jul 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  10. bytefossil

    bytefossil Lurker

    The C64 DTV was designed by Jeri Ellsworth who also made this C64 bass guitar:

    And finally there is my T-shirt with C= logo ;-) A month ago I went for a trip to Kilchurn Castle in Scotland and I met a guy who saw my T-shirt and shouted "Hey, there was a guy in Atari T-shirt in the other castle!" and then he told me that he worked for Commodore. Well... we both had a bunch of kids around and silvery hair here and there ;-)
    mikedt likes this.
  11. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User

    I remember saving my data to a 300 baud audio tape off of my old Tandy keyboard computer with a BW TV set for a monitor.
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  12. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Lol Haven't read all this yet but WOW. Commodore 64 was my 1st computer. Even learned some basic.... Basic on it lol.
    Remember waiting half an hour to load a game with those coloured stripes on the screen only for it to instantly crash lol Ahh those were the days.
    Afterburner :thumbsupdroid:

    Will it have the now classic and sought after SID sound chip?
    (made famous in the kernkraft 400 tune Zombie Nation)

    Just listen to that synth lead!
    bytefossil and mikedt like this.
  13. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Yeh, I wonder if it will include any licensed games with this "Commodore" phone, or are you expected to go scouring whatever illegal ROMs site for them. Because most available emulators don't include the necessary ROMs and any games you might want to play.
    funkylogik likes this.
  14. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    Yes, exactly correct, except you you used bold emphasis on the wrong sentence.

    I've written 6502, MIPS, HP-1000, and PA-RISC assembly code in abundance.

    RISC is simple by nature - syntactic choices are very limited. You can only code LOAD and STORE just so many ways with a pair of X Y registers and then, you're done. :D

    The syntax for the language - and nothing more than the syntax - were held in common.

    The money quote as to whether the design was inspired by the 6502 is crystal clear - it wasn't.

    "I'd hesitate to say that the actual design of the 6502 inspired anything in particular - both ARM and FirePath come from that mysterious ideas pool which we can't really define (its hard to believe that ARM was designed just from using the 6502, 16032 and reading the original Berkeley RISC I paper - ARM seems to have not much in common with any of them!)."

    Design doesn't always follow a waterfall path.

    Sometimes - in fact, most times with something extraordinary - a complete leap occurs.

    The Acorn RISC, the MIPS processor, and the Motorola 68k - all were leaps.

    One of the greatest leaps led to our use of the word *fields* when describing magnetic and electric fields came when John Clerk Maxwell put the problem down and happened to stare into a ploughed field - that was the inspiration that changed everything.

    But he described his new equations using a known mathematical *syntax*. (See your quote again. Syntax is not the inspiration, it's communication after the fact.)

    The mysterious idea pool - led to the leap. Not the syntax.

    On-topic - the company in question here is hoping that lots of other people take a different kind of leap - a leap of faith that owning this phone will be as much fun as owning an original Commodore. :D

    Provided that they're not litigated out of existence. :p
    #39 EarlyMon, Jul 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
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  15. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User

    I liked writing assembly in 6502, and I wrote up some security alarm programs for my brother's speed shop on the MEK-6800D2 kit


    Hex keypad and 2 digit display.
    and all of that memory to use, IIRC, it was 512 bytes?
  16. Gmash

    Gmash Extreme Android User

    Yes. "Let's write an article trashing another article that we clearly didn't read by repeating the same information with a snarkier attitude." Nice job.:rolleyes:
    codesplice, funkylogik and EarlyMon like this.
  17. Podivin

    Podivin Android Expert

    The C-64 was my second computer, I moved up to it from a Commodore Vic-20, never saw the PET in real life though.
    Like another poster, I'd buy the Commodore phone if I had the extra cash just burning a hole in my pocket. Not because I think it would be better than (or even as good as) my Note 4, but just due to nostalgia for the Commodore name (knowing full well it's not the same company).
    Alas, money does not burn holes in my pocket, nor do I need another device to carry around.
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  18. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    ^^ditto, its like imagine Atari launched a phone... I'd want that thing just for the logo! And my pal had a Vic 20 lol was that the one with the rubber keys? :D
    mikedt likes this.
  19. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    What's next, Amstrad doing a CPC or Sinclair ZX Spectrum phone. Would definitely have to be a budget device though, but maybe his lordship, Alan Sugar is not so interested in that sort of thing these days.
  20. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Does/did he own them mate?
  21. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Yes, he did. :thumbsupdroid:

    He (Amstrad) bought out Sinclair in 1987, after the QL computer and C5 electric trike disasters finished Sinclair off financially. Although Lord Sugar(Alan Sugar) eventually sold Amstrad to Sky. Amstrad gave written permission for Sinclair and CPC ROMs so they can be legally distributed and used with emulators. :)

    Remember the Amstrad "E-m@iler", which was a failure, that could download and play ZX Spectrum games.

    Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k 2a logic-board.
    "(C) 1988 AMSTRAD"
    #46 mikedt, Jul 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
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  22. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    I don't but nice info brother :thumbsupdroid:
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  23. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    FWIW anything about Amstrad is something personal and quite close to my heart actually, I've actually met and spoken to Alan Sugar twice. In the late 80s I was working for a company in London and Bristol called Betacom, doing contract repairs for some of the Sinclair stuff, that was now Amstrad. Amstrad eventually bought out the company and closed it down, as they just wanted the name "Betacom" for their own budget telephone products. So me and other colleagues and friends were on the dole, thanks to Alan Sugar! :( ..for a long time I truly detested anything Amstrad(Alan Michael Sugar Trading, co) and Alan Sugar. But I did like and watch BBC's "The Apprentice" with him in it.
    #48 mikedt, Jul 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
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  24. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Lol cool mate. How was he in person? And aye I like The Apprentice too :thumbsupdroid: mostly coz I like to hate some of ****ers on it lol :D
    PS how old are you mate? For some reason I put you at around my age (39) :D
    EDIT 41? You old man :D
    #49 funkylogik, Jul 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
  25. HappyJoe

    HappyJoe Member

    Is this PET going to have more than 4 kB RAM? Mine (well, my employer's) - in 1978 - didn't, but I still found a version of Star Trek that ran inside that. Being written in BASIC, I could meddle with the code and make the ray guns fire! Great days, great days...
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