Let's just look at what you could have won!

Started by Mark_wllms, 20:09, 24 May 22

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Mark_wllms

My father was an early adopter of the Amstrad CPC464, and what a great machine it was. Eventually upgraded to a CPC6128, which is still in use. From memory, he bought it upon launch in 1984, even before it included the Amsoft game pack, meaning we had to copy all our games from friends.
It is easy to see what a good choice he made in hindsight, but I have recently recovered a big box of 1984 computer magazines from his loft, so he was clearly doing his research for some time. At the point that Amstrad launched, the 8-bit UK computer business was expanding rapidly, as everyone tried to compete for the market that Acorn, Commodore and Sinclair had created.
One issue of Personal Computer World from 1984 alone contains reviews of the:
  • Acorn Electron
  • Aquarius
  • Colour Genie
  • Jupiter Ace
  • Lynx
  • Oric 1
  • Sord M5
  • Tandy MC-10
  • Tandy TRS-80 Model 100
And several more, not all of the them aimed at the home user. Other magazines included excited reviews of the Enterprise, the QL, the Dragon 32, the Memotech MTX500, the Spectravideo SV318, Oric Atmos and the Alphatronic PC. Most of them are complimentary, though several warn that the available software is "limited at the moment, but we are assured more is on its way."

Of course, the home computer market collapsed that Christmas, and most of these machines vanished. I'm not even convinced that all of them made it to market. Reading through it all makes it clear what a lottery buying a new machine in those early days was, and I'm very grateful that he made a great choice.

Gryzor

Nice post. To be honest I don't think that without the ex post facto knowledge one could really judge back then... So yeah it was kind of a lottery ticket. Thankfully around here (Greece) only the best sellers were available, so no Aquarius crap to consider, and thankfully my parents happened to enter a store that was a CPC dealership. Come to think of it, I'm now saddened because I never actually asked my dad how they decided on the 464... I mean, I bet the included monitor had *something* to do with it, but still I'd love to know what their thinking was.

Shaun M. Neary

Quote from: Gryzor on 11:06, 25 May 22Nice post. To be honest I don't think that without the ex post facto knowledge one could really judge back then... So yeah it was kind of a lottery ticket. Thankfully around here (Greece) only the best sellers were available, so no Aquarius crap to consider, and thankfully my parents happened to enter a store that was a CPC dealership. Come to think of it, I'm now saddened because I never actually asked my dad how they decided on the 464... I mean, I bet the included monitor had *something* to do with it, but still I'd love to know what their thinking was.
Just a stab of a guess, but would it have been the easier availablity of tapes than the awkward 3" disk? For both software and blank media?
I know here in Ireland, disk software was hard to locate in all the major places (although not impossible, but still a pain in the ass to find)
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Gryzor

I seriously doubt it they took this into question; I mean the price of the machine alone (if the 6128 had even made it here by then!) would have put them off...

eto

I remember that variety of computers too. However it was easy not to buy the wrong one: As long as nobody else had it, it would have been stupid to get one.

My favourite always was the C64. Until the CPC 6128 showed up. It got the "computer of the year" award, was even covered in some professional magazines and rapidly got a semi-professional reputation in Germany. It was quickly adopted by a few friends of my parents, usually engineers. That somehow made them think, if maybe a CPC would be the better choice. And I remember, that I preferred to have my own monitor, rather than sharing the family TV. That sold it to me. But a 464? With a cassette? Never ever. That bulky, ugly thing that forces me to wait >10 minutes for a game to load would never have entered my room.

I can't remember the 464 being relevant at all in my neighbourhood. From all my friends, just a single one had a 464. Everybody else a 6128, mostly with green screen. 3" disks were expensive, indeed. But if you had 10, you could already do a lot with it. One disk for playing with BASIC, one for apps and tools, one for data/texts/school work and then another 7, where you could easily store 50 cracked games.


Gryzor

Well I got the 464 early enough that disks were not a consideration; not that I even knew what disks were back at the time. But it never really bothered me, loading from tape. Even when I wanted to play Commando, starting loading it and then going out to buy some bread before it finished, didn't sound too bad. Of course when I came into contact with disks I drooled at them, but still...

One thing that tapes were good at, though, was teaching delayed gratification. I sincerely believe the poor old 464 managed to 'educate' me, at least in that aspect.

Shaun M. Neary

Quote from: Gryzor on 13:54, 25 May 22One thing that tapes were good at, though, was teaching delayed gratification. I sincerely believe the poor old 464 managed to 'educate' me, at least in that aspect.
I think that comes with age too. I remember when I got my disk drive years and years later. The shorter loading was mind blowing.

But these days when I load CPC games, I tend to load them from tape. Nostalgia is most likely playing a big part in this. I've also collected several music compilations (and made a few) of all the songs that the radio would have played then too. It's very easy for me to take trip back to 1988 gaming in my place now! :D
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Gryzor

Oh yes, I load tapes every chance I get, really! Watching the loading screen appear, listening to the melodic sounds... 

Shaun M. Neary

Quote from: Gryzor on 16:52, 25 May 22Oh yes, I load tapes every chance I get, really! Watching the loading screen appear, listening to the melodic sounds...
I was fed up with it by the time 1991 rolled around. I guess I've become more patient as I hit middle age...
(I know, I know... for me, that's saying a hell of a lot!)
Currently playing on: 2xCPC464, 1xCPC6128, 1x464Plus, 1x6128Plus, 2xGX4000. M4 board, ZMem 1MB and still forever playing Bruce Lee.
No cheats, snapshots or emulation. I play my games as they're intended to be played. What about you?

Gryzor

Oh yes, well, by that time I was already selling my 6128 for a fat 1040 🙂

eto

Quote from: Gryzor on 16:52, 25 May 22Oh yes, I load tapes every chance I get, really! Watching the loading screen appear, listening to the melodic sounds...
Seriously???

That was one of the things I hated most when I was at my friends place who had a 464 or when I borrowed one of his cassette to play it on my 6128. That you had to wait so many minutes just to see a (often) crappy picture being built annoyed me every single time - and to know that it had absolutely no benefit for the game, just making the loading times 50-100% longer than needed. At least hey could have put a version without screen on the B side.

Personal preferences can be so completely different :-) and what one person sees as "awful" leads to sentimental feelings for another person :-)


Gryzor

Well, back then as I said I didn't know any better. And now it's part of the nostalgia trip...

I didn't say I preferred tapes over disks back then -of course not😅

Nworc

Quote from: Gryzor on 16:52, 25 May 22Oh yes, I load tapes every chance I get, really! Watching the loading screen appear, listening to the melodic sounds...

Absolutely right. This kind of experience will never come back (well, you can't compare a growing progress bar with that).

Well, depends a bit on the loader: Amsoft used to record most of their tapes in Speed Write 1 - watching a Roland On The Ropes to load after the Logo appeard was not so super entertaining. Completetly different the Speedlock and other turbo loaders: to see the colorful stripe effect of the border in sync with the beeping of the tape was a fascinating show, and as a special thrill you hoped that each and every of the super fast ;) bits make it in without being flipped - otherwise the loader won't forgive and reset the machine immediately.

And there were some nice special loaders, some Firebird loaders had a nice counter running while the tape loaded (e.g. Chimera). On a few tapes I have added a remark: "plays music while loading", and this label is attached to these Firebird games: Booty and Bombscare. This is cool.

Today you can test your patience while loading a game: you'll insert Roland On The Ropes, PRESS PLAY ON TAPE, you lay down the mobile phone and tell yourself "I will not touch it until the game has loaded - I will not touch it until the game has loaded - ...."

tjohnson

My dad got the 464, I'm pretty sure it was in 1984 and it didn't come with the game pack, just a demo tape but I recall he got hunchback which was great, star commando which was ok, house of usher which was rubbish and return to Eden which had a great cover but too difficult for a young kid.   I don't recall if all these games were bought at the same time as the computer but they were what sticks in my mind as the first games we got.  I think he bought it from Debenhams.  I'll have to ask him a bit more when I next see him.  Later he bought a 6128 when they came out.

Gryzor

Those loading stripes are etched into my eye. And these loading counters - WHAT SORT OF SORCERY IS THIS!!!

Quote from: Nworc on 19:50, 25 May 22Today you can test your patience while loading a game: you'll insert Roland On The Ropes, PRESS PLAY ON TAPE, you lay down the mobile phone and tell yourself "I will not touch it until the game has loaded - I will not touch it until the game has loaded - ...."
Heh, that's a useful exercise actually :D

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