I'd like to create a list of cartridges specifically made for the C128 running in native mode. Cartridges that is selectable between C64 and C128 mode qualifies too of course
I have a found a few to begin with (some of them pictured below):
Commodores own REU:s (obviously), the 1700, 1750 and 1764 GeoRAM CMD RAMLink Partner C128 Warp speed
And a personal favorite, the Brain Boxes IEEE/488 cartridge which gave the C64/C128 the ability to connect to Commodore PET peripherals like the 3040 dual discdrive and others. And also the range of PET printers. Maybe the one I have is the only one left in the World?
Anyone got any additions to make to this moderate list?
Ignorance is a precious thing. Once lost, it can never be regained.
Great list to start everybody with... I would like to get one of those IEEE/488 cartridges... although they were designed for the PET, they are not really PET-specific, but rather (as I understand) a "universal" peripheral type... decades before USB Hmmm... I guess the IEEE/488 interface wasn't very popular when the C64 came out... otherwise I think there would be more "stuff" (hardware/software) made for it. Just my biased historical observation...
As I understand it, the reason Commodore switched away from IEEE-488 as a standard interface is that the cables were ridiculously expensive—and on top of that, they were for a time only available from one manufacturer, which inconveniently stopped producing them for a while in the late 1970s, leaving Commodore customers with shiny new PET computers but no way to connect them to the floppy drives and printers (themselves VERY costly) that were supposed to work with them. On the other hand, equipment as expensive as those drives was not something anyone with more sense than budget would just discard after only a few years, so the IEEE-488 carts for C64/128 were made available as a backwards compatibility measure.
Of course, the total sales of all those IEEE-488 peripherals added together equalled only a small fraction of the subsequent C64/128 sales, and not all who bought the one necessarily then bought the other (nor did those who HAD bought both then necessarily buy the interface cart), so the net market penetration of those specific cartridges was always going to appear rather low when viewed in comparison to the enormous sales success of C64s (especially as later extended even further by the less extreme sales success of C128s).
EDIT: I nearly forgot to mention, the reason Commodore used a moderately customized version of IEEE-488 on their computers in the first place is that, at the time, it was one of the de facto standard interfaces for scientific equipment. HP equipment only stopped including it as a matter of course in the 90s some time, though their consumer PCs had dropped it quite a while earlier. It is still very widely used in certain technical environments even today. Presumably some number of labs and workshops bought those cartridges for their later-model Commodore 8-bitters too, but the numbers are unlikely to have been high enough to materially affect my analysis above.
Yeah, the fantastic success of the C64 made the serial-IEEE at least as popular (probably more popular) than the original parallel-IEEE buss. I have no idea of hardware prices for manufacturers back in the day, but I can believe the 488-cable would be at least 3x more expensive than CBM-serial cable (or more expensive). I never knew about the "short supply" of 488 cables... that would be another major factor. Thanks for the history lesson, gsteemso!!
My main fascination with the concept is the ability to use a variety of non-Commodore hardware with my favorite 8-bit... (I guess this "foreign" hardware would be hard to find these days, but still a cool idea, IMHO.)
I have no idea of hardware prices for manufacturers back in the day, but I can believe the 488-cable would be at least 3x more expensive than CBM-serial cable (or more expensive).
I vaguely recall a figure of $40 per cable being quoted for a certain period in the late 1970s (maybe 1979ish?), though I do not recall what source I got that from. That seems deal-breakingly expensive to us even almost 40 years later, at a time when most currencies have lost around 3/4 of their value from those days. Think about that for a minute in terms of what that $40 would have been worth in 1979. Would YOU, today, even laughingly entertain the idea of going to Amazon or NewEgg and paying over $150 for a simple, 5' long USB or eSATA cable?
The world’s only gsteemso
Agitator-in-chief for the Seattle Retro-Computing Society
The C64 game cartridge, Bomberland, is supposed to be enhanced for the C128. Well, I've run it on the C128, and I'm not sure what is enhanced. I'll have to use it on a C64/SX-64 and then use it on the C128, making comparison notes on game decompressing times, etc..