The Commodore Years - Hardware - Other Items
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Commodore 64 Communications Modem
Commodore 64 Communications Modem
In the days before the internet and the world wide web, it was still possible to communicate over the phone lines with your computer. The Commodore 64 Communications Modem plugged into the cartridge port, most modems used the RS-232 user port. It gave access to online services including, in the UK, Compunet and Prestel. This service allowed users to download and upload information including programs and to send and receive e-mail.
Compunet launch screen
The Commodore 64 Communications Modem is your key to the information technology revolution. This direct connect modem creates a telephone link from your Commodore 64 to computers all over the world containing vast amounts of varied information.
Offered free with the purchase of the Commodore 64 Communications Modem is one year's membership of COMPUNET, the U.K.'s best and most versatile service for Commodore 64 owners.
This service gives you access to:-
General information on the latest Commodore hardware and software.
Technical hints and tips about all Commodore products.
Purchase of software which is transmitted over the telephone line into your Commodore 64 for you to save to cassette or diskette. (Downloading).
Free software in many of the sections for you to download.
Electronic Mail - a secure person to person communication system.
Bulletin Board - for you to leave and receive messages from all other COMPUNET users.
Other viewdata systems including Prestel.
Compunet is expanding and developing new services all the time. It is anticipated you will soon be able to enjoy the services of the high street from the comfort of your own home including teleshopping, telebanking, the buying and selling of real estate, insurance quotes, and much more.
All this in 1984! It wasn't cheap. With early modems, the telephone handset was placed in two rubber cups. Downloads often contained errors due to interference. For the plug-in type like this one, you needed the old Post Office Telephones hard wired connection changed to a new style socket. There was a charge for this and of course there would be a subscription and call charges while online. The phone system was still a state monopoly so there was no choice. They didn't make it easy but this was the future and it was available now.
C128 keyboard overlay
Keyboard Overlay
Thanks to the SID chip, the Commodore 64 and 128 were capable of playing complex music. A number of software options were available. Some even allowed a full size keyboard to be connected. A simpler solution was to fit a keyboard over the computer itself. Although not very robust, this seems to work quite well. This example is for the 128.
Reset switch for Commodore 64
Reset Switch
For those of us who wrote software in machine code, one of the most annoying things about the Commodore 64 was the lack of a reset switch. This allows the computer to be returned to normal without clearing the memory as would happen if it was switched off. Essential when testing routines.The answer was to buy a switch like this one. It plugs into the RS-232 user port and has a pass through for other peripherals.
Work Station
I bought this metal stand through a computer magazine.
The cables from the computer pass underneath and out of the back. There is room for two disk drives and the television or monitor sits on top.
The stand is solid and keeps the work area tidy. It has a copy-holder which can be screwed onto either side to hold paperwork.
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