Computer Museum - Commodore Datassettes  
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The earliest PETs had this type of data recorder built-in but it was sold separately after the PET's keyboard was improved. This model has no data counter. The cream version followed and is labelled as model 1530. It is like the black model except for the addition of a tape counter. This made it easier to find programs on the tape.
Mine is Mine are
Serial 054050 made in Taiwan. Serial 212920 made in Taiwan ROC.
  Serial 299610 made in Taiwan ROC.
The 1530 was redesigned and this was the model bought with most VICs and 64s. The plug for connecting to the computer was improved. For the C16 and Plus/4 the datassette was renamed 1531 and given a black case. The connector was changed so that 1530s and 1531s could not be interchanged but adaptors soon appeared on the market.
Mine are Mine are
Serial 2103837 made in Taiwan ROC. Serial JA 0121329 made in Taiwan ROC.
Serial 2156009 made in Taiwan ROC. Serial JA 0248033 made in Taiwan ROC.
Serial JA05 45242 made in Taiwan ROC. Serial JA 0267014 made in Taiwan ROC.
Serial JO4 031232. Serial JA 0273527 made in Taiwan ROC.
Serial JO4 297361 made in Taiwan ROC. Serial XG 0060736 made in Taiwan.
Serial S 394393 made in Japan. Serial XG 0064704 made in Taiwan.
Serial S 0807889 made in Singapore. Serial XG 0160599 made in Taiwan ROC.
Unlike many of its competitors, Commodore prevented ordinary cassette recorders being connected to its computers. Commodore's own tape deck, known as a datassette, had a unique connector. The idea of a dedicated cassette drive was to make loading and saving more reliable. In this, Commodore were probably successful but the result was a long, long wait for a game to load. In its defence, it has to be said that the datassette was easy to use and usually worked well. The slow speed of the tape was partly due to the software or data being checked as it was loaded or saved.
Early connector as used on top two. Connector used on later 1530s (C2Ns). 1531 connector for C16 and Plus/4.
Adaptor to allow a 1530 (C2N) to be used with a C16 or Plus/4.
Adaptor to allow a 1531 to be used with a Vic-20 or C64.
The real disadvantage of using cassettes was in the storage and retrieval of data. Any search had to be made from the start of the tape. The answer of course was to use a disk drive, but again only Commodore's own were compatible and they were expensive. Most games came on cassettes and blank tapes were readily available. The design of the datassette evolved with each new computer.The original 1530 works with the Vic, 64 and 128. The 16 and Plus/4 use the 1531.
Entrepo Model 8500 QDD Phonemark Model 8500 QDD
Serial number 012937 made in Taiwan ROC. Serial number 001093 made in Taiwan ROC.
Microwafers (Data drives and wafers to same scale but not actual size).
A compromise between cassette tapes and disks, the Quick Data Drive uses a continuous loop of magnetic tape in a plastic case. This enables programs and data to be searched for from the current position without rewinding as you would need to with a cassette and at random like with a disk. The microwafer and its tape are much smaller than a regular cassette.
The tape drive uses the datassette connector on the 64. It can also be set up to work with the VIC. The drive comes with its own operating system (QOS) on a microwafer. Microwafer sizes range from 16kb to 128kb. Drives can be daisychained or used with a datassette. Microwaves should be backed up as the tape can get entangled in the drive and become unusable.
With the majority of games on cassettes, the Quick Data Drive was not a great success.
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