1530 sq black
1530 sq white
1530 white
1531->1530 adapter
Disk drives
1541 rev1
1541 II
Input devices
Paddles white
Paddles black
VIC20 joystick
1311 joystick
1341 joystick
1350 mouse
1351 mouse
Memory Expansion
VIC20 3kb
VIC20 8kb
VIC20 16kb
1700 REU 128kb
1750 REU 512kb
1764 REU 256kb
A501 512kb Amiga
Music Maker
Communications Modem
Sound Expander
Sound Sampler
Magic Voice
590 Amiga HD
Simons Basic
Non Commodore
Final Cartridge I
Final Cartridge II
Final Cartridge III
The Expert Cartridge
Game Killer
Action Replay IV
Competition Pro
Competition Pro Blue
= Got
= Looking for

With hardware I mean the accessories that came out for the Commodore computers. I will by no means collect all the different hardware pieces, but a managable sample of the interesting ones that are available on the market.

Tape and floppy drives

Commodore started out with their first PET computer having a built in cassette player which would be the main storage type to be used for many users of their computers. Naturally tape drives have their serious limitations like very very slow reading and writing. Also the data was sequencial and there was no easy way to find the programs or data you wanted to load unless you kept an index of the counter position for each program. Commodore released a number of cassette drives for their computers and they were all using the same interface and compatible all the way up until the Plus4/C16/C116 type of computers which used a different port.

Its clear that using a tape drive was maybe good enought to load simple programs and applications. But for those that needed to read or write now and then, it could be hard to use a tape drive. Some games were multi-part or had so much data that the 64kb of e.g. the C64 was too small and the game had to load each part as the player progressed. It was very slow and tedious now that I look back on it. But for some reason it was good enough then for millions of users. Especially in Europe, cassette based games were very popular simply because people couldnt afford disk drives. Eventually something called turbo loaders came out which used compression algorithms and shortened the loading and saving time somewhat.

It is clear that disk based storage is much better. Commodores first disk drives for the PET had double drives and used the 5 1/4" format instead of the old 8" disks of other computers. This format would live for over 10 years until the Amiga came along and used 3.5" disks with much more storage space. Commodore also released a 3.5" drive for the C64/C128, the 1581, which is a nice collectors item today.

The disk drives usually had their PSU inside the drive which made them bulky, but at the same time avoided yet another box on the floor (to warm your feet on). The VIC20 and 64 had their distinct drives formed in the same styling as the bread-box computer with their 1540 and 1541 drives. The 1541 with the grey boks would be the most purchased drive of all times for microcomputers and any serious C64 owner saved up for one. When the C64c came along they released the new 1541 II where they took the PSU out of the box which naturally made the device look more sleek. It fit the new styling of the C64 perfect.

The C128D was profiled more as a business computer and had a 5 1/4 floppy inside the case, and for the C128 a new set of floppy drives came out, among these the 1571 which was the same drive that was inside the C128D. Commodore had a history of having to ruin their own products by solving timing issues in their devices by slowing them down, and the 1570 and 1571 solved some of that by offering a burst mode that only worked on the C128 computers.

The Plus4 computers got their own floppy drive, the 1551 which was only compatible with the Plus4. It wasnt a very good seller because they never came out with the promised C64 interface for it.

All the Amigas had 3.5" drives integrated and also provided extra external drives which was quite popular. The Amigas were also the first computer for Commodore to have a harddrive as an optional sidecar expansion for the Amiga500. Later models would have harddrives more easily integrated in the case.

Joysticks, Paddles, Lightpen and Mice

The VIC20 had only one joystick port so the only way to play 2 players (unless one was using the keyboard) was to split the 2 axis into two devices - the famous Paddles that were quite common on the first game consoles. They also released an Atari style joystick. For the C64 a new style of joystick was also released. Almost every computer got their own style of the joysticks. Notably the Plus4/C16/C116 joysticks used a different port and an adapter was needed if you wanted to use them on another computer (or vice versa).

CRT screens enabled users to hook up a lightpen that would react to scanlines on the screen enabling a user to draw directly on the television. It was a facinating feature for an old computer - the first touch screens in a sense.

For a long time, a mouse was an unknown input device for Commodore computers, util the Amiga 1000 was released - and a bit later GEOS came along for the C64. These had graphical user interfaces much like the Mac and a mouse was a natural input device for this. Commodore released a couple of mouses for the C64 (1350, 1351) and over the Amiga years some different styles were made for that. The first model 1350 for C64 only emulated joystick movements while the latter had a more analog conversion like a real mouse.

Printers and Plotters


Memory expansions


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