Your choice MSX or C64

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By hit9918

Prophet (2921)

Аватар пользователя hit9918

19-11-2018, 20:41

picture google "color wheel".
there is not one colorwheel, but they all got dirtyly different distribution, the whole thing is NOT FORMAL.

By TomH

Champion (327)

Аватар пользователя TomH

19-11-2018, 21:47

yzi wrote:
TomH wrote:

If I dare throw another fly in the ointment, I'm not persuaded by that interview; the engineer alleges that:


we had total control over hue, saturation and luminance

Yet the exact same page establishes that C64 colour is two dimensional, each colour resulting from two selections: luminance and colour phase. You can't get free selection in a real-valued 3d space from a 2d input.

Oh yeah. Let's see... On today: TomH debunks clearly false Commodore 64 related claims made by some engineer called Bob Yannes. :) Tough battle expected! MSX users aren't easily persuaded!

If ad hominem is all you've got, feel free to fire away on both cannons. I'm a grown up, I can take it.

The linked page says two things: (i) C64 colours are 2d, and here are exactly the 2d values, so you can validate them at home; (ii) one of the engineers doesn't remember that being the case 30 years later.

The source itself says two different things. If you want to cherry pick which one to believe, have fun. Otherwise, the source provided debunks itself.

Specifically to quote — again, both from the same source so either that source is reliable or it isn't:


Since we had total control over hue, saturation and luminance, we picked colors that we liked.


If you measure the chroma-signal ("u" & "v") with a vectorscope (I did so in 1999), you'll recognize, that all of the colors are on a perfect circle around the crossing-point of the "U" and "V" axis and so have exactly the same saturation

Having verified the second claim, I can confirm that it is objectively and mathematically true that the YUV colours that page claims are being output are of the same saturation.

Re: Yannes' recollection of a Commodore patent on colour encoding, no such thing exists per the patent office. This is the only colour-related patent Commodore filed per a fairly trivial search and covers the bit about generating square waves, shaping them into triangle waves and then approximating sinusoids in order to generate a robust colour subcarrier reference, but says nothing about specific colour encoding.

The Apple scheme he's contrasting with is in-phase direct 1-bit sampling of the composite wave. Completely different and gives very few colours at workable DRAM speeds. The Atari scheme he's contrasting with is using four bits directly to select a phase offset. As the Atari also uses three bits for luminance, that gives 128 colours, evenly spaced around the NTSC colour wheel. You get fewer in PAL countries because the difference in subcarrier frequency is hand-waved away in the delay logic — so you get only 3.58/4.43 as many colours. And they had to do something completely different for SECAM, giving only eight TTL colours.

(EDIT: and that robust colour subcarrier bit is possibly more important than it sounds, since you might otherwise think that consistency was enough given that a TV is supposed to lock to the colour subcarrier it is provided within tolerances; if you've ever seen the epic dot crawl of an original 48kb Spectrum, that's caused by having two different oscillators for line generation that slowly shift in relative frequency as the machine heats up — the 128kb machines switch to a single oscillator but have to change line timing slightly to accommodate so they're technically not quite 100% backwards compatible)

By yzi

Champion (444)

Аватар пользователя yzi

19-11-2018, 21:43

Ok, so Bob Yannes was wrong!? Sad He wrote "saturation". Bzzzt! Error detected. Which means... what? That he might have misremembered or accidentally slipped the "we picked colors that we liked" thing as well, making the palette not being based on personal taste? (by the way the mail was dated 1999)

By hamlet

Scribe (4096)

Аватар пользователя hamlet

20-11-2018, 06:30

We had the choice between two colors.

By o.geerdink

Hero (585)

Аватар пользователя o.geerdink

20-11-2018, 08:38

The c64 colorscheme can be compared to what a dog can see. Conclusion: c64 is for dogs!

By CX5Mer

Champion (322)

Аватар пользователя CX5Mer

20-11-2018, 12:43

The C64 is a totally crap computer!

I was unlucky enough to get one as my first computer in Britain (cancel Brexit!) in 1984, before MSX was released outside Japan, or the Amstrad CPC464 came out.

I wanted a synthesiser, so I put the C64 onto a shortlist of computers which had 3 or 4 channel synthesiser chips instead of less powerful sound chips or tone generators, which could often only play one note at a time. According to these criteria, my shortlist was made up of Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, Memotech MTX, Oric 1/Atmos, and possibly Spectravideo 328 if I'd read about it anywhere back then.

My Dad was too miserly to buy me a BBC Micro Model B which cost £399 at the time, then he became obsessed with the idea of computers which cost about £200 or less, as well as how many K they had. I have no details about exchange rates for Pounds Sterling to other currencies in 1984, but perhaps someone could find out.

My Dad knew hardly anything about computers, apart from how many K they had and what kind of keyboards they had built in, which he said was important because of WORD PROCESSING. He also became obsessed with the idea of 64K. He refused to read up on computers, but thought he should be the one to decide what kind of computer I got, although I had agreed in advance to pay him back in installments.

My Dad bought the official Commodore course "An Introduction to BASIC" with the computer. After a few months of studying this course, I had written some text based programs, as well as come across lots of dreaded PEEK and POKE commands, with their accompanying 5 digit memory locations to PEEK and POKE, followed by any number from 0 to 255. It was like trying to remember the contents of a phone directory!

As for playing music, I soon found out that I couldn't do this with the built in BASIC. I only managed to play one channel at a time. I adapted a short listing from a Commodore 64 magazine, deleting the DATA and adding my own numbers to make up diifferent notes and note lengths, but this could only play one note at a time! There was a listing in the "Introduction to BASIC" course which played a piece of Classical Music using all three channels available on the SID chip, but this contained Machine Code and to cap it all, the programmer had invented his own system of music notation! I tried to adapt this to play other tunes, but I totally failed!

By this time I was thinking I may as well have bought an Acorn Electron, which had the totally amazing BBC BASIC with lots of commands for colour, graphics, and sound, as well as procedures and long variable names, but only one channel sound. I read about C64 software packages such as a programming language called Synthy and the editor "Multsound Synthesizer", which would enable me to compose music using all three channels, but I wanted to write a program to play the music and incorporate it in larger programs, which software like that didn't seem to allow me to do. I eventually bought "Multisound Synthesizer" via mail order from VICsoft (part of Commodore), but my copy refused to load! I sent it back for a replacement, but all they did was to send a refund!

I found out from magazines that Commodore had reused an older version of BASIC from their earlier computers, instead of writing one especially for the C64 hardware, just so they could release the C64 before someone else released anything better. This was a disgusting thing to do and the Atari 400/800 computers released in 1979 were better than the C64, except for having less RAM. Atari soon reduced its prices and added more RAM when the C64 came out, though.

As for the C64 graphics, I could hardly use the bitmapped hires and lores graphics before getting a copy of Turbo BASIC, one of the many extended BASICs written to fix Commodore's mess. Commodore even sold two extended BASICs themselves! I was shocked when I put a couple of filled rectangles of different colours on the screen in hirres mode, then the first rectangle changed colour in places after the second rectangle was drawn, just like on the ZX Sinclair Spectrum! MSX1 SCREEN 2 is 8 times better than this, because colour bleed only happens horizontally, not vertically. The lores multocolour mode didn't have this limitation, but was only 160x200 pixels.

I ended up selling my C64 about 10-11 months later with several books and some software for about half price of whatever I'd paid for it all. If the EEC had banned or restricted American computers, as well as American computer companies like Commodore from setting up in the EEC, then I could have been spared all this. All manufacturers of home computers based in the EEC had reasonable versions of BASIC built into their computers, apart from the Jupiter Ace, which used FORTH.

I only sold the C64 and bought a new computer after doing a lot of research, involving reading, as well as using computers in shops, into what I could get to replace it, concentrating on the sound chips in other computers. On that basis, as well as disk drives, number of BASIC commands, and number of colours available, I ended up buying an Amstrad CPC664. Amstrad CPC computers were sold under the name Schneider in Germany.

The CPC computers used the General Instruments AY-3-8912 sound chip, compared to the AY-3-8910 sound chip in MSX computers. Technically, these chips are more or less the same, but the advanced Locomotive BASIC built into the CPC computers has very powerful commands which enable each of the 3 channels to play a different sound envelope simultaneously. I read that this wasn't possible in MSX BASIC, which I thought at the time was due to a less powerful sound chip. I bought the Amstrad CPC664 instead of an MSX as my second computer not only for this reason, but also because it came with a colour monitor and a built in disk drive for £450 in May 1985, but getting an MSX as well as buying a monitor and disk drive to go with it would've cost a lot more than that.

I wrote some little tunes in Locomotive BASIC on my Amstrad CPC664, but I realised it wasn't as good as a dedicated synthesiser.

I later managed to buy a Yamaha CX5M for about £349 in 1986, after they were reduced from about £650 because the CX5MII 128 was due to come out a few months later.

BTW, I have done a blog about how crappy the C64 is compared with MSX as well as lots of other computers, but I'm not sure if I should post a link in this message, due to the risk of harassment from C64 fanatics who may be reading this. I may do it later, though. I should warn any C64 fantatics reading this that I do Wing Chun Kung Fu, as in the film "Ip Man", but I may decide to PEEK and POKE AND 32 you instead! I'm not sure which would be worse! I think that if someone was PEEKed and POKEd AND 32'd, then parts of their body may disappear or phase out, like with the being "The Traveller" in Star Trek: TNG Season 1 "Where No One Has Gone Before".

By Pencioner

Scribe (1518)

Аватар пользователя Pencioner

20-11-2018, 12:03

did anybody actually read this? (i did, LOL!)

By mars2000you

Enlighted (6182)

Аватар пользователя mars2000you

20-11-2018, 12:07

Pencioner wrote:

did anybody actually read this? (i did, LOL!)

Me too, but it would have been better that CX5Mer would have divided his post into several paragraphs. Wink

By CX5Mer

Champion (322)

Аватар пользователя CX5Mer

20-11-2018, 12:44

OK, I'll go back and try to divide it up into paragraphs! It's actually all about one subject, which is that the C64 is crap!

I've now managed to divide it up into paragraphs, so I hope everyone will read it now! To sum up, the C64 was my first computer, but I hated it!

By Pencioner

Scribe (1518)

Аватар пользователя Pencioner

20-11-2018, 13:05

CX5Mer wrote:

OK, I'll go back and try to divide it up into paragraphs! It's actually all about one subject, which is that the C64 is crap!

I've now managed to divide it up into paragraphs, so I hope everyone will read it now! To sum up, the C64 was my first computer, but I hated it!

I'm happy that my first computers were YIS5003IIR and YIS805/128R in school and i loved them Wink

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