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Posted By

on 2017-05-10
 11 Forgotten Media Formats of Yesteryear

Popular Mechanics has released an on-line article entitled, "11 Forgotten Media Formats of Yesteryear". The subtitle says, "You remember the floppy drive, but do you remember the Commodore 64 tape drive?" (My answer -- of course, I do!)

They only identify the Datasette with the C64 and not with the other compatible C= 8-bit computers - PET, VIC-20, Plus/4, C128, and CBM II series.

To read about what they say about the Datasette, see

Robert Bernardo
June 10-11 Pacific Commodore Expo NW -
July 29-30 Commodore Vegas Expo v13 -

Posted By

on 2017-05-10
 Re: 11 Forgotten Media Formats of Yesteryear

-You may add Video2000 next to UMATIC.
In the past I frequently visited the factory produced the video decks for that special format. It has better resolution, very good video search quality and two sided recording, thus longer playtime, than Beta or VHS or UMATIC.
Especially to UMATIC the playtime was significantly better,could be up to 16 hours per tape (!) in slow speed mode (quality is a good question))

Why it failed:
-Started too late cpmpared to Betamax or VHS
-Unfortunately Philips did not want to share the production rights with anyone else (than Grundig), so the price of the machine was relatively high.
-Outside Europe no sales and production activities
-Aso, initial version had only mono sound and never offered near Hifi sound quality.

2) Commodore cassette/tape
While the original format offered only 100kB per 30 minurtes sides capacity, the turbo loaders made is SIGNIFICANTLY bigger capacity.

While initially the Turbos needed to be loaded in advance or from Cartridge (like C64), the later ones were integrated into the saved program, like HER turbo, made is very convinient to use.

While of Floppy the turbo loaders offered only faster loading speeds (and did not and could not influence capacity of the media), on my C60 tapes I could easily store 10-12 C16 games PER SIDE That capacity is even higher, than the 1541/1551 floppy side capacity, and the loading speed was also comparable to the "non-turbo" floppy.

I am susprised, why this part of the Commodore Datasettes not evaluated deeper, as even companies used such turbo loaders. Everyone highlights, how slow the normal speed was, although in practice tapes (for loading commercial or cracked games) were very hardly used without turbo, or only the initial ones (only for programming).
Too bad, that C16 uses a different format than C64, may made it a little less sensitive to tape quality, but the C64 turbos need to be rewritten from zero.

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