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View Poll Results: Top 70s & 80s 8-Bit Home Computer Manufacturer

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  • Acorn - Atom, BBC Micro A & B, Electron

    12 16.44%
  • Amstrad - CPC, PCW

    4 5.48%
  • Apple - Apple II, Apple IIe, Apple IIc

    4 5.48%
  • Atari - Atari 400, Atari 800

    4 5.48%
  • Commodore - Commodore PET, VIC-20, Commodore 64, C128

    26 35.62%
  • Dragon Data - Dragon 32, Dragon 64

    3 4.11%
  • Jupiter Cantab - Jupiter Ace

    1 1.37%
  • Oric - Oric 1, Oric Atmos

    2 2.74%
  • Sinclair - ZX-80, ZX-81, Spectrum

    22 30.14%
  • Tandy Radio Shack - TRS-80, TRS-80 Color Computer, TRS-80 Model III, etc.

    1 1.37%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Results 51 to 75 of 75

Thread: Top 70s & 80s 8-Bit Home Computer Manufacturer

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    I had a ZX81, then CBM-64, then Amiga.

    The Commodore was simply astonishing at the time
    There are two Commodores in that list and the statement could apply to either :)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    sampled speech, full sprite graphics with smooth parallax scrolling, rotoscoping humans.
    All pretty commonplace on the Amiga, although I'm not sure where rotoscoping started out. AFAIK the first use of that was by Jordan Mechner, most famously on Prince of Persia. He worked on an Apple II but his games were ported to pretty much anything that could run them.

    I've never owned a C64. What's most impressive about it to me though, is the demoscene that continues to this day. Most of this stuff simply wouldn't have been possible at the time because there's a lot of precalculation and compression involved with cross-compilation from a modern PC.



    Jump to 9:30 for the most impressive part. Or just watch the whole thing for lots of SID chip music and cool graphics effects (perhaps only for those who have done graphics programming and can appreciate how hard this stuff is). Do you know of examples of this kind of thing on the C64 that were actually done back in the 80s using only 8-bit hardware start-to-finish?

  2. #52
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    As I recall, rotoscoping humans started on Summer Games by Epyx, and then developed for Impossible Mission.

    "Stay a while, stay....FOREVER!"


    As an aside, they worked a way of crunching speech at 100k per word down to just 1k.

    They were very clever programmers in those days...
    So clever my foot fell off.

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    As I recall, rotoscoping humans started on Summer Games by Epyx
    Interesting, hadn't heard of that one, but then I never liked sports games or joystick-waggling, so I may have simply ignored it. Looks like Karateka by Jordan Mechner, which definitely used rotoscoping, came out around the same time as the first Summer Games (both 1984). Based on a quick google, the only suggestion that Summer Games used rotoscoping seems to be a random forum post. Having watched some videos, it looks to me like the sequel almost certainly did use rotoscoping, but the first one looks more like traditional hand animation (e.g., onion-skinning), albeit very well done for that time. The movements are smooth, but not entirely realistic.

    Of course all of these are just animating a small sprite. I did something similar myself on the MSX for a fighting game I never finished: the animations were all hand drawn on graph paper, but I made it quite fluid by simply using a lot of them. Had I known about rotoscoping and had access to a video camera at the time, I would have done that. I had a lot more free time on my hands in those days. Hand drawing animations on graph paper then converting them to hex is pretty time-consuming.

    The animation in Prince of Persia is in a different league altogether, but that's mainly an artistic achievement, as it's still sprite-based. The sort of large-size animations done in modern demos are a whole different thing from a technical perspective.

  4. #54
    Grand Master TheFlyingBanana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robt View Post
    Interesting, hadn't heard of that one, but then I never liked sports games or joystick-waggling, so I may have simply ignored it. Looks like Karateka by Jordan Mechner, which definitely used rotoscoping, came out around the same time as the first Summer Games (both 1984). Based on a quick google, the only suggestion that Summer Games used rotoscoping seems to be a random forum post. Having watched some videos, it looks to me like the sequel almost certainly did use rotoscoping, but the first one looks more like traditional hand animation (e.g., onion-skinning), albeit very well done for that time. The movements are smooth, but not entirely realistic.

    Of course all of these are just animating a small sprite. I did something similar myself on the MSX for a fighting game I never finished: the animations were all hand drawn on graph paper, but I made it quite fluid by simply using a lot of them. Had I known about rotoscoping and had access to a video camera at the time, I would have done that. I had a lot more free time on my hands in those days. Hand drawing animations on graph paper then converting them to hex is pretty time-consuming.

    The animation in Prince of Persia is in a different league altogether, but that's mainly an artistic achievement, as it's still sprite-based. The sort of large-size animations done in modern demos are a whole different thing from a technical perspective.

    Interesting post - lots of memories are being rekindled! I feel like I could talk about this all day.

    You could well be right on Summer Games - it is well over 30 years ago, so my recollection could be hazy. I definitely think Winter Games was rotoscoped, and Impossible Mission was, also The Last NInja - the isometric game was too I think.

    It really was incredible what they did with 58k.

    But then Elite was written originally in just 27k for the Electron, and that is mindblowing.
    So clever my foot fell off.

  5. #55
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    I clearly remember breaking my Joystick playing Daley Thompsons Decathlon on my old C64.

    Also hated the joystick waggling :)

  6. #56
    Master Grandiloquence's Avatar
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    So you guys all watch Retro Man Cave, LGR and Modern Vintage Gamer, right?

  7. #57
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandiloquence View Post
    So you guys all watch Retro Man Cave, LGR and Modern Vintage Gamer, right?
    LGR for me, mostly.

    I rather like his vocal style.

  8. #58
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    Shouldnít the Dragon be lumped in with the Tandy? IIRC it was a straight copy in a different box (which helped with access to peripherals and software).

  9. #59
    Master paneristi372's Avatar
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    Always wanted a Commodore C64 but got a Commodore VIC20. A few years later wanted to upgrade and get an Amiga A500 and got an Atari 520STFM. Parents eh.... Go figure.

  10. #60
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    I used to love those simple old games on the speccy - anybody remember Knight Lore?

    Funnily enough as time and technical quality moved on I completely lost my interest in computer games.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  11. #61
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    I learned to programme in 1975 using punch cards on a minicomputer I canít remember the name of. It might have been 8-bit.

    I used my Dadís BBC-B a lot, coding and playing games. Defender was an extraordinary achievement and I loved playing it. I also used to enjoy peeking and poking into the memory addresses so not surprising I ended up as a programmer. You could actually create a display on screen of the dynamic memory allocations.

    Even in the mid-eighties my Uni used BBCs in the Physics labs to control and monitor experiments, using serial interfaces we built ourselves.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    I used to love those simple old games on the speccy - anybody remember Knight Lore?

    Funnily enough as time and technical quality moved on I completely lost my interest in computer games.
    Knight lore can be played among many others on the current gen Rare Replay collection, usually sub £10 everywhere. I got to 60% a few months ago.

    Atic Atac was perhaps the ultimate Ultimate game.... Nearly finished it last month; ended on 91% iirc.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  13. #63
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    I meant to add Iím playing on an Atari Flashback console at the moment. The games range from dire to brilliant. The classics like Space Invaders still stand out.

  14. #64
    Master Grandiloquence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    LGR for me, mostly.

    I rather like his vocal style.
    Yeah, I could listen to him read out the dictionary from start to finish. Very meliflous!

  15. #65
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grandiloquence View Post
    Yeah, I could listen to him read out the dictionary from start to finish. Very meliflous!
    Hehe, yes. I'd like to hear him do the Shipping Forecast.

  16. #66
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    Gridrunner and metagalactic llamas on Vic 20 were two magnificent examples of eeking brilliance out of minimal resources.

    Awesome shmups.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  17. #67
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    So who is the other sucker on this thread that had an Oric? I insisted on mine because my best mate had one - it's his fault. Everyone else had Spectrums. IJK games were pretty good but compared to the likes of Atic Atac and Jet-Pac... Meh.

  18. #68
    Craftsman
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    BBC Micro - hours of typing basic from magazines only to find they didn't work! Waiting for my monthly issue of Beebug and reading it from cover to cover! The start of my journey in technology from which I've been so fortunate to have a career.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    I remember we had Commodore 64s at school which I didn't really take to, preferring my typewriter. When I first got into IT at work we had Research Machines 286s but I've always had a grudging respect for the Acorn Achimedes so that's where my vote goes.
    My school had a suite of Apple II's from 1980/81. One of the wealthier parents had ponied up for them to get in with the clergy. A 20th century indulgence of sorts. As it turned out, for his many sins, mostly involving young ladies that weren't his wife. :D It was one of the first school computer labs in Ireland IIRC. We were constantly reminded how mad expensive they were. "See that computer boy? It's worth ten of ye!" :D

    I was another with a Dragon 32. A Welsh computer. Keeping with the fellow Celts and all that. I remember one being up as a swap/prize on Swapshop. Really showing my age... Based on a US Radioshack/Tandy IIRC? It was my mum who insisted on it because it had a "proper" keyboard. so she figured at worst when the computer phase passed I'd have learned how to type. And it was much cheaper than a BBC Micro. I always hankered after one of them TBH. Would catch the various BBC schools and Open University programmes on the telly and they always featured one. I knew one lad with one. Lovely machine. Though I had a Donkey Kong cartridge for my Dragon so I was more popular for a time. I still have the oul Dragon, uprated to 64k(whoa baby!) and it still works.

    Of my mates a couple had gone through ZX81's, one had a ZX80, that one day overheated and melted. Most had Commodore Vic 20's and one had a Spectrum ZX. I do recall one chap with a white cased with blue keys computer that ran a different OS that was pretty fancy? But can't remember the brand.

  20. #70
    Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wibbs View Post
    Based on a US Radioshack/Tandy IIRC?
    Yes, pretty much a TRS-80 Color Computer but it did have the addition of a Centronics port.

  21. #71
    Master mrwozza70's Avatar
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    Voted Vic-20 - typed in Blue Meanies into the headmasters Vic!!

    But I had Spectrum(s), then C-64, Atari-ST, and finally Amiga 1200 before moving to consoles.

    Those were the good old days. I will never forget the joy of playing Commando... for free... indoors! And the musical soundtracks on those c-64 games were awesome.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  22. #72
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwillans View Post
    BBC Micro - hours of typing basic from magazines only to find they didn't work!
    Some debugging required. ;-)

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    Some debugging required. ;-)
    I enjoyed the debugging!

  24. #74
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alfat33 View Post
    I enjoyed the debugging!
    Quite so. :-)

  25. #75
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    Had an Acorn, then a Commodore 64 then the Amiga 500......happy days.

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