Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 8:36 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: B Series Computers
This is just an update or additional information
regarding the B Series 700 Lo/Hi Profile and co-processor boards.
I was involved with Protecto Enterprises
in Barrington, Illinois as I took over the sales of the B series and
support for them when the numbers weren't there anymore. I ran a music
business called Northwest Music Center, Inc and we moved more and more
into computer mail order and stayed with Commodore up to the C series.
I also dealt directly with Commodore and am
liquidating my remaining Pet/B inventory on Ebay right now. A couple
new products in boxes and other used equipment that I've had in storage
since those days.
I also worked closely with Norman Deletzke from the
B-128 User Group. He ran CBUG. I took over that operation after his
death but by then the interest had wained in the group as either people
already had everything they needed or just moved on.
A few notes.
The North American Hi-profile never came with disk
drives. I'm not sure if there were any produced in Europe but there
were many issues. I had the proto-type assembly and it was a great idea
but not practical.
These include but are not limited to:
Power supplies under-rated for all the internal
peripherals that were designed for it. This also went for the
lo-profile as it was either inadequately ventilated or the power
transistor should have been upgraded to dissipate more heat for the
required power. MJE8503 should have been used.
The power supply was too big, the drives wouldn't
fit in and the the co-processor board was also an issue in terms of
fitting. The cables were also too long and according to one of the
engineers, the capacitance was a problem in reliability of the
interfacing. Contrary to popular belief, I did get a co-processor
running in a lo-profile. But, also ran a fan over the power supply.
Better than ice cubes I guess.
I bought all the 8088 boards from Commodore's
facility. There never was a production Zilog board (I asked my contact
there) and it was only on a wireup scheme from what I understand. 8087
wasn't functional as there was a bug. I have at least two of the
functional 8088 boards so that makes 5 now. Maybe more as I uncover
more boxes and sold several back in the 80's. I even modified one to
almost 8 mhz and that ended up with one of the techies in the group back
A gentleman named Gary Anderson developed a fast
bus adapter to allow 1571 and 1581 drives to be interfaced directly to
the B and Dennis Jarvis wrote the software which loaded into a Bank 15
memory cartridge also developed by Gary. Gary also did a one meg
expansion as did Fred King and also had developed a co-processor board
that was far more advanced and functional than Commodore's. Problem was
that all of this came too late as IBM type machines now had a
stranglehold on the business market and you know that story.
Now the CP/M-86 ran every piece of software that I
could buy up other than graphical stuff. That means and not limited to
Wordstar, Supercalc, Dbase II, NewWord, Move-it and on and on. There
was a minor problem and that was called slow. Due to the design, as
stated by one of the engineers, it actually was much slower than it
should have been. I think the C-128 was a far better implementation
although it was for the Z-80 and not 86.
If you have any further questions, please feel free
to ask before I forget all this stuff. I have taken some time off of
work and decided to sell most of the stuff remaining so I'm really into
it again for at least a few more weeks.
Bruce Faierson, CPA