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CBM 5/6/700 - Introduction

This is a revised update of the article I originally wrote for the ICPUG magazine and which appeared in the May/June 1987 issue.

During 1982 Commodore UK announced several new machines, one of which was the highly successful C64. The others consisted of two cut-down versions of the C64, the Max (or VIC-10) and VIC-30. The final two machines were up-market replacements for the PET - the 500 and 700 series.

By 1983 the C64 had started to establish itself and the 700 had appeared in small trickles. The Max and VIC-30 were stillborn and, so it seemed at the time, was the 500. Just before the 1983 show I enquired about its fate and a Commodore staff member announced that it would be 're-engineered' to become a monochrome 80-column machine.

In the November/December 1986 edition of the ICPUG newsletter I came across an advert from a company, Adwell, selling 500s and 600s at £75 (+ VAT). Up to that point I had only vaguely heard of the 600, so I phoned them for information and they told me what scant knowledge they had of the machine, which was just that it had BASIC 4.0, 128K memory (expandable to 256K internally), with an IEEE interface but no built-in screen. I decided to take the plunge and ordered one.

After it had arrived I connected it up into my existing PET/C128 system. After a week or so of playing around with it I sent off a list of 'discoveries' to Adwell who had indicated that they would be grateful for any feedback. They then passed out the list to prospective purchasers and some of those contacted me for further information. One of them had contacted Adwell in the hope that they could shed some light on the 500 he had purchased and they had passed him on to me. He had obtained his machine from another supplier who had bought over 200 Commodore 500s as a job lot. Through him I obtained a 500 for myself at an even lower cost (less than £40 - not bad for a machine initially priced at £695 plus VAT).