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Thoughts from Steven B. Combs as he goes combsing through the minutia and shares his thoughts on tech, gadgets, Google, higher education, physical computing, and military topics.

23 May 2020

retroCombs: Commodore Plus/4 - Part 1, Open the Box

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.
tags: commodore - retro - plus4 - openthebox - unboxing - vic20 - 1980s

Today I unveil the first in a new theme of posts, retroCombs. This theme is devoted to my love of retro computing and gaming. I have a couple of retro posts on the blog, but now I have a brand theme to tie them together. The first post to receive the brand is part one of a new series on the Commodore Plus/4 computer.

Series Information

This episode is part of a series. You can read the entire series and view additional resources at:

https://www.stevencombs.com/plus4

User’s Manual

As part of my Commodore Plus/4 YouTube series, I work through each chapter of the Plus/4 manual. I’ve taken the time to scan each chapter so you can read and follow along. Use the link below for this episode’s chapter:

User’s Manual Front Matter

YouTube Video: retroCombs: Commodore Plus/4, Part 1, Open the Box

The video below describes my background with Commodore computers, my intent for this new series, and an open the box on a Commodore Plus/4. Watch the video and then come back and read the additional material posted below the video.

I look forward to diving into the Commodore Plus/4. This 8-bit computer has eluded me for years. I know it is going to be a very different experience from my earlier VIC-20, 64, and 128. The lack of focus on gaming with an increased emphasis on business should be an interesting study. I’m excited to explore what appears to be a more functional basic programming language complete with dedicated graphics commands, file functions, and machine language monitor (all missing from the VIC-20 and C64).

NOTE: While writing this post, I found the Commodore Plus/4 Wiki. It will become an excellent resource during this series.

One experiment I will conduct, is to use the Plus/4’s keyboard and word processor to write a blog post. This will involve typing the post (in Markdown) on the Plus/4 and then finding a way to move the text to a modern PC. I’m open to ideas now if anyone has them!

I hope readers and watchers enjoy the series. I may not post as regularly as I like, and I may use YouTube Live on a whim to capture live experiences, so make sure you subscribe to my blog, Twitter feed, and YouTube channel if you want the full experience.

I want this to be a collaborative project. If you are an experienced Plus/4 aficionado, please share your ideas, thoughts on the content, and where I might easily (and inexpensively) locate peripherals for this device. I’d even appreciate if you have spares lying around, sending them my way.

If you are new to the device like I am, post your questions and ideas for what you would like to see. Also let me know if you are following along. Let’s make this a community project. For now, Leave your comments and thoughts below or in the comments under the YouTube video.

🕹️ retroCombs, OUT!

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