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C > COMMODORE  > PC Compatible systems   

PC Compatible systems

Commodore launched its range of PC-compatible systems at the height of the company’s popularity, with home and business systems being sold in over 50 countries. Commodore was the largest seller of computer systems in the world with sales in excess of $1 billion. Regardless, Commodore eventually suffered from permanent financial and structural problems.

The range of Commodore PC-compatible computers offered several different models:
- PC-1 A very small PC-compatible with a 4.77MHz 8088 processor (without turbo clock), a single 5.25” FDD, 512KB of RAM, and Hercules/GCA video board. The PC-1 lacked any internal expansion slots or cooling fans.
- PC-10 A basic 8088-based PC-compatible system with 1 or 2 floppy drives (page photo).
- Colt A re-branded version of the PC-10 system.
- PC-20 Identical to the PC-10 system, but included a 20MB hard disk.
- PC-30 PC-AT 12 MHz 80286-based system including a 20MB hard disk. Probably the same machine as the PC-35 but only sold in Europe.
- PC-35 Same features as the PC-30.
- PC-40 PC-AT 10 MHz system with 1 MB RAM, Hercules/CGA video card, and a 20MB to 80MB hard disk. A jumper setting allowed the memory to be configured between 640KB or 512KB + 512KB of extended memory.
- PC-50 80386SX 16 MHz system with a 40MB to 100MB hard disk.
- PC-60 80386 25 MHz system with a tower case and a 60MB to 200MB hard disk.

The first Commodore PC-compatible was launched in early 1984, and the final systems left the German factory in 1993 – one year before the company ceased operations


Maarten Jongkind comments:
As an engineer back in the late 80s I installed, maintained and repaired commodore PC's. It was not a specific exciting or revolutionary computer but merely a good working IBM clone which evolved likewise. The PC10 however did gave me some strange problems due to the position of the double floppy drives, see the gap between them in the picture.

Once I recieved a strange complaint from a user, the computer was eating floppy's. they went in but never came out again. After a two hours drive I found that the user had inserted about 20 floppy's or more in the gap between the drives ;-))

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I remember when dad brought home a Commodore PC10-2 (2 likely for number of Floppy Drives) I couldn''t make it work, as LOAD "*" ,8,1 gave me strange errors, as did any BASIC Commands. Once I figured out that it ran "DOS" I started getting used to it. One problem we had was that it wouldn''t not *ever* recognize a 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy drive. It simply did not exist to the machine. It did however accept a 42MB Hard Drive (32MB and 10MB partitions, who could ever use more than 32MB?) A few years later it was joined by a Compaq Portable II, and was eventually replaced by a 286 with a mouse! But that''s a story for another Old Computer.

Monday 18th April 2022
Alexia (Portugal)

PC 10-II was my first DOS PC, after C-64 in early 90s. Orange CGA display, ~28MB HDD, built like a tank.

Aside of quite slow yet unforgettable gaming and writing odd texts, I begun to learn Turbo Pascal on this machine and after many years and computer generations, I ultimately ended up developing software in the company that made DOS.
Sometimes I miss that orange CRT glow of times when it all started for me (reclaimed c-64 already).

Thursday 1st October 2020
Tervi (Czechia)

A note on the mouse interface on the commodore PC 10-III. The mouse interface has a reverse diode protection on each pin to prevent damage to the PC should you plug in a serial mouse.

Tuesday 20th February 2018


NAME  PC Compatible systems
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  1984
KEYBOARD  84 keys (8088 systems), 102 keys (286 and above)
CPU  8088, 80286, 80386-SX, 80386
SPEED  4.77 to 9.54 MHz (8088), 6 to 12 MHz (80286), 8 to 16 MHz (386SX), 25 MHz (80836)
CO-PROCESSOR  Optional Math coprocessor
RAM  640 KB to 2 MB according to models
TEXT MODES  40 or 80 chars x 25 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  From GCA (640 x 200) to SVGA (800 x 600), Hercules monochrome as well
COLORS  16 minimum in colour systems
SOUND  Tone generator
BUILT IN MEDIA  360 KB to 1.44 MB floppy discs, 20 to 200 MB hard disc
OS  All the available PC operating systems
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PERIPHERALS  all 8, 16, 32 bit PC cards

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