CPC New Generation

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CPC New Generation

Post by Gryzor »

Hey people...

I'd just like to announce the preliminary opening of a new site dedicated to CPCNG - CPC Next Generation.

The Amstrad CPC series included some of the best 8 bit computers ever and you can read more about them over at
here, here and here.

The CPCNG is a project to reincarnate those computers with a newly designed board, based on the latest version of Z80, which will be backwards-compatible and offer lots of new functionality.

I think this will be of interest not only to Amstrad fans but to retro fans in general. Please browse around and see if you can help :)

Cheers
Gryzor

PS Darn. The url is http://cpcng.gryzor.info or http://gryzor.info/cpcng
PS2 off to listen to some good ym music =)
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Post by ST Graveyard »

Hey Gryzor,

Nice site, but there are a lot of broken links!

I love P. K. Dick!
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Post by Gryzor »

Heh, thanks Maarten, and thanks for the heads-up. As I said, though, this is a 'preliminary' opening, it's not yet complete. Something like a call for help, if you will.

Cheers
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Post by Ragstaff »

The site looks good gryzor!
I have a couple of Amstrad monitors (colour and a green-screen)... I'll get a CPC shortly. So yeah, I'm interested in this :-)
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Post by Gryzor »

Thanks for the comment... A few adjustments are needed (as well as completion of the info. I will upload new stuff in a couple of hours).

The CPC was -is- a great machine, with fabulous games. If you can, get a CPC+. Those also allowed the use of cartridges and had much more advanced hardware -in fact, the 464+ and 6128+ were, IMHO, the most advanced 8-bit machines ever built (of course, they went down the drain pretty soon as the 16-bit era was at the doorstep at the time)...

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Post by manicx »

CPCs were good computers. I had two myself, a 464 and a 6128. I do believe though that the ultimate 8bit gaming experience was coming from a C64. Higher resolution and SID, one of the best sound chips ever.
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Post by tobe »

Yes, i agree, C64 was a f@*?ing good computer ! Thousand of DATA lines to copy every day 8O !!!
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Post by Gryzor »

manicx: (in my best effort to not start a flame here) I never owned a c64, but several of my friends had, so I spent quite a few hours playing with it. It never really hooked me like my CPC games, though. But after several years, hearing about how fab the c64 is, I decided, a couple of months ago, to give it another try -as objectively as I could. So I went out and downloaded a bunch of the most popular games, and sat down and played them for a few days. Really, I didn't see anything special... Some were better, some were worse. So I think that eventually it was Commodore's marketing and sales that made the difference, not the capabilities.
Higher resolution
Ummmm... no. 320x200x16 for both systems, correct me if I'm wrong? And the palette is certainly much worse on the c64 -I think this is something that many c64 users acknowledge, too. Also, games aside, the c64 lacked a 80-column mode (until very late, I believe, and only with an add-on), so actually *working* on it was simply not very feasible...
SID,
Ah, yes, indeed. Not that YM was bad (if it was, Atari wouldn't have used it, even if using it at that era was a huge flop), but SID was brilliant indeed. Anyone listens to Apoptygma Berzerk? :D

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Post by tobe »

CPC was a great computer too, i wrote some text/sprites games with a friend (CPC 6128), except the spaces madness in basic, it was very fun ! I loved the graphic modes, easy to code.

Both CPC and C64 were great computers :wink: ?
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Post by manicx »

Gryzor wrote:manicx: (in my best effort to not start a flame here) I never owned a c64, but several of my friends had, so I spent quite a few hours playing with it. It never really hooked me like my CPC games, though. But after several years, hearing about how fab the c64 is, I decided, a couple of months ago, to give it another try -as objectively as I could. So I went out and downloaded a bunch of the most popular games, and sat down and played them for a few days. Really, I didn't see anything special... Some were better, some were worse. So I think that eventually it was Commodore's marketing and sales that made the difference, not the capabilities.
Well, C64 had games the CPC didn't have. The C64 had some gems. The system3 games were just amazing (Last Ninja 2, Myth, Vendetta etc). Thalion released some games for the C64 like Chambers of Shaolin. Not to mention games like Flimbo's Quest that were better on the C64 even compared to the 16bits. I agree that some games were worse on it (like Target Renegade) but overall, the C64 has a much bigger collection of games. C64 was closer to a game machine than anything else back then. Not to mention the problems that the CPC had with joysticks... Oh, and the C64 can browse the internet!
Ummmm... no. 320x200x16 for both systems, correct me if I'm wrong? And the palette is certainly much worse on the c64 -I think this is something that many c64 users acknowledge, too. Also, games aside, the c64 lacked a 80-column mode (until very late, I believe, and only with an add-on), so actually *working* on it was simply not very feasible...
No. The CPC had 160*200 with 16 colours and a poor 320*200 with 4 colours. All these from a palette of 27 if I remember well. C64 had the 320*200 with 16 colours but the palette was just that. Had this be better, the graphics would have been similar to the ST and Amiga. Mode1 on the CPC was used for isometric games like Head Over Heels and many Spectrum conversions. If the CPC resolution was at least 256*200, games would have been a lot better. Also, the CPC lacked on certain things like the bad monitors (I had the colour one BTW) and the little speaker on the keyboard. C64 had excellent video monitors and sound was much better.

I still love the CPC, it was a great computer, but not a great game machine. Remind me to show you a video from the Alternative Party IV. You can see the dad of C64, a vic 20 displaying graphics and scrolling better than any other 8bit I've seen. Not to mention speech sythesizing!
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Post by simonsunnyboy »

Well, the C64 has only 160x200 for pixel addressable 16 color screen. Just the overlayed and independant sprites can do a full 320x200 display.
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Post by Ragstaff »

ah, but what about the apple2E, with real tree GREEN and space BLACK? You can't beat that I'm afraid....
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Post by manicx »

I also have an Apple IIc! And plenty of *crap* games too!
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Post by tobe »

Apple IIc ! Did you have text based adventure games ?
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Post by manicx »

Plenty. Need to check my 5 1/4 floppies. I have so many of them (and they still work, 5 1/4 disks seem like they never die)....
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Post by Gryzor »

manicxWell, about the c64/CPC post, and not wanting to start any flame wars indeed: Just like the c64 had some gems the CPC didn't, so did the CPC -that's no real argument... Sure, c64 had lots more games, because it was more popular, and so the circle went... By the way, I never had a problem with joysticks and my CPC, what on earth?

As for the resolution, I stand corrected, I can't believe I made such a mistake. Still, how come c64 games still looked so blocky?? maybe it's what simonsunnyboy said, but I really don't know... The CPC also suffered from the ZX->CPC conversion plague (since both used the Z80, it was easy to just transfer it to the CPC instead of reprogramming it, hence the games looked more like a supped-up Spectrum version), but this has nothing to do with the machine's capabilities...
Also, it's about the first time I hear someone complaining about the CPC monitors -especially the color one was brilliant, and the green one was a very, very affordable alternative...

...and, as for thew Vic20, c'mon, we all know that there exist some unbelievable things for most ancient micros. Go download some ZX demos and see what I mean, this still does not prove much, like modern CPC demos (and they are fantastic on a bog-standard CPC464) don't say much about the value of the machine either...

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Post by manicx »

Gryzor wrote:manicxWell, about the c64/CPC post, and not wanting to start any flame wars indeed: Just like the c64 had some gems the CPC didn't, so did the CPC -that's no real argument... Sure, c64 had lots more games, because it was more popular, and so the circle went... By the way, I never had a problem with joysticks and my CPC, what on earth?

As for the resolution, I stand corrected, I can't believe I made such a mistake. Still, how come c64 games still looked so blocky?? maybe it's what simonsunnyboy said, but I really don't know... The CPC also suffered from the ZX->CPC conversion plague (since both used the Z80, it was easy to just transfer it to the CPC instead of reprogramming it, hence the games looked more like a supped-up Spectrum version), but this has nothing to do with the machine's capabilities...
Also, it's about the first time I hear someone complaining about the CPC monitors -especially the color one was brilliant, and the green one was a very, very affordable alternative...

...and, as for thew Vic20, c'mon, we all know that there exist some unbelievable things for most ancient micros. Go download some ZX demos and see what I mean, this still does not prove much, like modern CPC demos (and they are fantastic on a bog-standard CPC464) don't say much about the value of the machine either...

Cheers
Gryzor

c64 has a fair amount of screen resolutions. Info can be found here. The 160*200 was not the most popular resolution. After a certain point, when the IFLI Mode was introduced, people played with that and achieved amazing results. A company that achieved perfection with this mode was System 3. Just compare LNinja2 to every single release out there....

Viznut, the guy who made the Vic-20 demo, is considered to be the top vic-20 developer today. As I said, we need to meet and see what I mean since I have most of them on videos. Don't forget that the Vic-20 has only 3583 bytes of memory free and the demos/games I saw were for an unexpanded vic-20. I 've seen things for other home-micros, but nothing for such a limited computer.

As for the CPC joysticks, you probably didn't have a Quick Shot II (everytime you were booting you were seeing a Z after the cursor) or a metalic joystick. My pals had the very first Pacman ever released (was called ACS) and they managed to destroy 2 CPCs with it. CPC+Metalic Joysticks=> problems....
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Post by Gryzor »

Hey, manicx, I think you're missing my points here. And it's NOT to prove that the CPC was a better 8-bitter than the c64 (although I still firmly believe the CPC+ series were creme de la creme).

So, sure, c64 had several great games, but so did the CPCs... Take any isometric game, they look superb... but that's beyond my point. My point is that the c64 could afford to have many games that were better on the c64 platform since there was a vast number of releases for it. But, as I said, and that was completely subjective, I really can't see how c64 games look better than the CPC ones... same level of blockiness, awful palette. The SID, ok, it rocked.

As for the Vic-20 demo (and I do believe you that it looks awesome, and some CPC demos are simply unbelievable, hacking all screen and memory limitations), I just wanted to add that there's a CPM mp3 player for the CPC :D

...and as for the joysticks, really weird, I had many of the Quick Shot joysticks (and a II), as well as a Pacman (still have the ACS version), and they never caused me a problem. But even if there is a (grounding?) problem, I don't know how this would affect the CPC being a great machine -not more than the lack of 80-column mode can make a c64 a lesser machine...

Cheers
Gryzor

PS Still, the Gameboy ran off a Z80, not a 6502 :D
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Post by tobe »

Gryzor wrote:I had many of the Quick Shot joysticks (and a II), as well as a Pacman (still have the ACS version), and they never caused me a problem.
My quickshot II have a switch for CPC, so i think it must work !
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Post by idrougge »

Whenever you're going to use multicolour on the C64, horizontal resolution is halved. The games do look horribly blocky, but at least the C64 has got at least one bitmapped mode, unlike many of its contemporaries.

As for the CpC+ series, they certainly have impressive specs (larger pallette, sprites, DMA sound), but they don't represent the cream of the crop either, that was never Amstrad's winning point, they competed on price and packaging. As nice as the plus machines were, they never gained much support, ending up in a position akin to that of the STE in the ST market.

The real bee's knees in the 8-bit world must be the MSX2 and over machines, the Enterprise and the SAM Coupé. Those were machines which actually don't look bad next to an ST.
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Post by Gryzor »

Well, the CPC+ also sported hardware sprites, line IRQ interrupts, DMA sound among other things... I think the Sam Coupe (a wonderful little machine, I'd like to get one!) was great too, with great expandability as well, a shame it never got off the ground (much less support than the CPC+ that you mentioned), but I don't remember it being *that* impressive. The CPC+ was indeed compareable to an ST -but producing an 8bit contender in the 16bit era could never pay off, really.

The MSX machines -ahhh, I don't know much about them, but from what I hear they were fantastic and it was a shame they didn't take over the world...

The Enterprise -hey, that was almost a ghost machine (:

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Post by rb »

i wish i could have them all... there have been so many computers around at this time.. many of them are now quite expensive collectibles..

jupiter ace goes now for 400 - 450 pounds more than you'd to pay for a falcon or TT...

i remember vaguely a machine back then called victor (not really sure) it was rather designed for office use but featured impressive graphics etc..

wasn't the TI99/4a a quite well equipped computer, too?

eventually i would like to have my good old CBM PET .. this thingy was so expensive and has stolen countless hours of sleep :)

cheers
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Post by manicx »

rb wrote: wasn't the TI99/4a a quite well equipped computer, too?
That was magic computer rb...

As for Sam Coupe, it had fantastic specs. Not only that, but it was Speccy compatible. Had a good graphics chip, unique sound (6 channels!) and a good FDD (similar to the ones used on the STs and Amigas by Citizen) and also 256k of memory and a Z80 @ 6MHz. I still believe that the specs were the best for an 8bit computer.
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Post by idrougge »

rb wrote:i remember vaguely a machine back then called victor (not really sure) it was rather designed for office use but featured impressive graphics etc..
The Victor/Sirius was a semi-PC compatible. Its only claim to fame is that it's designed by the father of the 6502, Chuck Peddle.
rb wrote:wasn't the TI99/4a a quite well equipped computer, too?
For its time, certainly. Released in the late seventies, it was one of the first game computers, along with the Ataris. However, it had a 16-bit CPU with one K of RAM. The rest of the RAM had to be accessed through the graphics chip, which effectively strangled the processor.
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Post by idrougge »

Gryzor wrote:Well, the CPC+ also sported hardware sprites, line IRQ interrupts, DMA sound among other things... I think the Sam Coupe (a wonderful little machine, I'd like to get one!) was great too, with great expandability as well, a shame it never got off the ground (much less support than the CPC+ that you mentioned), but I don't remember it being *that* impressive. The CPC+ was indeed compareable to an ST -but producing an 8bit contender in the 16bit era could never pay off, really.

The Enterprise -hey, that was almost a ghost machine (:
At least if you're Swedish, calling the Enterprise a ghost machine sounds strange coming from a CPC user. I think that there must have been at least 20 Enterprises imported, which probably outnumbers the amount of CPCs in this country. ;-)

Also, since there is almost no software to take advantage of the CPC+ features (see STe analogy), saying that the Coupé had little software doesn't sound very convincing. What good is a CPC+ if all you have to play are Spectrum conversion for the original CPC?
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