Category Archives: Retro Computing

Common Commodore 64 commands

People frequently ask me for a list of common or useful Commodore 64 commands. Since the C-64’s built in operating system is more of a combination command line/Basic interpreter, it takes some getting used to if you didn’t grow up with it.

These commands assume a stock, unmodified C-64, freshly powered on. Many fast-load cartridges, ROM replacements, or so-called DOS wedge programs include shortcuts for these commands. But these commands work on any C-64 with a disk drive.

Continue reading Common Commodore 64 commands

Common AmigaDOS commands

The Amiga had a command line, or CLI. It was a rather powerful CLI, especially for its time. But there are a number of differences between AmigaDOS and other operating systems you may be familiar with. These are the common AmigaDOS commands and their equivalents from other operating systems like DOS, Windows, Unix or Linux.

I’ve never seen a primer that relates or cross-references Amiga commands to Windows and Unix. So I wrote one. I hope it helps you understand your Amiga better. Because Amiga is sometimes like Windows and sometimes it’s like Unix, I think it might. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn something you didn’t know about Windows or Unix too.

Continue reading Common AmigaDOS commands

Gary Kildall’s memoirs released

Gary Kildall’s memoirs are legendary vaporware. Until now. Today, the Computer History Museum released 79 pages of it. What was released today isn’t the whole manuscript. But it’s better than what we had yesterday.

Gary Kildall is one of the unsung heroes of early computing. As such, he’s one of my favorite people to write about.

Late in his life, he started to write a memoir. I’ve only had a chance to read parts of the first two chapters, but they explain the man and his motives. It’s not the whole manuscript, and some people aren’t happy about that. But it’s better than what we had yesterday.

Most of what exists of computing history came from the victors’ point of view. Gary Kildall wasn’t one of the winners. But without his contributions, the winners wouldn’t have had much to build on.

Maybe someday Gary Kildall will get his due. Releasing his story in his own words is a start.

Undoubtedly I will have more to say after I read all 79 pages myself. But this release is too important not to mention.