The C116 was revealed at the 1984 Summer CES. It was the cheapest Commodore computer ever made.
Bil Herd, the machine''s designer has said, on many occasions, that the original host for the TED was the C116, a $49 machine intended to compete with the Sinclair line of machines.
The resulting design was then twisted by management, to become the 1xx, 2xx, and 3xx machines... 116, 232, 264, 364 etc respectively (the difference between the 264 and 364 being that the 364 had a numeric keypad AND the Magic Voice cartridge built onto the motherboard) ...
The 264 was then taken by management, had productivity software bolted onto it, and it became the Plus-4, a machine with little Commodore 64 compatibility, costing in the same price range as the Commodore 64. A total fail.
The Commodore 16, came LATE in the TED''s development lifecycle, when management decided that they needed to have a replacement for the VIC-20, so they took the VIC-20 cases and keyboards, repainted them, and refactored the TED design to fit in them.
It was sold only in Germany and a few East European countries.
It came comes with 32 KB of ROM, only 16 KB of RAM and without any built-in software. Like the C16, it didn't have a user port.
Commodore's hatred for shift keys finds expression in the very early C116's keyboard layout. This time, they made it even worse and removed the LEFT shift key and placed an Esc key there! Not to mention the Inst/Del key which resided at the SHIFT LOCK key's place. The versions sold later had the Inst/Del key next to the Home/Clear key in the top row next to the function keys, the Esc key where you would want it, and thank God, a left shift key again.
Contributors: Thomas Cherryhomes