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A > AMSTRAD  > CPC 664

CPC 664

Charles Da Silva from France adds:
It's said that it was William Poel (from Ambit and future head of Amsoft) who came with the idea of mixing a 464 with a DDI-1 3" floppy unit... and so the 664 was born!
Its code name was quite funny and somehow a sign of what was going to happen... IDIOT (Insert Disc Instead OF Tape). The 6128 would be nicknamed Big Idiot. Big as its success ?

Amstrad knew, even before the launch of the 664, that it would have a short life. The price of the 64K memory was falling sharply, 64K was not sufficient to enter the professional market and the US was only interested in a 128K machine. So Bob Watkins and his crew worked on the 6128 even before the 664 launch.
From Alf (Spain):
When the 664 was presented to the press, a short number of journalists were invited to discover the 6128 prototype only on the condition that they say nothing.

The CPC-664 in Finland by Taneli Lukka:
Amstrad machines allways came with a monitor, which was really nice because you didn't need to use the family TV and you got a better picture, but in some countries like Finland this was a bad handicap. Thank's to our high taxes computers were atleast 30% more expensive than in other parts of Europe in the late 80's/early 90's and as a result most people bought their first computer with a TV-modulator instead of a monitor.
The Amstrad machines which were very nicely priced elsewhere were just too expensive for the average Finnish consumer and gave no serious competition to the Commodore 64. The monochrome monitor was cheaper of course, but playing games with it was not very nice especially when your friends were playing with their C64's in full color.

The 3" disk drive gave even more trouble because only Amstrad used it. Even finding a store that sold these disks was difficult and if you managed to find one the disks could cost 30 marks a piece (with todays rate 30mk is about 5 euros, but it was even more back then). Availability became better as time went on, but when the prices had dropped it was already game over for Amstrad and Commodore was the king of the hill.

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