The main improvement over the other PET / CBM computers is the 80-column display. The screen is 12'' large and the ROM version is 4.0.
The CBM-80xx was often sold as a "bundle". It was made up of the computer (most often the CBM 8032, though other models were made), the 5.25" double disk drive CBM 8050 (500 KB, 77 tracks) and the bi-directional 132-columns, 160 CPS printer. The 8050 has a 6502 CPU, 4 KB of RAM and 12 KB of ROM (which contains the DOS). It was sold with Ozz, a Database, and a version of the spreadsheet "Visicalc".
Dave Ridley reports to us:
CBM & PET 4000/8000 series - Brings back the memories! I used to fix these things, and boy did they have some classics. Regular problems were caused by the chip sockets going intermittant together with the molex power connectors burning out! Fix - remove chip squirt with RS Solvent Cleaner and stick them back. The external Disk units were connected by IEEE connectors. These disk drive units would fail, many a time I would open a unit up onsite(rather like opening the bonnet of a car) to find a pair of rectifier diodes that had got so hot they had actually melted themselves out of the board and fallen into the base.
Ben Pony adds:
I experimented with the compatibility of this computer and the C-64. Any software stored on cassette by the CBM could be loaded into the C-64, but C-64 tapes wouldn't work on the CBM.
About the 8296 FDD unit, by Michael Huth:
The 8296DS double disk drive unit uses 2x 6502. They work as multi-processor system. One cpu manages the data transfer and the other the drives hardware. So in fact the floppy has the double computing power than the computer itself.
I learned to program on one of these in school when I was 15 and I loved it. Only had a tape deck though so very slow. My friend had a BIG program he wrote and it would take most of a lesson to load it! Because of this lots of people preferred the timeshare teleprinter terminal linked to our local council''s mainframe as it had instant save/load times.
Friday 22nd October 2010
Jonno (Yorkshire, England)
I used a CBM 8032 combined with 2 px. 8296 FDD Floppy Disk Stations to manage my 20''000+ Customer Database and it worked, at least, most of the time, quite well.
From my point of view, the 8032 was the first real Consumer Computer packed into a very strong case and looking like a real Computer...
These were an absolute nightmare to work on, when spares started to dry up, you could only tackle on with an ociliscope, an avo meter and soldering iron along with your box of bits! Good memories though, but it might frighten todays techies a bit