ScuzzBlog: Diaries February 2024

Entry 22nd February 2024: Post 1: Amstrad CPC6128 - My 2024 benchtest.

Amstrad CPC6128 - My 2024 benchtest.

Back to checking my machines that I have left out and today it is
the turn of the Amstrad CPC6128. I normally only ever use the
machine I have set up with the colour monitor and rarely do I use
the third of these machines I have. So today I put the other two
through their paces.

The first machine suffered a little power switch lag when I first
switched on but after a few slides she was fine. Probably time to
clean the connector again.

The CPC6128 was released in the United States only at first until
Sugar had a change of heart and abandoned the CPC664 and released
the 6128 in Europe 15th August 1985.

The 6128 runs on the Z80 Zilog with 128K memory as an 8-bit machine.
The computer uses AmsDOS, BASIC 1.1 and CP/M Plus. The machine was
very popular because of the integration of the CP/M into the system.
At 500 quid with a colour monitor in 1985 it proved a good deal as
it gave small and home businesses a pretty effective machine for
word processing and office based software. This at a time when the
Amiga 1000 was just hitting the shelves.

Amstrad were to become quite popular as a small business computer
and the range expanded into the PCW machines and the PC1512 models.
I was one of those loyal to Amstrad and used CP/M and GEM pretty
much exclusively between 1987 and 1992.

I hooked up the green screen monitor and in addition to the normal
connectors I also plugged in the 12V for the 3" compact floppy disc.

To activate CP/M from the load screen you simply type |cpm with the
'|' key used as a special key using the SHIFT key..

Both machines worked without fault and I even ran a few disc games.
The load time with the 3" disc made using a tape redundant. I doubt
anyone would go back to tape after using the disc drive.

The family of 3" drives on the Amstrad range include the PCW machines,
the Plus machine and the external drive for the CPC464. The drive
can also be found on the Spectrum +3. You may be fooled into thinking
that a +3 is comparable to a 6128 but trust me they are completely
different machines. The 6128 is superior in every way.

I do like the CPC6128. The unit is a neat compact size and with
the disc drive built in just makes storing your stuff so easy. Say
what you like about the 8-bit era but one thing that disc drives
gave CP/M based machines was the gift of speed. You rarely have
to wait to get on with things and the discs acted more like hard
drives giving you lots of space to play with.

When I purchased my PCW9512 in 1987 it was comparable in price
to the Amiga 500 which launched at the same time. Thing was for
a business user having the monitor and printer thrown in and the
ease at which the interface interacted with the disc drive it
proved a great little package. I certainly didn't ask for more
given I wasn't needing a more creative tool that played games.

Amstrad CPC6128 - My 2024 benchtest.

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Last updated 22nd February 2024

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