ScuzzBlog: Diaries November 2022

Entry 20th November 2022: Post 1: Amstrad 6128 - To |disc or |tape.

Amstrad 6128 - To |disc or |tape.

Somebody asked on the forums about ten days ago whether it was
worth buying an Amstrad 6128 or should they just focus on the 464.
This was in the context of gaming and benefits of having the 6128
disc system over cassette. Here was my answer ...

10 days ago

Given that you refer to cassette or disk I will answer literally.

First up the word is 'disc' given that the Amstrad uses the three
inch compact floppy disc. It may at first appear trivial but to
instruct the CPC464 to use the external DDI-1 you need to enter
the special symbol and the word disc... thus |disc. To return to
the cassette on the CPC464 or use a tape on the 6128 you enter
|tape. So disc spelt that way is important.

That said if gaming is your passion and you want to use the
original cassettes you really would be better staying with the
CPC464 or you would have to hunt down games on 3" discs and pay
a small fortune for them.

The 6128 does have a cassette port next to the joystick on the
left but it requires a special connector and the tape player/
recorder you use would need to have the REM or remote port. So
make sure if you use a 6128 you get a suitable cassette player.
Sadly it's always a bit of a fiddle getting the tone and volume
to work. No such problems with the 464(cricket bat). I trust you
have enough desk space.

Note that both the 6128 and 464 use the Amstrad monitor for its
PSU. With the 464 you have two connectors from the monitor to deal
with. With the 6128 there is an extra 12V supply off the back of
the computer that normally connects into an Amstrad colour or
green screen. I guess you could get modern alternatives to provide
power but you need to look into that.

The 6128 is great for more serious work with CP/M and the like but
for gaming the 464 will do the job.

The CPC464 does have the interface and the DDI-1 external drive
giving you 3" disc usage. Be minded if you do acquire an external
drive you will most likely need to replace the rubber band. And it
aint easy. I have a guide for that. I am an honorary member of the
Amstrad Rubber Band Club having replaced rubber bands on 464s, 
6128s, Plus', PCW8256/9512s, DDI-1s and even in a three inch floppy 
on a 9512+.

I don't believe the 6128Plus has the tape option. Can't see one on
mine. You could get the 464Plus.

Have fun.

It was probably this thread that got me thinking again about why I
chose Amstrad over the Amiga and why I never bothered looking into
the 6128.... Which I regret greatly. On both counts I really don't 
know why I keep kicking this around.

Sorcery+ was the only real notable game made specifically on disc.
I also think it is funny there is a game called The Apprentice on
the Amstrad with Sugar no doubt as the wizard... if you know what
I mean. So funny.

Amstrad 6128 - To |disc or |tape.

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Last updated 20th November 2022

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