commodore-128The Commodore 128, also known as the C128, C-128, C= 128, or occasionally CBM 128, is the last 8-bit home computer that was commercially released by Commodore Business Machines (CBM). Introduced in January 1985 at the CES in Las Vegas, it appeared three years after its predecessor, the best-selling Commodore 64.

The C128 is a significantly expanded successor to the C64, with nearly full compatibility. The new machine has 128 kB of RAM in two 64 kB banks, and an 80-column color video output. It has a redesigned case and keyboard. Also included is a Zilog Z80 CPU which allows the C128 to run CP/M, as an alternative to the usual Commodore BASIC environment. The presence of the Z80 and the huge CP/M software library it brings, coupled with the C64’s software library, gives the C128 one of the broadest ranges of available software among its competitors.

The primary hardware designer of the C128 was Bil Herd, who had worked on the Plus/4. Other hardware engineers were Dave Haynie and Frank Palaia, while the IC design work was done by Dave DiOrio. The main Commodore system software was developed by Fred Bowen and Terry Ryan, while the CP/M subsystem was developed by Von Ertwine.
c128_cpm_40char-300x288The C128 was released in 3 versions. C128 which looked similar to the C64C model, C128D in a plastic case, this model could have it’s keyboard attached in the bottom for storage, and has a handle to carry the computer around And the C128D-CR (cost reduced). The D models look somewhat like the Amiga 1000, and they have an internal C=1571 diskette-drive. Though being cost reduced, the CR model’s casing is made of metal, this was due to the plastic casing didn’t comply to the FCC rules in the US, so Commodore needed to shield the computer better, doing this by making a metal case.