VINTAGE (CIRCA. EARLY-1984)
COMMODORE SX-64 "LUGGABLE" COMPUTER


This is not a true evaluation, plus the product was not intended to produce light, so my standard review format will not be used here.
This web page was opened on 04-08-08, and was last updated on 04-10-08 (photograph added).



Although this is not an LED product, I've published reviews & informational web pages for other non-LED, non-laser, and non-light products on this website. So adding a section to this website about vintage ghetto blasters and vintage computers (well, just this one computer for now; but I may eventually add the Commodore CBM 8032 "all-in-one" desktop computer and the Tosiba Satellite Pro 460CDT laptop computer) was pretty much inevitable.

*** VERY IMPORTANT!!! ***
These web pages are about computers I actually *HAVE* at this very moment (early-April 2008), not machines I once had but no longer do, such as those which were lost during moves, left in pawn shops, etc. like my Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100, Radio Shack Model 3, a Radio Shack handheld, "dumb terminals" (like my Hazeltine 2000, and several others), etc. These web pages will also *NOT* include computers I use at this time, except perhaps the Toshiba Satellite Pro 460CDT laptop, since it is over ten years old, and may be considered "vintage". The Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 laptop was frequently used; it was left in a pawn shop in the early-1990s because I could not come up with a measly $10 more I needed to get it out of hawk.

As the world's first portable color computer (coming out in early-1984), the Commodore SX-64 Executive Computer was designed to be a portable Commodore 64, with a built-in 5.0" color monitor, 5" floppy disk drive, and power supply.

Here are some basic specs on the Commodore SX-64 (box at lower-left of this text):

Although heavy at 23 pounds (~10.50Kg), it is a very nice and sturdy system. Almost 100% compatible with the C64, it runs all cartridges and floppy based programs; like the ones I wrote. The only thing missing is the cassette port, which is a minor consequence. While the Commodore 64 was an extremely popular computer, the SX-64 didn't even come close. Probably because it cost twice as much, and has a small 5" (diagonal) screen. Although it is considered a "portable computer", you still have to plug it into the 110 volts AC power outlet; there are no batteries to run it.

Dimensions are 16.9" (430mm) wide, 14.6" (370mm) long, 5.3" (135mm) high.

This computer was originally manufactured with two 1541 floppy disk drives; this was soon reduced to one though because the computer's power supply didn't quite have the {vulgar term for testicles} to operate the system with both drives.

Audio (sound) was available using the 6581 SID (Sound Interface Device) chip, which has three channels, each with a fully adjustable ADSR (Attack Decay Sustain Release) envelope; simply meaning it is capable of generating really nice sounds & music.

Back in "the day", I was rather good at programming the Commodore 64 computer not in BASIC, but in assembly language. I wrote a number of demos in assembly language, including one that featured a 96-line $D016 wave, something that had never before been accomplished.

I also operated a BBS (Bulletin Board System) on the original Commodore 64 (not the SX-64) from mid-1989 to early-1994 (it got moved to a pee-cee then); but I could have operated it on the SX-64 if I had this computer at the time.

I call this computer "luggable"; it is far too heavy (23 pounds (~10.50Kg)) & bulky to be called a "laptop".

The SX-64 has a whopping 80K of RAM; 64K are user-accessible when using machine language while ~38K are accessible when the BASIC interpreter is used.

The disk drive uses 5" (5.25") floppy diskettes, and these diskettes store ~170K in 644 "blocks" of 256 bytes each.
The disk drive is identical to a Commodore 1541 with what I believe is an Alps drive mechanism.
(If I remember correctly, 1541 drives using a Newtronics mechanism used a "lever-type" door rather than a "drawer-type" door.)


The startup screen from this computer.
That "period" between "38911" and "BASIC BYTES" is a large mote of dust on the monitor, and does not actually exist.



Remember these?
This is a 5" (5.25") floppy diskette used by the SX-64 computer.



A shot of this computer, folded and ready to lug...er...uh...CARRY.
That opening on the underside near the top is where the keyboard plugs in.


WMP movie (.avi extension) showing the SX-64 running a small BASIC demo.
This clip is approximately 3.79 megabytes (3,883,178 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than eighteen minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.
I cannot provide it in other formats, so please do not ask.

This program was found on the "Demo Disk" that would have come with this computer
at the time; so this diskette has withstood the test of time (and two moves) to date.

That sound you might hear is an episode of "Drake and Josh" playing on the boob tube.
This product is not sound-sensitive; the sound may be ignored or muted if desired.



Here's a closing shot of this computer. :-)










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