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#7988 - 08/23/03 07:15 PM The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Equalizer Offline
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Registered: 02/12/01
Posts: 525
Loc: Scotland
Nigel,
I'm not on a mission to suck up to the admin guy here, but I've recently read that you used to be involved with the Commodore 64.

As an ex C64 addict I'm very curious to know a little bit more about this. What specific games were you in on? What went wrong with Commodore anyway (it used to be a massive company but now it seems to have vanished)? What's your general opinion of the C64 now a days?

For what it's worth, I miss the C64. Although the graphics (obviously) can't touch what's out there today, I think the C64 had better and much more imaginative games. Now-a-days, all we seem to have is shoot em ups, football games and flight simulators.

Anyway, please forgive the nostalga trip but it's just something that I've been meaning to bring up. It would certainly be a real fluke if it turned out that you were in on some of the games that I was hooked on!

-Eq

PS- I recently uploaded a review for a C64 game on my website (along with a downloadable clone of the game). If anyone's interested the address is http://www.bruceleecentral.com/bruceleegame.htm

[This message has been edited by Equalizer (edited 08-23-2003).]
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#7989 - 08/23/03 11:48 PM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Nigel Online   wise
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Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6122
Loc: Ventura CA USA
I have very fond memories of working on the C64 and you are right. Many games then have better and more varied gameplay than most modern games. I guess because of the limited memory and CPU power programmers had to provide more imaginative gameplay.

I worked for a company called Melbourne House in Melbourne Australia. I worked on

Bop 'N Wrestle (Rock 'N Wrestle in the UK)
Exploding Fist II - The Legend Continues
Bedlam - a vertically scrolling space shootem
Sgt Slaughter's Mat Wars

After that the C64 was pretty much done and I then converted Cinemareware's Rocket Ranger to the NES. I then moved to Ventura County to work for Cinemaware who then went away into the void as did the Commodore Amiga on which they had so much time invested. Funny thing is I still work with many of those from Cinemaware still today. We all work for a company called Mass Media. Over the past few years I have been developing Namco Museum game collections on the N64, GBA, PS2, XBox and Gamecube featuring the original Namco arcade games from Pacman, DigDug and MsPacman through to the more advanced Arrangment versions that came out. Sort of fun putting those games on modern consoles and they were all running the original code that Namco provided us so they are the real thing.


In the early 90s I did a bunch of baseball games including Bo Jackson Baseball, Cal Ripken Jr, Sports Illustrated Football & Baseball. Though that pretty much gave me my fill of sports games.

Now I am am working on a PS2 version of Sierra's new upcoming game Metal Arms - Glitch In The System
You control a small robot called Glitch who has to take the world back from evil robots that have taken over. It is a 3rd person shooter pretty much but has a different look and flavor from others that are out there. You can take over enemy robots and vehilces which can be useful. The biggest challenge is taking code being developed by another company for the XBox and make it work reasonably quickly and look pretty close on the slower PS2. We need to be finished very soon now.

I still own a Commodore 128 which is a C64 with some added stuff. That was great time to be playing games though.

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#7990 - 08/24/03 12:20 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Nigel Online   wise
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6122
Loc: Ventura CA USA
I just read your Bruce Lee for the C64 review. It brought back lots of memories. I remember that game having played it many times. I remember it was cool playing the bad green guy when your buddy was playing Bruce Lee. It made for a great 2 player game.

There were so many good games around then. It's a pity Commodore died. They made the mistake of trying to market the Commodore Amiga as a business machine. They should have just packaged the Amiga 500 into a game console which was much better than the Nintendo NES that ended up taking over from the C64. They should have realised after the success of the C64 that the home market was where their success was not small business. They learnt the hard way I guess.

I think you can find all the games for the C64 I worked on C64 enthusiast websites. Melbourne House ended up releasing all their old C64 games into the public domain. I now have downloaded copies on my PC of all the games I worked on.

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#7991 - 08/24/03 03:39 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
tekminus Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/00
Posts: 1287
My only musical encounter with the C64 was playing around with Funky Drummer. The C64 still has the best fighting game, The Way of the Exploding Fist. I remember Bruce Lee too. That lightblue room, where you had to jump over moving floor obstacles was the worst part. I beat the game in the end.

-tek

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#7992 - 08/24/03 10:33 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
rattley Offline
Member

Registered: 11/14/99
Posts: 751
Loc: Punta Gorda Florida USA
Hello.......I remember Commodore's VIC20 the 64's predecessor, and before that the Sinclair home kit computer...........I'd love to stay and chat more, but it's my turn to play Pong!

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#7993 - 08/24/03 11:19 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
POWERNOISE Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 10

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#7994 - 08/24/03 03:15 PM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
TheSonicEnergyAuthority Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/00
Posts: 307
Loc: Peterborough,Cambridgeshire,UK
I owe much to the C64. It was basically my first synth, drum machine, equencer, and sampler.

I still have it, and it still works..
I too moved on to Amiga's, and they got me MIDI sequencing.

Having to make do with a PC now.



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#7995 - 08/24/03 03:32 PM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Chris Attison Offline
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Registered: 12/08/98
Posts: 819
Loc: Long Island, NY.
I think all of us had a C64 at one time. It defintely got me interested in computers even though I wasnt using it for music at the time. If you guys remember, the C64 and 128 had a phone line for gopher internet service. Those were the days.

[This message has been edited by Chris Attison (edited 08-24-2003).]
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#7996 - 08/25/03 02:05 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Nigel Online   wise
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6122
Loc: Ventura CA USA
I used a C64 with an 8 track MIDI sequencer called Digital Studio which was very cool but limited editing. I and a friend also wrote a pretty nice graphical DX7/TX7 synth editor on the C64 as well. It was my first MIDI computer. It was a pattern based sequencer which helped work around the limited note memory. But it had realtime recording and quantize capabilities.

I had a buddy who made his own MIDI cards for the Vic20 and C64 and had a bunch of them MIDIed together running various custom MIDI processing programs and his home made digital drum machine. That was when I realized how cool MIDI really was.

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#7997 - 08/25/03 02:11 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Nigel Online   wise
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6122
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Quote:
Originally posted by tekminus:
The C64 still has the best fighting game, The Way of the Exploding Fist.-tek


Way Of The Exploding Fist was done in 1984 just before I started working with Melbourne House but I worked on the sequel Exploding Fist II which was the same fighting engine as the original but in a scrolling world. A volcano that you had to fight your way to the top.

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#7998 - 08/25/03 07:55 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
tekminus Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/00
Posts: 1287
Yeah I tried that too, Nigel. I like the first one cos there was always a counter move against any one move. I played alot with a cousin of mine and it was like a mind game towards the end.

My best C64 memory is when I was 9 and one day I came home to see my dad and my uncle play Missile Command in my room! I just stood there stunned in disbelief.

-tek

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#7999 - 08/27/03 08:12 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Equalizer Offline
Member

Registered: 02/12/01
Posts: 525
Loc: Scotland
Well, I must say... this is all very exciting. Who would've thought that one of the guys behind Exploding Fist II would be here in our midst???

But, before I start basking in the glory of Nigel's past life... there's something I have to get off my chest;

This Melbourne House gang- they were the ones behind Classic Adventure- the game that consisted of plain white text on a blue background. The goal in this game was to type in stuff and make your way through the different vibes.

Anyway, I spent months (maybe years!) playing that game and time after time I found myself getting trapped in a "twisting maze". It was a nightmare!!!!

And then... there was this other bit that freaked me out where it said "a shadowy figure is waving". What was the deal with that????

I must have tried everything with that shadowy dude. I tried typing "wave back", "help figure", "kill figure", "eat figure", "fight figure", "love figure", "hate figure" ...and a BILLION other variations. But every time, he just waved back at me as if hadn't done anything.

I know you weren't in on that particualar game Nigel... but after all these years I wonder if you (a guy from Melbourne House) can shed on light on any of this stuff.

Oh yeah... I almost forgot- the vending machine!!!! What in the name of Sam's Hill were you meant to do with that????
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#8000 - 08/28/03 05:54 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Nigel Online   wise
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6122
Loc: Ventura CA USA
I am not really sure which game you mean when you say "Classic Adventure" ? Melbourne House may have done a number of games I am not familiar with.

The adventure game that Melbourne House was famous for in the 80s was "The Hobbit" which came out for most platforms around at that time. It was programmed by a very clever programmer Phillip Mitchell. He no longer works in the game industry any more as far as I know.

I am currently working 16-24 hour days trying to finalize a new game on the PS2 for Sierra called Metal Arms : Glitch In The System. See http://www.gamechronicles.com/qa/metalarms/glitch.htm for a description of the game.

Never thought that when I was almost 50 I'd still be working around the clock programming video games. Pays the bills I guess But it has been a very cool career for the past 20 years. I certainly don't regret all those coins I pumped into arcade video machines between band rehearsals back in the 80s. I used to play Pacman a lot back when it first came out and then Namco paid for me to put it on video game consoles for almost 2 years. What goes around comes around I guess.


[This message has been edited by Nigel (edited 08-29-2003).]

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#8001 - 08/28/03 06:41 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Equalizer Offline
Member

Registered: 02/12/01
Posts: 525
Loc: Scotland
Well... it certainly sounds better than typing out invoices in some crappy office all day.

"Classic Adventure", for what it's worth, was an adventure game that was created by Melbourne House. As far as I'm aware it one one of the very first games that came out for c64. The cover for the game shows a picture of a skull and a chest full of treasure (just incase that jogs any memories).

But I can dig what you're saying. Some of the original arcades are amazing. I know a guy who used to play the original Star Wars game (the X-wing one) for literally about 8 hours a day. Instead of going to school in the morning, every day he'd go straight to the arcade and would stay there all day playing the thing. He ended up so good at the game that one shot would last him for literally the whole day! He kept this routine going for years until eventually the arcade boss gave him a tenner and told him never to come back again!

I recently asked the X-Wing dude what his high score was for that game and he said with a totally serious face, "80 million".

-now *that's* dedication for you!!!!
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#8002 - 08/28/03 11:13 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
3351 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 1194
Loc: Toronto, Canada.
C64....
That brings back a lot of memories. I miss the games, but none of the games that you guys mentioned ring a bell. I was more into music software I guess...

And you're both right - back in those days computer games were more interesting. I don't think there's anything cool nowadays besides Grand Theft Auto 3 or "Vice City". . Nowadays it seems that game manufacturers are focusing on graphics and music more then they care about the actual game itself. And being visually impaired I don't care about the details and complexity of graphics - The simpler the better.
ED
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#8003 - 08/29/03 01:48 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Nigel Online   wise
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6122
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Quote:
Originally posted by TheSonicEnergyAuthority:
I too moved on to Amiga's, and they got me MIDI sequencing.


What software did you use for sequencing on the Amiga ? I saw a few sequencers on the Amiga but the only one I felt comfortable with was Australian software called CQuin (I think that was its name as it was a long time ago ). MusicX always seemed too clumsy. I never got to try Bars & Pipes so I don't know about that one.

The Atari ST seemed have a lot more MIDI software written for it mainly because of the inbuilt MIDI ports it came with. Funny thing is that the MIDI ports were a last minute addition to the ST. They were having a chip set developed much the same ( identical actually according to their lawyers ) as the Commodore Amiga. A company called Lorraine were commisioned to design the chips. They then brought out the Lorraine Amiga ( with the audio chips ) and told Atari it didn't work out with their chips ... funny about that. Lorraine sold out to Commodore so then Atari sued Commodore over the use of their money that was used to develop the Amiga chips. Anyway Atari had to use what was available which was not capable of more than simple bleeps. To compensate for the lack of digital audio on the ST they threw on the MIDI ports to make it more attractive to musicians who were starting to use computers for music production. While it was just an afterthought it turned out to be one of the best features of the Atari ST and resulted in lots of MIDI commercial and freeware software being developed for it. Emagic's Logic started life on that platform then developed by CLab. Steinberg sequencers first appeared on the C64.


[This message has been edited by Nigel (edited 08-29-2003).]

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#8004 - 08/29/03 02:19 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Nigel Online   wise
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6122
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Equalizer:
"Classic Adventure", for what it's worth, was an adventure game that was created by Melbourne House. As far as I'm aware it one one of the very first games that came out for c64. The cover for the game shows a picture of a skull and a chest full of treasure (just incase that jogs any memories).


Yes that image does seem familiar, I remember seeing boxes like that around the office. I would imagine that this was one of Phillip Mitchell's adventure games leading up to the Hobbit as he developed the language parser over time. So you may never know the answer to your dilemna.
Such is life ....



[This message has been edited by Nigel (edited 08-29-2003).]

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#8005 - 08/30/03 07:31 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Pilot Offline
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Registered: 11/14/02
Posts: 328
Loc: Ontario,Canada
Nice to read all this stuff about the C64. Never had one though - just a Sinclair and a TI99. Unlike Nigel I spent my programming career writing boring stuff like operating systems, compilers and communications. Still, I kept it up until my 60s (there's hope for you yet Nigel) and as Nigel points out, it brings in the money.

Bryan

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#8006 - 08/30/03 08:08 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
TheSonicEnergyAuthority Offline
Member

Registered: 07/14/00
Posts: 307
Loc: Peterborough,Cambridgeshire,UK
Hi Nigel,

I was using Dr.Tís Keyboard Controlled Sequencer along with X-oR for patch editing. Great package as both programs ran together. Sure it was available for the Atari ST as well.
Iím running with emagicís Logic and SoundDiver hoping it would be as good as the Amiga integration, it nearly manages it, but not quite as smoothly as the Dr.Tís system.

Music X promised so much, but never delivered. Bars & Pipes was ok (ish) but I didnít get on with the graphic interface. KCS for me, I still use it for roughing out tracksÖ.
I believe KCS started life on the C-64 as well, but Iím not 100% sure, so donít quote me on that.

Amiga was being designed by the team behind the Atari 8 bit micros, Commodoreís CEO Jack Trammel (not sure on the spelling) left Commodore, and bought Atari.
So as you said Commodore bought Lorraine Amiga, no doubt to give Jack a bit of a corporate headache. The ST was knocked up quite quickly, and was a pretty darn good machine, and I did give it a serious look when I was buying my 16-bit machine. The Amiga won, just!



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#8007 - 08/30/03 09:12 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
danb Offline
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Registered: 12/28/98
Posts: 306
Someone metioned about game programming like ps2, xbox, N64 and GameCube. I always have interest of doing this. Where should I start and what hardware and software should I use? I know a lot of friends who has Commodore, Amiga and Atari stuff. Thanks.

Dan

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#8008 - 09/27/03 11:47 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Xenox.AFL Offline
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Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 44
Loc: Salzgitter, Germany
Ahhh, I love the c64 and still take a look very often to the great musix, I like that beep and burp and ofcourse, the great sounds and melodys, great stuff!

by the way, on http://mp3.de/loasd I tried last time to made a tune like in the old days, if someone wanna take a look check the link above .... Have phun!

Frank

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[This message has been edited by Xenox.AFL (edited 09-27-2003).]
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#8009 - 09/28/03 02:28 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
theledzepp Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Oregon
Damn, I'm only 19 and I can sympathize--our first computer was an Amiga 2000. The games on it ROCKED, but the documentation usually sucked (as in nonexistent) so it was almost an adventure unto itself figuring how to play the games.

I remember some very basic midi apps installed on the OS, but then I was young(er) and didn't know computers were for much else than word processing and entertainment, even novelty still at that time.

Ethan

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#8010 - 09/30/03 05:06 PM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Equalizer Offline
Member

Registered: 02/12/01
Posts: 525
Loc: Scotland
UPDATE-

I found a site with a C64 emulator and LOADS of games (I'll dig out the link if anyone wants it).

I never realised that Way of the Exploding Fist II was the same game as Fist II!

I used to play that game non stop and I've been playing it once again over the past few weeks. I still can't work out what the point of the scrolls is and what's meant to happen once you get all the scrolls- if you could point me in the right direction, Nigel, it would be very cool.
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#8011 - 10/04/03 03:34 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Nigel Online   wise
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6122
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Equalizer:
UPDATE-

I found a site with a C64 emulator and LOADS of games (I'll dig out the link if anyone wants it).

I never realised that Way of the Exploding Fist II was the same game as Fist II!

I used to play that game non stop and I've been playing it once again over the past few weeks. I still can't work out what the point of the scrolls is and what's meant to happen once you get all the scrolls- if you could point me in the right direction, Nigel, it would be very cool.


Gee that is stretching my memory a bit back to 1986. I think that the scrolls you get from the temples gave you certain powers such as the ability to breathe in the caves that were filled with that green gas. So it would make it easier to proceed to the top of the volcano. I can't remember what the rest of the scrolls did. I don't recall that they were absolutely necessary to get through but they made it much more likely. I made that volcano level map myself and then did the programming to draw it in the game. At one point I printed out all the screens at work and laid out the whole volcano on the floor at the Melbourne House office, just to make sure it was all OK. It is amazing how much we were able to pack into a slow 64K computer back in those days. You have to be careful of the holes in the cave floors. Near the top of the volcano there is a hole that lines up with with holes on all the levels below and drops you through to the bottom of the volcano where you must start the climb again. Very annoying, but I put that in thinking it was cool at the time. So be careful when you jump over them. If you are playing this on a C64 emulator I'd suggest using a gamepad as the PC keyboard would be too awkward for most games. But you know that probably if you originally played it with a joystick on the C64.

Now the most disappointing thing about the game is that we were so tight on memory so the end sequence when you finish the game is very lame because we just had not enough space for the extra code or/and graphics.

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#8012 - 10/09/03 05:34 PM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
zalmi Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 144
Loc: London, UK
Does anyone remember Flimbo's Quest? Was my favourite. I think I finished the game over three times (each time you finished it would start again I think faster/harder?) Then there was Renegade (fighter with those moving eyes at the bottom). I had the Simpsons but was conivinced it was a scam because I couldn't get past level 1 even though I spraypainted everthing purple! Can anyone help? (alright, it's too late; I through C64 out five years ago)

I also used to spend hours reading the included manual, trying to do programming of graphics - I loved it! I think it was meant to have the best sound system at the time or something, but I never really used any sequencing programs on it.

Memories...
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#8013 - 10/09/03 06:05 PM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
tekminus Offline
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Registered: 04/20/00
Posts: 1287
Nigel, what was the end sequence? The guy took a bow? "Well done! GAME OVER"

-tek

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#8014 - 10/14/03 11:45 PM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Nigel Online   wise
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6122
Loc: Ventura CA USA
It was just a Game Over message with a simple picture of the volcano spouting smoke in the background. That's how it had to be, there was no more memory left in that 64KB after packing the whole game, player sprites and all the screen data into that tiny memory. And back then many C64 owners were using slow datasettes to load games so loading more data wasn't really even an option.


[This message has been edited by Nigel (edited 10-14-2003).]

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#8015 - 10/16/03 12:05 AM Re: The Commodore 64 appreciation thread.
Nigel Online   wise
Admin

Registered: 06/01/98
Posts: 6122
Loc: Ventura CA USA
Quote:
Originally posted by TheSonicEnergyAuthority:
Hi Nigel,
I was using Dr.Tís Keyboard Controlled Sequencer along with X-oR for patch editing. Great package as both programs ran together. Sure it was available for the Atari ST as well.


I remember reading about Dr.T's software products but never saw KCS to evaluate it. Maybe that may have changed my view of sequencing apps on the Amiga. Sequencing using Digital Studio on the C64 was so easy to put tracks together so I was shocked to see an awkward package like Music X on a computer like the Amiga that had so much promise. Maybe if the Amiga had come with inbuilt MIDI ports like the Atari ST then history may be different if the Amiga had become the leading music computer.

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