Amstrad CPC 664
This one was a bit of an Amstragedy.
The Amstrad CPC 664 was designed to be the successor to the popular CPC 464.
This machine was similar to the ZX Spectrum +3 (in the same way that the 464 was similar to the Spectrum +2 - both machines produced by Amstrad).
It was released onto the UK market in the spring of 1985 - roughly a year after the CPC 464.
Like it's younger brother, it was sold with a green screen monitor or the far better colour monitor (at an extra cost). It was a very similar machine with the same sound and graphical capabilities - the main difference was instead of a 'Datacorder' it was fitted with a built in disk drive. They couldn't come up with a snazzy name for the disk drive, it was labelled FDD. Imaginative.
The floppy disk format was the Hitachi 3 inch which was not really a very common format - not a smart move by Amstrad. The Hitachi 3 inch was also used by the Tatung Einstein and the Oric Atmos (a home computer that came and fell by the wayside)
Anyway, apart from the disk-drive, the machine did have afew further enhancements over it's predecessor. It still came bundled with Locomotive BASIC, but a few extra commands had been thrown in for the user to dance to delight with.
You could now play around with graphics a bit more, with command such as FILL (unsurprisingly to 'fill' a graphics area) and FRAME to 'smooth over' edges of images that you had spent hours creating. You also recieved AMSDOS and CP/M 2.2 operating systems, which was a bonus for any of you serious users out there.
It was similar in looks to the CPC 464, and was a pretty smart looking machine. Professional and cool at the same time.
Despite selling roughly 10,000 units in the space of just under a year, the CPC 664 was cancelled at the end of 1985 and replaced by the CPC 6128 - which was a bit of shame really. It never got the chance to be a classic games machine.
Like the 464, it was a pretty good machine that gave potential buyers another choice when deciding what to purchase. These days you have either PC or MAC, back then there was a myriad of flavours to choose from...
Another machine that helped to usher in the floppy drive era. Give it a casual wave.
A fine retro computer.
We recommend trying to pick up one of these machines.
Look at computers for sale online or even locally.
If you don't want to get hold of the real hardware then try and download an emulator and download those classic games. Alternatively you could try and play them online.
MACHINE NAME: Amstrad CPC 664
MACHINE TYPE: 8-Bit Home Computer
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United Kingdom
RELEASE YEAR: Spring of 1985
END OF PRODUCTION: A short life span - end of 1985 :-(
BUILT IN LANGUAGE(S): Locomotive Basic v1.1
KEYBOARD: QWERTY mechanical keyboard, numeric keypad and edit block with arrow keys
CPU: Zilog Z80
SPEED: 4 MHz
RAM: 64KB - 42KB available to the user
VRAM: 16 kb
ROM: 48 kb (32 kb for the CPC 664 ROM + 16 kb for the AMSDOS ROM)
TEXT MODES: 20 x 25 with 16 colors40 x 25 with 4 colors80 x 25 with 2 colors
GRAPHIC MODES: 160 x 200 with 16 colors320 x 200 with 4 colors640 x 200 with 2 colors
SOUND: 3 channels over 7 octaves plus 1 noise channel
I/O PORTS: Printer portBus port1 Joystick plug (Atari standard)Floppy Disc PortDIN plug for Amstrad monitorHeadphone / Sound stereo jack outputDIN plug for external tape recorder
BUILT IN MEDIA: 3" Hitachi floppy drive - not the best choice
OS: AMSDOS or CP/M
POWER SUPPLY: 5v DC (powered by an Amstrad monitor)
Retro Computers and Classic Games