Commodore MAX Machine
The Commodore MAX Machine was released in 1982 as a cut down version of the C64 and was only sold in Japan. About 50,000 to 100,000 units were produced. In Germany was it called VC-10.
The MAX Machine used the same architecture as the C64, but only had 2.5 kilobytes of RAM compared to the C64's 64K. Instead of a full-travel keyboard, the MAX Machine featured a membrane keyboard. In addition, the MAX Machine had no serial port or user port, so software could only be loaded from cassette or from a cartridge.
MAX Machine cartridges are compatible with the C64, since the C64 has a MAX Machine compatibility mode. Freezer cartridges for the C64 used this compatibility mode to write their ROM in the address section of the hardware interrupt vectors $FFFA to $FFFF (for normal C64 cartridges, these addresses are not accessible) and so they can freeze a program without crashing the CPU or modifying the RAM content.
With the cartridge "Mini-BASIC", it was possible to use the MAX Machine with BASIC; this cartridge used a heavily cut down version of BASIC V2. Only 510 bytes were free, without the ability to load or save programs. Another BASIC cartridge for the MAX Machine featured 2047 bytes of free memory.
Because of its limited capabilities, and the popularity of the more capable VIC-20, the MAX Machine was quickly discontinued, before it could see release in the US as the Ultimax.
Most connections are on the rear (from left to right):
- Power on/off switch
- Power connection (7 pin) for the power supply (4 pin DIN)
- Audio connection (1/8" jack)
- Expansion port (44 pin; I/O)
- Channel select (channel 1 or 2)
- RF out (RCA jack)
- Datasette connector (Datasette port; 12 pin; I/O) for connecting a 1530 or C2N
On the side are two 9-pin connectors for joysticks or paddles.
- Processor: MOS 6510 with ca. 1 MHz clock
- Memory: 2.5 KByte RAM additional 2 KByte in cartridge (optional)
- ROM: No built-in ROM. 16 KByte cartridge, divided into two 8 KByte blocks
- Graphics: VIC-II (MOS 6566)
- Display in text mode (big letters/graphic symbols or big/small letters) 40 (columns) * 25 (rows) chars or in graphic mode (HiRes) 320*200 pixel in 16 colors, 16 frame colors and 16 background colors (additional 8 sprites (HiRes or Multicolor) in BASIC
- Sound: SID 6581
- Keyboard: Membrane with 66 multi-function keys (QWERTY layout)
- Miscellaneous: One interface chip CIA (MOS 6526) for I/O (Input/Output), PLA 6703
- MAX Basic (1982)
- Mini BASIC (1982)
- Music Composer (1982)
- Avenger (1982)
- Bowling (1983)
- Clowns (1982)
- Jupiter Lander, (1982)
- Kickman (1982)
- Mole Attack (1982)
- Money Wars (1982)
- Omega Race (1982)
- Radar Rat Race (1982)
- Road Race (1982)
- Super Alien (1982)
- Wizard of Wor (1982)