Commodore MAX Machine / Ultimax
The VERY elusive Commodore MAX Machine. Lets see if I can get this story down ...
Intended solely for gaming in the Japanese market. Like many Commodore things, it was ill-planned and was a flop. That's about it.
The Max Machine (also known as Ultimax in some circles) is basically a VERY cut down Commodore 64 .. it has 2.5K of RAM and no ports other than RF, cassette, joystick and cartridge. Internally, it has the same graphics (VIC-II) and sound (SID) as the Commodore 64. Funny that such a cut down machine included a keyboard (although it is a membrane keyboard).
Speaking of the keyboard, this thing would have been a nightmare to program on. Not as bad as a Sinclair ZX81 or Atari 400, but damn close.
I recieved a MAX Machine of my own a bit back, and have finally had the time to update this page. Here goes:
MAX BASIC -- plugs in and gives you 2047 bytes to program in. Basically like programming on a memory deficent Commodore 64, only without the bonuses of a decent keyboard or serial access. It all goes to cassette.
MINI BASIC I -- plugs in and gives you 510 bytes (holy $*#&... I am speechless here) to program in. Only, there are no load / save commands so you can't save anything to cassette. Useful, tho for what reason I am totally unaware.
Also pictured is the MAX Machine w/ box and a recently obtained cartridge collection. Omega Race, Radar Rat Race, Jupiter Lander, Avengers, and Road Racer. And of course MAX BASIC and MINI BASIC I.
CPU: MOS 6510
MEMORY: 2.5 kilobytes
OS: MINI BASIC I on a cartridge, leaving 510 bytes for programming, no load / save...
MAX BASIC on a cartridge, 2047 bytes to program in, LOAD / SAVE support
PORTS: expansion (cartridge) port, RF port, cassette port, 2 joystick ports.
GRAPHICS: VIC-II 16 colors, PETSCII keyset
SOUND: 3 / 4 channel 6581 "SID" chip
Date Released: 1983