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.

 

TECHNICAL INFO:

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