The German Remixes: The 64 and 128
Introduced CeBIT 1984
Hardware Identical to original unit with additional ROM support for German language localization (apparently using an external cartridge).
Graphics and Sound Identical to original unit.
Eventual Fate Scrapped prototype.
Markus Mehring remembers this localization kit, analogous to that of the Swedish 64, that included replacement keycaps (keyboard?) and new ROMs for enabling proper German language support. Interestingly, unlike most of the expansion units, the new ROMs were apparently on an external cartridge, making the upgrade surprisingly easy for the non-technically minded. Nevertheless, details are scant because for unknown reasons Commodore never pursued production. It isn't even known if the model displayed at the show was even functional!
.jpg Image of 128 DIN Keyboard
Layout (33K, courtesy Ville Jouppi)
Ville Jouppi's Commodore Pictures Page
Introduced Late 1985 for the flat model. The D model appeared
in 1986, replaced by the DCR around 1987-8.
Hardware Identical to the original unit, with new character and Kernal ROMs.
Graphics and Sound Identical to the original unit.
Eventual Fate The flat 128 was eventually dropped in favour of the DCR, which was the only German unit sold until Commodore's demise.
Unlike the Swedish and Japanese models, there never was an official German 64 or "VC-20". Hacks, naturally, did exist.
The original German 128 appeared in late 1985, but Nicolas notes that early models were unreliable and required frequent maintenance. Externally, the keyboard has the new mapping printed in grey over the regular English keycaps; internally, the architecture uses the internationalisation scheme that also appears in the Swedish/Finnish 128, namely the CAPS LOCK key (here rendered ASCII/DIN), which switches Kernal keyboard mappings and Char ROM character sets. Two character sets are available: the regular English (International) set, and a German language set based on the VIC-20 font which looks very odd because of the single-pixel width of many VIC-20 letters. Like the Swedish model, pressing ASCII/DIN also trips a 128 Kernal routine that refreshes the VDC font memory, and like the Swedish 64, the replacement EPROM is too large (it's a 28-pin in a 24-pin socket, the remaining pins being connected by wires). The German DCR model, however, does have a 28-pin socket and can take 24-pin EPROMs via jumpers on the mainboard; a jumper on the DCR board also connects the ASCII/DIN and 64 mode signals to the Char ROM. In 64 mode, the ASCII/DIN just changes character sets (no Kernal change). Nicolas also reports that there are some probably very late D models with 24-pin EPROMs, but these were only manufactured for a brief time before the DCR units arived.
The German Kernal ROM also allowed accented letters to be entered, first by striking the ' key and then the desired vowel (e.g., press ', then e, to create é).