CBM International CHAROMs

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CBM International CHAROMs

silverdr-2
I know there've been C64s on various markets with local language character sets. I've seen a Swedish one once for example. In Germany the 128s were sold with "ASCII/DIN" double character ROM and an appropriately labeled key to switch between them.

What I am  especially looking for is Norwegian character set, provided there was one in the first place. I checked on funet (by zimmers.net) but nothing stroke my eye. Does anyone know about/have a Norwegian CBM CHAROM dump?

Do we have a reliable list of what other international character sets were produced?
--  
SD!

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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

Jesper
> What I am especially looking for is Norwegian character set, provided
> there was one in the first place.
> I checked on funet (by zimmers.net) but nothing stroke my eye. Does anyone
> know about/have a
> Norwegian CBM CHAROM dump?

There was a discussion about this, somewhere, a few years ago. IIRC the
conclusion was that commodore never offically procuded any roms for Denmark
or Norway as those markets were too small, only Sweden.

...There are Danish roms in /pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/, but they were
probably done by a Commodore dealer?

/ J


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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

Jesper
Replying to myself...

> There was a discussion about this, somewhere, a few years ago. IIRC the
> conclusion was that commodore never offically procuded any roms for
> Denmark or Norway as those markets were too small, only Sweden.
>
> ...There are Danish roms in /pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/, but they
> were probably done by a Commodore dealer?

Got a cold today and can't think straight. The main reason why you probably
won't find a Norwegian charset is that it would be identical to the Danish
one. So if Commodore did make one, it would be for both Denmark and Norway.

/ J


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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

Anders Carlsson
In reply to this post by Jesper
Jesper wrote:

> IIRC the conclusion was that commodore never offically procuded any roms
> for Denmark or Norway as those markets were too small, only Sweden.

It sounds plausible. Also, I still believe that Datatronic had a very
specific relation with Commodore International, on a deeper level than any
other international Commodore importer/agent had. Datatronic at a very early
stage equipped the PET computers with Swedish characters, developed a vast
range of PET business applications for the Swedish market which they made a
lot of profit from. I'm not sure the same kind of market was worked up in
any other non-English speaking countries, at least not relative to
population.

You have some character sets here, including a Norwegian PET character set,
but I don't know if it is original or home grown. There is also a Norwegian
C128 character ROM based on VIC-20 but it sounds very much home grown.

http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/firmware/characters/index.html

Also you have to ask yourself how many different character sets there could
be:

Swedish/Finnish (A-Z + ÅÄÖ, total 29 letters)
Norwegian/Danish (A-z + ÆØÅ, total 29 characters)
German/Austria (A-Z + ÄÖÛ and small ß, total 30 characters)
French (A-Z + 18 diacritics and ligatures, total 44 characters)
Spanish (A-Z + Ñ, total 27 characters)

I wouldn't expect any Eastern European character sets, perhaps Polish.

Best regards

Anders Carlsson


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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

silverdr-2
On 2014-09-14 at 17:59:21, Anders Carlsson ([hidden email]) wrote:

> > IIRC the conclusion was that commodore never offically procuded any roms
> > for Denmark or Norway as those markets were too small, only Sweden.
>  
> It sounds plausible. Also, I still believe that Datatronic had a very
> specific relation with Commodore International, on a deeper level than any
> other international Commodore importer/agent had. Datatronic at a very early
> stage equipped the PET computers with Swedish characters, developed a vast
> range of PET business applications for the Swedish market which they made a
> lot of profit from. I'm not sure the same kind of market was worked up in
> any other non-English speaking countries, at least not relative to
> population.
>  
> You have some character sets here, including a Norwegian PET character set,
> but I don't know if it is original or home grown. There is also a Norwegian
> C128 character ROM based on VIC-20 but it sounds very much home grown.
>  
> http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/firmware/characters/index.html

I see - so far no "proper" C64 font there. It might be the case that it's never been officially supported in a similar way the strong importer could establish a standard in Sweden.

> Also you have to ask yourself how many different character sets there could
> be:
>  
> Swedish/Finnish (A-Z + ÅÄÖ, total 29 letters)
> Norwegian/Danish (A-z + ÆØÅ, total 29 characters)
> German/Austria (A-Z + ÄÖÛ and small ß, total 30 characters)
> French (A-Z + 18 diacritics and ligatures, total 44 characters)
> Spanish (A-Z + Ñ, total 27 characters)

> I wouldn't expect any Eastern European character sets, perhaps Polish.

There was no official one I've ever heard of. All the Central European countries have their own diacritics and we had to do and redo them again and again for different purposes and for what needed to stay-in. Eastern European countries didn't use Latin alphabet at the time. They still mostly don't but I've seen Cyryllic on a C16 long time ago. I don't know who made it though. Again - I don't expect CBM did. Now I understand that the Swedish importer could have had its part in Seden having "proper" language support.


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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

silverdr-2
In reply to this post by Jesper
On 2014-09-14 at 17:34:50, Jesper ([hidden email]) wrote:

> > There was a discussion about this, somewhere, a few years ago. IIRC the
> > conclusion was that commodore never offically procuded any roms for
> > Denmark or Norway as those markets were too small, only Sweden.
> >
> > ...There are Danish roms in /pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/, but they
> > were probably done by a Commodore dealer?

BTW - I wrote a message on the website to Bo about the link from C64 firmware leading to C65 firmware..

> Got a cold today and can't think straight. The main reason why you probably
> won't find a Norwegian charset is that it would be identical to the Danish
> one. So if Commodore did make one, it would be for both Denmark and Norway.

Ah, so that means that all Norwegian languages (AFAIR there were three last time I was there ;-) use the same charset, being actually Danish one. That'd explain.

--
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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

silverdr-2
In reply to this post by Anders Carlsson
On 2014-09-14 at 17:59:21, Anders Carlsson ([hidden email]) wrote:


> You have some character sets here, including a Norwegian PET character set,
> but I don't know if it is original or home grown. There is also a Norwegian
> C128 character ROM based on VIC-20 but it sounds very much home grown.

I checked it on Vice. I found ÆÅ both upper and lower case but Ø only in lower-case set, although looking like capital letter.. The same seems to be the case with

characters.901225-01-DK.bin

Although this one is based on the C64 charset rather than the thin VIC one.

> Also you have to ask yourself how many different character sets there could
> be:

I would actually expect those you listed below, plus Portuguese.

> Swedish/Finnish (A-Z + ÅÄÖ, total 29 letters)
> Norwegian/Danish (A-z + ÆØÅ, total 29 characters)
> German/Austria (A-Z + ÄÖÛ and small ß, total 30 characters)
> French (A-Z + 18 diacritics and ligatures, total 44 characters)
> Spanish (A-Z + Ñ, total 27 characters)

Spanish had ligatures too at the time (AFAIR) but they were not obligatory and I recall they officially dropped them later on.

-- 
SD!

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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

Uffe Jakobsen
Administrator
In reply to this post by Jesper


On 2014-09-14 19:25, Jesper wrote:

>> What I am especially looking for is Norwegian character set, provided
>> there was one in the first place.
>> I checked on funet (by zimmers.net) but nothing stroke my eye. Does
>> anyone know about/have a
>> Norwegian CBM CHAROM dump?
>
> There was a discussion about this, somewhere, a few years ago. IIRC the
> conclusion was that commodore never offically procuded any roms for
> Denmark or Norway as those markets were too small, only Sweden.
>
> ...There are Danish roms in /pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/, but they
> were probably done by a Commodore dealer?
>

I just spoke to a friend of mine - who worked for Commodore Data A/S in
Denmark in the 80'es.

He states that the Danish char rom for C64 was made by the danish
country service manager (first name "Knud") at Commodore Data A/S.

It was sold by Commodore Data A/S as a official kit with stickers/labels
for the keyboard.

/Uffe




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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

silverdr-2
On 2014-09-14 at 20:44:36, Uffe Jakobsen ([hidden email]) wrote:

> I just spoke to a friend of mine - who worked for Commodore Data A/S in
> Denmark in the 80'es.
>  
> He states that the Danish char rom for C64 was made by the danish
> country service manager (first name "Knud") at Commodore Data A/S.
>  
> It was sold by Commodore Data A/S as a official kit with stickers/labels
> for the keyboard.

Thank you, Uffe. If that's the one as

http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/characters.901225-01-DK.bin

then it's probably as "official" as it could ever get. I only wonder what is with the Ø character being only once there (capital in the lowercase set). But I don't know those languages enough (I only understand a bit due to all them being German family) to judge if this is a language specific peculiarity or there were other reasons for not having both upper and lowercase variants like with Æ and Å.

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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

Uffe Jakobsen
Administrator


On 2014-09-14 21:05, [hidden email] wrote:

> On 2014-09-14 at 20:44:36, Uffe Jakobsen ([hidden email]) wrote:
>
>> I just spoke to a friend of mine - who worked for Commodore Data A/S in
>> Denmark in the 80'es.
>>
>> He states that the Danish char rom for C64 was made by the danish
>> country service manager (first name "Knud") at Commodore Data A/S.
>>
>> It was sold by Commodore Data A/S as a official kit with stickers/labels
>> for the keyboard.
>
> Thank you, Uffe. If that's the one as
>
> http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/characters.901225-01-DK.bin
>
> then it's probably as "official" as it could ever get. I only wonder what is with the Ø character being only once there (capital in the lowercase set). But I don't know those languages enough (I only understand a bit due to all them being German family) to judge if this is a language specific peculiarity or there were other reasons for not having both upper and lowercase variants like with Æ and Å.
>

I suspect that they had problems doing a proper lowercase "ø" 8x8 makes
it quite difficult. I'll have to look at it in VICE later

/Uffe





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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

Uffe Jakobsen
Administrator


On 2014-09-14 21:52, Uffe Jakobsen wrote:

>
>
> On 2014-09-14 21:05, [hidden email] wrote:
>> On 2014-09-14 at 20:44:36, Uffe Jakobsen ([hidden email]) wrote:
>>
>>> I just spoke to a friend of mine - who worked for Commodore Data A/S in
>>> Denmark in the 80'es.
>>>
>>> He states that the Danish char rom for C64 was made by the danish
>>> country service manager (first name "Knud") at Commodore Data A/S.
>>>
>>> It was sold by Commodore Data A/S as a official kit with stickers/labels
>>> for the keyboard.
>>
>> Thank you, Uffe. If that's the one as
>>
>> http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/characters.901225-01-DK.bin
>>
>>
>> then it's probably as "official" as it could ever get. I only wonder
>> what is with the Ø character being only once there (capital in the
>> lowercase set). But I don't know those languages enough (I only
>> understand a bit due to all them being German family) to judge if this
>> is a language specific peculiarity or there were other reasons for not
>> having both upper and lowercase variants like with Æ and Å.
>>
>
> I suspect that they had problems doing a proper lowercase "ø" 8x8 makes
> it quite difficult. I'll have to look at it in VICE later
>

Just checked the rom - it's been a long time since I've used a C64 with
DK rom in.

Both upper- and lower-case "ø" and "Ø" are in the rom.

Try this in VICE

x64 -chargen DK-romname

ÆØÅ is mapped to [£]

or run this basic program:

10 for i=0 to 255
20 poke 1024+i,i
30 next

/Uffe




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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

Uffe Jakobsen
Administrator


On 2014-09-14 23:15, Uffe Jakobsen wrote:

>
>
> On 2014-09-14 21:52, Uffe Jakobsen wrote:
>>
>>
>> On 2014-09-14 21:05, [hidden email] wrote:
>>> On 2014-09-14 at 20:44:36, Uffe Jakobsen ([hidden email]) wrote:
>>>
>>>> I just spoke to a friend of mine - who worked for Commodore Data A/S in
>>>> Denmark in the 80'es.
>>>>
>>>> He states that the Danish char rom for C64 was made by the danish
>>>> country service manager (first name "Knud") at Commodore Data A/S.
>>>>
>>>> It was sold by Commodore Data A/S as a official kit with
>>>> stickers/labels
>>>> for the keyboard.
>>>
>>> Thank you, Uffe. If that's the one as
>>>
>>> http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/characters.901225-01-DK.bin
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> then it's probably as "official" as it could ever get. I only wonder
>>> what is with the Ø character being only once there (capital in the
>>> lowercase set). But I don't know those languages enough (I only
>>> understand a bit due to all them being German family) to judge if this
>>> is a language specific peculiarity or there were other reasons for not
>>> having both upper and lowercase variants like with Æ and Å.
>>>
>>
>> I suspect that they had problems doing a proper lowercase "ø" 8x8 makes
>> it quite difficult. I'll have to look at it in VICE later
>>
>
> Just checked the rom - it's been a long time since I've used a C64 with
> DK rom in.
>
> Both upper- and lower-case "ø" and "Ø" are in the rom.
>

BTW I seem to remember that there existed another "thinner" vic20-like
charset with danish chars in...

It is possible that I have it in one of my machines - need to go through
the basement.

/Uffe





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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

silverdr-2
In reply to this post by Uffe Jakobsen
 

On 2014-09-14 at 23:16:07, Uffe Jakobsen ([hidden email]) wrote:

> >> Thank you, Uffe. If that's the one as
> >>
> >> http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/firmware/computers/c64/characters.901225-01-DK.bin 
> >>
> >>
> >> then it's probably as "official" as it could ever get. I only wonder
> >> what is with the Ø character being only once there (capital in the
> >> lowercase set). But I don't know those languages enough (I only
> >> understand a bit due to all them being German family) to judge if this
> >> is a language specific peculiarity or there were other reasons for not
> >> having both upper and lowercase variants like with Æ and Å.
> >>
> >
> > I suspect that they had problems doing a proper lowercase "ø" 8x8 makes
> > it quite difficult. I'll have to look at it in VICE later
> >
>  
> Just checked the rom - it's been a long time since I've used a C64 with
> DK rom in.
>  
> Both upper- and lower-case "ø" and "Ø" are in the rom.
>  
> Try this in VICE
>  
> x64 -chargen DK-romname
>  
> ÆØÅ is mapped to [£]
>  
> or run this basic program:
>  
> 10 for i=0 to 255
> 20 poke 1024+i,i
> 30 next

I should have done so in the first place, indeed. Yes, it seems to be there, but... when I tried to get it from the keyboard I only found the one, which shows in the lowercase charset as uppercase one.

But since now I don't seem to be able to get the pound sign either - that explains and means I need to debug my keyboard settings.

--  
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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

Anders Carlsson
SD wrote:

> when I tried to get it (ø) from the keyboard I only found the one, which
> shows in the lowercase charset as uppercase one.

If I recall correctly, the graphic symbol for "shifted" pound is present
with C= key on either + or - on the top row. When reassigning keyboard
mapping and using replacement keys, the symbol/letter appears in the
indended position. You might want to use both custom character set and
custom KERNAL whenever available for the right experience, but it probably
relies on you have positional mapping rather than symbolic mapping.

I don't know about the Danish or German mods, but one side effect with the
Swedish mod is that at least one or a few graphic symbols become unavailable
from the keyboard, due to moving keys around and a different keyboard
mapping. It was rather disturbing, and in combination with some software
that relies either on logical or positional mapping, it was fairly common to
only install the character ROM and keep the original KERNAL ROM. You then
lose the correct, standardized mapping and the localized letters become
harder to type, but you get a higher degree of software compatibility.

Best regards

Anders Carlsson


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Re: CBM International CHAROMs

silverdr-2
 

On 2014-09-15 at 11:26:02, Anders Carlsson ([hidden email]) wrote:
> SD wrote:
>  
> > when I tried to get it (ø) from the keyboard I only found the one, which
> > shows in the lowercase charset as uppercase one.
>  
> If I recall correctly, the graphic symbol for "shifted" pound is present
> with C= key on either + or - on the top row.

Yes, that's where I got it.

> When reassigning keyboard
> mapping and using replacement keys, the symbol/letter appears in the
> indended position. You might want to use both custom character set and
> custom KERNAL whenever available for the right experience, but it probably
> relies on you have positional mapping rather than symbolic mapping.
>  
> I don't know about the Danish or German mods, but one side effect with the
> Swedish mod is that at least one or a few graphic symbols become unavailable
> from the keyboard, due to moving keys around and a different keyboard
> mapping. It was rather disturbing, and in combination with some software
> that relies either on logical or positional mapping, it was fairly common to
> only install the character ROM and keep the original KERNAL ROM. You then
> lose the correct, standardized mapping and the localized letters become
> harder to type, but you get a higher degree of software compatibility.

I think it's always been a PITA for all, non-US-ASCII supported languages (meaning basically all, except the two). And not only for the 64/CBM. In general. Even the "Unicode" didn't solve the charset problems properly, before UTF-8 established itself. The keyboard problem hasn't been properly solved until today. Yes, we get used to where the characters are but it is always a striking feeling that this is an afterthought and not really how/where it should be. Especially if one needs to do some key combos a'la ZX to get one character right.

Thanks to all - I now seem to have what I needed for the Norwegian friend.
--  
SD!

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