Amstrad User Group
Colour Personal Computer CPC 664
This model, the CPC 664, really never gained the popularity that it deserved. It was meant as a successor to the 464 but it's own successor, the CPC 6128, was put into the market soon after the introduction of the 664.
And with the few extra guilders for an 6128, when compared to the extra features of the 6128, the choice was relatively easy. Both computers have a 3" disc drive and were supplied with Digital Research's CP/M 2.2 in addition to AMSDos but the newer model has 128 kilobytes of memory and CP/M 3.0 (better known as CP/M Plus) was released soon. That made the 664 the underdog of the series, up to the point of collectors item (nowadays).
A pity actually, because the 664 has the same ROM Basic as the CPC 6128 (version 1.1, which is vertically compatible with the CPC 464) and you could expand it to make it the equal to a model 6128. But, except as a bridge between the 464 and 6128, the machine never gained a market position. The photograph shows the 664 in Amstrad-colours. All photographs show the same monitor and joystick: most of the connections are compatible. The 664 and 6128 have, for instance, the same ports for connecting a data recorder. And, although the 3" disc can be purchased cheaper today than in the past, tapes offer cheap storage and exchange possibilities.
The keyboard is rather big and the positioning of the cursor keys, in a square, is also remarkable (identical to the 464): I believe it to be better than the upside-down T as in the design of the 6128. The height of the keyboard also allows for a better fitting of add-ons: with the 6128 this often results in 'floating' keyboards or adapters lying around. Even the placement of the ejector button for the 3" discs is better: the button is located considerably higher than with it's successor and allows for more free space to operate it.With all those advantages listed I have to be honest and mention that there is one major drawback in the design of the 664 when compared to the 464: the connection for the joystick is located to the left (rather than the front as with the 464). It is a mystery why Amstrad wanted to change this... The change in material of the housing (from metal to plastic) can be understood, with an eye toward economizing.
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