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Lt. Kernal

[Picture of Lt. Kernal harddisk, 8k JPEG] The first harddisk ever for the C64

Technical details


The Lt. Kernal was the first harddisk available for the Commodore 64 / 128. It was presented to the public by Xetec on the Winter CES in Las Vegas on January 8th, 1987. This first model had a 20MB SCSI drive.

It is connected to the C64/128 via an interface module which plugs into the expansion port. Besides the boot ROM, this module contains 16kB of RAM, used for loading parts of the operating system, which is more than 150kB big. The 64'er [1] states that the Lt. Kernal system is very compatible to the 1541, despite the numerous improvements. What is most interesting is the fact that Xetec had built in a kind of freezer which would copy the complete memory content to harddisk. To prevent users from being led into temptation of pirate copying, it is impossible to transfer such an image to floppy disk.

Lt. Kernal also works in C128 mode as well as CP/M mode (according to the manual), although the 64'er claimed that it would not work in CP/M mode [1]. The original price in America [1] was about $900.

The following is an excerpt from the manual for Lt. Kernal / Xetec v7.1:

[1] 64'er 3/87, p.11, CES - Im Zeichen der Unterhaltung

Updated: December 4th, 1997
Created: December 4th, 1997
Thanks to: Skyhawk / Laxity

Site copyright © 1997 by Marc-Jano Knopp
This document is part of MJK's Commodore 64 & LCD Page
Brought back to life by Peter Schepers, Dec 10, 2005 because I really liked this site!