Parameter Cross Reference for the C64

In the mid 1980’s the Commodore market was flooded with disk copiers, it was hard to decide which copier to purchase to make a back up of a users software.  In 1986 Edward Malang had an idea for a solution to this problem.

The spring of 1987 the Original Parameter Cross Reference for the C64 was released.

1st edition was published in 1987 by E.A. Mallang III in Everett, Wash.

Dewey Decimal Class   005.265

Library of Congress  QA76.8.C64 M35 1987

The book has two columns – right column lists software title and manufacturer while the right column lists the various copiers to make a backup of the title.  Volume 1 released with just over a 1000 listings of popular C64 programs.   New updates were released on a quarterly bases on disk or paper.  There was even a subscription for monthly updates. 

From 1987 to 1990 a total of eight volumes were produced but only 7 were released to the public.  I was given Volume 8 (which contains over 10000 listings) by Mr. Malang.  In the fall of 1989 I contacted Mr. Malang and had a long pleasant phone conversation with him.  During our conversation I asked a number of question about Parameter Cross Reference for the C64.  I owned Volume 1 and was very familiar with the product and had seen other Volumes.  Anyway during the conversation he ask me if I would like the manuscript for Volume 8 and a bunch of original disk copiers.  I was flattered by the offer and said yes. About a week later I received a package that contained Volume 3, 4, the manuscript for Volume 8 and a bunch of original disk copiers. 

In 2006 I went to a Commodore Convention in Chicago to talk about copiers / copy protection.  I mentioned the Parameter Cross Reference and wished there was a way to share Volume 8.  A gentleman offered to scan it, create a pdf and upload it to his site for free to share.  That gentlemen’s nickname is Bombjack who runs DLH’s Commodore Archive… https://commodore.bombjack.org/.  This site has the largest documentation for the Commodore there is.  Link is on my site.

My presentation at ECCC 2006 VCFM/ECCC 2015 Me and Bombjack

A disk based version was available if you did not want the book and it was updated on a regular basis. Where the book was released around twice a year. Edward sold the rights of the last disk of The Parameter Cross Reference Library to Software Support International (Creator of Renegade/Maverick) later in 1990. Here are afew images of the original disk and software Support Disk. Everything else remained the same. This is the Fall 1990 Version 7.0, which contains over 10,000 parameter/copier listings and represents approximately 85 products.

Parameter Cross Reference Library Interview

 In the spring of 1987 the Original Parameter Cross Reference for the C64 was released.

 1st edition was published in 1987 by E.A. Mallang III in Everett, Wash.

Dewey Decimal Class   005.265

Library of Congress      QA76.8.C64 M35 1987

What follows is that phone conversation I had with Edward Mallang back in Fall 1989. 

How did you start this project?  I felt there was a need for a copier cross reference  to aid users in making a legal backup of their software.

Did you do all of the testing yourself?  No I had help

How did you test so many programs?  Initially it was a lot of work and once the initial testing was done as new releases/updates came out, it was relativity easy to keep up. The Copiers were tested but a majority of parameter disks were not. When form of protection were developed and method to copy the protection was released. These first parameters or methods were tested to create a backup.

How did this series sell? Sold well enough to produce 7 released volumes and 3 disks.

Why did you stop at Volume  #7?  For the record there as to be Volume 8 but was never released to the public, only Volume 7.  Sadly the C64 market was starting to drop off and there were only afew companies left producing copiers.  For example Renegade offered a full suite of copiers, utilities and parameters.  There was a Super Card which had a full suite of copiers and a user could create their own parameter.

Is there any one copier you preferred ?  No not really this project was work with testing and updating the list.

 Did you have to purchase  all of the copy programs?  No the companies provided copies for us to test.  In order to be included in the book the copier and its parameters had to work.  A majority of the time copiers were returned in exchange for the latest version.  We did purchase a number of parameter disks.

Did you ever consider adding Action Replay or ISEPIC, etc to the copy list? I never considered the carts because the carts were a limited copier verses disk copiers which offered a full set of utilities and parameters.

In the late fall of 1989 in Run Magazine there was an ad for Parameter Cross Reference for the C64. A phone number was listed and gave Edward Mallang a phone call. A very nice gentleman answered the phone. I introduced myself as being big on the scene of disk copiers and expressed interest in purchasing the latest Volume. During our conversation I asked a number of questions about the Parameter Cross Reference for the C64.  I owned Volume 1 and was very familiar with the product and had seen other Volumes. He then ask me if I would like the manuscript for Volume 8 which was never going to be published and a bunch of original disk copiers.  I was flattered by the offer and said yes. About a week later I received a package that contained Volume 3, 4, the manuscript for Volume 8 and a bunch of original disk copiers.