Photos can be found in this posting.
On the story of all kind of final cartridge versions: I got an internal version a few years back (The Special), including all documentation. A good friend bought two other versions, at that time the three versions show on startup a V10, V20 and S30 (Special) version. Bram Brooddoos (thanks) gave the V10 version to me, and still has the V20.
The internal version, as in availability of the roms, is documented by Richard Lagendijk and the Replay Resources website.
But what about the V10 and V20 versions? On request of Super Neotendo we dumped all roms of all three internal versions. He was already working on PCB’s for “The Special” version (and is currently working on the other two. All rom versions can be found here.
Next step was looking in all the magazines from back in the day to find the advertisements of Riska/H&P Computers to see what I could find about these pre-cartridge releases.
In 1984 in the “Dossier Commodore nr. 1” the first advertisement can be found of the Commodore Plus (V10). And in 1985 in the “Dossier Commodore nr.3” is an advertisement of the “Commodore The Special” (S30). In that advertisement they mention the Plus and Superplus, which only results in the conclusion that the V20 release was the “Superplus”, shortly preceding “The Special” and after the “Plus” (v10) release.
And “Dossier Commodore nr. 4” from 1985 already mentions the first cartridge version of the final cartridge.
“Dossier Commodore nr.7” from 1987 has an article of the testing of the “improved final cartridge”. This one is pretty hard to find, preceded the final cartridge III and one of the physical differences is that a freeze button was added (it has a reset, on/off and freeze). The Final Cartridge first version has only the reset and on/off.
On the subject of the improved final cartridge, I actually own one with manual and in box (you can find it on my blog): over the last almost 10 years of collection I only found that one. It’s almost never offered on market places and I’ve never seen a boxed one again here in the Netherlands.
Since I own the “Special” with all documentation, from the first owner, it seems that the “Special” directly resulted in the first cartridge version. Documentation of the “Special” is the same and that owner had two manuals (Final Cartridge & The Special), without actual owning the cartridge version.
After “The Special” came the Final Cartridge I. Most people are familiar with the blue versions. But I think just before the blue versions there were several other versions with both 80kb or 96kb free mem. I actually have few of them, both in black casings.
On the issue of the “Final Cartridge II” which is mentioned on the Replay Resources site. I think there was never an official II version (which actually is showing in the scroller “final cartridge II”). I am pretty sure this was a Polish clone. Over the last few years I actually bought quit some “bootleg” Final Cartridges from Poland but still haven’t found this one.
Currently I am missing the manuals of the “Plus – v10” and the “Superplus – v20” versions. If anybody has those, please let me know.
And I am looking for an original German manual from Milan of the Final Cartridge I.
Will scan and publish all the manuals this year, this is quite some work and still looking for the best way in preserving all the manuals and documentation I have.