The Commodore 64 Lives!

By | Dec 8, 2007

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CNN.com has a feature on the Commodore 64, the computer that ruled the 1980’s, and introduced people like me to computers for the first time.

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Above is my fully functional Commodore 64, complete with the incredibly slow 1541 disk drive, the excellent 1702 color monitor, and Commodore Tape drive. Sticking out the back, but not visible in the photo, is the Commodore 300bps Automodem.

I got my C64 in early 1983 at Bambergers (now Macy’s) at the Montgomery Mall in Montgomeryville, PA. Yup, you could walk into just about ANY store and buy a C64, they were that popular.

If you had a Commodore, chances are you picked up an issue of Compute Magazine back in the day. I remember the game programs in the magazine, coded in machine language. I spent hours typing in ‘number-number-number, comma, number number number….checksum, Enter, only to find the program didn’t run and was full of errors, then spent more countless hours trying to find the typo, only to find out in issue of Compute two months later, that they issued a correction to the original program!

Yeah, but not to be outdone, I found a program that automatically inserted the comma after every third number entered, and automatically keyed the Enter key after the checksum was entered. And if you made a typo according to the checksum, the program would automatically set up the line for retyping. Then I found a numeric keypad and wired it to the numbers on the main circuit board. Voila! Now all I had to do was enter numbers and the computer did the rest!

Good stuff. I’m not sure if we made any progress though, my C64 boots up way faster than my PC!

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