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Commodore 64 turns 30 218

Posted by samzenpus
from the happy-birthday dept.
will_die writes "The Commodore 64 came out 30 years ago and to celebrate this the BBC went and got two groups of kids to try out an old system, complete with tape drive. It's sure to bring a few grins to people who had one of these old systems. From the article: 'The Commodore's ability to display 16 colours, smoothly scroll graphics and play back music through its superior SID (sound interface device) chip - even while loading programs off tape - helped win over fans, but it did not become the market leader until the late 1980s.'" Last spring a modern version of the C64 was released.

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Commodore 64 turns 30

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  • Remarkable (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @06:49PM (#40850247)
    Somehow it was easier for me to write assembly code on that machine to do animations than anything I have access to now. (I don't know Java.) What's up with that?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:55PM (#40850795)
      Because you were young back then. Your brain and body were at their peak. You could have learned Cantor's infinities at the same time as coding demos on the C64. You're probably middle-aged now, you're lucky if you're able to remember what you had for breakfast.
      • Re:Remarkable (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @08:08PM (#40850901)

        It's more probably because there are now eight thousand layers of software between you and the machine.

        • by Smauler (915644)

          If you want to programme games there are. If you want to write machine code, just about every appliance has a computer in them, and they're all hardware limited. Depressingly, the best place to look for hardware limited code to write now commercially is with dishwashers and ovens and other simple appliances.

        • Re:Remarkable (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Miamicanes (730264) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @10:06PM (#40851735)

          ^^^ Amen.

          Amount of time it took a 6th grader to figure out that POKE 53281,0 turns the screen black: about 5 minutes.

          Amount of time it took me as an adult ~20 years later, with ~7 years of postgraduate professional development experience, to figure out how to create a JFrame, open a JPanel on it, and fill it with black: about 3 hours, and that was with a few years of Java experience already under my belt. I shudder to think what would be involved trying to do it in C++ under Windows with MFC.

          30 years ago, the essence of programming a Commodore 64 could be boiled down into a book with 500 pages, and made comfortably accessible with the addition of 2 or 3 more good books. Now, the fucking EULA pdf ALONE rambles on for close to 80, and a fairly complete set of books documenting nothing but J2SE 7 (with comprehensive treatment of Swing) would fill a bookcase, and a comprehensive set of books with everything you need to know about Windows to do anything from write miniport drivers to create .net webapps would fill a building the size of my childhood's small town public library.

          Plus, expectations of artistry were much lower. You could write a program that created an 8x8 smiley face in 2 colors. You weren't expected to master DirectX or OpenGL and learn about 47 different shadowing modes, or read a book the size of War & Peace on T&L theory. You didn't even have to be much of an artist. It helped if you were, but when you're dealing with the world one 8x8 custom character at a time, artistic finesse really didn't add much to the equation.

          Ditto, for music. You could get a piece of sheet music, and your main programming task was figuring out how to efficiently represent frequency+duration with a finite number of DATA statements. Today, you practically need to have the background knowledge of a professional recording engineer. Even in the Amiga era, the hardest part about dealing with SoundTracker was the fact that it crashed like a third-world discount airline. Learning to use SoundTracker itself took maybe an hour, and learning how to play it back with assembly was almost a no-brainer.

          I really feel sorry for kids learning to program for the first time today. Our videogames might have sucked compared to Half Life (or even Angry Birds), but at least we had computers that a single mortal could grasp, understand, and individually do cool & worthwhile things with after just a few days of practice and experimentation.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            >Amount of time it took a 6th grader to figure out that POKE 53281,0 turns the screen black: about 5 minutes.

            This only affects the center of screen. You need POKE 53280,0 for the frames.

            I still remembered that after 25 years.

          • by rve (4436) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @12:58AM (#40852677)

            I really feel sorry for kids learning to program for the first time today. Our videogames might have sucked compared to Half Life (or even Angry Birds), but at least we had computers that a single mortal could grasp, understand, and individually do cool & worthwhile things with after just a few days of practice and experimentation.

            You know, I don't think we need to feel sorry for them, they probably feel sorry for us, the way we used to feel sorry for our senior colleagues for having had to cut punch cards when they were our age.

            We have an intern, about the age I was when I was learning to turn a screen black by writing a number to a memory address, or trying to eliminate a clock cycle from a line drawing routine. That was fun stuff, don't take me wrong, but it wasn't useful, and only cool and impressive to a very tiny subset of the human population. This intern is making a mobile app that interfaces with our server application via web services, paid work immediately useful to our customers. God knows what a 20 yr old geek will be doing when he's in his late 30s, probably not fucking web services, heh.

          • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@hotmail.cOPENBSDom minus bsd> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @01:19AM (#40852773) Journal

            I shudder to think what would be involved trying to do it in C++ under Windows with MFC.

            That's 'cos you chose the wrong colour.

            On Windows, blue is the new black.

          • If you want to create games of the same sort of complexity now, then you don't use DirectX or OpenGL, you use Flash. Or possibly HTML 5 canvas and JavaScript. And drawing with these is even easier: you can actually draw your sprites in a drawing tool and then you only need to write code for animating them. The underlying system handles compositing, so all that you need to do to move a sprite is set its coordinates. With HTML5, making a smiley face bounce across the screen is about a dozen lines of HTML

      • Re:Remarkable (Score:5, Insightful)

        by White Flame (1074973) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @10:31PM (#40851905)

        It has nothing to do with "peak" age of anything. It's all about having tons of time free, and very few interests that are focused such that you'll spend 12 hours a day doing something that you'd not have the time or patience to do nowadays.

        • Re:Remarkable (Score:4, Insightful)

          by 1s44c (552956) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @02:02AM (#40852969)

          It has nothing to do with "peak" age of anything. It's all about having tons of time free, and very few interests that are focused such that you'll spend 12 hours a day doing something that you'd not have the time or patience to do nowadays.

          12 Hours a day doing something interesting. Wow, those were good days. Now I'm exceptionally lucky if I get 12 minutes to spend on the same task without interuption.

          And to prove my point the phone rang while I was writting the above sentence.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>You're probably middle-aged now, you're lucky if you're able to remember what you had for breakfast.

        Turkey and potatoes.
        With peas.
        Yesterday was leftover pizza. The day before was popcorn (needed to eat at my desk because of a pressing deadline). The day before that was nothing, because I slept through breakfast.

      • by 1s44c (552956)

        I had nothing for breakfast. I had to get to work early to talk to electrical contractors.

        Come to think of it I only have breakfast at weekends or when I can't sleep.

      • by craigtp (1356527)

        Seriously, this shouldn't be moderated Funny. It should be moderated Insightful.

        I'm sure I'm supposed to tell you something about my lawn now, too!

  • Let's not (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @06:49PM (#40850257)

    It's the name on a modern computer, not a modern version of the C64.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are you keeping up with the Commodore? Because the Commodore is keeping up with you!

  • LOAD "*",8,1 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @06:55PM (#40850313)

    or sometimes LOAD "$",8,1

    • Re:LOAD "*",8,1 (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheCycoONE (913189) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:05PM (#40850379)

      iirc LOAD "$", 8 would work better for you. Just ,8 was definitely needed when loading any BASIC programs but ML programs would usually be ,8,1. Also I cut the solder to make my drives 8, 10, 11, and 12. :-)

      http://www.c64-wiki.com/index.php/LOAD [c64-wiki.com] probably has more information than you care for.

      • Re:LOAD "*",8,1 (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:13PM (#40850451)

        The added ,1 was a directive to relocate the program into a certain address in memory. Without that, it would be loaded to the default memory location.

        LOAD "*",8,1 meant to load the first thing on the disk (or reload the most recently loaded thing)

        LOAD "$",8 meant to load a directory list from the disk. From there you could decide what you wanted to load. As you mention, if you added the ,1, it would relocate and not work.

        Ah, this is reminding me of the smell of the C64. Who knows what toxins I was inhaling.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          What's weird is when I was between the ages of 4 and 5 it took me next to no time to memorize the command to play the games. I entered it hundreds of times without fail. But, man, put me in front of a command line these days and big question marks appear over my head even after I've used the command thousands of times over my lifetime.

          I miss having my five year old sponge brain.

        • by Jay L (74152)

          You really wanted to LOAD "0:*",8,1, though, because if you left off the "0:" you'd trigger a bug in the 1541 ROMs that would eventually cause you to corrupt a program if you used save-and-replace. (The 0: indicated drive 0 of a dual drive; IIRC those were only produced for earlier PET/CBM computers with an IEEE-488 bus, and not for Commodores - though we did eventually see Lt. Kernal hard drives with partitions 0-9.)

          • by cpu6502 (1960974)

            No, no, you don't have to enter 0: when you're just loading a program. I never used the 0: designator. What's the easiet way to avoid the save-with-replace bug? Don't use it! Ever. Save the file first under a different name and then erase the original. (I can't believe I remember that.) (I also can't believe I remember learning it in RUN magazine.)

  • Its just basic! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    10 For x=1 to 30
    20 Print "Hello World"
    30 Next x

    • Re:Its just basic! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TheCycoONE (913189) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:09PM (#40850403)

      11 REM LETS ADD SOME COLOR
      12 A=X
      13 IF A > 15 THEN A = A - 15
      15 POKE 646, A

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        16 POKE 53280, A
        17 POKE 53281, A

        • Re:Its just basic! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ZorinLynx (31751) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:30PM (#40850595) Homepage

          Best Slashdot thread ever. Period. :)

        • Holy Crap. It took me about 15 seconds to recall what those memory addresses pointed to.

            That is somewhat startling to realize what information is still burned into the back of my mind.

          Well played sir.

          • $FFD2 is burned into my brain forever. Someday, I'm going to be old, senile, and drooling on myself... but deep down inside, I'll still remember that loading a PETSCII value into the accumulator & calling $FFD2 will print it to the screen.

        • by zifn4b (1040588)

          Oh boy I'm rusty at this but I'll give it a go. The fond memories I have of writing stuff for the C64. I remember writing an application as a kid called Organizer where you could create user-defined lists of stuff and save it to disk. I found out much later that I had created a primitive database. Fun times!

          18 FOR I = 1 TO 1000: POKE 55295 + I, INT(RND(0) * 16): NEXT I

          That'll make things realllllly colorful ;)

          Don't forget sound, turn the SID chip up! 19 POKE 54296, 15

          • by cpu6502 (1960974)

            >>>I remember writing an application as a kid called Organizer where you could create user-defined lists of stuff and save it to disk.

            (yawn). Bill Gates is that you? I created a video demo!
            - Steve Jobs
            No you didn't. *I* created the video and you just took the credit for it!
            --- Jay Miner
            Yeah but I got all the money. Muahahahahaha.
            ----- Ray Kassar (of Yar's Revenge)

        • RUN

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Admit it, you were one of those guys in the department store, running endless loops printing obscene text on the screens to the annoyance of the salesmen...

      10 PRINT "KARSTADT IST SCHEISSE!"
      20 GOTO 10
      • by tompaulco (629533)
        I used to do that at radio shack, minus the obscene text. I was more into making interesting graphical patterns, or making random bits of sand fall down into randomly placed lines boxes and circles on the screen. I could usually write something like that in about 5 minutes. Sometimes the salesmen got annoyed, but then if they didn't want people running programs on it, then why was it sitting there hooked up to a TV?
  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:11PM (#40850425)

    "it did not become the market leader until the late 1980s."

    According to ars technica's article on computer sales, the C64 was the #1 seller almost immediately (1983, 84, 85, 86). In the late 80s the IBM PC and clones became the #1 seller. I don't know..... maybe things were different in the UK.

    • I recall the same trend in Australia.

      From 1982 to 1984 seems to be C64 glory years and likewise for the Apple IIe.

      Seemed like from late 1984/early 1985 (around the time of MS-DOS 3 and CPUs jumping from 4.77MHz to 8 MHz) the clones started to take over

      Certainly by 1987-88, the C64 may as well have been an Atari 2600 as the attitude of the time went.

    • According to my faltering memory, I stood in line at K-Mart ( USA ) to buy mine when I was 22 years old. If my subraction is still solid that would be 1983. And it was a long line. Pre order.

      There should be something about lawns here!

      • And did I mention my faltering spelling? Sorry!

        Something about lawns here! Something. What was that?

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          I believe I asked you to remove yourself from my lawn so I could fly my model airplane. (Hey kid want a mohawk? Vroooooom.)

    • by Empiric (675968)
      Being among Slashdot's Lawn Defenders, I can back this. The C64 was clearly dominant in 1984, with "the unfortunates" among the High School techie ("nerd" and "geek" were still quite insulting at the time) caste having a VIC-20, Atari 400/800, or TI-99/4A. IBM's disastrous initial foray with the "PCjr" held them up several years in sheer acquired negative goodwill.
    • by Jay L (74152)

      As I recall, the move that secured the C64's place in market history was the price drop. It originally sold for $595, but in 1984 a combination price drop (to $299) and a $100 trade-in rebate for your videogame console meant you could buy it for $200 at Toys-R-Us. That was the magic number.

    • by jools33 (252092)

      Yeah in the UK the C64 was up against the sinclair spectrum (which was probably more popular at least at the time most of my mates had these) - as well as the Amstrad machines and BBC micro machines - so it had some tough competition.
      I had the C64 - in fact I still have mine - sat behind me right now in pieces - as it needs a keyboard repair - (need to get a replacement h key from somewhere).
      I recently picked up my C64 from my mothers attic - even today I think it could well be the best way to get my son in

    • Things were very different in the UK. It was competing against the BBC Model B (later the Master) at the high end and against the Sinclair Spectrum and ZX81 (which completely owned the market prior to the C64's launch), the Amstrad CPC (a bit later), and possibly an Acorn Atom or Electron at the low end. Schools all bought BBCs because there was government funding that paid 50% of the cost of any computer that met a fairly strict set of requirements (e.g. a dialect of BASIC with full support for structur

  • You know I once tried to figure out what it might take to emulate a 80x24 VT100 on an unexpanded VIC-20. Couldn't be done.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Yeah I learned at the tender young age of 5 how to program first on a vic-20. My old man thought it would be a learning experience if I could write my own stuff, or copy stuff out of compute, and then play around with it.

    • VIC-20? And you claim they're young... I remember when the PET came out. Programming Apple ]['s. The very first IBM PC's. PDP's and Pr1me's. Medusa CAD on Pr1me, that was cutting edge. When I interned we were using Honeywell computers. Take your VIC-20 and get off my lawn.
    • by Jay L (74152)

      80x24 even on a C64 was painful; the best one I saw was VIPTerm from SoftLaw, but there's only so much you can do with a 4x8 pixel grid.

    • by Dr. Hok (702268)
      I used to disassemble the BASIC interpreter for fun. My favourite part was the one which executes a BASIC command. It pushes the address of the subroutine minus one on the stack, and then calls it with RTS (return from subroutine). Poor man's indexed jump.
  • BBS wars, trolling in the 80's.
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Atari 800 was the # 1 selling computer of 1980, 81, 82. So you have reason to brag. (Sadly Atari sales fell-off after the C64 arrived at only half the price.)

  • Wake me up in another 34 years.
  • by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:18PM (#40850501) Homepage Journal

    The Commodore-64 Came Out 30 Years Ago

    Yup, with that Rainbow Logo [computercloset.org] the Commodore-64 was Out And Proud from day one.

  • - first Rainbow-Logo computer?
    - 64k should be enough for anybody
    - ?
    - Profit!
    • by GrahamCox (741991)
      first Rainbow-Logo computer?

      Nope: Apple logo [applegazette.com]
      • by narcc (412956)

        Fun fact, as there was no gap between the stripes to help keep the colors from overlapping, it made the logo difficult and costly to print. Apple's president, Mike Scott, called it "the most expensive bloody logo ever designed".

        It's especially funny, as the stripes were only there to keep the logo from looking "like a cherry tomato", according to the designer.

        I don't know that they were the first computer company with a rainbow logo. The colorful fruit was designed late in 1976, though I can't find any ap

  • Okay, let's chat about the fun games of the day.

    I'll open with Rags to Riches, Ultimate Wizard, and a Pacman clone PacLips.

    • Mule, Pinball Construction Set, Jumpman, Temple of Apshai (much lost sleep), Seven Cities of Gold (fried a floppy drive I played that one so hard)
      • Racing Destruction Set, BeachHead, BeachHeadII (with rudimentary voice synth, "I'm hit!"), Archon, Mig Alley Ace, Zork & Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (text games), Elite, Flight Simulator and Karateka. Typing in pages of code from magazines for hours just for the satisfaction of seeing a red and white beach ball bounce around the screen. Pass that bottle over here...
        • by SydShamino (547793) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @08:52PM (#40851195)

          My work computer right now is named "Archon", as is my cell phone. =P It's one of the names I rotate through machines. I loved that game.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          DRIVE-IN. Where the goal is to feel-up your date's sweater puppies w/o getting slapped. And ultimately: Reach 4th base. I think I got my sex education from that game..... of course porn on the C64 sucked. It was much much better after I upgraded to the near-photo-realistic Amiga.

          Other games: Silent Service (love subs), Red Storm Rising (low subs and World war 3), Pirates, Elite, and of course arcade classics like Pitfall/Missile Command though most of them were not on my C64 but the old Atari console.

        • by crotherm (160925)

          Raid on Bungeling Bay... ahh what fun!

      • How many of the secret cities did you ever find in Seven Cities of Gold?

        I could only ever locate one of them, even though I took the time to walk every single square in South America...

      • Jumpman, Pogo Joe, Toy Bizarre, Impossible Mission, Telengard, Suspended.

        and of course, the app that made the C64 usable in the first place: Epyx FastLoad.

        Oh, and my Alien Group Voicebox. Somewhere... SOMEWHERE at my parents' house, it's in a box. Must. Find. It. And the floppy that animated the funky alien face singing cheesy songs that I could never (at the time) figure out how to program myself.

        Actually, I really do have to find my Alien Group voicebox. I blew my childhood's life savings on that thing, a

    • I think my favourite was Sid Meier's Pirates!, played that game all night on several occasions.

      Someone else in this thread mentioned Archon. That was one original creative board game. I also liked the sequel Archon 2: Adept, though it lost a bit of the simplicity that made the original brilliant.

      Jumpman I felt was overrated, but I really liked a similar platformer called Ultimate Wizard, which included a level editor and some neat tricks.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:35PM (#40850631)
    My cousin got one in 1984, just one year before Nintendo. I was an atari2600 die hard and when C64 came out, it was like a whole new world was opened to what games could be like. I remember playing Bruce Lee with my cousin and discovering the second player could take away one enemy and even fight the remaining enemy :) We played Bruce Lee coop for a while, and the game isn't exactly easy even then.

    My favorite game of the 80s was on c64: Legacy of the Ancients. It was an easy to play RPG that was moderately complex for its time.
    I remember Pool of Radiance, the beginning of all the AD&D series of games. Pool of Radience, Wasteland and Final Fantasy 1(not c64) was what inspired me to try and make the first MMORPG in 1992. It is pretty hilarious when your first video game ever is trying to be a MMORPG. I just saw MMORPGS as the future, along with instant messaging. I think many game designers wanting to code their game are guilty of trying too much on their first game.

    I programmed some on C64, it is where I learned the "if" statement and graduated from print rockets I did in elementary school. The if statement opened a lot of doors for developing games, but unfortunately C64 didn't distribute a graphics library for basic, so unless you could learn how to peek/poke with no documentation, you're not making a commercial game.

    If you want to write one of the wildest C64 programs ever which I don't recommend on these new systems who might not boot up if you do something bad:

    Psuedo code:
    10: Poke Random int,Random int;
    20: print,"Hello"
    30: goto 10

    This program is like giving your computer drugs, you never know what might happen. The screen might melt, the sound might start playing, it might stop saying hello, and start saying different things. The screen might split up into 4 regions. If you have a C64 by, you should code it up and run it a few times. The biggest problem with this program is that there is no way to save one specific sequence, since the system changes itself over different times, and it might be referencing time.
    • ... My next door neighbor had a C64. I used to go over to his house and play so many games on it. It was SO fun during our childhood days. It was awesome to use my old Atari 2600 on it for two players games! It was way better than my Apple //c for gaming. ;)

  • by Spit (23158)

    The c64 silicon really is amazing compared to contemporary systems. While the overall system arch is a bit of a hack, the silicon could only have come from a unique environment like Commodore.

  • An now that M.U.L.E. is getting ported to modern platforms, I can finally have no further use for one.
  • C64 made my career (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrahamCox (741991) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @08:27PM (#40851047) Homepage
    The C64 was a vital machine in my understanding of computers and programming. I was a hardware designer in the early 80s, mostly analogue/RF with a smattering of digital. I had no idea how processors worked or the connection between the electronics and coding. The C64 changed all that.

    I bought one to play games and explore in 1983, but programming in BASIC was too limited, though I wrote a few simple "apps" that way. One day I saw a listing in a magazine for a Space Invaders implementation and it was basically raw hex that had to be POKEd in. The source was listed, in assembler, and I had that light-bulb moment where the bridge between the electronics and the code came into focus. From then on, I never wrote in BASIC. Instead, I bought the MIKRO assembler cartridge and wrote various utilities and games in assembler. I also made an EPROM programmer that plugged into the cartridge port so I "saved" my efforts to EPROM instead of tape and just booted straight into them via the cartridge port.

    It was timely. During the 80s most of the hardware I worked on as a designer migrated from discrete logic to microprocessor-based designs, and thanks to the C64 I was well-placed to keep up and even lead that trend. I moved on to the 8051 and then the 68000, but I never forgot the importance of the C64 and the 6502 in that learning.
  • I had made a deal with my dad that if I scored well in my middle school exam he'd buy me a C64, I studied really hard and did better than he expected, I was so happy when he went to the store but when he came back he had a Sharp MZ-700 instead (apparently the salesperson told him that was a much better computer, cough cough)

    As much as I had fond memories of learning how to program on the MZ-700 and trying to get the built-in plotter to plot 3d math functions, still I remember the afternoons spent at my frie

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>>if I scored well in my middle school exam he'd buy me a C64..... but when he came back he had a Sharp MZ-700 instead

      So basically your dad broke a verbal contract!
      You should sue the dummy.
      (kidding)

  • Whats so special about the age of 30? 21 I can understand (its the drinking age and age of maturity in some countries) 25 I can understand (silver anniversary) but whats so special about thirty?

    Will there be another article in a years time : C=64 turns 31

    BTW I didn't buy a C=64 until 1983 - 1982 was "the year I didn't buy a computer' I was content to expand my Apple ][

    • It's an excuse, and we old people are always looking for excuses to talk about "old" things (not that the C64 is old; it's not like we're talking about VIC20s).

      Will there be another article in a years time : C=64 turns 31

      Hopefully. It'll be introduced as the 30th anniversary of the price dropping from $595 to $195, but yeah, it'll happen, because that's how old people roll (most of us not in our wheelchairs yet, though).

      Some day, you'll be old. We'll be dead but you'll be old and it will be hilarious,

  • this is pretty entertaining.. get you some popcorn and relive history. Commodore 64 2 Hour Video [youtube.com]
    • look at 4:07 - look at the SIZE of the power supply. how much was the electricity bill back then?
      • by thelexx (237096)

        It eliminated central heating from your electric bill in the winter, so it evened out...

      • Cinnamon (Score:3, Funny)

        by eddy (18759)
        My power brick had a slight discoloration from when I used it to thaw a frozen cinnamon bun.
    • thanks for posting that, it is interesting..

      I love old video about computers, even that "Manetti's get a MAC" one, which isn't bad either in a "Wonder years meets Apple commercial sort of way"

  • by 50000BTU_barbecue (588132) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @12:08AM (#40852449) Homepage Journal

    The most amazing thing to me is that coders are still trying to push the video chip to new heights. It is now possible to display all 16 colors any way you want in 320 x 200, and with enough external memory you can play back video...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QATUjaFYbJ4&feature=player_detailpage

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QATUjaFYbJ4&feature=player_detailpage

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QATUjaFYbJ4&feature=player_detailpage

    • Comment there says:

      Actually most of the work is done by the RAM expansion unit which comes with it's own DMA controller used to copy the video framesï much faster than the 6510 CPU ever could do.

      So, yeah, it's being played through a C=64, but not by the C=64.

  • by k6mfw (1182893) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @01:30AM (#40852827)
    ... but make it into a keytar and you can wow the crowds like what Jeri Ellsworth did:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LM2bom8fsw [youtube.com]

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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