Saturday, December 15, 2007

Commodore 64. 25th Birthday

With around 20 million sold between 1982 and 1994, the Commodore is the biggest selling computer model in history. This 8-bit marvel with "high resolution & sound synthesiser" had over 10,000 game titles for it as well.

The Computer History Museum, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Pong designer Al Acorn and a bunch of others, got together earlier this week (10 Dec 2007) to celebrate the achievement with a tribute to 79 year old Jack Tramiel, Founder and CEO, Commodore International (Pic below credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Jack, who in the late 1980's went on to become CEO of Atari Computers, still has a Commodore 64, he plays PacMan on it for a few minutes every day :)

"Mr. Tramiel founded Commodore Business Machines in 1955 as a typewriter service and sales company. Over the years, as office machines became more technologically advanced so did Commodore's products, advancing through electric typewriters, adding machines, desktop and handheld calculators, programmable calculators finally culminating in personal computers.

Commodore entered the home computer business at its inception, in 1977, with the PET computer. Following the slogan "Computers for the masses, not the classes", all of Commodore's computers were high-powered but low-priced.

The PET was followed, in 1980, by the VIC-20, the first microcomputer to sell more than one million units. The Commodore 64, introduced in 1982, remains the highest selling single computer model in history and launched the computer careers of much of the computer industry."

... extract from the Computer History Museum Commodore 64 25th Anniversary celebration video.

    You can still get Commodore 64 games and programs today, which will run on any modern computer see the c64 website for details and downloads

    Today, apart from his Commodore 64, Jack Tramiel uses a Dell Computer.

    I had a Commodore 64 like pretty well everyone who had a computer in the early 1980's. The Apple11e PC was 3 times the price for the same power, and the next step up from PC's were mainframe type computers that IBM built, with central processing units that took up an entire room.

    I wanted a PET in 1977, but they never got distributed to Australia. I've only got the original brochure from 1977 promising the availability in April/May 1978.

    I remember being crushed with disappointment when the PET was discontinued, but got really happy when the Commodore 64 came out.

    But I bought this computer before my Commodore 64, the 1984 Yamaha CX5M computer synth, with a prehistoric Microsoft (1983) music software program. It has 32K RAM...yes 'K'. It still works, I've still got it

    This is what it sounds like.

    As a Happy Birthday tribute, I''ve just uploaded a track I did on the CX5M when the Commodore 64 was just 3 years old. So this is a Youtube Premier ! yay

    It's called OBEY. Taken from a classic John Carpenter cult movie called 'They Live' (1988). Aliens from another planet infiltrate Earth with subliminal messages on giant billboard etc in a very big brother sort of way. One of the billboard commands is OBEY, in the same font as in the video art work.

    Alien from THEY LIVE by John Carpenter 1988

    We did real life pirate TV broadcasts from my Commerce House studio too and part of the feedback imagery is included in this clip.

    So Happy Birthday Commodore 64


    Download or Stream MP3 music

    Get this widget Track details eSnips Social DNA

    8-Bit Music 1985 and 8-Bit Vision 1992.

    There's a brilliant They Live fight scene staring Rowdy Roddy Piper a pro wrestler (The white guy in pic below) who tries to convince his friend to put on the 'special sunglasses', which let the wearer see the aliens and read the subliminal messages.

    It's a great fight scene, you've gotta check it out. You'll be yelling...'Just put on the sunglasses' within minutes

    THEY LIVE fight scene 1988.

    Sort of got off the track with the Commodore 64 25th birthday with all this 1980's stuff, but regular Melbourne Shuffle Oldskool visitors will be getting used to that sort of thing with me ;)

    Here's some links to some great histories of the early digital era, which in reality was not all that long ago, but in online years is the stone age... and we love it!! :) After all the wheel is very ancient technology, but we can still find a use for it today landing space shuttles.

    1 comment:

    1. You got to love the little 8bit that's get's more popular as years go by. We bought our first Commodore 64 in 1988.
      Checkout lemon64 one of the most active and friendly Commodore 8bit communities on the web maybe find that favorite game you have forgotten the name of or just be with like minded individual's.
      Our Commodore 64 is enjoying a surge in new device's allowing the C64 too connect to the internet or store thousands of programs on a SD card instead of using floppies, even use your Commodore 64 as a web server" is hosted on a unmodified c64 built in 1982 now online 24/7 for just over four years and checkout a site created too make finding programs for your C64 or C64 emulator.