Commodore 64

Posted by Pat on September - 14 - 2011

The Commodore 64: the legendary personal computer from the 1980′s. This beast had a 1.023 MHz processor in the NTSC model (0.985 MHz on the PAL model), and a whopping 64 kB ram. To go along with all this “processing power,” Commodore gave it the graphics chip from the VIC-II and the SID 6581 chip for running audio. With two gaming ports on the side for game pads and joysticks, you could easily play multi-player games with your friends. This was one of the first personal computers to have games that you could play with more than one person. Commodore created a piece of history when they built this.

At it’s release in 1982, the Commodore 64 was priced at the amazingly low price of $595 compared to the Apple II’s price of $1200+, and the Atari 800′s price of $899. They won the marketing war of 1982 with not only the low price, but features like 64 kB RAM compared to the Apple II’s 48 kB RAM and the Atari 800′s 4 kB RAM. The individual C64 units were only made with a production cost of $135 which made Commodore very rich.

The Commodore BASIC 2.0 operating system used assembly and a built in BASIC interpreter to run applications and games. Commodore got BASIC licensed from Microsoft for a one time fee of $25,000 even though Bill Gates originally wanted $3 per unit sold, which would have put Commodore out of business because it would have cost them $1.2 million per month from one factory alone. The Commodore BASIC 2.0 operating system was also used on the VIC-20 and the PET 2001. Later versions of Commodore BASIC were run on the Commodore 128 the CBM-II Series, and the Commodore Plus.

I purchased this Commodore 64 on eBay a little over a year ago, and I have not put it to much use since. It came in the original box, which was well used, the power cord, and the RF TV switcher for switching between the Commodore and the television antenna. I paid $30 for this unit, which was a very good price for this unit because they were $595 brand new, and I have seen similar Commodore 64′s for well over $60. I was looking into one of these for a long time because I had always thought that they were cool and I wanted to have a piece of history.


Categories: Computing, Featured

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