My Week with the Commodore 64 (30th Anniversary)

August 2nd, 2012 by Benj Edwards

My Week with the Commodore 64

Thirty years ago, Commodore Business Machines released the Commodore 64, an 8-bit home computer that served up early computer experiences for millions of users around the world. By some estimates, the little brown wonder sold as many as 17 million units during its 12 year lifespan, which means there are a lot of C64 fans out there.

In honor of both the machine and its fans, I recently locked myself in a room with the vintage machine for a week to put it through its paces and see if I could use it as a work machine. In the process, I tested it as a word processor, game console, and even used it to send a few tweets. I did it all with vintage hardware and software, so you'll find no Ethernet adapters or SD card drives here.

If, while reading, you feel anything is missing, that's because the piece got quite a chopping — I did so much in my week with the C64 that the full report on my activities was way too long for publication. For example, sections on GEOS, my pirated disk collection, and more were dropped. Perhaps those will show up somewhere else in the future.

Still, the result should be quite a fun read for any vintage computing fan. I hope you enjoy it.



5 Responses to “My Week with the Commodore 64 (30th Anniversary)”

  1. SirPaul Says:

    Wonderful article. After reading it, I would have to agree that the Commodore 64 is not a viable computer for doing business work. On the other hand, while the keyboard is awkward, it is definitely better than some others of the time (e.g. the Atari 400 and the TRS-80 Color Computer model 1). I wonder how your experience would have been with a similar system, albeit with less RAM. I'm sure it would be very similar, though the decrease of RAM might make things a bit more frustrating.

  2. Ant Says:

    My next door neightbor had a C64, and I used to go to his place to play computers games on it even two players. It was awesome. Better than my Apple //c. ;)

  3. HenryJK Says:

    The one thing the article ignores is how amazing the user port was for homebrew robotics. Not exactly "business", but you could make some pretty amazing stuff with that and the joystick ports for sensors.

  4. Justin M. Salvato Says:

    I enjoyed this article when I saw it on PCworld. I said it before and I'll say it again, do this for the Coleco ADAM =)

  5. Bart Says:

    Nice article on this hugely popular home computer! Maybe the next time on the TRS-80, preferably the Model I with Expansion Interface?

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