[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Commodore 64

May 19th, 2014 by Benj Edwards

Commodore 64 Advertisement It’s the Commodore 64. ‘Nuff said.

I’ve covered the Commodore 64 quite a bit over the years, including taking one apart for PC World back in 2008 and spending a week working with one in honor of its 30th anniversary in 2012.

But I don’t think I’ve ever posted a plain ‘ole ad for the Commodore 64 itself. Until now, that is. Here’s a colorful one that graced the back of many computer magazine issues back in 1983.

[ From Personal Computing – November 1983, back cover]

Discussion Topic of the Week: When did you first get a Commodore 64? Tell us the story.

11 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] The Commodore 64”

  1. Stan Says:

    I was an Apple II kid so I never had a C64 (but I did buy a Vic-20 for $5 in the late 80s). The next door neighbor got a C64 in mid 1983, complete with disk drive, modem, monitor, and dot matrix printer. By 1986 just about everyone had either an Apple II or a C64, and the barter economy for pirated disks was enormous.

  2. Jistuce Says:

    I never owned a C64.
    I was the poor soul with a TI 99/4a instead of something someone had heard of, and while I’ve picked up a bit of hardware in the days since… still no Commodore.

  3. Dave Says:

    WHen I was in 7th grade (1986) all I wanted was a C64. I got a job at a nursery (hauling plants, bales of hay and pine needles, and bags of fertilizer that weighed as much as I did) to save up money. My dad, however, said I should get a ‘real’ computer that did more than just play games. So I dropped $2,000 (in 1986 dollars!) on a Tandy 1000 with monitor, printer, software, desk, etc… It couldn’t do HALF of what a C64 could and I could only get software guaranteed to run right at Radio Shack.

    Around two years later a friend gave me his C64 with a 1541 II drive and a 300-baud modem. The Tandy collected dust from then on.

    I still have the Tandy in my attic and now own two brown C64’s and a C64C. 🙂

  4. SirFatty Says:

    Purchased in 1983 at the local Toys-R-Us. Got the RGB TV and a couple floppy drives, an OKI color (thermal transfer) printer came later as well as a acoustic coupler modem.

    Like Stan mentioned, the disk swapping was plentiful, I knew many other people with C64. I had some specialized “backup” software.

    The one gripe was the drives, had to be repaired somewhat frequently (I remember buying a repair kit mail order).

  5. Alexander Says:

    I bought a used one online in 2004, complete with disk drive, monitor, modem, and tons of disks. I was 14 at the time, and it my first foray into the world of retro computers, garnering a lot of confusion from my peers about ‘but what can it …do?”

    I’ve learned quite a bit from it, but sadly I’m probably not on par with most users of the day in terms of practical skill operating it. It play’s games pretty well though

  6. Erik Says:

    I got my fist C64 at child world in 1986 after saving up for my first computer for a year. My father and I walked in, and I was going to buy a C6 or Atari 65xe, because both were much cheaper, but thankfully the sales guy talked my father in to kicking in some cash to help me get a C64. he told us that Atari was pulling back on support, and that the C16 was useless. He was right on both accounts.

    I ended up with A brown C64, 1541 drive, and two disks. Flight simulator, and Easy script. With in a year, I had added a 300baud modem, and a okimate 20 color printer.

    Friends around the area either had the C64 or an Apple 2, so software was traded and by the time I moved on, I had quite a collection.

    The C64 was and is a remarkable machine. Able to play games as good or better then any NES, and with a little prodding and some hardware like the REU and 1581 drive was an excellent Work computer too when using GEOS 2.0 for word processing, and spreadsheets. or Novaterm for seeking out all the cool BBS systems that were around back then.

    I never really did much programming on my C64, Peeks and Pokes drove me nuts, and compared to my many zx81/Timex Sinclair I found it to be much harder to learn. So I stuck with my ZX81 for custom programming.

  7. Moondog Says:

    I got mine used in either 85 or 86. It came with a 1541 floppy and a 1526 printer. At first I did alot of programming and writing my own applications, then I found another kid at school who had access to alot of software his father would bring home from work, and learned how to notch disks and copy stuff on both sides. I had a word processing program that came on a cartridge, but the print quality of the 1526 was terrible. The lack of true descending characters made things hard to read. I later bought an Epson daisy wheel typewriter that had an RS-232 option, however I never bought anything to interface them. I used it up til 1989, then got into DOS and PC clones.

  8. TheSaintOfPain Says:

    I never had a C64, but I did have a Commodore 16 that was given to me by a family friend back in the early ’90s. It met an unfortunate end when my very young niece, who was probably around 2 or 3 years old at the time, somehow got into the storage container that I had it stored in and just pulled everything apart, then let one of our puppies we had chew on the motherboard and the case. I have not ever come across one in the wild, and most of them on eBay are running around $100, so I haven’t been able to readily replace it yet.

  9. Ant Says:

    My next door neighbor had a C64. I used to go over there to play his games. Hahah.

  10. Dar Says:

    Really classy ad. Computer ads were cool back then.

    I don’t think there are computer ads today.

  11. Gorka L Martinez Mezo Says:

    I had a cousin which had one. At the time everybody used cassette players for 8 bit computers as disks and disk drives were very expensive back them. At the time I had an Acer PC XT clone with a B&W monitor and the Commodore seemed impressive both in graphics and sound. However, loading programs from tape was horrible. And larger pieces of software failed often. I loved MicroProse GUNSHIP, which took some 30min to load and often failed to do so….

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