In 1982, Commodore released the most popular model of home computer
ever built: The Commodore 64. Estimates have placed sales between
17-22 million units sold worldwide, during a production
lifespan that lasted until 1992!
The Commodore 64 sports 64K of memory, a leading edge video chip
capable of producing images at 320 X 200 from a pallette of 16 colors,
a text mode that displays 40 characters and 25 rows in upper/lowercase
as well as Commodore's PETSCII graphics set, a fully programmable parallel
IO port, and a high quality 3-voice, 8-octive additive synthesizer sound chip
also capable of 8-bit PCM audio samples.
The Commodore 64 was largely purchased to take advantage of the amazing
library of ingenious game and leisure programs produced. The Commodore
64 also introduced millions to word processing, spreadsheet accounting,
tax preparation, MIDI music development, data filing and mining through
databases, and computer programming.
The Commodore 64 is also known for its simplicity. The box it came in
welcomes the user to "the world of friendly computing". The keyboard
casing (called a "breadbox") is as charming and unintimidating as it
is hard on the wrists. More than any other, the "C64" is both the
quintessential home computer, and a trademark "Commodore" product.
Statistics and features:
MOS 6569 "VIC-II"
320 x 200 Hi-Resolution
40 columns text
Palette of 16 colors.
MOS 6581 "SID"
3 voice stereo synthesizer/digital sound capabilities
MOS 6526 CIA x2
2 Joystick/Mouse ports
Round female DIN CBM Serial port
Male edge-connector CBM Datasette port
Male edge-connector parallel programmable "User" port
Round DIN CBM Monitor port
Female edge-connector C64 expansion port
Full-sized 62 key QWERTY
8 programmable function keys
4 direction 2-key cursor-pad
Like most Commies, this was my first Commodore computer, acquired as
a Christmas present in 1983. In 1986, I upgraded to a C128 and never
looked back. The 64s I have now were both acquired from Good Will
Computerworks here in Austin.