Commodore 64 is 40 years old

Commodore 64 (C64) was the most popular home computer in the days when you connected your computer to the TV set. This most popular home computer just turns 40 years old.

Commodore C64: The Most Popular Home Computer Ever Turns 40 article tells that this year marks the anniversary of the most popular selling home computer ever, the Commodore 64, which made its debut in 1982. “Note that I am saying “home computer” and not personal computer (PC) because back then the term PC was not yet in use for home computer users.

Happy Birthday Commodore 64, with Bil Herd

The Commodore 64 is the best-selling home computer of all time — it’s the box that launched a million geeks. In this video Bil Herd walks us through the evolution of 8-bit home computers at his old employer Commodore in the late 1970′s to 1980′s.

The 6502 is at the heart of many of the home computers of the era starting with Atari, Apple, BBC Micro, and of course Commodore. Commodore, under the reins of its founder Jack Tramiel, purchased MOS technologies and became a computer company that owned a chip fabrication plant. Commodore eyed to calculator market, but soon Commodore found itself in the position of being a computer company that could make its own (custom) IC’s, or chips. The VIC-20 was Commodore’s “TI Killer”.

Some amazing chips were combined into a demo and shown to Jack Tramiel, and the decision was made to produce the Commodore C64. The C64 became Commodore’s “Apple Killer” as it was targeted at the market shared with the Apple II. The C64 is listed in the Guinness Book or World Records as the most popular home computer ever sold at 27 million units (although numbers that suggest that somewhat fewer units were sold in actuality). Commodore’s founder Jack Tramiel stated famously that we made “computers for the masses not the classes” with emphasis on selling the hardware at a fair price which would open the door to massive software sales.

I have 10 years ago made a post The Commodore 64 is 30. Read some history from that post and post comments.

4 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Dark Forest’s Outbreak64 Aims to Give Your Commodore 64 Its Best Composite, S-video Outputs
    Offering S-Video, composite video, and the option of stereo audio outputs, this board-sandwich works with most C64 models.
    https://www.hackster.io/news/the-dark-forest-s-outbreak64-aims-to-give-your-commodore-64-its-best-composite-s-video-outputs-78e7cd3803e3

    Pseudonymous Swedish vintage computing enthusiast “The Dark Forest” has released a new accessory for the popular Commodore 64 family of eight-bit microcomputers: the Outbreak64 video output board.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Can you build a brand new Commodore 64 from (nearly) 100% new parts?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TSffXvmx3M

    It’s time! It’s the big one! It’s a home built Commodore 64!

    The C64 250407 replica
    https://www.pcbway.com/project/shareproject/The_C64_250407_replica.html

    A replica of the Commodore 64 250407 1983 mother board, and a replica of the schematics made using SprintLayout and KiCad.

    The replica project was started by Michael K. (Der Alte Bastler) in 2019 to learn SprintLayout and the process of reverse engineering PCB. I finished it, importet it in KiCad, imported the KU motherboard schematics and modified it to match the 250407 Reb.B schematics.

    The board has been prototyped, and tested by me and Langwell Cowan.

    We are not the first to reverse engineer this board, but we are the first to share the design files online I think.

    More information at: https://github.com/bwack/C64-250407-Replica-KiCad

    Reply

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