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Looking Back At the Commodore 64 263

An anonymous reader writes "It's the 30th anniversary of the Commodore 64 this week — news that has made more than a few gaming enthusiasts feel their age. This story looks back at some of the peculiarities that made the machine so special — a true mass-market computer well into the era where a computer in every home was a novelty idea, not a near reality."
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Looking Back At the Commodore 64

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday January 05, 2012 @09:47AM (#38595110)

    It may be hard for kids today to believe, but there was a time when home computers were WAY out of the price range of anyone below the HIGH upper middle class. In the early 80's, I had a friend whose dad was a yuppie who actually had an Apple II. All the kids used to go over to his house and marvel at Zork and all the neat stuff it could do. But it was a $2000 computer, and that was in early-80's dollars too (that would be about $5000 today). As much as we marveled at it, we all knew that one of those amazing machines would never sit in our homes.

    So when the VIC-20 and Commodore 64 came out right about that time, it was like a godsend to those of us whose parents worked for a living. $200 for a computer that could do almost as much as that fancy $2000 Apple?!? Suddenly computers and programming didn't just seem like something for the yuppie kids, it was within reach of all of us. And the Commodores even came with BASIC built in (my Apple-user friend had to load his from a disc).

    And you could get free games by typing them in from magazines! You could learn to do you own graphics by learning peeks and pokes. It's because of my Commodore 64 that I first made the connection between programming and mathematics (wait, I can draw this line a lot easier using a simple equation!). It's how I learned the importance of an if...then conditional.

    10 Print " It's where I learned that even us nobodies could one day grow up to be computer programmers."
    20 Goto 10

  • load"*",8,1 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lennier1 ( 264730 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @10:30AM (#38595630)

    I probably owe my career to one of those.

  • by na1led ( 1030470 ) on Thursday January 05, 2012 @02:00PM (#38599466)
    That was the day when Users controlled the computers, now it's the computers controlling us, and the generation today have become brain dead because of it.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.