How to build a modern-day PC into a replica of the Commodore 64
Many people wax poetic about the polite ’50s, the radical ’60s, or the wild ’70s, but for nerds, the 1980s was the best decade. A full-on war raged in the new category of “personal computer,” no one operating system ruled the world, and, man, you could walk into a Toys “R” Us and buy the world’s all-time bestselling PC: the Commodore 64.
Like many 30-somethings, the Commodore 64 provided me with my first glimpse into the world of PC gaming. I remember giggling when enemies would kill themselves out of shame if I managed to hop past them in The Last Ninja, and being delightfully frustrated with the puzzles in Maniac Mansion. Karnov, WWF WrestleMania, and Jordon vs Bird: One on One were three other titles that were frequently loaded. As primitive as each of those games are compared to today, it's still hard to believe that the Commodore 64 platform is 30 years old. What's even more mind boggling is that it's still the greatest selling single PC model ever.
It was big news when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away, but how many people have heard of Jack Tramiel? Outside of tech circles, the answer is probably 'not many' and that's because Tramiel preferred to avoid the spotlight. At one time a taxi driver and an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor, Tramiel founded the company that built the Commodore 64, only best selling PC of all time and an iconic piece of computing history. Sadly, Tramiel died on Sunday, April 8 at age 83.
Load"*",8,1. If you understand what that means, then clearly you were rocking a PC well before this age of the Internet when PCs became socially hip. Those loading instructions are instantly familiar to anyone who ever owned a Commodore 64, still the best selling single model PC of all time, but what isn't familiar is a Core i7 2720QM processor nestled inside that little beige keyboard you used to own. Commodore is getting with the times.
It's been a long, long time since we had to type Load"*",8,1 to fire up a game or any other program, a command that will instantly and always be familiar to anyone who grew up in the Commodore 64 era. Commodore USA LLC is hoping to cash in on that nostalgia with a line of modern day nettops shoved into replica C64 keyboard cases, and if you've been anxiously awaiting for these replica machines to ship, we have good news for you.
Do you remember typing Load"*",8,1 to fire up a program? How about using an Epyx Fast Load cartridge to speed up load times? If either of those bring back memories, then you grew up in (or lived through) the Commodore 64 era nearly three decades ago. With sales estimated to be as high as 17 million units, the Commodore 64 is largely regarded as the best-selling PC model of all time. It only makes sense, then, that someone would try to bring the C64 back, albeit with updated components.