About the Commodore 64

Hello, my name is Ian Skinner. On this website, I would like to tell you about the Commodore 64. Lots of people do not know what the 64 is or how it works, so I will show you. I hope you enjoy the wonderful world of retro computers. I find I like the Commodore because you can just turn it on and make a program right away.

Commodore 64 'breadbin' model computer.

This is a picture of the Commodore 64 computer. The computer is attached to the keyboard. All the chips are inside the case. You need a disk drive to actually save and make programs. You can also use a tape drive. The Commodore 64 is also a game system where you can plug in joysticks and paddles. People didn't often buy monitors for their Commodore because they were too expensive, so they hooked them up to their TVs instead. The picture on a TV is not as good as on a monitor and the colours don't come out the same.

Magazine ad for Commodore 64 computer, comparing prices with other home computers of the era.

This is an ad for the Commodore from 1983. (You can see a full-sized image here.) The Commodore 64 was first released in 1982. Hardly anyone had computers at home back then. Not many people really wanted a computer. They didn't know what they would do with it, and they didn't think they would ever need one. As you can see, this ad shows the prices of an early Apple and an early IBM PC. Today, Apple makes Macs and IBM PCs have become Windows computers. Back then, they cost around $1395. That's about $3500 in today's dollars. As you can see, that's expensive! The Commodore 64 was $595 back then but the price dropped to $199 in a couple of years so that it was cheaper and more families could buy them. In 1987 the case was changed and the computer was re-released as the new Commodore 64C. (The main thing that was changed internally was the SID chip that made the sound.)

Next is a Commodore TV ad that you would not see anymore. Commodore and Atari and other computer companies ran a lot of ads to try to convince people that these new home computers were something that they really had to have.

On the next page, I will teach you about PRINT and GOTO, the first two commands that you should learn.

« PREV   About the 64   NEXT »