It’s been a long time since I clacked away on a C64 but I remember that hunk of pure computing power like it was yesterday. The keyboard (complete with dingbats on the front surface), the power light that glowed like a monocular rat eye, the lines of dust that formed in the 80s-era case. It was a simpler time.
That’s right: the Commodore 64 is 30 years old this week, appearing at CES in 1982 and ending up in third-grade classrooms and kids’ rooms for years after until, unceremoniously, millions of school custodians and parents dumped them in the trash as the PC took over desktops all over the world.
The original 64 had 64KB of RAM but only 32KB was addressable by BASIC, a little advertising trick that has been repeated again and again, most recently in regards to the space available on the Nook Tablet. RegHardware has an excellent look back at the platform if you’re so inclined but just look at the computing power you could get for the price of an off-contract iPhone back in 1982.