Commodore 64: Back to the future

Commodore 64: Back to the future

Summary: The legendary Commodore 64, the VIC and the Amiga are back and better than ever.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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  • Commodore Offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    The offices of Commodore USA are located in a small technology center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

  • Barry Altman, CEO of Commodore USA

    Barry Altman is the CEO and founder of the newly reborn Commodore USA. Originally an early personal computer enthusiast who owned nearly 200 of the original Commodore 64s which ran his satellite TV equipment business back in the 1980s, Altman has not only reproduced the look and feel of the original 64, but has updated it to current PC standards.

    Be sure to listen to Jason Perlow's interview with Barry for the fascinating story of how he brought the iconic Commodore name and products back from the footnotes of PC history, 30 years after the original Commodore 64 shipped.

  • The VIC was the first product introduced by the new Commodore company in 2011. It's a completely modern PC, enclosed in a keyboard casing.

Topic: Hardware

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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35 comments
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  • Jason, you are making me VERY nostalgic today.

    I was an original adopter of the Commodore Amiga platform when it was first introduced and remained faithful to that platform until the "very end". Sigh. (I still have a working A1000 and two brand new Amiga 1200 computers, their peripherals, software (I hope those floppies still work .. grin), software manuals and most of the original Amiga Magazine issues all boxed up. Time has passed that platform by but the memories still hold a special magic for me.)

    I really, REALLY like the new Amiga 1000 aluminum case. Unfortunately, I don't think it has room inside for these old friends of mine: Agnus, Denise and Paula.
    kenosha77a
  • Jason, you're not seeing it right.

    Image 7 shows a hard drive: the edge of it very clearly recognizable as a 3.5" drive under what looks like a slim-line optical.

    The miniPCIe card is more likely wireless, as it looks like 2 antenna leads at the top (and a half-size-to-full-size metal mounting adapter underneath the card).
    Joe_Raby
  • Jason, the Link took me back to this page

    I would check that.
    John Zern
  • Jason, uh... (I don't want to break the matrix)

    One of the great names of the past. The new builds all look to be of high quality. I wish them well.
    klumper
  • My heart skipped a beat

    All the good old times I had with the C64 and Amiga. I even won two local science fairs in high school with them. The new VIC's definitely have a very modern look, and the C64 is as classic as ever.
    ZStoner
  • Any chance we get a comparison?

    of componentry & design alterations between the original and the rejuvenated design? and a spec's list of the hardware - as well as new capabilities?
    thx-1138_
  • It's the anti-iPad...

    Keyboard, no display. Weight, not portable. I guess if you can sell vinyl records, you can sell Commodores.
    Tony Burzio
    • If you can sell iPads

      then you can sell Commodores
      12312332123
  • I'm so happy.

    I grew up with the Commodore 64. I've never felt that amazing feeling of discovery since. I remember GEOS, Paradroid, countless hours of writing software in MLX (machine language editor) verbose from Compute's Gazette Magazine. I look forward to buying one of these once I get my (hopeful) bonus this year. Man, just bring back the SID chip! Oh, and don't bother aligning the floppy drive, I think I still have my screwdriver and software somewhere, to get it back from those darn copy protections that threw the read-head into the stopper if it even supposed you may have a 'bad copy'. (PS, I'm an OG... Ball Bros copy util proggy). One of my funny 'hacks' was to put a few bad words onto a few 'broken by Ball Bros' copies.

    Destroy them, my robots.
    TechNickle
    • Did a quick search..

      It was "Destroy him, my robots." From the game Impossible Mission. It appears the Ravenheads even made a song with a clip from the game. I'm not sure, but I swear I hear "Paradroid" as backing rhythm. Too cool.
      TechNickle
    • Yes, we had fun with our Commodore 64s.

      But there were other uses, too. I typed my doctoral dissertation on a C64 and printed it on tractor feed paper on a daisy wheel printer. Well, that was after I had run my statistics on the C64. Then after that, I used it to control a CNC milling machine.

      My daughter and grandson are waiting for me to find the C64, 1541 disk drive, and the associated parts and pieces in my stored stuff. Can't wait.
      zd1923@...
  • The C64 gets an update, but not ZDNet's photo gallery.

    The C64 gets an update, but not ZDNet's photo gallery. Seriously, what gives? Why is it taking years just to update a photo gallery?
    CobraA1
  • Can it play Crysis?

    :)
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • Serious?

    Weirdest news today
    EllaiMac
    • Serious

      No not the weirdest news today, this news came out literally 2 years ago. Way to keep us up to date Jason...

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/25/commodore_name_bounces_again/
      IgnorantBugger
  • Thomsom

    Are french geeks remenber Thomsom TO7 70 or TO8 or MO 5, french it ;-)
    alaindelcroix
    • MO5

      I do remember having used a MO5 at school and try stuff in BASIC and LOGO. TO7 was deadly because it would freeze in the middle of programming losing everything.
      bob_morane
  • Wow!

    Oh Man! I'm totally geek'n out!
    My Amiga 1200 in the cupboard would be real pissed if I bought a new one. The only reason it's in the cupboard is because I can't find an old lo-res monitor to run it.
    ravsta
    • I have one!

      @ravsta I have a working original Commodore RGB monitor if you are looking for one for your A1200

      Hit me up on Facebook if you want to chat about it. FB /djjesterpezz
      jesterpezz