The Weekly Round-Up: Return of the Commodore 64

Plus millenial myths and smartphone profiling...
Written by The Round-Up, Contributor on

Plus millenial myths and smartphone profiling...

Do you remember your first love? The Round-Up's sure you do.

Little rubber feet? Attached to a tape recorder? Sleek beige enclosure? Twinkling red light?

For a certain generation of computer users, the ones who lived in a pre-iPod, pre-Windows age, computers were voyages of discovery and passports to new worlds.

And for some, computers were their first love - for deep in their chest beat the heart of a geek. For many of that generation, the Commodore 64 was a true heart-throb. When we talk about retro computing, and let's be honest we do that quite a lot in the Round-Up, the Commodore 64 is chief among the old-school computing pantheon.

A true computing legend of its time. But can it conquer the world and an entirely new generation of geeks for a second time? Brace yourself: the Commodore 64 is back.

At first we thought it was an April Fools' joke, then we checked the date of the press release. Then we checked it again.

It was no joke. The Commodore 64 is indeed being released upon the world again. Glory be!

Commodore USA has released some sneaky peek images of its prototype of a brand-new Commodore 64 on a pleasingly 80s-style website, were such a thing possible.

Although 29 years have gone by since the 1982 release of the 8bit bad boy of retro computing, Commodore USA says it is releasing a new version of the computer, complete with a new version of the Commodore OS.

A note on the website adds that "the new Commodore 64 is a fully functional PC compatible, so you can even install and use the latest versions of Windows if you really feel you need to". No chance!

The new C64 also features a web browser and a Microsoft Office-compatible suite of productivity tools. The computer is said to come standard with 2GB of DDR3 memory, expandable to 4GB.

According to Commodore, the new C64 has a slot for loading read-and-write DVDs and is Blu-ray optional. Who could have predicted a few years ago that the C64 would get Blu-ray before the Mac?

Most importantly, it comes in the original taupe brown-beige colour that caused the fluttering of a million geek hearts of both sexes in the early 80s.

The C64 was the Round-Up's own first love, although it was a forbidden love. The Round-Up actually owned a Dragon 32 - the C64 belonged to a friend.

The Round-Up was seeing it behind his back...

Millenial myths

Predictions that the influx of a new generation of technology workers into modern offices would cause a rift in the space-time continuum may prove unfounded.

The traditional IT worker was told to fear the arrival of Generation Y. The millennials, as they were dubbed, were iPad-carrying, social web-connected, Android-conversant, trainer-wearing folk. With hair.

They worked flexibly and also from home. They were altogether different. Annoyingly, they also knew a vast amount about technology having been given their first iPod while still in nappies.

It was feared that the arrival of millennials in the office would cause a rift between the traditional IT worker, who carried a BlackBerry, couldn't tweet to save their lives and thought an Android was a robot off Star Wars. They had a memory of hair.

Many commentators claimed millennials would disrupt existing IT structures. There would be trouble. There would be blood. There would be war.

Actually, there will be none of those things.

Attitudes to technology in the workplace differ little between generations, according to a report from Forrester Research.

The analysts found that those born between 1980 and 2000 - in other words, millennials - share similar attitudes towards corporate IT as baby boomers - those born in the post-war baby boom.

Largely speaking, we're all happy. Over half the millennials surveyed, 55 per cent, said they were satisfied with the technologies they use to do their jobs. Baby-boomer counterparts were equally content.

The report also found that despite owning an iPad and the latest Android super smartphone, the 31 per cent of millennials who felt the technology they had at home was better were no more likely to bring it into the office than baby boomers.

According to the report, only two per cent of millennials surveyed felt their IT department "significantly hindered" their ability to work and only eight per cent suffered from a "clueless" IT department.

So it seems we are not so different after all.

And thanks to the re-release of the Commodore 64, millenials may be clamouring for a bit of old-school computing instead of an iPad 2. Then we'll see some real bonding...

Smartphone psychoanalysis

A person's smartphone can tell you a lot about their personality - whether he is profligate or wise with his money, whether she is an advocate of the social web or a face-to-face person.

But where do you look? The eyes? The words? The full range of body language? Possibly. Although you could save a considerable amount of time if you just look at the make of their mobile.

You see, a report commissioned by digital banking provider Intelligent Environments found distinctive differences between iPhone, BlackBerry and Android smartphone users.

iPhone owners are more likely to be overdrawn despite being better paid than Android users. A respectable 56 per cent of iPhone users earn £20,000 and above, compared with just 39 per cent of Android users.

However, it is the popular BlackBerry brand that lays claim to the largest proportion of top earners.

Ten per cent of BlackBerry owners take home £50,000 or more compared with seven per cent of iPhone users and five per cent of Android users.

They are also the least likely to be overdrawn. Probably because they earn more money and have less to spend it on - BlackBerry users are the least impressed with apps, with 23 per cent saying they didn't use apps at all. The Round-Up wonders why in the world that could be.

iPhone owners spend the most time using apps for social networking and gaming, leading the report to profile iPhone users as the most happy-go-lucky smartphone users.

So there you go. Forget psychology, forget neurolinguistic programming, forget body language. You can tell a person by the smartphone they use.

Did the Round-Up mention that the Commodore 64 is coming back again? It did? Well, maybe one more mention.

Editorial standards