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back to article Commodore 64 may come back as Warren Beatty

When the Commodore 64 returns from the dead, it may not be called the Commodore 64. In mid-March, a company calling itself Commodore USA unveiled what appeared to be a new incarnation of the iconic early-80s machine. "You fell in love then. Fall in love again," the site said as it dissolved from an image of the original …

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Retro Memories

I still have my original C64. I even have a shitty little TV and one of those stupid sliding switches to change between input sources (Zenith top loading VCR and the C64). Also have a big box of games (on real floppies :) I fired it up around Thanksgiving and played Archon, H.E.R.O. and Ultima. Good times, good times...

I'll buy one of these if they can make it look old school but have modern internals. I'm not interested in just another all-in-one box.

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Not actually that new maybe?

I thought I'd seen a system like that before... A little bit of hunting around some old haunts has brought up the exact same thing from a company called Cybernetman. Re-branding an old design, passing it off as a new homage to Commodore in a bid to boost sales? It's not really a new computer, just a damn good way to get some publicity for an item that's essentially been around for a while now. Just hope it's the same company and there's no shenanigans going on here...

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Anonymous Coward

Or possibly..

someone's filled out this form : http://www.cybernetman.com/en/resellers.cfm and persuaded them to allow resale with a new badge..

Either way.. shabby.

Interesting that the commodoreusa site is now "currently unavailable" too..

non-story?

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WTF?

I may be missing something here....

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

but why the Warren Beatty reference in the title of this article?

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Why?

Dunno-- 'cos it's come again?

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Happy

Memories indeed

All I've got left from my Commodore 64 and 128 (blast that 128) setup is the 1702 monitor. Still runs, used to use it for the gamecube and some dvds when I didn't have much of a television going on. Makes for an "art" piece now, I guess. While I enjoyed running the computer at the time, I do not miss it at all. Rest in peace, is all I have to say.

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Fake

I'd buy a remade C64. I'm not buying this. It''s a PC in a flatcase.

Bollocks.

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Grenade

Trademark schademark

What ever happened to a trademark only protecting a product or service that was actually recently at trade? Is this new venture actually going to confuse people selling an AMD64 processor machine and calling it a "Commodore 64"? I mean, really, who would look at the specs and say they bought one in the 1980s?

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naaaa, needs a rom based front end

switch on and go, have basic officey type and print stuffs, browser, basic / C interpreter, maybe an easy to use mod/midi tracker, audio/gfx/net drivers all stuffed into flashrom. insert a disk if you want something more. no need for the comparitive resource hog that is windows.

hmm, where have i seen this sort of thing before...

i think hardware has got to a point where it can cope with pretty much 99% of the things people want it to do with a base machine. hence the rise of the sub £400 laptop.

so bang in a stripped out linux distro in flash with all the apps people want, but with enough juice under the hood to run the latest tomb raider/need for speed/madden/whatever drooling crap falls out of EA's arse, maybe even a bit of multiplayer on the same box/screen like consoles, and TV out ability...

oh wait, PS3 anyone?

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Stop

which would be a a valid point if...

...if sony hadn't just announced the "other OS" option is being pulled.

So you you can chose to still have linux by not updating, but then you would no longer be able to play your games on-line.

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Nope...

The PS3 recently gots its ability to host Linux distros taken away by a bunch of paranoid, tinfoil hat wearing f***wits at Sony.

Yes, I'm bitter.

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Happy

Not for long...

...not for long.

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FAIL

eh ?

Nothing to do with Commodore at all. Why quote Tramiel who killed Atari?

Get a laptop. Remove screen. Remove trackpad. Use old brand name to get press interest. Fail to sell. Disappear like old brand did. Not newsworthy.

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Pint

I Made...

...a lot of money teaching people to write BASIC code in a room full of Commodore 64's.

Unless it boots to basic, why bother?

211, the tabs keep breaking my fingernails. Seems to be the first childproof beer container.

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Am I missing something?

I must be, because if you hadn't told me of the link to commodore when looking at the 'new' version, I would never have made the connection.

It looks *nothing* like the original. It's just a modern shiny tiny form factor PC that happens to have been shoved into a keyboard - dare a say, a fat laptop without a screen?

If they have managed to squeeze the innards into a replica of the Commodore 64 *and* included emulation, I'd be impressed.

These guys are just trying to cash in on nostalgia - marketing twats.

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Deja Vu

The proposed machine looks very similar, if not identical, to something else I saw reviewed a few years back, which had to be cooled by twin high speed 60mm fans so, er, no thanks. Even if I had any nostalgia for the C64* I wouldn't want one of these.

* I had a Spectrum, all my geek mates had Spectrums, Acorns, even a Dragon 32 and latterly a SAM Coupé (remember those?) ... The school bully had a C64 and only ever used it to play Paper Boy. *cough* ISSUES! *cough*

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Rob
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SAM Coupé

Blimey, I thought I was the only one that remembered them, to the point where I thought prehaps I had dreamt it and now thought it was real. Thanks for restoring my sanity.

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Rob
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P.S.

It's not a C64 but I still have my Amiga A1200 (it even has a an 80MB harddrive in it, you can tell I was cutting edge).

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I've still got mine...

Sad, I know.

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pointless

c64-type of computers evolved into notebooks, there's no point going back to half-notebook.

notebooks do everything this new c64 does and much more

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Flame

Not new

When this story last broke it was pointed out that this case and system were already on sale (http://www.cybernetman.com/).

So, El Reg, why not do some journalism and ask these jokers how they think they can get away with claiming someone else's product as their "own" and simply re-branding it for cool?

They've not even bothered to try and get a customer case/colours/keys FFS!

The Cybernteman looks like it could scratch a few itches and if the Ubnutu distro was properly re-themed and configured, you could maybe ape some Commodore cool (pre-installed Commodore emulator, games etc).

But this? This is a feckin' joke.

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Happy

What would be cool... a finger-sized C64

I suppose the technology would now allow making an exact C64 work-alike about the size a USB dongle, with nothing on it but three connectors: USB connector for a standard keyboard, and at the other end RCA composite video and audio for connecting to a TV set... Power would come from a battery, or maybe a second USB connector should be added just for this purpose. An internal flash memory would be used to simulate a huge library of C cassette tapes and/or floppies for storage...

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FAIL

Well why not relaunch under Amstrad?

Surely the Quad core 64 bit processor is screaming out to be a 464?! And he'd have no bother getting the rights to that one!

I had a 464 and then the 6128 (I even got my mits on a non-working 664 once, but never got around to fixing it), and would be sad enough to buy one.

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Anonymous Coward

Commodore

Commodore made Amigas too. Since this beast is *slightly* more powerful than a C64 or 128 ever was... perhaps they'd be better calling it an Amiga. Except they can't. Someone else has made one, hoping to sell them off the back of an established name.

Unless these guys happen to come up with something really special, this is going to be remembered as just another bunch of chumps hoping to use an existing name to sell their products.

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Amigas

As I understand it, the Amiga clones run Amiga OS 4.0, so they actually have more credibility than this Commodore Sixty-Faux (see what I did there?). They also have software emulation of the 68k series CPU and Amiga chipset.

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Speaking of which...

Has anyone heard of the AmigaOne X1000? The A-Eon site has a spec, but no pictures. They promise customisable processors and various other nerdgasm-inspiring tidbits. And... They promise a desktop enclosure - not just a MoBo like other Amiga OS 4 kit.

http://www.a-eon.com/

http://www.vesalia.de/e_amigaonex1000.htm

http://www.osnews.com/story/22693/New_Amiga_Sports_Programmable_Co-Processor_Dualcore_PPC

I bet it will cost an arm and a leg in the end...

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Pint

Erm...

10 PRINT ....I'm running a wasted old Acer laptop, sans screen (and wireless due to said screen-ectomy) at home with Ubuntu. It looks just like this. Is this worthy of the mighty C64 name? Pull the other one, it's got tan-coloured function keys on it. As so many have pointed out, it's just another PC in a dull box.

Give me a retro-stlyed slab, with a Commodore-spun and branded *nix distro (or 'buntu with branding), and I'll hand you my beer-tokens for it. That, I fear, would have to be a product of sorting out the labyrinthine mess of complications over 'Commodore' ownership.

What a pity.

20 GOTO 10

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FAIL

It's been tried before

Here in the UK, we had this little company Acorn Computers that got amazingly lucky with a BBC contract and thrived in the 1980s. Although they spawned ARM, Acorn itself eventually vanished, although their computers are remembered fondly, and many are still in use. Recently, another Acorn Computers started up, selling, you guessed it, Wintel machines. And folded soon after.

Just because you can use an old name doesn't mean everybody is going to flock to buy your products. You still need something that people actually want to buy!

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Pint

Erk!

There's a famous saying; those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it. When I look at today's computing world (no, not Personal Computing World, since that has also now disappeared) I see so many attempts to recreate past glories. Why?

Could it be that everyone is sick of what they have now? They don't want expensive computers that need replacing every five years, with endless rounds up updates, upgrades and bugfixes? They don't want to trust their data to nebulous central server farms?

Or could it just be that none of them remember that we used to do things this way many years ago and produced what we now have to escape from all that?

As far as recreating past brands, I agree totally. I was an Acorn user for many years and still have a couple of RISC PCs doing various jobs. The thing was that Acorn made computers that lasted well, and Commodore were no different in that respect. It's another facet of the past that few remember.

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FAIL

Ugly as chuff

What an ugly machine, and not even original .. sigh, I really hope these losers don't get the rights to the C64 brand since that would prevent someone else doing something worthwhile with the name - such as using the original case & keyboard design, but putting a modern machine inside it running linux & pre-loaded with a C64 emulator & licensed copies of the original games.

Similarly if someone called Acorn computers came out with a BBC Model B with an emulator on it, then I'd go for that too!

And don't even get me started on how much I loved the sculpted keyboard you got on the TRS-80 :D

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Stu
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Ahh Mr Tramiel

I remember him, he later became head honcho at Atari, who then oddly went up in direct competition with the Commodore Amiga with his Atari ST system.

...I had an Atari ST when I was a teen...

...I always wished I'd bought an Amiga...

It could display more colours at a time (the ST could only, without special software trickery, manage 16 colours on the screen at one time!), and all the games were better looking for it on the Amiga. Oh how I envied HAM mode!

Year after year the Atari ST magazine press always made out the ST was better simply because it was, apparently, clocked 1Mhz faster than the Amiga and had a couple of built in Midi ports - which apparently meant it had better audio - It didn't by a country mile.

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Does this mean when we get 128 bit processors...

...we'll have Spectrum 128's relaunched?

Anyone remember the nonsense that was the Sinclair PC?

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Unhappy

Amiga - now that brings back memories

It was really sad when Commodore died just because the Amiga went with it, just as it was getting good again too. If only they hadn't wasted all the Amiga profits trying to flog crap 286s to German industry they might still be going. Possibly getting rid of the corporate jet would have been a cost-saving idea too. Classic tale of how not to run a tech company.

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Happy

FWIW

I've many happy memories of the C64, and I like the new design PC.

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Pint

I'll buy one!

It sure will indeed look a lot sexier under the tv than some some dumb boxy looking pc

that is my multimedia station to watch movies.

The black and silver one will make an awsome replacement!

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Memories

The commodore 64 was a great machine of it's time and the memories of cycling to my mates house to play on it are great. But that's all it is, a memory, the C64 moniker should be left alone and remain what it was.

Any product worth buying doesn't need to nick it's name from someone else.

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Yes the 64 is fast but one heatseaking missle and it is toast.

But if you pull the FF rom while it is on does it destroy the real world?

This is why the Commodore failed; it just could not scare people like the Nintindo could.

(I think I knew someone crazy enough to pull an FF rom while running, somebody bodyslammed him before he had completed that.)

And you are all safe because of that one selfless act.

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Coat

I'll buy one...

...if it has a cassette drive.

Mine's the one with a pocket full of C60s loaded with games.

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IT Angle

Seven Cities of Gold....

Is still my favorite "explore the New World" game of all time. Reason? You could actually lose it, unlike most modern colonization games that become digital punching bags once you figure out how to beat the AI. I stopped buying this genre years ago because of that fault.

Many was the time that I took mighty conquistador armies into the rainforests of the Americas, only to have my native bearers desert me or my food supplies spoil. Then came the mad, hopeless dash back to the ships as my men starved and hostile Indians that I had mistreated earlier started closing in. Ah, good times--except for the yellow fever and poisoned arrows...

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"Commodore 64 may come back as"

Yeah, yeah, that's great and everything but can you plug it into the telly?

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Anonymous Coward

Dumb.

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_down_32.png

Period.

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The end of Commodore - finally? Now??

Wow - just wow.

It's like a bad zombie movie - cut off it's head, it keeps walking. Shoot it in the knees, it lumbers on...

Tramiel screwed Commodore and left the country with much of Commodore's fortune. I hope he enjoys Bermuda (or whichever island it was governed out of).

I used to work for Progressive Peripherals, which made Commodore and later Amiga hardware and software. I used to write the manuals, do the tech support and other sundry things. CMB screwed us the year after the famed Apollo commercial launched, and happily the company never looked back (I left then).

I've moved since to the Netherlands and, lo - I find that Commodore International was bought by someone over here about 7 years ago? There was the Commodore competitor to the iPod, the Pebble, and their 8-bit store - saw the advertising, never saw the product. Then there was another relaunched 1-piece PC with built-in emulation...saw ONE on display in a store, laughed and walked on. In fact, I'd pass the worldwide headquarters often on the A1 in Baarn; it sat atop a Seat car dealership. Lights long off now, no-one home.

It's a pity because we had great fun in those days. My SX64, Amiga 1000, 2500, etc. But it's now like watching some die a slow death in some rest home. I went to CeBIT about 5 years back and saw the Commodore "booth" - a single glass stand, more of a curio cabinet than anything else, with black, non-descript boxes of floppy disks carrying the Commodore name.

For the love of god, somebody—please, put it down!

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