back to article Commodore USA prices up revived C64, VICs

It's official: the new Commodore 64 - well, new innards, old casing - is a nettop. Commodore USA, the latest in a long line of CBM revialist movements over the years since the original company went bust, has revealed the machine will be based around a 1.83GHz Intel Atom D525 with 2-4GB of 800MHz DDR 2 memory. Commodore USA C64 …

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Hmmm

I trust these things at least come with a Commodore emulator and a large set of game ROMs?

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Not likely...

Think they're just cashing in on the name and nostalga !

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title

I read elsewhere that it does indeed come with an emulator.

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An emulator is indeed included

in the package. However, apparently it's not ready to be shipped yet.

Despite the price, it looks to be a nice little machine. I might be temped to get one to replace the lappy. I need something fairly portable with a decent keyboard.

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Vic
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Why?

I'm as nostalgic as the next man, but what is the point of these? That's not a rhetorical question, either; I really can't see it.

The C64 looks like the old machine, of course - but it isn't one. I suspect the novelty will wear off very quickly.

Ans as for the VIC flavours - they're nothing like the VIC-20[1].

Vic.

[1] Hateful machine that that was[2]. 23 character lines? Pah.

[2] Everyone assumed I wanted one at the time. The fact that I didn't buy one should have given something away...

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Coat

@Vic, You were never a Cyberpunk, were you?

The point is looking retro and being different.

Today everyone has their iPad, iPhone, MacBooks (Notice how the masses are now all on Apple?)

So how do you differentiate yourself to show your pride in your inner geekdom?

When everyone talks about their latest blog, facebook update, or how they can't wait for the new iPad3 that doesn't yet exist.... what's the uber geek to do?

The answer is to go retro.

Mine's the jacket with the slide ruler in the pocket.

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@Ian

So, what you are saying is, that if you're tired of showing off the same old devices everyone else is using, the new C=64 allows you to go retro and be different, just like everybody else.

-dZ.

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Blank him, purple her

Hancock's Half Hour: "The Poetry Society"

Hancock: My friends and I are rebelling against conformity.

Sid James: What do they wear?

Hancock: Well, the same as this, of course.

The irony was missed by the majority of the audience I seem to remember.

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Happy

@DZ

:-)

Touche.

Well played.

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Defintely Interested !

Not really bothered about the retroness though even if I do remember the old A500 fondly.

Was very interested in the eee Keyboard PC untill it turned out to be a underpowered dud so this looks to be pretty good... particually the VIC-Slim :)

Plus you have options ?? In net top/book world we usually have to be gratefull with what we're given but then that's partly because so many manufacturers have a laptop background and that's been sown up for years !

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Go

Not the retroness

It's not the retroness, it's the space-saving.

Most people don't need/want the expandability in your average desktop machine - even the Tier 1 OEM boxes most companies use come with a job-lot of upgrade slots.

My company, and probably a few others, don't actually buy machines - we lease them so we get constant updates. For a lot of companies that don't do a lot of heavy computational work (engineering, research etc.), a box like the VIC-Slim would be more than adequate for Word/Excel/Powerpoint etc.

It'd save desktop space for a start.

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Space saving

Space saving is all well and good, but I would imagine that thing will be a b1tch to type on! If you wanted proper space saving, it makes a lot more sense to pack it into the monitor instead and to use any keyboard you like.

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@Annihilator

If the keyboard is comparable to the original C-64, then I'm happy to reassure you that you imagine wrong. Classic Commodore keyboards were the best.

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Unhappy

@anarchic-teapot

They were good and clicky, but far too high, and this looks even higher. I'm talking about ergonomics. Try putting a phonebook under your keyboard at the moment and typing - you'll get quite close to the experience of typing on the "new" C64 (or how it looks and using the size of the backplates as a reference point)

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WTF?

If you want space-saving

Then get a friggin' iMac and be done. Keep the wireless keyboard on your lap from the sofa, not the entire computer with peripherals dangling off.

Or are you going the radical way of not using a screen, using it as a write-only device? I guess if you know the system well enough...

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@Annihilator

Don't have a phonebook available, but oddly enough it sounds like a good idea. Back and carpal tunnel problems mean I tend to find modern keyboards lie too flush with the desk, and pressure gets put on all the wrong places.

One man's meat, and all that. Generally, I wedge a lever-arch folder under a keyboard if it lies too flat.

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FAIL

Hmmm...

But it's not Commodore and it's not a 64!

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Sir

Well, sling a 64-bit O/S on it and your half way there!

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Paris Hilton

They were good in their day..

..fondly remembered now, like the Ford Anglia.

Best leave it as just a memory.

Paris, also fondly remembered by some.

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Nice idea

but I'd only want it for the emulation side of things and I still have my old C64.

The VIC20 was my first computer. Shame to see they didn't go with the classic look for that line.

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WTF?

C64?

What kind of C64 is the image at the top of the article? That's *not* a C64 keyboard as I remember them... There are no key graphic symbols, and the Run/Stop and Restore keys are entirely missing (almost fondly remember having to hit that damn Restore key quite hard to get it to work when resetting the system).

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Re: C=64

The moronic thing is that, had they just produced a very cheap PCB with a micro-controller running a dedicated emulation of the original C=64 (sort of like those 10-in-1 games bundled in a joystick looking device that plug into your TV), and house it in that molded retro case, they could have sold it for $50 bucks a piece and made a killing in the retro-collectors market.

But no, they have to turn it into a "modern" PC with crap components, limiting its appeal to just the "look" of the box.

This reminds of whenever Hollywood re-makes a classic old movie, they can't leave it the hell alone, and need to "actualize" it to include such modern day staples as terrorists, teenage sex, hip-hop, and of course, the Internet.

-dZ.

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Troll

Pac man still rocks

No cartridge slot at the back?

Bah humbug!

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Boffin

Obvious?

I recognised that as an ION platform from the initial pictures at the linked article - so is hardly surprising its turned out to be a nettop.

http://www.reghardware.com/2011/04/04/c64_prototype_pics/

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I can see some BOFH-style fun

Simply supply the boss (or CEO, beancounter) with this kit, then sneakily replace with the real deal: 8-bit processor, 64kB memory. Watch horrified response through CCTV.

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Maybe...

but I reckon a real working C64 is probably too precious an artifact to waste on a stunt like this :P

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Anonymous Coward

@sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

You can get a working C64 for less than 50 Euro, and the BOFH could buy it from the IT Budget anyway.

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Somewhere between...

Lame and lame.

Honestly, think about it. One who would want to buy a C64 facsimile would probably not be a noob. We're talking major geek retro personality disorder here. As such, if said individual is anything like me, he/she'd find it a major turn off.

This C64 thing just as you say is not much different to a netbook/nettop.

I'd buy a C64 lookalike if it were more interesting inside. As I mentioned in a different post, $199 price tag, some sort of ARM thing, like a decent Tegra, expandable ram and HDD (yeah, ok, to keep it cheap just stuff it with low capacity yokes, we'll expand it if we like it).

And...with enough docs and drivers to allow anyone to boot an arbitrary linux. Ideally it should come with some form of a bootable 'open' linux.

I would buy one, if it were interesting enough. Even though I know I probably won't ever use the keyboard (who would, honestly? It's just for show innit? As it stands it isn't even accurate).

Those other VIC-20 things are even worse. ZOmg.... I mean... not that I found the VIC-20 a particularly great machine but desecration is descration.

What are we doing next? TI 99/4's with i7's? Speccy's?

No.. No wait. there is still hope. Better idea. Someone go quickly ARM a ZX81 lookalike and price it likewise. We have the tech to do it right. The keyboard needn't even work as long as there are USB ports.

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FAIL

Not only that...

"to $895 (£548) for a fully specced model with 1TB of storage, 8GB of memory, built-on 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi and a Blu-ray drive."

Seriously, who wants to fork over $900 to chain down 8GB of RAM and blu-ray to an Atom CPU? Would be as useful as dumping that 8GB into the original Commodore....

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Anonymous Coward

Atari

Atari 800 vs Commodore 64 Now, there were some arguments to be had as to which one was better.

Alas, the Atari 800 is too large to be used on your lap and I have seen an emulator for one, with links to some of the cartridges, on the web... so no need for a retro version. I never owned an ST but that might be more suitable.

I don't think Commodore will be selling many at the prices indicated.

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Unhappy

See icon

That is all.

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That VIC-Pro...

...is just a Cybernetman ZPC-GX31. See?

http://www.cybernetman.com/en/all-in-one-pc/Keyboard-pc/ZPC-GX31

Good luck finding a public outlet other than Commodore through.

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Coat

only a matter of time . . .

. . . before someone brings out an Amstrad CPC 464 lookee-likee

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Linux

I'd rather pay for 64k

Really, 64.000 bytes are the same as they were in the 80's. It's A LOT of memory. While you can't really pull CoD on this, developers could still creatively use the space they have. Commodore USA would just have to develop a really smart OS / interface that would probably be build around C, assembly code. Price would be $40 and retro appeal enormous.

The machine as it is now, largely depends on how the OS will perform. I wouldn't be using it just to play Hunchback and Commando, I'd use it as home media and web server, with the help of external drives. If it can pull Apache, I might be interested in the $250 model. ps.: check my icon

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Postage Costs

I'm presuming (perhaps incorrectly) that anyone bringing one of these things into the UK via mail order is likely to need to factor in a hefty duty/VAT levy too when working out just how many hundreds of pounds they're going to end up spending?

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@Elmer

Plenty of people remember the C64 with fondness. Which is why an Amstwat lookalike probably ain't happening. I hope.

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Cheapy cheap cheap

For £153, then source an HDD and a gig or two of RAM, plus a Linux distro it would make a nice wee project machine.

Perhaps someone somewhere will do something highly immoral, like install OSX86 on it....

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External HDD

If I had one of these, I'd SO want to put an external HDD into the shell of a datasette cassette player. That would look sweet :-)

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FAIL

It's ... pants...

This is just a cash-in on nostalgia - done completely wrong.

It doesn't even *look* like a Commodore 64, so really, what's the point?

If it looked close to identical to the original, that would be *exceptionally* cool - alas, it doesn't.

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cheaper at half the price

i would rather buy a dead c64 and put it next to my computer for all the good buying this would do

still get a plastic case to look at, a much better computer, and save a bundle of cash

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Happy

I'd buy it if...

... I could just buy the case, for a reasonable amount, because it looks to me like it houses a standard mini-ITX motherboard, and you can get some (pretty cheap) mini-ITX boards that will take much better processors than that.

With a right-angle or flexible PCIe extender, you may even be able to cram in a decent graphics card too.

Also props to Lottie, that is an absolutely awesome idea.

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