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back to article Undead Commodore 64 comes back for Christmas

The Commodore 64 will rise from the grave before Christmas, according to the tiny company determined to reanimate the long-dead 80s icon. Commodore USA — the outfit that seemed to unveil a reincarnated C64 before failing to secure the rights to the name — has at long last signed an agreement with the rights holders, and …

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Also - at your local optician

The machine that checks your visual field with the flashing lights, made by Henson. There are still many around that contains a BBC Micro - just listen to the noise it makes when first turned on - unmistakeable.

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Happy

Thanks for the link!

I was smiling when I read that - and thinking "Hmm, I bet those students wish they had my collection - yep, all 52 - of Marshall Cavendish's INPUT magazine." When I have kids, they will also learn systems programming from scratch - and they will recognise an IDE for the luxury it truly is.

I also have my A-level Computer Science book (Understanding Computer Science for Advanced Level - 2nd Edition, by Ray Bradley) - still - and I cracked it open a few weeks ago. It was an entertaining read - not to mention a trip down memory lane. Kimball tags - who remembers those?

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@mittfh IDEs

I don't think modern IDE's do hand hold. What they do is provide decent debugging facilities which are certainly superior to the way we used to debug code on the home computers from the 1980's.

The only way you could debug code from those days was to use print statements to see where the code was getting to, and to print out the values of variables. In terms of productivity, modern IDEs win hands down.

I remember debugging real time embedded systems by making use of whatever you could, and that regularly included the use of an LED on the circuit board, or a digital storage oscilloscope to examine an analogue waveform, interpret the modulated waveform as bits of data, then construct the actual packet's header in hex to work out what the f**k was going on! Ah, the good old days...

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In theory yes

but then it would be a mac and the idea is to make something that doesn't suck

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Linux

Apple is the anti-Commodore

> but then it would be a mac and the idea is to make something that doesn't suck

Not to mention CHEAP. Putting Apple hardware into a Commie chassis would be a travesty.

A travesty I say!

Since a Mac is specifically designed to fit in it's particular brick, there's no saying it's even possible. Whereas PC components of all sorts are cheap and plentiful. This is why modders have already pulled this off for themselves.

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Hmmmmm

All I can think of to say is

Why?

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Grenade

C64 FOASD

Hey, C64, why don't you do us all a favour and just F*ck Off And Stay Dead?

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Coffee/keyboard

It doesn't have enough keys.

Does that not strike anyone as a problem? If it's going to be a PC then the keyboard will need more keys than the C64.

So, um, it won't be a C64 replica.

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Point?

Why build a machine with massively fast different innards?

It's like Ferrari saying "Hmm, that Mk1 Astra was quite popular - let's stick a V12 in there and use that as our next car - we'll sell millions on the nostalgia scene!"

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FAIL

I take it....

...you've never heard of kit cars?

Take an old design (Lotus 7, Mini, Porchse Speedster and many, many others) and stick modern parts in it.

Try it sometime, you may find your tin top to be the dull sofa on wheels that it really is.

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Double-Fail

Lotus 7s, AC Cobras and other common kit-cars have one thing in common: They still look good today. That's why people still bulid them. The C64 looked rubbish in the 80s and hasn't improved with time.

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Crappydore 64

Parfisal: "Next they'll be reintroducing the ZX81 with all new components, what a joy it will be to work with that keyboard again"

I think they already did in the guise of the virtual "keyboard" on some flat thing called the "iPad" or whatever...

AC : "A hobbyist did this a number of years ago, hollowed out their old C64 and shoehorned the guts of a laptop into it for a bit of fun."

That probably *was* a big deal a few years ago. Now that every man and his dog has mangled a classic computer case in order to fit a generic low-end PC/slimline DVD writer combo inside, it's no longer novel.

Even that one (if it's the one J. Cook linked to) isn't impressive in retrospect. They didn't get the keyboard working- the one bit that would complete the illusion. However, that would require more technical skill than just sawing bits off the case and slapping some crappy old PC inside.

And no, you didn't get your C64 to run at "911 times its original speed", chaps. You got some off-the-shelf mini-ITX PC hardware tarted up with a non-functioning C64 case to run at exactly its normal speed.

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Will we be able...

...to peek and poke it?

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"Most amazing components . . . " ... NOT!

QUOTE:

"It will be an exact replica of the C64 chassis loaded with the most amazing components available today,"

UNQUOTE.

Errrm ... Intel Atom D525 CPU with Nvidia Ion2 Gfx ... "most amazing" really? ... Methinks not!

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FAIL

Contradiction?

"...loaded with the most amazing components available today..."

They'd better not print that claim on a box with an Atom/Ion peecee inside it. Trading Standards would have a field day.

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Useless

I grew up on the c64 followed by the Amiga. What this design does is duplicate those machine's short comings. Who wants a Keyboard chained to the monitor and mains cable?.

NO ONE.

I'll stick to my wireless, light keyboard. Free from all tethers.

I do miss those machines.

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Grenade

ermmm

10 PRINT CHR$(147)

20 PRINT "Looks Like Fun"

30 FOR A=1TO1000

40 NEXTA

50 PRINT CHR$(147)

60 PRINT "Can i have one ?"

70 FOR A=1TO1000

80 NEXTA

90 GOTO 10

RUN

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Coat

In Mode 7?

Yeah, that would look awful.

And yellow.

Mine's the one with the BBC reference manual in the pocket.

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Funky colours

$C000 SEI

$C001 LDA #$00

$C003 STA $D011

$C006 INC $D020

$C009 JMP $C006

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WTF?

A wise old Games industry journalist commented once....

Today Adam showed definite signs of both intelligence and emotion. He communicated with me much more frequently during his illness, explaining why he thought he was in such a sorry state and on occasions babbled on incoherently about his dog. Obviously malnutrition has affected his train of thought. He also told me about how sorry he was that I didn't communicate with him as often as I might and that he missed me ruffling his hair. I am deeply moved by such devotion, especially when I consider how badly I have treated him over the past few days. I resolve to take better care of him from this day on

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FAIL

Ho hum...

Just a bog standard intel job. Nothing to see here.

Now... if this "Commodore" had managed to persuade the evil that is SONY to shoehorn an something like an unlocked PS3 with a bit more ram into that box... Or some de novo design of their own. Anything to be different. Some other powerpc. Xenon... Arm/derivative ... whatever.

Now...

THAT would be something. Different, unconventional. A Total Geek machine. I'd buy that.

But they probably don't have the imagination or budget.

As it stands... this 'Commodore' Atom offering is extremely lame. In fact, I can't think of anything lamer than this.

To be honest, I perceive it as an insult to the memory of the C64. It amounts to the same as putting the same kit inside an Apple ][ case. Absolutely no respect at all, these young ones. Just cashing in on the legend of the C64.

There I've said my piece...

Oh wait, not completely, I'd like to take this opportunity yet again to flip Sony the bird. F@ck you, you bastards.

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I'd actually like to design a Tegra 250 box.

Unfortunately, NVidia are very uncooperative when it comes to doing anything other than ordering an evaluation board. It seems that unless you are a big partner shipping millions of devices per year, you won't get any love.

But I'd love to see ARM on the desktop again. It's been too long.

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Happy

An external HDD...

could be made as a replica as the external Commodore cassette tape unit. The size is about right. I tripped over a one of these cassette units the other day, as well as a PET 2001, whilst helping my boss clear out his garage.

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Go

That spec is fine

for what most people would use that system for

dont forget any Gamer of any note at all would want a seperate keyboard and mouse, like razer or logi products to play any modern game.

for emulation and "casual" gaming, the ion2 is fine, in fact I had Race Driver Grid running on an ion1 system with an Atom330 2gb ram and a 320gb hdd.

the only downside is that the keyboard will have to be different , but I could live with that

I will put my name down for one :)

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Stop

It's that time already?

There seem to be recurring stories in media.

For example, in car mags, every now and then Ford will show a coupe, and the car mags will exclaim "THE CAPRI IS BACK!"

And so it is with IT rags, every so often someone dusts off the C64 name and the headlines exclaim "THE COMMODORE 64 IS BACK!"

I own a DTV (basically a C64 in a joystick with games included), and unfortunately the joystick is very poor quality, so make do with emulators and a CD full of C64 games I found at a car boot sale.

Besides, didn't they do the "all in one" PC thing a few years back?

"Commodore 64 web.it" it was called, it featured a 486 chip, Windows 3.1 or CE on ROM, Lotus SmartSuite, a built in modem with Netscape Navigator / CE explorer, but it did also have a proper C64 emulator! :)

Been trying to find one on ebay for years....

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Keyboard

I wonder if they can make it so that we can print the alternate pictures on the keys?

My first BASIC program (on the VIC - I had to wait for a while 'till I got a C64) was the flying bird one in the manual. Basically a print command, then a count to and another print command with a goto 10 at the end, but DAMN! I felt like I was in Tron!

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Disappointingly pointless

I initially hoped that this "exact replica" would in fact be an exect replica.

However it's just a PC in a C64-alike case. So what's the point.

How disappointing that there's no SID chip etc.

Exact replica rating 1 out of 10

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Go

want

if it has a screechy boot up with multicoloured scrolling im IN!

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Meh, its just like the new mini.

The new mini is a large car with a badge on it saying 'mini'. Compare it to the original mini and you see there's nothing mini about it.

Kind of like what they are doing here. Badge a PC as a Commodore 64 and try and sell on name alone.

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Pint

Sort of

I kind of agree there. The new MINI != proper Mini.

But this C64 revival would be more like packing the engine and internals of a Toyota Yaris into an original Mini bodyshell. Not a proper mini as in no rubber suspension, no A series engine, no central speedo etc. but looks like a Mini.

Whereas the "MINI" comparison could be made against those "Commodore" gaming PCs, which like the large BMW hatchback, are an arbitrary naming exercise and an irrelevancy in the history of the original article.

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So?

I actually have a C64 in a cupboard somewheres., but I was a CoCo man back in the day, personally.

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When the Commodore 128 first came out

a review in one of the mags said that it was fully compatible with the C64 and can ruin (sic) all its software.

Is that true also of the new baby?

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FAIL

Point

And the point of this is...?

I was expecting it to be a 'retro machine' that would sell for like 50 quid. Instead its just a regular PC in a crappy looking case. What a load of jip.

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Linux

BBC Micro SD card interface?

I saw a picture of a BBC Micro hooked up to an SD card, and I'm wondering if anyone knows where I can find details of how to build the interface (I'm guessing it uses the 1MHz bus), as I've not been able to find details online so far.

Thanks!

Paul.

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sd expansion

google "mmbeeb" for the DIY version. It's just a user port connection and a few discretes

Or there are plenty of other ways to add modern storage media to the things. See

http://www.stairwaytohell.com/sthforums/viewtopic.php?p=27708#p27708

for a recent discussion of the various methods.

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Joke

Hello eBay ....

Time to flog my crapped out, full of cobweb C64's that have languished in the garden shed on eBay in the hope some sucker thinks they're getting something much better than it is/was.

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FAIL

SD Card

Since the C64 has a SD card adaptor available for it, near instant loading is a reality.

Not sure what the point of this new unit is. I love the old beige bread bin, but reusing the case? I have a C64 and it sits next to my Acer Revo PC which ironically runs pretty much the same spec as they are looking to shove into a 64 case.

If you want a 64, go buy one one Ebay. If you want a small and neat PC go buy an Acer Revo. Or have both like me!

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C64 SD card interfaces have been around for yonks.

But if you're going to go this route, make sure you upgrade the OS ROM with JiffyDOS - there's no point in using an SD or CF card to load your games if you're using the standard Commodore serial IEC bus code. :)

The cool thing about JiffyDOS is that it works with everything, from a "standard" 1541, to exotic DSDD drives like the 1581 - and even CMD hard disks! Since the C64 OS ROM never had to deal with disk formats, directory structure, etc (it just opened a communications channel to the relevant disk device, and the on-board controller handled the disk filing system), loading and saving files to and from an SD or CF card is done in exactly the same way as to a normal disk - no additional software required.

Have a look at Jim Brain Innovations for JiffyDOS. If you have an EPROM burner, you can even buy the images and burn them yourself.

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Market?

I'm not really convinced there's a market for this item. It's clearly intended to be nostalgic and is aimed at people in their 30's and 40's that owned them as kids. But, we want them with the actual innards!

Creating a computer in the same case as a C64 but with totally different innards doesn't make it a C64!

It's being marketed as a C64 and so clearly aimed at the nostalgic market but the kids of today won't have that nostalgic feeling: they weren't even born when the C64 was around! So what's in it for the teenagers of today?

To make it nostalgic means it has to be able to play the original games of yesterday and will those games appeal to the kids of today when they're lacking the blazing 3D graphics.

Let's be honest, I love playing old games like PacMan, Defender but I get bored with them very rapidly now, they don't hold my attention like the Far Cry, Half Life 2.

If it's intended as a games computer then there are other consoles which already do that, so this new C64 needs to have some unique selling point, perhaps that's the price..perhaps not.

To gain a low price point requires a large market, the games console manufacturers in the past have regularly sold consoles at below the cost of manfacture in order to achieve market penetration and made up the losses in the sales - and higher than otherwise would be- price of the software.

Does anyone really think this nostalgic C64 is going to have as large a market as say a Wii games console?

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Anonymous Coward

What's Sad, Pathetic and Funny?

Booting up the C=64 OS on a 1.83 GHz dual core CPU w 4 Gigabytes of RAM and a hard drive featuring 100 Megabytes per second transfer rate, in a mere 1 minute and 14 seconds!

bull guts sucks the big one!

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Exact replica

They should queeze some original hardware in there too and let there be a choice at power on.

Anyone remember Up'n'Down on the C64?

I thought the BBC Micro was great as well, it's what we had at school. Remember Dogfight? And Biorhythms lol!

And alt!-4

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FAIL

Not like C=64

They can't actually seem to distinguish between the C=64 and the Amiga; no way is the Amigo reminiscent of the C=64, it's more like the bastard child of a TI99-4a and an A1200...

///

\\\ /// or something

vvv

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Alert

WHY ?????????

What have they done?

They're taken one of my cherished childhood memories, and gave me a box full of LIES!

(Falls to the ground and looks to the sky)

WHY ? Sweet God in heaven, why do they torture me so? They pass a new C64 before my eyes, then tell me it doesn't play C64 games. How could a loving God allow this to happen? WHY ?

(collapses to ground after complete mental breakdown)

(fade to black)

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Let it die already...

Altman is just another unqualified quack, the likes of Bill McEwan and the jokers behind the Gravel, tarnishing the legacy of a dead company. It's disgraceful what this parade of starry-eyed amateurs has done to the Commodore name.

Jerri Ellsworth's DTV was the only product of any value released in a post Commodore world to bear the moniker proudly.

Seriously, what could possibly motivate these people to resurrect the brand, aside from the nostalgia a handful of silly geeks (I include myself) share?  In its painfully protracted decline, Commodore was perceived as a joke in the marketplace, revered and cheered on only by those of us with the perspective and memory to care. To Joe Consumer, computer meant PC or Macintosh by the late 90s, which is as far back as his memory will go. (Ancient history in terms of computing!)  What credibility does the brand have today, in a world that foolishly believes Steve Wozniak invented the personal computer, doesn't know an Amiga from a pile of old microwave parts, and just vaguely remembers the toy computer they got for Christmas in 1984.

Let Commodore rest in peace already.

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