back to article Commodore 64 makes a half-sized comeback

The Commodore 64 is coming back, in a form that owes a debt to both Nintendo's shrunken Mini SNES and thee Vega+ Sinclair ZX Spectrum reboot. The due-in-early 2018 “C64 Mini” matches Nintendo's plan to shrink an old machine, in this case by 50 per cent. Like the Mini and the Vega+ the revived Commodore will pack in pre-loaded …

  1. steviebuk Silver badge

    Seems....

    ...rather pointless if you can't use the keyboard on the device. Looks like they are releasing a full size, fully working version in 2018. Maybe wait till then to see if the keyboard actually works on the full size version.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Seems....

      I don't mind about the keyboard, but until I can plug my 1541 that's a no-go - I don't want to retype all those BASIC code....

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: Seems.... @LDS

        Then whatever you do, don't try to look at the catalogue after you've started writing your program. Though retyping it might be faster than saving on a 1541 anyway.

  2. Stephen Wilkinson

    Far better keyboard than the crap modern one I have to put up with at work these days

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Yeah can't say I am a fan of most modern keyboards either. Picked myself up a nice mechanical one off the interwebs. Feels much nicer to use and is a LOT more satisfying if you're having a typed out rant-o-gram :)

      1. FIA

        Yeah can't say I am a fan of most modern keyboards either. Picked myself up a nice mechanical one off the interwebs. Feels much nicer to use and is a LOT more satisfying if you're having a typed out rant-o-gram :)

        I picked up a post modern keyboard a few years ago, it was crap. Every key just typed 'Y' and after 6 months it gave up with a disenfranchised sigh.

    2. Robin

      During the trend of moving to 'soft' type keyboards in the early 2000s, I kept my old style IBM clicky one as it was much nicer to type on.

      The downside was that whenever the office was quiet, everyone could tell when I was typing. Not so great for the Friday afternoon skive!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        +1 for the old IBM keyboards. I wrote my undergraduate project on an ancient IBM AT using Word Perfect. It was, erm.... military surplus shall we say. 25,000 words, all done over the easter holidays. No diagrams. When you got up a head of steam on those keyboards, you really felt like you were getting somewhere. A keyboard that gave you the "I'm king of the world!" from Titanic feeling, when you got up to a decent WPM. Modern keyboards? Utter bollocks unless you are prepared to pay a fortune.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I still use an IBM model M, manufactured in Greenock on 29-04-1997 according to the label. PN 1391406, SN 1234565. Unfortunately it has a UK keymap and I am now in Oz so could do with a US one.

          I keep looking at Unicomp to get a modern version with a USB interface and a Windows key, but they don't seem to have an Aussie disty and shipping from the US to Oz costs more then the keyboard.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Australian keyboard

            Interesting, are US keyboards the standard/default in Australia?

            Even though I’m in the UK, I prefer the US keyboard layout myself. All of the symbol keys are in much more logical locations, and it’s really not all that much of a hardship to type option+3 (or compose l-=) for when I do need a £ sign.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Australian keyboard

              Yes. We have the Aussie $ as currency, so makes sense to use US layout.

              Not sure why we are getting downvotes. I can only assume my post was downvoted for use of the word "Windows". Not sure about yours.

            2. Steve Graham

              Re: Australian keyboard

              The first keyboards I used were American-layout ones from DEC. This formed strong brain connections so that I now always configure the layout US style, no matter what the symbols on the key caps say.

              In fact, I have a DEC LK250 keyboard sitting in the corner. (From their "PC-compatible" box.) I have a large-DIN to small-DIN adapter, and an AT-to-USB converter, but it doesn't work reliably. I think it might be a power issue. Maybe a powered USB hub would help.

  3. ukgnome Silver badge

    This is utterly pointless

    And yet I simply must have this!

  4. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Look in the loft

    Or trawl the eBazaars, the original machines are still working and widely available. Thanks the tin solder they still work as well as they ever did.

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Go

      Re: Look in the loft

      Agreed. I even saw NEW games for C64 at Gamescom this year!

    2. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Look in the loft

      I got my Amstrad CPC down from the loft last year. It was great fun - for 10 minutes. Then the nostalgia wore off and it dawned on me how truly rubbish 80s machines are compared to now. Their saving grace is the ease of learning to program and getting to understand computers with BASIC (something thats sorely lacking today despite all the hype about python and scratch), but other than that I'm afraid I don't get this rush to buy clones of old machines especially given you can buy the real things on ebay relatively cheaply.

      Still, I suppose its no different to people buying replicas of old cars and like replica cars there'll be a modern engine and running gear underneath. Wouldn't surprise me if its just a raspberry pi tucked into a corner running a C64 emulator with a nice price mark up for the gullible.

      1. AceRimmer1980
        Pint

        Re: Look in the loft

        There you go - that's CPC's for you :P

        Seriously though, if you learned to bash the C64 metal in 6510 assembly, that taught a lot of the underlying principles for playing with Arduinos and the like.

        And the games were frankly more fun. And the SID chip..And $D011 raster effects that needed the exact amount of NOP's to work..

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: Look in the loft

          "There you go - that's CPC's for you :P"

          Well, each to their own :P

          One thing I will say about the CPC range is that AFAIK Locomotive BASIC was the only 1980s BASIC that could do a kind of limited co-operative multithreading using the AFTER/EVERY <msec> GOSUB <line> interrupt commands.

      2. Ian Emery Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Look in the loft

        CPC was crap when it came out, believe me, I had to teach my mum how to use it one weekend - so she could teach some lecturers on Monday morning how to teach their students on Monday afternoon.

        (Typical training centre balls-up).

        I did at least get free photo copier privileges for my Star Fleet Battles addiction.

        The nearest we have to a Nostalgia" icon.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: Look in the loft

          "CPC was crap when it came out, believe me, I had to teach my mum how to use it one weekend - so she could teach some lecturers on Monday morning how to teach their students on Monday afternoon."

          How do you teach someone BASIC to a level to be able to teach others in a weekend? Or was it more "Here's how you switch it on, he's how you put a tape/disk in and load a game"?

        2. John 110

          Re: Look in the loft

          "CPC was crap when it came out"

          My CPC with its two ROM boxes was a brilliant wee Word processor and development environment. OK, the games suffered a bit what with being mostly direct ports from the Spectrum, but Elite played fine (what else did you need...)

          1. ridley

            Re: Look in the loft

            "CPC was crap when it came out"

            I will have you know that I wrote a program to control the Seawolf missile system on a CPC 6128 in assembler, tested it off the Welsh coast on HMS Broadsword.

            Oh what fun we had. Seawolf trial worked. But an Exocet trial failed due to the missile deciding at the last second that it didn't want to come out and play and just sat there even though its little hutch had opened. It sulked for 1/2 an hour before it was decided it had calmed down.

            1. boltar Silver badge

              Re: Look in the loft

              "I will have you know that I wrote a program to control the Seawolf missile system on a CPC 6128 in assembler, tested it off the Welsh coast on HMS Broadsword."

              You should have got Alan Amstrad Sugar to come along and say "You're fired!"

            2. Simon Harris Silver badge

              Re: Look in the loft

              "But an Exocet trial failed due to the missile deciding at the last second that it didn't want to come out and play and just sat there even though its little hutch had opened. It sulked for 1/2 an hour before it was decided it had calmed down."

              Did you also have a beach-ball alien on board?

      3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      4. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Look in the loft

        The CPC can manage (given its age) a pretty decent GUI-driven OS - SymbOS:

        http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/SymbOS

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Look in the loft

          The CPC is a well-designed machine — it's trivial to set yourself up with a full address range of RAM, pick any portion of that to be the size you want of video output, you've got the equal-highest resolution graphics of the era, one of the faster CPUs, a better-than-usual palette, great support for the disk drive machine (even if the disks are weird), and the BASIC is well-structured and provides good hardware support.

          They don't all support interlacing, as Amstrad switched CRTC supplier a few times, but if you get one that does then you can output 1bpp graphics at a resolution slightly higher than DVD. If you bought the model that comes with a monitor, you can probably even see them all. Though you'll probably want the 128kb machine for that, as I count almost a full 64kb spent on such a frame buffer.

          You only suffer because developers tended to treat it as that thing you hastily port your Spectrum game to in a couple of weeks somewhere near to the end of development ― as long as it sort of works, that'll do. So there's a vast library, but you need to be a little selective.

      5. John Sanders
        Flame

        Re: Look in the loft

        I'm sorry but a CPC is in my opinion possibly the worse of the 8 bit machines.

        I can have lots of fun with the speccy, the C64 and MSX machines (running japanese software), but the CPC has to be the dullest machine ever made.

        The basic on the MSX is great, and the full screen editor on the C64 is incredibly well designed for the time (although the basic is not very good as it lacks sound and graphics commands)

        For assembler programs the C64 is ace with a cartridge running an ASM monitor.

        But the CPC...

        If you want to know which 8 bit computer is cool and funny, check the demoscene for it.

        1. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: Look in the loft @John Sanders

          Batman Forever is both (i) the obligatory CPC demo of modern times; and (ii) the only good thing called 'Batman Forever'.

    3. Roopee

      Re: Look in the loft

      I have a real C64 in mint condition, boxed, that I'm going to put on eBay or somewhere. Guess it's just gone up in price :)

      Offers on a postcard please...

      I personally never used a C64, though my little brother did; my first was a Vic-20, because at college we had Commodore Pets. The Vic-20 was awful to use, mainly because its display was about 20 characters wide, which made it very difficult to do anything useful that was text-based. The Pet and C64 were somewhat more useful.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Look in the loft

        "I personally never used a C64, though my little brother did; my first was a Vic-20, because at college we had Commodore Pets. The Vic-20 was awful to use, mainly because its display was about 20 characters wide, which made it very difficult to do anything useful that was text-based. The Pet and C64 were somewhat more useful."

        I was given a Vic 20 and discovered that the only difference between a Vic 20 and CBM 64 is the system board (and the case colour) and that a free Vic 20 plus an aftermarket replacement C64 system board was a LOT cheaper than a new C64,

  5. MJI Silver badge

    If a USB keyboard require no sale

    Commodore keyboards were good.

    WIll it support the short cut commands to save RAM?

  6. ShelLuser

    Better alternatives..

    Just pick up Vice and find yourself some rompacks on the Internet (there are plenty freely available thanks to retrogame websites) and after you did that you can soon play dozens of retro games free of charge.

    Heck, I even managed to copy my Final Cartridge using a small basic program, send that to my PC and right now I'm using that image in Vice as well. The whole setup can really take me back to those good times :)

    Seriously though: the graphics maybe far less than what we're currently used to, but some of the gameplay we had back then was really way ahead.

  7. wolfetone Silver badge

    Commodore already did this with the Commodre 64GS.

    It bombed. Why?

    The games it came with needed a keyboard to operate. This is a pointless money making scheme. For £70 you could buy a C64 and play whatever games you want on it without a problem.

    1. tin 2

      the games it came with did NOT need a keyboard to operate! You're misremembering.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Quite right, but the system was sold as being compatible with C64 games which were available in cartidge form. Those wouldn't work though.

        Linky.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      For £70 you could buy a RaspberryPi, an SD card, a keyboard, a joystick, and have some cash left over to put towards a screen. Then you could emulate not only a C64, but a C128, an Amiga, a speccy, a NES, SNES and Gameboy and plenty else as well.

  8. Christian Berger Silver badge

    I find such projects a bit sad

    Essentially they are reducing home computers to games machines. Home computers were excellent toys to learn how computers worked. They had programming languages simple enough to fully learn in 2 weeks, they had hardware and "operating systems" easy enough so they could be fully understood by the determined hobbyist.

    Compare that to the Raspberry Pi, which runs a highly complex operating system, on highly complex and only partially documented hardware. No single person can understand it and learn from it.

    Maybe we should instead make a Commodore PET clone, with a small microcontroller running a 6052 emulator as the CPU and perhaps video output. That way we could have a machine again which would be understandable by everyone, yet powerful enough to do things.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: I find such projects a bit sad

      "excellent toys to learn how computers worked"

      I thought that was the whole idea behind the Raspberry Pi? Although I agree Linux and Python are a bit of a mouthful to swallow at once compared to switching an 8bit on and typing "10 print 'hello world'

      1. defiler Silver badge

        Re: I find such projects a bit sad

        "Although I agree Linux and Python are a bit of a mouthful to swallow at once compared to switching an 8bit on and typing "10 print 'hello world'"

        That's why I'll be setting one up for my lad with RiscOS. BBC BASIC FTW!! And it's got enough poke to do big-boy stuff. And if he ever decides that's what takes his interest, there's an ARM assembler in the box too.

        By the time he gets to that stage, a bit of Python and C shouldn't be beyond his grasp.

        I'll even encourage my daughter to give it a bash. She has a very different mindset, though, so I'm not convinced it'll be her thing.

    2. brassedoff

      Re: I find such projects a bit sad

      Maybe we should instead make a Commodore PET clone, with a small microcontroller running a 6052 emulator as the CPU and perhaps video output. That way we could have a machine again which would be understandable by everyone, yet powerful enough to do things.

      ...or even a 6502. Ah, the days of zero page addressing...

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: I find such projects a bit sad

        "running a 6502 emulator..."

        An emulator? Unless things have changed recently, the real thing (or at least the slightly enhanced CMOS version) can still be had from the Western Design Centre.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: I find such projects a bit sad

      I used to enjoy things like working out how to alter the wiring of a Maplin Speech Synthesiser kit so that it would work connected to the user port instead of the memex port.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: I find such projects a bit sad

        "Maplin Speech Synthesiser kit"

        The one with the SP0256-AL2?

        I remember seeing the circuit in the Maplin Magazine and buying the chip on its own (mine came from Tandy rather than Maplin) and connecting it to a parallel printer port. It was supposed to run from a 3.12MHz crystal - I made a VCO for mine and had a pot that I could adjust from super-low baritone to mickey-mouse soprano.

    4. LDS Silver badge

      "Essentially they are reducing home computers to games machines."

      I guess that for many who are commented here they were "excellent toys to learn how computers worked" - but for many, many others they were just games machines.

      They replaced consoles for some time probably because games were much easier to pirate - and maybe even because owning a personal computer had some "cool" factor, and parents saw them less as a pure game machine only.

      It's no surprise later pure game consoles became a big market again.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: "Essentially they are reducing home computers to games machines."

        "They replaced consoles for some time probably because games were much easier to pirate - and maybe even because owning a personal computer had some "cool" factor, and parents saw them less as a pure game machine only."

        Main selling point. Parents wouldn't buy you a console (like, say an ATARI), but you could talk them into buying you a home computer for school work... Not that this was entirely untrue.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        Re: "Essentially they are reducing home computers to games machines."

        They were also remarkably better game machines. They were much better equipped. The games were simply much better. The games were also much more interesting. Didn't matter if they could be pirated or not.

        Hell, that's true even now.

    5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Andy france

        Re: I find such projects a bit sad

        @lnfnords The PET came with GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus). This was pretty handy if you happened to work in a research labs with lots of expensive hp instruments to control. Comodore also brought out a disk drive that connected to the PET over GPIB. Ammusingly the disk drive CPU was twice as powerful (well double the clock speed) as the one used by the PET.

      2. John Sanders
        Trollface

        Re: I find such projects a bit sad

        I wait to see your face the day you try to teach your kids some python.

  9. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Any new reboots need to have VGA or HDMI output as I don't want to scrounge around for old, working tellies... or monitors with the required hardware.

    As flat panel VGA/HDMI is in abundant supply, it just makes more sense anyway.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      yes , dont panic. This one does.

      Thats probly the only advantage it has over a real C64

  10. bluesxman

    There's no hint of crowdfunding, so hopefully the hiccups Vega+ buyers experienced won't be an issue.

    Did they actually ship them (Vega+) yet? I've not found a recent article on them to confirm one way or the other.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      "Did they actually ship them (Vega+) yet? I've not found a recent article on them to confirm one way or the other."

      They're hoping we all forgot about it.

    2. AIBailey

      Did they actually ship them (Vega+) yet?

      Very much not - retro-computers.co.uk

      Just for clarification however - the team behind this C64 were involved in the original Vega (which did ship). They left RCL almost 18 months ago after falling out with the current management over the Vega+, including (amongst other things) whether they should be taking any salary until the product shipped. They believed they shouldn't, the current RCL lot disagreed and appear to have since wasted the entire IndieGoGo fund (half a million quid of investors money) on doing anything but delivering a finished product.

      The URL I posted above makes for very interesting reading!

  11. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    No Sprite clashes - not interested.

    I like my game properly 'retro'

  12. sawatts

    Still active development for C64?

    There was a talk at CppCon 2016 where Jason Turner demonstrated developing in C++17 for C64 - see https://youtu.be/zBkNBP00wJE - was a very interesting presentation (not just for the C64 aspect).

    1. Captain DaFt

      Still active development for C64?

      Why yes, I do believe there still is.

      Shame that this one seems to have stalled though.

  13. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    So you have a C64 shaped box with a pretend keyboard on it?

    I could do that now by putting an emu on the pc behind my telly , and drawing a C64 keyboard on a shoebox in front of the telly.

    Given the amount of hardware this thing requires it would have been better to recreate one of the classic joysticks of the time and build the whole thing into that with an hdmi plug on the end of a long lead.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Given the amount of hardware this thing requires it would have been better to recreate one of the classic joysticks of the time and build the whole thing into that with an hdmi plug on the end of a long lead.

      Well actually, they did that.

      Except the HDMI... need a TV with audio and video jacks.

      Still have mine.

      I was tempted to do this, but decided not to, the nostalgia just wasn't strong enough.

  14. Ian Emery Silver badge

    I predict

    It will all turn out to be vapourware.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: I predict

      That depends. If they've licensed the FPGA C64 recreation that went into a TV-game joystick unit a while back, then the engineering's all done, and there's really very little work to do.

      But if they're doing software emulation, then the whole beast of timing issues and inaccurate emulation raises its ugly head.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I predict

        Huge amount of info on modding those joysticks and turning them into fully fledged C64s all over the interwebs.

        They are fun, I picked one up for 2 quid at a car boot.

  15. NonSSL-Login

    Choice of games

    Not too impressed with the choice of games listed as coming with it.

    This story has made me want to play good 'ole Wizball again. Time to put yet another emulator on the phone!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Choice of games

      +1 for Wizball..FTW!

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: Choice of games

        Games i loved on c64:

        Wizball

        Forbidden Forest

        Gunship

        Elite (although it was far slower on the c64 than the spectrum, especially when cargo + detritus)

        Eddie Kidd (for a few goes. The 'Too Bad! I Hope You Like Hospital Food' splash screen took so long it was irritating. Too irritating.

        Way of the Exploding Fist.

        Falcon Patrol

        R-Type

        Bruce Lee

        Loads more I can't bring to mind right now.

        1. Mike Richards Silver badge

          Re: Choice of games

          Dropzone!

          Boulderdash!

          The Infocom adventures....

    2. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

      Re: Choice of games

      They call it a collection of C64 retro games, but Radar Ratrace isn't there! Pfft.

      Nor Tales of the Unknown, Volume 1. You probably know it by its subtitle: The Bard's Tale.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Choice of games

        Wasn't radar ratrace a vic-20 cartridge game?

        1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

          Re: Choice of games

          It was, but it was converted for the 64. Come to think of it, I may have been thinking of the VIC version. My bad.

  16. MrGutts
    Unhappy

    No Mule?

    Come on now, they didn't add MULE to the game list? So sad now.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: No Mule?

      There's a decent MULE clone on IOS if you're interested :)

  17. juice Bronze badge

    Looking at the games list...

    I strongly suspect that this is just the DTV inside a new box, and with a couple of USB ports bolted to the side.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C64_Direct-to-TV

    I've still got a DTV in a cupboard somewhere...

  18. Børge Nøst

    Still alive

    For an example of things going on in 2017 you can take a look at this one https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thalamusdigital/hunters-moon-remastered

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Still alive

      Its not clear to me what they are going to produce with that kickstarter , it looks like remastered ( c64? ) game on a cartridge, requiring an original C64 to play?

      Surely they'd have more success relewasing on Android and/or PC? or xbox?

      ...or is that not following the dream?

      or did a read it wrong?

  19. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Ah , I see , it *is* in C64 format , and allowances are made for those weirdos that dont have an actual C64 available.

    "The Game – Digital Edition [£15] If you don’t have a C64 or prefer to get your retro fix via emulation, this is the pledge for you. We’ll send you a digital version of the game, digital manual, cover art wallpapers (various resolutions), and a digital copy of Thirty One."

  20. adam payne Silver badge

    Zynaps, Cybernoid, Rana Rama, Everyone's a Wally, Hawkeye, Arc of Yesod etc etc

    Good games I can play on an emulator but the box would look awesome plugged into my TV.

  21. JamesPond
    Happy

    Can i play Speedball 2 on it

    My and my uni mates used to play Speedball 2 on the C64 for hours. Tried it on a PC but just wasn't the same gameplay or joystick feel. So if Speedball2 is available then I might think about it.

    1. Valerion

      Re: Can i play Speedball 2 on it

      Pretty sure I saw that on the list of games.

  22. DagD

    Oh, I hope it comes with the cassette tape backup!

    I sooo miss typing my programs "over, and over, and over...."

  23. Duffaboy

    64 games

    a bit mean..

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No SID chip

    No thanks.

  25. jj_0
    Facepalm

    Not crowdfunded?

    Actually this was crowdfunded at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the64-computer-and-games-console.

    It followed the usual path of delays, changes, dissapoointments, lack of updates from which they've now seem to have recovered (this actually needs a Phoenix rising from the ashes icon).

    The original indiegogo products are still delayed but at least they have promised that original backers will receive the C64 mini.

  26. Kimo

    Fond memories...

    ...of the start of the console/PC wars. I had a C64 after my TI 99/4A. Friend had an Atari 2600. Good times.

  27. jon909

    I wonder what they're doing to emulate the SID chip.

  28. tecnoworld

    I'm a huge fan of CBM 64=, my first full fledged "home computer" (I owned a magnavox odissey ii aka philips g7000, before).

    But...this, to me, seems just like a sort of emulator in a nice box, w/o the possibility to connect all the great peripherals from the old days.

  29. 20i Richard

    No Hover Bovver? Or Uridium?

    I'm not gonna bovver.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No Hover Bovver? Or Uridium?

      Thanks for the memory: Uridium was an excellent game (even on my Spectrum, where it was inevitably a bit less colourful, for obvious reasons!).

  30. ecofeco Silver badge

    Half size?

    So it's a 32 then?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I miss my old C64...

    Started on a Vic 20 with a 300Baud accoustic coupler modem mounted in the joystick port.

    Went to a C64 with a pair of 1541s, a pair of 1581s, a 1750REU with maxed out RAM, a 56Kb FastCart attached external Hayes modem (in a purple housing), and a six slot expansion module off the back so I could use a simple DIP Switch to swap between which cartridge was active.

    Upgraded to a 128D, moved all the aforementioned 64 kit over, & was happily writing reports, doing my taxes, using CompuServ & BBS', playing games, writing BASIC programs, & getting stuff done while my friends were all struggling with IRQ's on their IBM PC clones. "While you're trying to figure out how to get that bit to work at all, I've already got mine running, ready to Work, & waiting smugly for ME to get off my ass. Have fun with that IBM, I'm going to Get Shit Done now!"

    *Cough*

    If I still had my old C64/128D setup I'd probably have figured out how to get it to play Crysis.

    =-)p

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I missed the whole C64 thing

    The school had ONE.

    It was strictly allotted to the straight-A math students only.

    Us dumb kids were graciously allowed to watch from the back.

  33. Tom 64

    That price

    >"Price has been set at £69.99/$69.99/€79.99"

    So there it is, dollar/pound parity. Thanks Tories.

  34. Louis Schreurs BEng

    when bought, you still can't use it

    USB power lead *

    * Packaging does not include AC Adapter

  35. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

    Memories...

    10 for i=0 to 15:poke 53280,i:next i:goto 10

    Ahh....

  36. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

    Thing is...

    The speccy games were so much better. We had both a speccy and a c64 in the house, and... I dunno... there was just something about the speccy that I never felt with the c64, despite the c64 being a much more technically capable machine.

    SPECCY OR DEATH!

  37. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Stop

    It will be useless and crap.

    A lot of promises here. I am tired of people taking the "retro" community for granted and for a ride. Anyone who has access to a real C64 and hardware (that is, anyone with access to eBay or Craigslist) already has what they need to have a good old time with the machine. The HDMI port might be the only useful thing about The64, in particular since so many of the cheap S-Video/Composite-to-HDMI adapters cannot sync to the 240p signal output by the VIC-II and other chips of the era including those in the TI-99/4-series and Atari 8-bits. There are a few which do but it is a crap-shoot, though I over-came with a shiny Onkyo TX-NR656 which does a fairly good job with up-scaling the old systems, including Sega Genesis and original NES.

    Disks are not an issue, either. If you have a PC and one of the many models of XU-1541 then you can use a real drive and real disks. Or pick up one of the SD2IEC variants and put your disk images on an SD card. Grab the TOSEC for Commodore 64 via Archive.org, as well as a number of really awesome new games available around the webs.

    Or, as another has stated, grab Vice and run a nicely-equipped Commodore 64 (or 128, or VIC-20, etc.) on virtually any platform. Frodo is another which works well for cross-platform emulation -- anyone still run PalmOS or WebOS?

    Point being, the Commodore community at large, IMNSHO, will pan this (actually, there are plenty of threads around in which this has already been panned, some with amazing vitriol.) I do not see the names of anyone recognized as modern pioneers on this project, at the very least Jeri Ellsworth who was responsible for the D64TV. Anyone with genuine interest, like those I have met at places like Vintage Computer Fest, will want their hands on the Real Deal(tm) and will get them.

    This is hipster fodder. I call shenanigans on this whole damn page.

  38. Mike Richards Silver badge

    It won't be the same

    Without an enormous plastic Commodore power brick smelling sweetly of any number of banned organic solvents.

  39. RedCardinal

    I don't understand who this is aimed at. Surely any retro games fans who want to play C64 games will already being doing so - via an emulator on their pc?

  40. MudFever

    Oh great, yet more wet dreams of reviving old tat, just like the VEGA and Atari. They were great at the time, but just crap now. Anyone contributes to such pointless projects should expect to get screwed over and get nothing: download an emulator and spend the cash on porn mags!

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      As per the article, this wasn't crowdfunded. The only people who contributed to the project were paid employees. The C64 Mini went on sale in early 2018 as promised, is widely available, and you could order one from your usual online retailer today if you wanted.

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