Friday, April 22, 2011

Return of the VIC

Odin. My. God.

The eight-year old kid in me just had a massive nerdgasm. I know, that sounds completely inappropriate, but I can't think of any other way to describe my reaction when I saw this:

The Commodore 64 is back in production. It's been updated of course. The internals include an Intel Atom dual-core 1.8 GHz processor, up to 4 Gb RAM, NVidia ION2 512Mb on-board graphics, and Ethernet, SATA with RAID 0, 1, JBOD. Unfortunately, there is no tape drive, just a slot or tray-load DVD (Blu-ray optional) drive on the left side.

The O/S is Ubuntu 10.4, and they claim that Windows can be also run on the hardware, but you'll have to purchase it separately, of course. Most awesome of all, the operating system supports an 8-bit Commodore emulator (selectable at bootup or run from within Ubuntu), allowing us older nerds to reminisce about the old days of spending (what felt like) hours typing in BASIC commands in order to get the screen to print out "Hello, world!"

They will also be bringing out updated versions of the Amiga as well. I'll probably never pick up either unit, but it's fun just having a look for the nostalgia value.


  1. Not only is it a nerdgasm, it's a retro nerdgasm.

    The commodore 64 was what my husband had growing up... and let's just say that there's a generation gap between us.

    Maybe I should get him one when he turns a new decade.

  2. My parents being what they are, I grew up with the Tandy Extended Color Basic, but boy did it look a lot like that unit!
    I programmed it to play "Stand By Me" and change screen color while droning on with computer tones. I also programmed a "choose your own adventure" game where no matter what you did, it called my brother stupid at the end. Then let my brother play it....
    Good Times.

  3. I never personally owned either a Commodore 62/VIC20 or a Tandy. My grandfather had a VIC20 that I spent a lot of time on (he was disappointed that I had zero interest in auto maintenance, carpentry, or any of the usual "masculine" interests, so he took at least some satisfaction that I practically lived on his computer(s) when I dropped by for visits).
    I vaguely remember buying a BASIC-level Hallowe'en/monster-based programming book in elementary school for me to use on my grandpa's VIC20.
    Most of the "programs" were little more than ASCII-type pictures or very simple programs, but IIRC, I pretty much did every single one of them and loved every minute of it.
    Shortly after that time, one of my friends had a father that purchased a Tandy 1000 with CGA graphics. It was so realistic! I had to wait until 1994 before I picked up a 386 that I could play Wing Commander on before I saw better graphics.
    Ahh, memories!