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Commodore 64 turns 30

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the happy-birthday dept.

Technology 218

will_die writes "The Commodore 64 came out 30 years ago and to celebrate this the BBC went and got two groups of kids to try out an old system, complete with tape drive. It's sure to bring a few grins to people who had one of these old systems. From the article: 'The Commodore's ability to display 16 colours, smoothly scroll graphics and play back music through its superior SID (sound interface device) chip - even while loading programs off tape - helped win over fans, but it did not become the market leader until the late 1980s.'" Last spring a modern version of the C64 was released.

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Remarkable (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40850247)

Somehow it was easier for me to write assembly code on that machine to do animations than anything I have access to now. (I don't know Java.) What's up with that?

Re:Remarkable (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850795)

Because you were young back then. Your brain and body were at their peak. You could have learned Cantor's infinities at the same time as coding demos on the C64. You're probably middle-aged now, you're lucky if you're able to remember what you had for breakfast.

Re:Remarkable (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850901)

It's more probably because there are now eight thousand layers of software between you and the machine.

Re:Remarkable (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851567)

If you want to programme games there are. If you want to write machine code, just about every appliance has a computer in them, and they're all hardware limited. Depressingly, the best place to look for hardware limited code to write now commercially is with dishwashers and ovens and other simple appliances.

Re:Remarkable (5, Insightful)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851735)

^^^ Amen.

Amount of time it took a 6th grader to figure out that POKE 53281,0 turns the screen black: about 5 minutes.

Amount of time it took me as an adult ~20 years later, with ~7 years of postgraduate professional development experience, to figure out how to create a JFrame, open a JPanel on it, and fill it with black: about 3 hours, and that was with a few years of Java experience already under my belt. I shudder to think what would be involved trying to do it in C++ under Windows with MFC.

30 years ago, the essence of programming a Commodore 64 could be boiled down into a book with 500 pages, and made comfortably accessible with the addition of 2 or 3 more good books. Now, the fucking EULA pdf ALONE rambles on for close to 80, and a fairly complete set of books documenting nothing but J2SE 7 (with comprehensive treatment of Swing) would fill a bookcase, and a comprehensive set of books with everything you need to know about Windows to do anything from write miniport drivers to create .net webapps would fill a building the size of my childhood's small town public library.

Plus, expectations of artistry were much lower. You could write a program that created an 8x8 smiley face in 2 colors. You weren't expected to master DirectX or OpenGL and learn about 47 different shadowing modes, or read a book the size of War & Peace on T&L theory. You didn't even have to be much of an artist. It helped if you were, but when you're dealing with the world one 8x8 custom character at a time, artistic finesse really didn't add much to the equation.

Ditto, for music. You could get a piece of sheet music, and your main programming task was figuring out how to efficiently represent frequency+duration with a finite number of DATA statements. Today, you practically need to have the background knowledge of a professional recording engineer. Even in the Amiga era, the hardest part about dealing with SoundTracker was the fact that it crashed like a third-world discount airline. Learning to use SoundTracker itself took maybe an hour, and learning how to play it back with assembly was almost a no-brainer.

I really feel sorry for kids learning to program for the first time today. Our videogames might have sucked compared to Half Life (or even Angry Birds), but at least we had computers that a single mortal could grasp, understand, and individually do cool & worthwhile things with after just a few days of practice and experimentation.

Re:Remarkable (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851275)

Really, I'm in my mid-40s and don't buy into this peak performance bullshit. But you see
unlike most I don't eat any processed/junk crap - AT ALL. I don't drink sodas, I don't
take medications and certainly do not accept vaccines AT ALL. Instead I eat fresh salmon
and fat meat (lean != good) and organic vegetables every day and take a shitload of B-vitamins and 5g
Vitamin C and 6000 IU Vitamin D3 a day. The only thing is I don't work out as much as I
should but my work and private studies just don't leave me much spare time for that. I
have to set my priorities.

Go right ahead and nurture the believe that aches and pains, forgetfulness, brain-fog,
worsening vision are just a matter of age. They're not. They are caused by malnutrition,
medications, vaccines and exposure to chemicals such as those room and car fresheners
I see you dumbed down robots willingly expose yourselves to every day.

Re:Remarkable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851353)

First problem here is that your sample size of one is the worst possible source of real conclusions, aside from simply making things up. Second problem is that you make a lot of unsupported assumptions. Third problem is that you then apply these conclusions to other people, utterly convinced of your own correctness. This is not science; it is religion. Have you noticed that nobody listens to you, except to nod their heads so that you will go away? This is why.

Re:Remarkable (0)

Smauler (915644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851613)

Go right ahead and nurture the believe that aches and pains, forgetfulness, brain-fog, worsening vision are just a matter of age.

You're down on you oily fish, grandpa! Cod liver oil intravenously, pronto!

Let's not (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40850257)

It's the name on a modern computer, not a modern version of the C64.

Are you keeping up? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40850271)

Are you keeping up with the Commodore? Because the Commodore is keeping up with you!

LOAD "*",8,1 (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40850313)

or sometimes LOAD "$",8,1

Re:LOAD "*",8,1 (5, Informative)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850379)

iirc LOAD "$", 8 would work better for you. Just ,8 was definitely needed when loading any BASIC programs but ML programs would usually be ,8,1. Also I cut the solder to make my drives 8, 10, 11, and 12. :-) [] probably has more information than you care for.

Re:LOAD "*",8,1 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850451)

The added ,1 was a directive to relocate the program into a certain address in memory. Without that, it would be loaded to the default memory location.

LOAD "*",8,1 meant to load the first thing on the disk (or reload the most recently loaded thing)

LOAD "$",8 meant to load a directory list from the disk. From there you could decide what you wanted to load. As you mention, if you added the ,1, it would relocate and not work.

Ah, this is reminding me of the smell of the C64. Who knows what toxins I was inhaling.

Re:LOAD "*",8,1 (2, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850927)

What's weird is when I was between the ages of 4 and 5 it took me next to no time to memorize the command to play the games. I entered it hundreds of times without fail. But, man, put me in front of a command line these days and big question marks appear over my head even after I've used the command thousands of times over my lifetime.

I miss having my five year old sponge brain.

Re:LOAD "*",8,1 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851321)

load "*",8,1

The ,1 makes the loader interpret the first two bytes of the image as the load address to
copy the image to. There is no relocation going on at all, the binary has to have already
been relocated to that address space beforehand.

Relocating means patching a binary as it is loaded so that absolute branch addresses and
data access line up with the new address space. For that purpose a binary format will have
a relocation table that specifies the location within the image to patch and what kind of
access that is.


Re:LOAD "*",8,1 (1)

Jay L (74152) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851603)

You really wanted to LOAD "0:*",8,1, though, because if you left off the "0:" you'd trigger a bug in the 1541 ROMs that would eventually cause you to corrupt a program if you used save-and-replace. (The 0: indicated drive 0 of a dual drive; IIRC those were only produced for earlier PET/CBM computers with an IEEE-488 bus, and not for Commodores - though we did eventually see Lt. Kernal hard drives with partitions 0-9.)

Re:LOAD "*",8,1 (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851745)

No, no, you don't have to enter 0: when you're just loading a program. I never used the 0: designator. What's the easiet way to avoid the save-with-replace bug? Don't use it! Ever. Save the file first under a different name and then erase the original. (I can't believe I remember that.) (I also can't believe I remember learning it in RUN magazine.)

Fifth Anniversary Since C64... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40850333)

And this is probably the fifth anniversary since schools stopped using the C64 as the primary (or only) computing device. I know the C64 and the green monochrome Apple II (with floppies; no hard drives) were the only thing we had even as late as 1994.

Re:Fifth Anniversary Since C64... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850477)

By '98 when I quit school they had at least 2-3 PC labs at my high school, one actually PCs and the other Macs (90s era at least!). Judging by the fact that the apple 2 labs were being ousted when I was leaving elementary school I'm pretty sure both the grade schoolers and middle schoolers are up to PCs by now and probably much younger ones that we were playing with.

Re:Fifth Anniversary Since C64... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851311)

I'd rather have a C64 than what I had (Windows 98/NT machines) in school. I'd much rather have an ability to program in class than learn Office. My school experience taught me absolutely nothing (other than you don't set up website filters to block Flash games by using an exact string using the HTTP and the www, easily bypassed by not adding in the www) and even using the DOS prompt was frowned upon, after all you could break the ever so expensive computers by changing the wallpaper!

Re:Fifth Anniversary Since C64... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851695)

(other than you don't set up website filters to block Flash games by using an exact string using the HTTP and the www, easily bypassed by not adding in the www)

Another trick is to put an extra "." on the end of the domain name, e.g. "".

Leaving of the "www" usually works but it does rely on the site having matching 'A' records for '' and ''.

Its just basic! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40850337)

10 For x=1 to 30
20 Print "Hello World"
30 Next x

Re:Its just basic! (3, Interesting)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850403)

12 A=X
13 IF A > 15 THEN A = A - 15
15 POKE 646, A

Re:Its just basic! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850529)

16 POKE 53280, A
17 POKE 53281, A

Re:Its just basic! (3, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850595)

Best Slashdot thread ever. Period. :)

Re:Its just basic! (4, Funny)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851095)


Re:Its just basic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850763)

Errr...that will make the text invisible as all the colors are now the same, no? :p

Re:Its just basic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850809)

The color is changed each line. That's what the "POKE 646, A" in line 15 is for.

I usually booby-trapped these programs so that anyone who tried to stop them on the store computers got a loud siren sound. I wrote (sort of) smooth scrollers in Basic, to make it more tempting.

Re:Its just basic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850905)

Oh, right! For some reason I was forgetting there was no screen clearing happening here.

I think I still have most of the C64's and 1541's memory maps memorized to this day...

Re:Its just basic! (2)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851115)

Holy Crap. It took me about 15 seconds to recall what those memory addresses pointed to.

  That is somewhat startling to realize what information is still burned into the back of my mind.

Well played sir.

Re:Its just basic! (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851815)

$FFD2 is burned into my brain forever. Someday, I'm going to be old, senile, and drooling on myself... but deep down inside, I'll still remember that loading a PETSCII value into the accumulator & calling $FFD2 will print it to the screen.

Re:Its just basic! (1)

zifn4b (1040588) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851391)

Oh boy I'm rusty at this but I'll give it a go. The fond memories I have of writing stuff for the C64. I remember writing an application as a kid called Organizer where you could create user-defined lists of stuff and save it to disk. I found out much later that I had created a primitive database. Fun times!

18 FOR I = 1 TO 1000: POKE 55295 + I, INT(RND(0) * 16): NEXT I

That'll make things realllllly colorful ;)

Don't forget sound, turn the SID chip up! 19 POKE 54296, 15

Re:Its just basic! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851785)

>>>I remember writing an application as a kid called Organizer where you could create user-defined lists of stuff and save it to disk.

(yawn). Bill Gates is that you? I created a video demo!
- Steve Jobs
No you didn't. *I* created the video and you just took the credit for it!
--- Jay Miner
Yeah but I got all the money. Muahahahahaha.
----- Ray Kassar (of Yar's Revenge)

Re:Its just basic! (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850791)


Reminded me how many times I wished that the C64 BASIC had a MOD function.

Re:Its just basic! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851063)

It has AND which should do you fine in that situation.
12 A = X AND 15

Re:Its just basic! (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851167)

Brilliant! Well done, sir.

Re:Its just basic! (3, Funny)

emptinessitself (2639221) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850663)

Admit it, you were one of those guys in the department store, running endless loops printing obscene text on the screens to the annoyance of the salesmen...

20 GOTO 10

Re:Its just basic! (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850855)

I used to do that at radio shack, minus the obscene text. I was more into making interesting graphical patterns, or making random bits of sand fall down into randomly placed lines boxes and circles on the screen. I could usually write something like that in about 5 minutes. Sometimes the salesmen got annoyed, but then if they didn't want people running programs on it, then why was it sitting there hooked up to a TV?

Re:Its just basic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851151)

You had me at "20." :)

inb4commodore_64_love (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850381)

which account will this wellknown slashdot troll use today ? stay tuned for details !

Yes it was a market leader (3, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850425)

"it did not become the market leader until the late 1980s."

According to ars technica's article on computer sales, the C64 was the #1 seller almost immediately (1983, 84, 85, 86). In the late 80s the IBM PC and clones became the #1 seller. I don't know..... maybe things were different in the UK.

Re:Yes it was a market leader (1)

mister2au (1707664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850659)

I recall the same trend in Australia.

From 1982 to 1984 seems to be C64 glory years and likewise for the Apple IIe.

Seemed like from late 1984/early 1985 (around the time of MS-DOS 3 and CPUs jumping from 4.77MHz to 8 MHz) the clones started to take over

Certainly by 1987-88, the C64 may as well have been an Atari 2600 as the attitude of the time went.

Re:Yes it was a market leader (1)

consorting-with-daem (13992) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851403)

According to my faltering memory, I stood in line at K-Mart ( USA ) to buy mine when I was 22 years old. If my subraction is still solid that would be 1983. And it was a long line. Pre order.

There should be something about lawns here!

Re:Yes it was a market leader (1)

consorting-with-daem (13992) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851539)

And did I mention my faltering spelling? Sorry!

Something about lawns here! Something. What was that?

Re:Yes it was a market leader (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851821)

I believe I asked you to remove yourself from my lawn so I could fly my model airplane. (Hey kid want a mohawk? Vroooooom.)

Re:Yes it was a market leader (2)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851611)

Being among Slashdot's Lawn Defenders, I can back this. The C64 was clearly dominant in 1984, with "the unfortunates" among the High School techie ("nerd" and "geek" were still quite insulting at the time) caste having a VIC-20, Atari 400/800, or TI-99/4A. IBM's disastrous initial foray with the "PCjr" held them up several years in sheer acquired negative goodwill.

Re:Yes it was a market leader (2)

Jay L (74152) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851629)

As I recall, the move that secured the C64's place in market history was the price drop. It originally sold for $595, but in 1984 a combination price drop (to $299) and a $100 trade-in rebate for your videogame console meant you could buy it for $200 at Toys-R-Us. That was the magic number.

BAH. Younguns. VIC-20 FTW. (1)

skids (119237) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850449)

You know I once tried to figure out what it might take to emulate a 80x24 VT100 on an unexpanded VIC-20. Couldn't be done.

Re:BAH. Younguns. VIC-20 FTW. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850573)

Yeah I learned at the tender young age of 5 how to program first on a vic-20. My old man thought it would be a learning experience if I could write my own stuff, or copy stuff out of compute, and then play around with it.

Re:BAH. Younguns. VIC-20 FTW. (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850671)

VIC-20? And you claim they're young... I remember when the PET came out. Programming Apple ]['s. The very first IBM PC's. PDP's and Pr1me's. Medusa CAD on Pr1me, that was cutting edge. When I interned we were using Honeywell computers. Take your VIC-20 and get off my lawn.

Re:BAH. Younguns. VIC-20 FTW. (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850681)

Damn. I just realized I'm getting old... *grabs bottle of whiskey*

Re:BAH. Younguns. VIC-20 FTW. (1)

Jay L (74152) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851645)

80x24 even on a C64 was painful; the best one I saw was VIPTerm from SoftLaw, but there's only so much you can do with a 4x8 pixel grid.

Atari 800 rules!!! (1)

xzvf (924443) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850465)

BBS wars, trolling in the 80's.

Re:Atari 800 rules!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850721)

BBS wars, trolling in the 80's.

300 baud modems connected to the joystick port...Wo0t!

Fuck! I'm old.

Re:Atari 800 rules!!! (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851857)

Atari 800 was the # 1 selling computer of 1980, 81, 82. So you have reason to brag. (Sadly Atari sales fell-off after the C64 arrived at only half the price.)

When Ah'm Six-Tee-Fo-Wer (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850473)

Wake me up in another 34 years.

WTS 1982 C-64 (1)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850475)

I still have my 1982 commodore 64 in it's original box.

Anyone want to buy it?

Re:WTS 1982 C-64 (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850621)

I still have my 1982 commodore 64 in it's original box.
Anyone want to buy it?

So do I, as well as a VIC-20. Both still working.

Re:WTS 1982 C-64 (1)

LurkingSince1999 (2698703) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851005)

As do I, along with the tape drive, disk drive and a copy of HHGTTG

Re:WTS 1982 C-64 (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851393)

You wake up. The room is spinning very gently round your head. Or at least it would be if you could see but you can't. HHGTTG []

Re:WTS 1982 C-64 (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851869)

I connected my Vic-20 to my TV a few months ago, but I think something inside went bad -- all I could get was monochrome.

Someday, I'm going to learn how BASIC was tokenized, and try to recover my first real programming project from the cassette tape. The tape drive choked on it the last time I tried loading it, but I digitized the tape with another cassette player and burned it to archival-grade BD-R as a .wav file for safekeeping. I figure it's only ~1800 bytes. If I have to, I can go through byte by byte, compare the two values, and either pick the right one, or fill in the gaps crossword-style.

Not Really Hiding Anything (4, Funny)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850501)

The Commodore-64 Came Out 30 Years Ago

Yup, with that Rainbow Logo [] the Commodore-64 was Out And Proud from day one.

C-64 Firsts? (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850519)

- first Rainbow-Logo computer?
- 64k should be enough for anybody
- ?
- Profit!

Re:C-64 Firsts? (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850915)

first Rainbow-Logo computer?

Nope: Apple logo []

Re:C-64 Firsts? (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851435)

Fun fact, as there was no gap between the stripes to help keep the colors from overlapping, it made the logo difficult and costly to print. Apple's president, Mike Scott, called it "the most expensive bloody logo ever designed".

It's especially funny, as the stripes were only there to keep the logo from looking "like a cherry tomato", according to the designer.

I don't know that they were the first computer company with a rainbow logo. The colorful fruit was designed late in 1976, though I can't find any appearance before 1977 (Someone with better google-fu can check that for me).

Atari was using a rainbow theme in their logo, along with a zillion other tech companies, like RCA, around the same period. With the number of computer companies that popped up in the 1970's, and the popularity of the rainbow motif at the time, it's not difficult to image that some other computer company used a rainbow logo earlier.

I don't know that we could crown any company "the first computer company with a rainbow logo" with any degree of confidence.

Game Nostalgia Thread (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850541)

Okay, let's chat about the fun games of the day.

I'll open with Rags to Riches, Ultimate Wizard, and a Pacman clone PacLips.

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (2)

FishOuttaWater (1163787) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850819)

Mule, Pinball Construction Set, Jumpman, Temple of Apshai (much lost sleep), Seven Cities of Gold (fried a floppy drive I played that one so hard)

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850897)

How is wizball not at the top of everyone's list?!?!?!

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851045)

Racing Destruction Set, BeachHead, BeachHeadII (with rudimentary voice synth, "I'm hit!"), Archon, Mig Alley Ace, Zork & Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (text games), Elite, Flight Simulator and Karateka. Typing in pages of code from magazines for hours just for the satisfaction of seeing a red and white beach ball bounce around the screen. Pass that bottle over here...

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (3, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851195)

My work computer right now is named "Archon", as is my cell phone. =P It's one of the names I rotate through machines. I loved that game.

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (2)

minvaren (854254) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851597)

If you're nostalgic, check out [] .

I think they did a pretty good job, but my reflexes aren't what they used to be...

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851895)

DRIVE-IN. Where the goal is to feel-up your date's sweater puppies w/o getting slapped. And ultimately: Reach 4th base. I think I got my sex education from that game..... of course porn on the C64 sucked. It was much much better after I upgraded to the near-photo-realistic Amiga.

Other games: Silent Service (love subs), Red Storm Rising (low subs and World war 3), Pirates, Elite, and of course arcade classics like Pitfall/Missile Command though most of them were not on my C64 but the old Atari console.

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851215)

How many of the secret cities did you ever find in Seven Cities of Gold?

I could only ever locate one of them, even though I took the time to walk every single square in South America...

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (1)

jon_doh2.0 (2097642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851081)

Flimbo's Quest - great music.

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (1)

Trenchbroom (1080559) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851201)

Space Taxi, Castle Wolfenstein, Castles of Dr. Creep, Wizball, Raid on Bungeling Bay...and of course, Maniac Mansion.

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851549)

I think my favourite was Sid Meier's Pirates!, played that game all night on several occasions.

Someone else in this thread mentioned Archon. That was one original creative board game. I also liked the sequel Archon 2: Adept, though it lost a bit of the simplicity that made the original brilliant.

Jumpman I felt was overrated, but I really liked a similar platformer called Ultimate Wizard, which included a level editor and some neat tricks.

Re:Game Nostalgia Thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851595)

"Another visitor... stay a while. Staaaaay FOREVER!"

background colours (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40850577)

I always swapped out the blue/light blue background for black when entering in my programs

POKE 53280,0
POKE 53281,0

ah the glory days :)

Re:background colours (2)

emptinessitself (2639221) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850687)

PEEK and POKE were the introductory drugs to assembler.

Re:background colours (1)

FishOuttaWater (1163787) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850847)

So succinctly you describe my downward spiral into college and career!

Re:background colours (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851337)

P shift-O, and all the other "first letter, shift 2nd letter" abbreviations for BASIC commands were obligatory. Not only did it save you keystrokes, it also rendered the 2nd characters as a graphic. This made you look like some kind of computer god to the unintiated. I used to know a handful of opcodes in decimal. I'd POKE in a short program that SYS'd from basic in a loop. All it did was animate 8 square sprites on the screen randomly, but it impressed those who were non computer literate, which was a LOT of people in those days. Because of the horribly slow BASIC, this was the only way to make the sprites animate smoothly. The salesmen in the stores loved this. They were much less happy about time delayed SID blasting. Sorry. Kids like me resulted in all the display models being locked down.

I fondly remember c64 (3, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850631)

My cousin got one in 1984, just one year before Nintendo. I was an atari2600 die hard and when C64 came out, it was like a whole new world was opened to what games could be like. I remember playing Bruce Lee with my cousin and discovering the second player could take away one enemy and even fight the remaining enemy :) We played Bruce Lee coop for a while, and the game isn't exactly easy even then.

My favorite game of the 80s was on c64: Legacy of the Ancients. It was an easy to play RPG that was moderately complex for its time.
I remember Pool of Radiance, the beginning of all the AD&D series of games. Pool of Radience, Wasteland and Final Fantasy 1(not c64) was what inspired me to try and make the first MMORPG in 1992. It is pretty hilarious when your first video game ever is trying to be a MMORPG. I just saw MMORPGS as the future, along with instant messaging. I think many game designers wanting to code their game are guilty of trying too much on their first game.

I programmed some on C64, it is where I learned the "if" statement and graduated from print rockets I did in elementary school. The if statement opened a lot of doors for developing games, but unfortunately C64 didn't distribute a graphics library for basic, so unless you could learn how to peek/poke with no documentation, you're not making a commercial game.

If you want to write one of the wildest C64 programs ever which I don't recommend on these new systems who might not boot up if you do something bad:

Psuedo code:
10: Poke Random int,Random int;
20: print,"Hello"
30: goto 10

This program is like giving your computer drugs, you never know what might happen. The screen might melt, the sound might start playing, it might stop saying hello, and start saying different things. The screen might split up into 4 regions. If you have a C64 by, you should code it up and run it a few times. The biggest problem with this program is that there is no way to save one specific sequence, since the system changes itself over different times, and it might be referencing time.

Re:I fondly remember c64 (1)

FishOuttaWater (1163787) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850863)

Can you force the random seed?

Re:I fondly remember c64 (0)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850917)

You can force the random seed, but this still doesn't mean the results of the program will be the same as occasionally it pokes the timer.

You can't log this because everything in the machine changes. If you try and print, the printing will get skewed. Put it to disk, it might write strange things. If you go to a printer, its the same as the screen.

Re:I fondly remember c64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851347)

you should first copy the $a000-$bfff basic rom to ram first and switch the
address select from the rom to the underlying ram. This was done through
the memory mapped gpio register on the 6510, memory location $0001.
That way you can fuck up the basic interpreter even better.

Awesome. (1)

Spit (23158) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850667)

The c64 silicon really is amazing compared to contemporary systems. While the overall system arch is a bit of a hack, the silicon could only have come from a unique environment like Commodore.

M.U.L.E. (1)

medcalf (68293) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850769)

An now that M.U.L.E. is getting ported to modern platforms, I can finally have no further use for one.

Re:M.U.L.E. (1)

FishOuttaWater (1163787) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850835)

Really?!?! That was clearly the best one.

My C64 memories (0)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#40850867)

I still have memories of playing C64 games (carts, not disks) on a C64 at an after-school-care center (the place where kids who's parents work and who are too young to stay at home alone go after school). The only game I remember was Kung Fu Master.

Then later that same place switched to a NES. The only games they had for it were one of those 5-in-1 unlicensed carts and a copy of Kung Fu (because the 5-in-1 needed a legit cart plugged into it to enable the lockout to work).

Aah, memories :)

Oh yeah... (1)

hlavac (914630) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851037)

SYS 64738 :)

C64 made my career (5, Insightful)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851047)

The C64 was a vital machine in my understanding of computers and programming. I was a hardware designer in the early 80s, mostly analogue/RF with a smattering of digital. I had no idea how processors worked or the connection between the electronics and coding. The C64 changed all that.

I bought one to play games and explore in 1983, but programming in BASIC was too limited, though I wrote a few simple "apps" that way. One day I saw a listing in a magazine for a Space Invaders implementation and it was basically raw hex that had to be POKEd in. The source was listed, in assembler, and I had that light-bulb moment where the bridge between the electronics and the code came into focus. From then on, I never wrote in BASIC. Instead, I bought the MIKRO assembler cartridge and wrote various utilities and games in assembler. I also made an EPROM programmer that plugged into the cartridge port so I "saved" my efforts to EPROM instead of tape and just booted straight into them via the cartridge port.

It was timely. During the 80s most of the hardware I worked on as a designer migrated from discrete logic to microprocessor-based designs, and thanks to the C64 I was well-placed to keep up and even lead that trend. I moved on to the 8051 and then the 68000, but I never forgot the importance of the C64 and the 6502 in that learning.

Useless nostalgia. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851071)

I dont sit around and wax nostalgia about every single little thing I ever owned in my life. Sure some things in my youth were better like the gi joe toys but the majority of stuff from a child pretty much sucks compared to what they have evolved to today such as the c64. It was a piece of shit then but it was all we had so it wasnt bad at the time but its hardly worth making a fuss over.

I guess people love to sit around and talk about the good ole days, but really they werent that good. Id rather be happier thinking and spending time with my current pc instead of my c64.

But then again people love to lament about things because it makes them feel savvy and well versed simply because they can recall fondness of a 30 year old computer. They get to sit back in their chairs, stroke their beards and fluff their egos at how awesome they sound talking about "when I was a kid" when they really arent old enough to be saying that. Course these are usually the same douchbags that will sit around in starbucks giving some 4th grade interpretation of catcher in the rye or will compare notes on how awesome some old ass piece of tech is with others in a battle to see who can make up the best stories.

Get over it. Its a old hunk of plastic. When I was 8 I had a calculator watch but I dont sit and masturbate over it like a widow would over a spouse.

This is just pathetic.

I soo wanted a C64... (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851083)

I had made a deal with my dad that if I scored well in my middle school exam he'd buy me a C64, I studied really hard and did better than he expected, I was so happy when he went to the store but when he came back he had a Sharp MZ-700 instead (apparently the salesperson told him that was a much better computer, cough cough)

As much as I had fond memories of learning how to program on the MZ-700 and trying to get the built-in plotter to plot 3d math functions, still I remember the afternoons spent at my friends' house playing Archon and listening to SID music and wishing my computer could do more than beep... amazing it's already been 30 years!

Epyx FastLoad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851105)

Anyone remember that cartridge? :)

Had one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851133)

Hell, I still have mine sitting here in the original box and 1541 disk drives.

First weekend with my C64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851173)

I remember the first weekend I got my C64 was spent typing in the machine code for the game "Lawnmower Man" from Ahoy! magazine. I didn't have a disk drive or tape drive yet, so I just left the computer on for the next week and played the game over and over again. It was so awesome! Finally picked up the 5 1/4" disk drive the next weekend.

remembering the C64 (1)

aflyingcat (2611763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851213)

Ah, the Commodore 64. "An elegant computer, for a more civilized age." :-) I still have my C64 prototype, in the VIC-20 case. I wonder if it still works ? I should dig it out and see. One thing about those old, simpler computers; you could really get the feeling you understood the computer and program completely. Except for the occasional oddness in the custom chips, everything was under your control. We (or at least I) lost that along the way.

Happy Birthday C64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40851519)


Ahh memories.. (1)

Billlagr (931034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851525)

I still have my brown wedge C64 in it's box (including hacked in reset button!) along with a brown 1541, and a couple of 64C's and a 1541-II, one of those dinky little plotters that use the coloured pens and roll of paper (the number eludes me right now - 1520?) and various other bits and pieces, MPS-801 printer, cartridges (Freeze Frame FTW!). I still also have my original boxed Vic, cartridges, datasette/s. At various other times I had two Vics and for a while a PET-8032SK and the 8050 (I think?) dual drive, that thing was so heavy! I eventually went down the Amiga -> PC path, dabbled with the ZX-Spectrum, DEC Rainbow and others, but the C64 still is my favorite. My very first programming experience was Tank vs UFO out of the back of the C64 user manual.

WShats so special? (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40851687)

Whats so special about the age of 30? 21 I can understand (its the drinking age and age of maturity in some countries) 25 I can understand (silver anniversary) but whats so special about thirty?

Will there be another article in a years time : C=64 turns 31

BTW I didn't buy a C=64 until 1983 - 1982 was "the year I didn't buy a computer' I was content to expand my Apple ][

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