Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Recalling the Commodore 64

Tech Republic today (Feb. 27) ran an interesting historical story "Cracking open the Commodore 64," by Mark Kaehlin, link here (with pictures -- may require subscription). The computer, introduced around 1983, could not only play computer games but could connect with a community online at 300 baud. (That was the year the movie "War Games" came out.) By 1989, some companies still thought of 1200 baud or 2400 baud as an acceptable speed for a connection to a small IBM mainframe from a remote location (9600 baud was a real luxury).

My first computer was a Radio Shack TRS-80 at the end of 1981, with its 64 character black and white monitor, a unit that cost $3700. Everyone was talking about the Osborne, the Atari and, yes, the Commodore; the IBM PC (with "PC-DOS" instead of "MS-DOS") then was a real "luxury."

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