Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The C64 Has Returned

I was reading through some news on Google and came across this article on The Commodore 64 is due to be rereleased with an Intel Core 2 Quad, 4GB RAM, a 500GB HDD, Intel chipset, and a bunch of other features. A peek at the Commodore website shows Ubuntu, Windows, OSX, Chrome, AROS, and Comodo OSs under the "OS" link at the top of the page. While OSX is not officially supported, you could install it with the aid of community developed kernel extensions (the graphics chipset and the NIC would not be supported OOB on 10.6) and the purchase of an EFI module or the use of Chameleon. The hardware is compatible. I am not certain how compatible the machine would be with AROS. Ubuntu and Chrome would run beautifully, I am sure. Windows is ... well... Windows. It doesn't run well on anything, but seeing as the C64 was primarily viewed as a gaming computer, it would be reasonable to use Windows on the thing.

I like that Commodore USA chose to keep the form factor and logo the same. I also like that the machine was not merely updated to current hardware, but that a lot of consideration was given to potential uses of the machine. Choosing common Intel hardware gives the public a lot of freedom with software. Even Solaris supports Intel chipsets these days. Amazing isn't it? I hope that this machine will push Linux forward in the public mind. It would help if Commodore made the Linux based machines cheaper than their Windows counterparts, considering the Linux costs them nothing financially (except the CD and electrical costs... which are still a price point with Windows, and with Windows you add license costs).

You'll be able to purchase one of these nostalgic machines on June 1st of this year. No word yet on the pricing.


Grant Johnson said...

I just hope it will let me plug in my 1541 and play Sammy Lightfoot!

Ford said...

Hahaha. I don't think it will, but it may have an emulator of some kind installed. That would be a nice feature I think.

Feko said...

"Windows is ... well... Windows."
Hahhaha... Good point! :D

Caffien said...

Looks like they just pasted a C64 decal on one of these:

Matt Kukowski said...

My first computer was a C64. I learned BASIC on it, creating ASCII 'movies' on it. Later I am on Intel running Windows/Linux and am a C++/PHP developer.

Yet, I see this C64 'come back' as a gimmick. Why do I see it as a gimmick? It is no suprise that when the economy crashed, something like this would be released to try and make a dollar or two from the millions of old geeks that started or used the C64/128.

So, I say, whatever. I will not buy it. I would rather have a vintage C64 which are still available on EBay or elsewhere.

Ford said...

The point isn't to make a Commodore 64 that is like the old ones. The idea here (imho) is to renew a brand. It's also nice to see that form factor returning to the world. It definitely has it's place. With HDTVs coming into the main stream, it is also nice to have a computer that can plug into those, and offer a new generation of youngsters the same joys we all had.

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