Commodore 64

The Commodore 64 & Accessories

Written By: Supreme Leader
Date: August 22, 2019

The Commodore 64 is still championed as one of the most aesthetic cases for a computer to the point where "hipster styled" Raspberry Pi cases are made (among other popular old computers). Coined the "Breadbox" it still is beloved by computer collectors such as myself (I have four). Why would somebody need four C64's? Well, the hardware can be a bit of a problem. I've had everything, almost every major component in the machine can be problematic to the point where websites have dedicated pictures and lists of all the problems you could experience and pictures as rather well formed uses for these diagnostics. Hell, I've even see bad tracks cuz the solder is pulling up and then you even have to contend with bad repair jobs. Sheesh.. so why is this thing so rad?

Ghostbusters for C64 The first time I did anything with the C64 I was at my friends house and we played Ghostbusters and The Punisher. I had fun, I already had been enjoying computers games from Apple IIe to the PC. The catalog of games for the Commodore 64 is actually impressive but sometimes even how you load them was interesting because eventually technology started to phase out things like "tape drives" and went for a solid run of the now rather well known (unless you're 12?) floppy drives. The idea of putting games through cassette was always intriguing to me though since initially this was a technology that for me was a medium of listening to music so I always got a kick out of things loading on cassette tapes.

Skate or Die C64 Cassette Tape I'm not gonna sit here and think "hmm, what came out first?" but the C64 also had games I routinely played on NES (such as those I first actually played on C64) but there was definitely some subjective improvements between NES console and C64's output. My friends were a lot less computer oriented than video game console oriented so often bumped into Atari 2600, NES or SNES when with my friends. I was actually one of the first to go full throttle into computers in my circle in 5th grade, I'd had experiencing using them as far back as 1st grade with Apple Computers which always intrigued me but the gateway to entry out of school was impossible, especially with the budget at home. Skate or Die for C64 The graphics and sound is tight and after all the NES wasn't using a full featured chip but a basically "scaled down" 6502 core which is a wildly popular microprocessor. If you dig through hardware of the time you'll see the C64, Atari 2600 and 8-bit computers and even later more silly uses such as Tamagotchi digital pets. They are _everywhere_. The sounds of the C64 is legendary and still used by people to produce music using what's called the SID chip. There is some wonderful mods out there but way out of scope and we'll have to go into TL;DR territory for the average reader.

Commodore Floppy & Cassette Drives There is a lot of accessories for the C64 and just to name a few that we discussed here with some visuals, the floppy and tape drive. The floppy drive is massive, and heavy and much like the C64 itself it can be a challenge getting a working one. I have three. I have one cassette drive that seems to be working with the little testing I've done but that's mostly in the fact that I don't have a lot of data cassettes unfortunately. If I knew people who owned that stuff I'd definitely be for copying that floppy and recording them tapes. Commodore 1702 The Commodore 1702 monitor, now this thing is a beast and you can find them in fully functioning order these days.. but with that comes a catch. They are very sought after by computer collectors and retro gamers alike and you might have difficulty getting them at a good price. If you find one, I'd get it. They are beautiful monitors and also very heavy so you might want to avoid getting one online due to cost and shipping concerns. The video is amazingly crisp and you can calibrate it using color bars and a blue calibrating glass. They have a composite video in connection as well as chroma/luma (S-Video) so you can play all your old games on one and have an amazing CRT experience. The 1702 is probably only bested by Sony Trinitron Professional Video Monitors (PVM) which are also hard to find inexpensive, heavy but have a lot of bells and whistles to get your color experience on the up and up with it's own calibrating features as well as S-Video and RGB connections which is great for modded retro consoles.

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