I’ve always had the Commodore 64 (C64) in the back of my mind, but I never really paid much attention to it. I was vaguely aware of its importance in computing and videogaming history, as I had seen it occasionally on emulation websites, which piqued my interest enough to look it up and store it in the back of my mind for years. It seemed interesting, but I had already experimented with an old MS-DOS laptop with Q-BASIC years ago, and diving into an environment that wasn’t remotely IBM PC compatible didn’t seem like my idea of a good time.
Recently, I found out about the platforming game VVVVVV through JackSepticEye’s YouTube videogame playthrough channel, and was really drawn to the retro art style and music, which I learned was reminiscent of games developed for the C64. In the game, you play a little blue person who travels through a blocky dimension by changing gravity. He can’t jump, but when you press a button he shifts from sticking to the floor, to hurtling towards the ceiling, and vice versa.
I had bought the game on my Nintendo Switch and found it teeth-gnashingly hard, but for some reason, even though I died hundreds of times I enjoyed it immensely. Even difficult areas like Veni, Vidi, Vici (picture to the right) were no match for my full determination.
Even more recently, I’ve started watching restoration videos by the 8-Bit Guy, and seeing his amazing work and his explanations of the hardware made me really excited about their legacies, especially the Commodore computers.
Now I’m in the process of obtaining a Commodore from eBay. I bought some extra accessories to go with it as well:
- A wifi emulated modem for access to bulletin board systems (BBS) and stuff.
- An SD2IEC floppy drive emulator, which lets you use an SD card for disk access, and doesn’t suffer mechanical failures like the original drives. Probably doesn’t have that sweet floppy chugging noise though.
- A “legendary” Suncom joystick. I got it in the mail yesterday and there is a crack in the case, and a lot of scuffs, but hopefully it still functions well once I’m able to plug it in.
- An over-voltage protected power adapter from C64PSU. The Commodores had flaky power adapters that would continue running after they failed, which would deliver a too high voltage to the system and eventually damage it. 8 Bit Guy damaged one of his units this way.
I’ll be making a follow up post about my experiences trying to develop for it soon. Thanks for reading!