C64_startup_animiertOK, so perhaps "love" is too strong a word.  A friend just sent me a link to an article that really jogged my memory.  I got my start in computers with the Commodore 64 computer, and I have never really forgotten it.  This think had an embedded BASIC compiler.  For those that don’t know, many of the "old school" people used a cassette drive to store programs.  It would take quite a while to load even 100KB.  The CPU ran at a smoking 1.0MHz, which always seemed to be plenty.

You would generally connect this thing to a television set and then proceed to geek out.  In the later days, floppy disk drives became commonplace.  Specialized monitors were also made, so you didn’t have to sit in front of a 25" Magnavox tube TV.  The C64 "scene" was also hopping, with the most popular bulletin board systems (BBS’s) boasting a whopping 40 megabytes of storage space (yes, that’s megabytes).

But, the graphics and sound capabilities of this machine were amazing for the time.  That’s especially true if you compare it to the IBM CGA machines that could only bleep like sheep and display four rather nasty colors (black, white, cyan, and magenta).  And, the IBM boxes cost thousands of dollars whereas you could get a C64 for quite a bit less.  Playing games and typing in code listings from magazines were a great pastime.

The article from CNN is entitled Commodore 64 still loved after all these years.  It certainly was a popular machine:

Often overshadowed by the Apple II and Atari 800, the Commodore 64 rose to great heights in the 1980s. From 1982-1993, 17 million C64s were sold. The Guinness Book of World Records lists the Commodore 64 as the best-selling single computer model.

And I definitely can relate to the quotes at the end of the article:

"Computer nostalgia is something that runs pretty deep these days. The memories that people have of this machine are incredible," McCracken said.

Twenty-five years ago computers were an individual experience; today they are just a commodity, he said.

"I don’t think there are many computers today that we use that people will be talking about fondly 25 years from now.

If you’re interested in emulators and more nostalgia-inducing material, see the C64.com web site.  Wikipedia also has some interesting information on the Commodore 64 (also be sure to check out the External Links section).  Just looking at all that now-ancient plastic and a screenshot of the startup screen really takes me back.  I’m wondering: Am I the only one that remembers what the following commands do (and, yes, this is from my personal memory)?

POKE 53280,16

POKE 53281,4

SYS 64738

In short (OK, I admit it’s too late for that), I think this is the best computer ever created.  I’ll try to post some more about the C64 in the future.