Happy birthday! Commodore 64 turns 30 years old

commodore 64 turns 30 years oldChildren of the 1980s, it is time to celebrate, for the Commodore 64 personal computer turns 30 years old this month.

Launched in 1982 with a competitive $595 price tag, the 8-bit C64 went on to sell around 17 million units, making it the biggest selling personal computer of all time.

The beige-colored 8-bit box of tricks provided many with their very first programming experiences, though in reality most people used it as a games machine, with thousands of basic chunky-graphic titles to choose from.

Loaded over a lengthy period of time off an audio cassette (it wasn’t a case of ‘making a coffee’ while you waited; you could pretty much source your own beans, strike a deal with the grower and have them imported in the time it took), the games were played using the keyboard or, if you were lucky, with a clunky one-button joystick.

With its 1.023MHz processor, 64kb RAM and 16 colors, it all sounds a bit rubbish by today’s standards. Nevertheless, the C64 occupies a special place in the hearts of many geeks and gamers the world over – a web search for C64 fan sites highlights the fact.

The C64’s main rival in the early days was the Apple II (check out the wonderfully simple ad below), as well as the Atari 400 and 800 machines. Sales of the C64 tailed off through the 80s in the face of competition from more advanced machines, and the computer was discontinued in 1994 (though it made a kind of comeback last year).

For a bit of fun, the BBC invited C64 fan Matt Allen to take his still-working computer to a couple of schools in London to see what those who weren’t even born when the C64 was at the height of its success made of it.

“I want to convince the kids of today that the machine I grew up with, the Commodore 64, is as great as it ever was, 30 years on,” Matt says in the video (catch it below).

Halfway through downloading a game, the computer crashed. “Loading games in the 80s taught you patience,” Matt told the children as he cued up the tape again.

“While you’re waiting, could you listen to music and dance along to it?” one middle school student asked.

The children were polite with their opinions, but you could read their faces, which basically said, “Thank goodness today’s computers aren’t like this heap of trash.” Matt looked happy though. And the C64 will continue to be remembered fondly by millions.

[Image: Wiki]


Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.
Emerging Tech

MIT is building a new $1 billion college dedicated to all things A.I.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced a new $1 billion college of computing designed to offer the best possible education to future machine learning A.I. experts.

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.

Jump into an internet DeLorean and play free Commodore 64 games online

The Internet Archive has added more than 8,800 full Commodore 64 games to its software library. Here's how you can play them completely free in your browser without the need for a joystick.
Product Review

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a love letter to PC geeks

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line-up is targeted at business use, but it’s long appealed to hardcore PC geeks as well. The new X1 Extreme, which combines a powerful processor and high-resolution screen with Nvidia graphics, seems built for them…

Problems with Microsoft’s Windows October 2018 Update aren’t over yet

Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 update is not having a great launch. More than two weeks after its debut and Microsoft is still putting out fires as new bugs are discovered and there's no sign of its re-release as of yet.

Chrome 70 is now available and won’t automatically log you in to the browser

Google has officially launched Chrome version 70 on Windows Mac and Linux. The update introduces some new Progressive Web App integrations on Windows 10 and also tweaks the much controversial auto login with Google Account feature.

Corsair’s latest SSD boasts extremely fast speeds at a more affordable price

Despite matching and besting the performance of competing solid-state drives from Samsung and WD, the Corsair Force Series MP510 comes in at a much more affordable price. Corsair boasts extremely fast read and write speeds.

New Windows 10 19H1 preview lets users remove more pre-installed Microsoft apps

With the release of the latest Windows 10 19H1 preview build on October 17, Microsoft is letting some consumers remove more of the pre-installed inbox app bloatware from their machines. 

Apple’s 2020 MacBooks could ditch Intel processors, arrive with ‘ARM Inside’

If you're buying a MacBook in 2020, be on the lookout for a new "ARM Inside" banner. Apple is reportedly working on transitioning away from Intel processors for its MacOS lineup in favor of new custom A-series ARM-based silicon.
Social Media

Tumblr promises it fixed a bug that left user data exposed

A bug on blogging site Tumblr left user data exposed. The company says that once it learned of the flaw, it acted quickly to fix it, adding that it's confident no data linked to its users' accounts was stolen.

Microsoft patent highlights a potential VR text input system

A new patent awarded to Microsoft could lead to a new typing method for virtual reality and on Xbox consoles. The virtual radial dial puts letters within easy reach of joystick commands and offers predictive typing, too.

Ryzen shine! AMD’s next CPUs could beat Intel at gaming in 2019

AMD's upcoming Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs could offer as much as a 13-percent increase in instruction per clock. With clock speed or core count increases, that could gave them a huge performance boost.

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 packs Snapdragon 850 into Always Connected Windows 2-in-1

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2 is set to go on sale at the start of November and should be a solid addition the collection of Always Connected Windows laptops. It packs a Snapdragon 850 and a 20-hour battery.