Commodore 64

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The Commodore 64 is a home computer from the American company Commodore Business Machine (CBM). This home computer would go down in history as the best-selling Personal Computer of all time. During its life span (1988-1997) between 12.5 and 17 million C64’s were sold. During the heyday of the C64 (1983-1986), Commodore achieved a market share of between 30% and 40%, leaving renowned PC builders such as IBM and Apple far behind.

Starting a game on the Commodore 64


Commodore owes its success to several factors. In the late 1970s, computers were still a hobby for ‘nerds’ and enthusiasts who met in computer hobby clubs. The machines had not yet generally penetrated the living room. Commodore managed to change this. Firstly, it built many of its components itself, which allowed it to keep the price of the machine low. Priced at 595 dollars, this relatively inexpensive, fast machine appealed to a much wider audience. Another advantage was that you didn’t need an expensive external display, but could simply hook the C64 to your TV (RF), which further lowered the barrier for many people.

In addition, Commodore was smart enough not to offer the C64 only in specialist computer stores, but also in the regular electronics retail, making the PC much more visible to the public. Together with a fast library of more than 10,000 software titles and games and many available peripherals, such as printers, cassette and floppy drives, the C64 quickly became known as a versatile and accessible computer. For many, it was even the first computer they bought. This nostalgia still results in a lively C64 culture today.

Facts about Commodore 64

– Dutch company Tulip computers became owners of the brand name since September 1997. In July 2004, Tulip confirmed their products would be sold under the Commodore name.
-The Power Cartridge by Dutch company K.C.S. (Dordrecht) was a wonderful add-on for the C64 (and C128). Those extra functions and speed loader were spectacular back in the days, like you had a new machine.
-C64 supported multicolor sprites, enabled it to create wonderful visuals. Also, its Sound Interference Device (SID) chip produced great sounds.
-The C64 has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the best-selling single computer models of all time.

NameCommodore 64
TypeHome Computer
Worth90 euro
Prices$595 (equivalent to $1,600 in 2020)
Units12,5 – 17 million
PredecessorCommodore VIC-20
SuccessorCommodore 128
CPUMOS Technology 6510/8500@0.985 MHZ
GPUVIC-II (320×200)
Connections-2x CIA 6526 (joystick, GPIO/Power (5VDC & 9V AC)
-Video/Audio (RF/AV)
-Serial IEEE 488 bus (floppy/printer/digital tape).

2 gedachten over “Commodore 64

  1. lorenzo

    You should change “in the late 1980s…” to “in the late 1970s…”, in fact in the 80s the home computers were well known spread into many homes, the VIC-20 and the C64 being sold in millions.

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