Berlin on 29 Dec 2008. The following article, which will be printed when i am 64 years old essay the Congress Proceedings, is supposed to give you an overview of what I am going to talk about. If you cannot attend 25C3, you will be able to watch a recoding afterwards, which I am going to link to.
If you don’t believe I cannot present all this in a way that the audience can understand it: Watch it! Retrocomputing is cool as never before. People play C64 games in emulators and listen to SID music, but few people know much about the C64 architecture and its limitations, and what programming was like back then. The company that became Commodore Business Machines was founded in 1954 by Jack Tramiel.
Commodore PET series: computers with built-in monitors for the home, school and small business market that ended up competing with devices from Atari and Apple. In 1981, Commodore introduced the VIC-20, a 5 KB stripped down monitorless computer-in-the-keyboard design based on the PET for the home computer market. 595 beating the competition by a factor of two. This was made possible by designing and building most of the system in-house. 0 codebase was stripped down to the old 2. 0 feature set to make it fit into 8 KB. In the beginning, the C64 did well in the competition.
The superior but compatible C128 from 1985 did well, too, but was never more popular than the C64, which continued to be sold. 4 and its siblings, the C16 and the C116, failed, mostly because they were incompatible with the C64, which at that time already had a remarkable software library. A few years after the introduction, the C64 was still offered as a low-end alternative to the Commodore Amiga, and while it became less popular in the USA, it gained more and more popularity in Europe. 25, it gained a second life in Eastern Europe. Production did not end until the liquidation of Commodore in 1994.
According to the 1993 Annual Report, 17 million C64 had been produced in by then, as well as 4. When turned on, it shows a blue-on-blue theme with a startup message and drops into a BASIC interpreter derived from Microsoft BASIC. Unless the user really wanted to interact with the BASIC interpreter, he would typically only use the BASIC instructions LOAD, LIST and RUN in order to access mass storage. 8 followed by RUN would load and start a program. STOP key has the same effect. By default, typing characters without SHIFT will result in upper case characters being shown on the screen. This is also the reason why in Commodore’s version of ASCII, called PETSCII, the codes for uppercase and lowercase characters are reversed.