Thursday, 1 April 2010

Commodore 64 back from dead for Easter

I might be showing my age just a little bit if I start to talk about the Commodore 64, but I’m going to anyway. Growing up in the ‘80’s the C64 was my introduction to computers, or at least to computers I liked. I actually had a ZX Spectrum and a BBC Micro as well – but those were RUBBISH in comparison to the Commodore, especially for games.

The Commodore 64 had a dedicated sound chip, meaning that the music and sound effect for the games were really a cut above the other systems. I love the music from some of those games to this day. Whatever was happening in the music scene back then, the soundtrack to my childhood was definitely some the bleeping-awesomeness of C64 game soundtracks. In realize that most of the people reading this won’t have a clue what I am talking about, so I have been having a bit of a trawl of Youtube looking for something to illustrate the level of Win we are talking about here. Here is a top 10 that is pretty good.

Since you asked my favourite ever C64 game was Bubble Bobble. I think the music for that has been stuck in my head since I was 3 years old. Really I think it was one of the best games ever released. There are a bunch of emulators out there for you to check out what these old-school games were like, or to get nostalgic over if you are a bit older, but nothing really comes close to the experience of sitting cross-legged with your face 6 inches in front of the television in the family living room. Until now.

The whole microcomputer design of the ‘80’s seems to be set for a comeback. Various tablet PC manufacturers have been trying to get consumers to buy into the idea of a laptop without a keyboard, now Commodore USA (a new company from the USA unconnected to the original Commodore) has announced what is essentially a laptop without a screen.

The specifications are impressive. The new machine boasts a 3Ghz Quad-Core processor and 3D graphics processing. Whereas the original C64 had to rely on an external tape-deck or later, if you were flash, one of those floppy drives with the massive disks, the reworked 2010 machine has a 500GB hard disk and a DVD-RW built in. It will ship with Ubuntu installed.

I really want one because of the retro appeal. Also I think it could be really good for using as a secondary PC or media center, as it is a lot less bulky than a full sized PC. If you have a nice widescreen HD TV in your lounge, add this and you will be golden. The manufacturers are selling it on another point though – power consumption .There is a lot of climate change news about, causing concern over energy use. It is claimed that the re-imagined C64 will be a more energy efficient design than the larger desktop machines currently in vogue.

No comments:

Post a Comment