Commodore 64

#1
I've recently decided I want to add one of these to the game collection. I seem to recall they could be hooked up to a television via composite video cables... other than I also remember this wannabe s-video cable that went to the old commodore monitors. I'm betting I'll never find that chroma luma cable but I'm thinking the composite cable will work well through an upscale converter and output something useful on a newer tv. I also vividly remember these things having horribly built floppy drives that crap out like crazy and ac adapters that melt because they get so hot so I'm thinking third party ac adapter and using an sd card instead of the floppies. I'm sure the internet is rife with pinouts to convert different game pads to work with a c64 so I'm sure there's a lot of routes to take with everything but the keyboard. I'm guessing since it's built in there's not a lot of room for change. I've yet to find info on the internet as to if the keyboard is truly a mechanical keyboard (which would be nice) but I doubt it having seen several pictures of the commodore's innards and how cheaply these things were made.

(retro here's where you come in) - Does anyone have first hand knowledge of these computers? They have a huge library and were 8 bit gaming before the Nintendo got its legs so I can't imagine that all game collectors or retro junkies have dismissed this system.
 
#2
My game addiction started with "Chicken Lips." That was the nick name given due to its emblem. I had a C64 and a 128D. The big floppies and their disc drive, even the tape drive, I had both and I never had any problem with either. They never produced a sharp image on the tube but it was OK. It worked well. I wish I had never given mine up. I use to have stacks of magazines with pages of code for programs that people sent in who banged away for hours on that keyboard. The programs were written in either machine language or Commodore basic. The old Atari 2600 game system game pads worked. I don't remember anything about the keyboard except spending long hours typing in code.
It has been so long, I'm talking years, since I had one that it is nothing but vague memories. The Genesis took its place long ago and I lost interest at that point. It is a great little system and was awesome for creating homemade simple addictive games.
I have lost touch with that community over the years and am not sure where to look for the information that you are seeking. It once had a very much alive fan base. This was back pre internet.

I was contemplating a couple of years ago to begin looking for one and get back into it, but dismissed it.
 
#3
nice, if the Atari 2600 pads work then I can get a genesis pad to work. The way gamepads and joysticks handle inactive states are different so I'd bet with a commodore having a keyboard there'd be an electrical strain somewhere that the right diodes in the right places could easily handle (probably already done somewhere and schematics easily enough found).

Further research has led me to believe that the keyboards are the membrane type like most cheap keyboards but hold up fairly well. Pictures and youtube videos I've found of people disassembling and reassembling the various commodore bits and pieces make it look pretty simple.

Yard sales are pretty much over here but I'll be visiting Goodwill and Salvation Army type places on the regular looking for these all but forgotten relics.

It looks like I'll have to learn basic all over again, which is cool, I remember it being simple. The sheer amount of code it takes to do something however gets daunting.

Chicken lips.... I remember the symbol but can't remember the game.
 
#5
should have had my coffee before posting, that was the first thing you said!

Turns out my search for a commodore hasn't been as fruitful as I'd hoped. I can go on ebay and get one easily I've just been hoping for finding it local and cheap. Going on what you remember do you think the games will have stood the test of time? I'm sure there's 900 + that wont but that top 10%, the best of the best, how do you think they'd fare?

I collect so at some point in time I'll find one for cheap I just wonder if it's worth the extra to jump on ebay and just get one.
 
#6
You are talking about 8-bit gaming, one or two button madness. Games like Centipede, Defender, etc. Very simple gaming. The best game that I can remember for it was Bubble Bobble, two player. I have memories of my Daughter, then 5yrs, and I playing that together for hours. We never made it to the end. And today whenever we play it we will purposely not try to make it to the end.
I do remember some old school horizontal shooters, but names do not come to mind. There was this one very good Arkanoid clone that I recall that stole a lot of my free time. That is basically the type of gaming, very early stuff. Early arcade stuff. Not sure how much programs you can find, but there was tons of it when I first got mine. I had a subscription in the hey day of the C64 and monthly received a disc full of programs. The magazines contain 10 or 15 programs, all code, waiting to be typed in and saved to disc.
Unless you are really in to that early retro stuff, you might not think it would be worth the leap at the prices that I have seen on eBay. Now if you have an ambition to get your feet wet with that old school stuff in programming your own. It might be worth it to piddle with. With ebay possibly being the only source for one, it looks like a major investment. That is what drove me away. I am not trying to discourage you, there are just a lot of things to consider. I always wanted to get heavy into programming but never had the time. I feel I was just born in the wrong era. If I was young then I would have that drive to stay up half the night banging away on those keys.
I love those early games but I can find them on other things, like the NES. The only draw for me is the programming aspect of the C64.

If I could find one really cheap, I would be all over it.
 
#7
The earliest shooters don't do it for me. NES has some ok ones but anything pre 16-bit hasn't aged well, at least for me. I'm more interested in the Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, Ultima type of games. I'm sure the games like Turrican, Skate or Die, Mule, etc. were better on other systems but I vaguely recall the commodore maniac mansion being the superior among platforms. Defender of the Crown seems like it has something other versions didn't.

I remember enough that I feel like I'd want one and enjoy it but I think you're right, Ebay isn't the place for the system itself. I'm sure a garage sale or goodwill will turn one up eventually so I'll just be patient.
 
#8
I always thought that the C64 version of Bubble Bobble was superior to any of the other the home gaming systems. There was so much randomness in the power-ups that it was so unpredictable. That made each play experience so enjoyable.

If you do find one, this game would be a must have.

And this is all I have left of my C64 days.
 
#11
that's right, then you'd put tape over the notch so the disk could be write protected, 5 1/4 Floppies were on their way out when I got my first computer so my first hand experience is extremely limited. I remember being given a copy of windows 3 on several 5 1/4 inch disks when someone upgraded to windows 3.1. At that point in time I think I had dos and was proud of myself because I figured out how to utilize dos shell. Windows blew my mind.
 
#12
I remember the Windows 3.1, I had forgotten how primitive that looks in comparison to present. Back then it was a new concept vs command line. I guess there was a Windows 3.0? Just don't recall seeing it. C64 was my first experience with computers.
That disk notcher allowed you to be able to use both sides of that 5 1/4 inch single sided disk. Double sided disks were more costly.

We keep this up and I will get that C64 bug back into my system. ::D
 
#13
3.1 seems like it was the first windows to reach the masses. I knew one or two people with 3.0 and have since heard there was a windows 2.0 (makes you think what happened to windows 1.0 or just windows) but 3.0 was the first I saw, 3.1 the first I saw a lot of people use and then windows 95 had banners hanging on every walmart.

I've been making twice a week trips to the local pawn shops and thrift stores looking for old tech and have come up empty handed. I'll keep looking but probably won't have much luck until spring when all the yard sales start back up. I did find an amiga on craigslist locally but the guy wanted 200 so I obviously passed.

thanks to youtube I've watched a lot of game play videos and vlogs on the commodore (and some amiga stuff) and I gotta say, if it wasn't for me just wanting to collect the stuff I think I'd be better suited dropping the coin on adding to the Nintendo or even sega collection.
 

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