Happy 30th, Commodore 64!

NEED TO KNOW
  • Legendary computer first introduced in January of 1982
  • Whole machine held the equivalent of 1/100th of an MP3 file
  • Nostalgic fan tweets old home video of receiving 'C64' as gift in '82
Happy 30th, Commodore 64!

Would you pay $1,400 for a computer with less than one megabyte of memory?

Oh yes, you would.

In fact, in 1982 more than 300,000 people did just that, dropping $595 (or, $1,400 in 2012 dollars) to snap up the awesome, brand new, super-powerful Commodore 64 -- and all of its 36 useable kilobytes of memory.

The classic machine is celebrating its 30th birthday this week. It was first introduced at the 1982 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

And while those quaint specs seem flimsy now -- those 36 kb are the equivalent of 1/100th of a typical MP3, so basically the whole machine could store the first four seconds of the 1982 Survivor smash hit "Eye of the Tiger" -- they were revolutionary and a relative bargain back in '82. And the Commodore 64 even displayed color graphics!

During its mid-1980s peak, the PC sold 2.5 million units a year and generated a lifetime of passion and loyalty from many of its users, many of whom are now dropping nostalgic tweets.

@heathermdecker
 
@oneguynick

And our personal favorite because the video is so fantastic:
 
@ischafer
 
This is really cool, too: the Commodore 64 was re-introduced last year with modern components. Same clunky, beige box, but now with Wi-Fi, a 160GB hard drive and a DVD player.

If you want to see the original, your options are pretty limited these days. You may be able to find one shoved in the back of a school library.

Or, in the Smithsonian.

 

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