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#7. Commodore VIC 20 (1981)

Commodore VIC 20
Photograph: Courtesy, Erik Klein of
Computers of a certain age tend to be beloved even when they may not deserve it. Case in point: The Commodore VIC 20. Yes, we know--it was the first personal computer to sell more than a million units, and the first PC that Linux originator Linus Torvalds ever used. And, of course, all PCs back then were comically underpowered and horsey-looking compared with today's machines.

But the VIC 20 was a special case. It offered only 3.5KB of usable memory; most machines back then offered at least 16KB. It displayed only 22 characters of text per line (or less than half the length of the line you're reading right now), and its graphics were chunky and cheesy-looking even by 1981 standards. Worse, its TV commercials featured William Shatner as a spokesman way before Shatner became cool in an ironic sort of way.

Shortly thereafter, the VIC 20 boldly went off the shelves, succeeded by the more powerful (and more deserving of being beloved) Commodore 64.

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