The Tech of Three Decades Ago Used Today
Thirty years ago, Commodore Business Machines released the Commodore 64, an 8-bit home personal computer that became an iconic cultural force.
With its low price, and considerable graphical prowess, the Commodore 64 served primarily as a game console for millions of users, although many also took advantage of the C64's full potential as a programmable general purpose computer.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of this legendary PC, I sequestered myself in a quiet room with an authentic 1982 Commodore 64 for one week. The goal: to see if I could get any work done with a machine that possesses a miniscule fraction of the RAM and CPU power of computers commonly in use today.
A year ago, I spent a week with the IBM PC 5150 to undergo a similar challenge. Unlike the IBM PC, however, the Commodore 64 was not designed as a high-end business machine, making productivity tasks a little harder to pull off.
Despite the odds weighing against me, I would put the C64 through its paces as a writing, gaming, and yes, Internet machine. By the end of the week, I would judge my success rate by the number of hairs left on my head. As it turned out, I didn't up nearly as bald as I thought. Here's what happened.