Now reassembled, the C64 sits wrapped in its handsome imitation leather dust cover. Though this particular machine doesn’t do much computing these days, it serves as a valuable reminder of the PC’s past.
Among aficionados, the question of what the C64’s true impact was on the many PCs that came after it still sparks considerable disagreement. Early critics often derided it as a toy computer, and there’s some truth to that appraisal: The Commodore 64 easily played game console to the IBM PC. But if the C64 was a toy computer, it was a toy computer that sold 17 million units. And though it failed to garner a spot in our list of “The 25 Greatest PCs of All Time” a couple of years ago, many nostalgic fans insist that the Commodore 64 was not merely a hugely popular machine, but a great one.
Whether the C64 did or did not have a lasting influence on the innovation and design of computers, it surely had a lasting effect on people. Millions of families’ first PC was a Commodore 64, helping to ignite a firestorm of interest in personal computing that continues to transform our culture today.