c-64

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Bill Loguidice's picture

Why did the Commodore 64 succeed where the Atari 8-bit didn't?

Atari 800XLAfter seeing yet another topic on AtariAge about why the Commodore 64 (C-64), released in 1982, succeeded in both sales and software support, where the Atari 8-bit series, released in 1979, didn't, I thought I'd offer up my usual thoughts on the matter in a more formal manner. To my mind, it's pretty simple. While the Atari 8-bits had a roughly three year headstart, in those three years, Atari wasn't able to make much headway in the market despite having the best audio-visual potential of the time, bar-none. The missteps with the lovely, but initially flawed, Atari 1200XL, didn't do them any favors, and by the time the C-64 started picking up significant momentum in 1983 when its retail price started dropping to the point where no one was able to compete effectively with its value proposition and still turn a profit, Atari was already done, particularly since they lacked Commodore's supply chain advantages.

Certainly price was a factor in the C-64's success in the US, but in the rest of the world, particularly Europe, price was often the primary driver (e.g., long after the US standardized on reliable, but expensive disks and drives, Europeans were still using unreliable, but cheap cassettes and tape decks), making Atari's inability to produce a low cost 8-bit in a timely manner particularly devastating. The influx of talented European programmers to the C-64's software pool can't be underestimated as the Atari 8-bit line struggled to make it into homes there. It also didn't do Atari any favors that they had multiple models out in the wild with 16K - 64K of memory at that time, making it difficult to target the higher spec. We can't underestimate the value of every Commodore 64 having 64K from its first day on the market to its last, making ports to platforms without a significant user base of guaranteed 64K-spec machines less likely. [Read more]

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Amiga Forever 2013 and C64 Forever 2013 Just Released!

Amiga Forever DesktopAmiga Forever DesktopHot on the heels of Amiga Forever Essentials for Android, Cloanto has just released the latest "2013" versions of their popular and easy-to-use Amiga Forever and C64 Forever emulators. This is great news for old and new fans of the greatest Commodore platforms, including all versions of the Amiga series (inclusive of the CDTV and CD32), and most of the 8-bit line, including PET, VIC 20, C-64/128, and C-16/Plus4. Around here, it's among our absolute favorite emulation packages and used as pack-ins with various devices, including the MCC, so you know it has to be great.

The full press release details are below, along with all the links to the various packages available:

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Amiga Forever 2012 and C64 Forever 2012 "R2" Enhanced Versions Just Released!

Amiga Forever DesktopAmiga Forever DesktopCloanto has released the latest "R2" enhanced versions of their popular and easy-to-use Amiga Forever and C64 Forever 2012 emulators. This is great news for old and new fans of the greatest Commodore platforms, including all versions of the Amiga series (inclusive of the CDTV and CD32), and most of the 8-bit line, including PET, VIC 20, C-64/128, and C-16/Plus4. Around here, it's among our absolute favorite emulation packages and used as pack-ins with various devices, including the MCC, so you know it has to be great.

The full press release details are below, along with all the links to the various packages available:

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Bill's Collection Photos - 02 - Cartels & Cutthroats (1981, SSI), Micro Illustrator (1984, Commodore), and Deathkeep (1996, SSI)

For this second entry in the ongoing series, I've taken photos of Cartels & Cutthroat$ for the Apple II, Micro Illustrator for the Commodore Plus/4 and C-64, and Deathkeep (AD&D) for the 3DO. Enjoy:

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Some Truly Miscellaneous Collection Photos (PC, MPT-03, C-64, Atari 2600, Mac, Vic-20, Stonekeep)

Woot! recently had a deal on an 8GB Eye-Fi memory card that I took advantage of for the express purpose of no-brainer automatic photo uploads from my digital camera directly to my Flickr account, which I thought would provide a smoother and higher quality workflow than using my iPhone 4. As such, I set the Eye-Fi up last night and took some very casual photos. While the transfer process really didn't go well (I'll need to experiment a bit more), transferring only two photos correctly and requiring me to manually transfer the rest, the end result was still some photos of recent items in my collection that also happened to be in my staging area, which I decided to share below with some minor commentary so the initial work wouldn't be totally wasted. Enjoy:

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Issue 57 of Commodore Free magazine is now available!

The latest issue, 56, of the excellent Commodore Free magazine is now available in the usual PDF, ePUB, MOBI, HTML, TXT, SEQ, and D64 disk image formats. Get your copy in the format of your choice here!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Issue 56 of Commodore Free magazine is now available!

The latest issue, 56, of the excellent Commodore Free magazine is now available in the usual PDF, ePUB, MOBI, HTML, TXT, SEQ, and D64 disk image formats. Get your copy in the format of your choice here!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Issue 55 of the Commodore Free magazine is now available!

The latest issue, 55, of the excellent Commodore Free magazine is now available in the usual PDF, ePUB, MOBI, HTML, TXT, SEQ, and D64 disk image formats. Get your copy in the format of your choice here!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Remarkable Auctions: 09/21/2011 Mixed Bag

DinoPark Tycoon (3DO)DinoPark Tycoon (3DO)This time I look at recently closed auctions for Dot Gobbler (OEM, 1983, C-64), a Fairchild VES (1976) setup, and DinoPark Tycoon (MECC, 1994, 3DO).

  • Dot Gobbler (OEM, 1983, C-64): Sold for $124.49 plus shipping and handling. Though the auction says for the Vic-20 as well, I've seen no evidence of this also working on the Vic-20, and no reason to think that it might. All indications seem to point to this being a mediocre Pac-Man knock-off, so its true value is no doubt its rarity.
  • Fairchild VES (1976) setup: Sold for $271.00 plus shipping and handling. For whatever reason, Fairchild Video Entertainment Systems (VES), later known as Fairchild Channel F and then later released by Zircon as the Fairchild Channel F System II in a redesign, have been slowly creeping up in value over the past year or so. While I admire it as the first recognizable programmable videogame system and there have been some interesting homebrew cartridges (by the same person) in recent years, I'm at a loss to explain the sudden revival in interest in what has always been a system that has received a rather lukewarm reception, despite its historical significance. Maybe that's changing.
  • DinoPark Tycoon (MECC, 1994, 3DO): Sold for $640.00 plus shipping and handling. I'm blown away by this one. While I have a large 3DO collection, I'm not as well versed in the relative rarity of certain titles, DinoPark Tycoon included. The 3DO was always lambasted for focusing too much on edutainment products so I'm a bit surprised at the interest in this one, though, despite appearances and who developed it, this title definitely errs more on the game side of the equation. As with Dot Gobbler above, I guess rarity trumps all else.
Bill Loguidice's picture

Amiga Forever 2012 and C64 Forever 2012 Released!

Amiga Forever DesktopAmiga Forever DesktopCloanto has released the latest versions of their popular and easy-to-use Amiga Forever and C64 Forever emulators. This is great news for old and new fans of the greatest Commodore platforms, including all versions of the Amiga series (inclusive of the CDTV and CD32), and most of the 8-bit line, including PET, VIC 20, C-64/128, and C-16/Plus4. Around here, it's among our absolute favorite emulation packages and used as pack-ins with various devices, including the MCC, so you know it has to be great.

The full press release details are below, along with all the links to the various packages available:

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