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It’s 2012. The year the Olympics finally comes back to the UK. The twelfth year of the Millennium. Nothing has blown up yet from the dreaded Year 2000 curse. And all seems well with the planet other than the usual wars breaking out.
It’s also the 30th birthday of the Commodore 64 home computer. Can’t remember it because you were too young? Oh boy were you ever missing out. If you think the console wars of today are bad, you haven’t lived through the 1980′s of the computer era. The computer’s main rival was the Spectrum ZX and either you had one or the other. Long before the PC’s and home entertainment consoles of today, the Commodore 64 was to bring the computer of the workplace into the home with the ability to also play games. It was about £399 to buy the entire computer, which in today’s money would probably be about £3000. It was more expensive than it’s nearest rival the Spectrum ZX. At the time though, it was one of the cheapest computers you could buy compared to computers like the Atari, an IBM or a computer from some random start up called Apple
Many programmers got their feet wet in the computer programming pool by messing around on the blue screen typing things like ’10 PRINT I AM THE BEST!!! 20 GOTO 10′ and then commanding your DOT MATRIX printer to print out reams and reams of ‘IAM THE BEST!!!’ and driving your parents up the wall because you just wasted a whole load of paper of printing utter rubbish.
I personally, ended up with a C64 just before I got my Sega MegaDrive. I can still remember unwrapping the massive box now and thinking that I had won the lottery with such a beast of a machine. Some of the favourite games my brother and I played are classics today like PaperBoy, BombJack and Platoon. The music was memorable too, and any C64 fan will always tell you it was the music that they remember fondly. I think today kids wouldn’t know what to do with a tapedeck or a power brick. Even when I eventually moved up to the Amiga 1200 and we used floppy disks- those are a technological relic today also!