Commodore 64 Project: Part 1: It Begins

18 08 2015

So I’m going to admit something about myself here. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Commodore 64, and I’m not alone.

First produced in large quantity in 1982, the Commodore 64 is the most classic of all the 8 bit computers. When IBM PCs had green screens and emitted noisy beeps, the Commodore 64 had full color and the sonorous SID chip producing music that today still feeds a thriving chiptune subculture. It remains the best selling computer of all time and to this day has an active community of people still writing new software.

Alas, in the 90s my C64 and my vast collection of magazines, hardware and software found its way into a landfill. Ever since that happened, I’ve messed around with emulators trying to recapture some of that magic that was lost. Emulators are great, especially the amazing VICE emulator, but nothing truly beats the feel of the real keyboard and the look of the real machine. Since those days I’ve tried to find a cheaply priced Commodore 64 and as it turned out, I was in luck.

Recently, one of my coworkers was cleaning out his basement where he had stored a lot of old Commodore gear. Knowing my love for the machine, he offered me, free of charge, 3 breadbox C64s. Now the Commodore 64 came in several varieties, the original version nicknamed ‘the breadbox’ is this brown blocky looking machine. The C64s of my past were all of this style, so I jumped at the opportunity.

My initial goal was to get a working original machine and of the three given to me by my coworker, two worked great. The third on however had completely died. The fuse on the motherboard is an obvious item to fix, but even after replacing the fuse the machine would not turn on.

From these ashes, the Commodore 64 would soon be reborn.

Here’s the box:

The underside:

Yeah that warranty is not going to be good for much longer: