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A tribute to the Commodore C64

Remember the times when computers had CPUs with a speed
of a single-digit or at best double-digit MHz? Well, the
Commodore C64 for example was clocked at 985 KHz
(yes, you read right, it ran at 0.985MHz!).

Yet the C64 was capable of producing interesting and stunning animation effects when it had it’s prime time and was omnipresent in many kids’ homes.

Special demo coding groups made very complex demo programs with animations and transitions that demanded every single cycle of the CPU in the C64 but back then you could say: “Wow! All this from that tiny CPU?”

Just to give you a glimpse view on what the CPU in the C64 looked like:

Together with the 6510 there was the 6581 SID chip being responsible for the Sound output:

And these two chips was residing on this mainboard:

Put these chips together on the mainboard along with some other ICs which deal with video processing, power management, input processing, clock timer, the EEPROM that contains the C64 Basic and 64K of memory and you get this:

The legendary C64 which became an iconic device in it’s prime years (1982 to 1988)!

So the C64 is a success and has been produced from January 1982 till April 1994) being sold approx. 12.5 million times which make it the thirdmost popular computer platform in the 21st century. The sad ending came with Commodore filing for Bankruptcy in April 1994.

But enough tech and history babble, on to what this blog entry is about:

Oh… just to clarify… this demo has been released in 1997 showing that Commodore might have died but not the hardware nor their fans!

The following example shows that even almost 30 years later the Commodore C64 can be pushed even further (Okay, they used the 128K RAM extension but the rest is same spec!)

This demo is said to be the most complex and most-CPU-demanding demo for the C64 ever made! And I agree to say that for the slow speed the CPU has, (the scene is rendered in 320×200@16 colors btw!), the result is simply stunning. It is said that even on a 386 with 10times the CPU speed and 5 times the RAM this demo wouldn’t run flawless if ported to PC.

So keep in mind what the C64 was capable of and why it was sad to see Commodore go to waste in 1994 as management had failed to set the trend and tried to push into the PC market with the Amiga 2000 / Amiga 3000 computers which didn’t have the slightest chance against IBM and competitors flooding the market with their PCs.

Oh but if you think, resource-saving programming isn’t possible on the PC, then have a look at this blog entry presenting PC demos that fit even on a stoneage 1.44MB diskette with ease!

Have fun and a nice weekend!

September 7, 2019 Netspark - 1594 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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