Go to frontpage

> frontpage
> what is zine?
> download latest issue
> latest articles
> previous issues
> next issue
> contact us
> credits
> bitfellas
Commodore Story (1)

Here is a article about the history of Commodore, informations taken from the magazine COMPUTE!'s Gazette 1/90.

Commodore introduced the PET computer in the summer of 1977. Commodore wasn't a household name until the early 1980's. Here is a nostalgic look at a decade of Commodore invations, laughs and gaffes.

1981: Winter: The VIC-20 is introduced at $299. Personal computing for the masses is now possible, but there are (of course?) problems - the first units run too hot and radiation emission standards are not met.

1982: Winter: The Commodore Unimax or Max Machine is introduced. This $179.95 game machine has full-size bubble-membrane keyboard and uses the same processor chip, sound chip, video chip, Datassette recorder, joystick, paddles, and game cartrigdes as the soon-to- be-released 64. It is sold in Japan, but never makes it to the U.S. (And of course to Europe, or did you see one in your life????!)

Spring: The 1540 Single-Floppy- Drive, long promised for the VIC, is released. Summer: Evolution becomes revolution with the Commodore 64. Its 16-colors, eight sprites, 40-columm screen, and sophisticated sound (SID) chip dazzle the computing world. Introductory price is $595. Commodore anounces the P-Series. The P128 (also called the P-500) is to be a souped-up 64 with 128K expandable to 896K that sells for $995.

1983: Winter: The consummer Electronics Show becomes Commodore's main venu to introduce new computers and peripherals. At the January Las Vegas show, Commodore debuts the Commodore SX-100, a portable 64. Bundled with a black-and-white screen, the introductory price is $995. A version with a color screen and two drives costs $1,295. This machine is never released-although a incarnation will become available. Commodore's early pre-PET buisness product, the hand-held calculator, is resurrected in the HHC-4 (HHC means Hand-Held Computer!). This calculator-style unit features a 24-character liquid-crystal display and contains 4K of RAM expandable to 16K. Commodore sets the price to $199 but never offers it for sale. Other products showing at CES include a plug-in syntheziser keyboard and a voice synthesizer, each listing for under $100. Another music peripheral Commodore introduces is Digi-Drum, a three-pad sythesized drum kit that sells for $59.95. A four-pen printer plotter for the 64 and VIC ($199.95) and a 13-inch color monitor ($299.95) are also prominent. Commodore also shows an experimental prototype of the VIC-20 with a Sony Watchman built into the keyboard. Rumors spread about a price reduction of the 64 to $399.

Summer: At Summer CES, the redesigned P128 becomes the B128/256-80, a monochrome-display, 80-column business computer. Release date is set for 1984, but the machine never makes it. The SX-100 portable is renamed the Ex-ecutive 64. It now includes a six-inch color monitor and sells for $995. Commodore announces that the wholesale cost of the 64 will be cut to $200.

Fall: Many new peripherals are released by Commodore: the Datassette, the 1525-E Printer, the 1515 Disk-Drive, and the 1541 Disk-Drive. Also debuting are the BMC Color Monitor and the Exactron Stringy Floppy, a high-speeded cassette-based data storage device. Third-party software developers bring a flurry of new products for the rapidly growing market. Commodore tops $1 billion in sales.

(continues on next article...)

This article originally appeared in the Amiga diskmagazine "Zine #3" by Brainstorm 1990.

Some content may refer to activities that are illegal in some countries. BitFellas does not support such activity.
Addresses and other contact information were only valid when this magazine was originally published, in february of 1990.

Go back to articlelist

Comments: (click here to comment the article)

Hosting provided by Mythic-Beasts. See the Hosting Information