Your Commodore 64 memories

Did you have a Commodore 64 when it was released 30 years ago? Do you still have it? Do you still use it?

It would be great to hear your memories of this brilliant 8 bit computer. Please leave a comment below, and I will compile them all together at the end of this week. If you wish, you can also email me at andytuk@gmail.com

I look forward to hearing your stories!

14 thoughts on “Your Commodore 64 memories

  1. The Commodore 64 was my second computer, actually (my first one was a Commodore VC 20) 🙂 back in the good old eighties. I loved my C64 – it was one of the most important cornerstones of my whole life. I learned programming BASIC on that beautiful machine (I’m 40 now and my main occupation is software developer nowadays 😉 ).

    I remember very well when I was waiting ages for programs to load with that “Datasette” and that “Turboload” option. I’m still hearing that digital noise while loading programs (usually games). When I was able to afford a Floppy Disc Drive it was like a revelation for me – that speed, no winding a cassette to a certain point etc…

    I also made my first steps in making digital music with that good old C64 (working as part time composer for games and film now.


    10 print "C64 changed my life!"
    20 goto 10

    ha ha !!! 🙂

    Marco

  2. My sisters and I loved playing video games such as California Games and Summer Games on our Commodore 64. We also wrote songs using Broderbund’s Music Shop and tried our hand at coding with the guidance of our “321 Contact” magazine. We no longer have the computer in our family, but we do have a lot of great memories!

  3. I loved my Commodore 64. Having “upgraded” from a Spectrum to a 64k machine felt like a massive step up.

    It also looked and felt like a “proper” computer too. It didn’t have rubbery keys anymore. It was also built like a brick too!

    I remember my mates being rather jealous of games such as Commando, Green Beret and Little Computer People.

    A great computer.

  4. My parents were no techies so we didn’t know what a computer was. One of my very first contacts with computers was a C64 at a friend (I was around 10). It looked mysterious 🙂

    I had to wait a few years to get my first Amiga.

  5. Yes, we could never afford a Commodore 64, my childhood being ruled by a Vic 20. I don’t think commodore advertising was too much in the UK because I’d never heard of one until I moved to a new area and one of my new friends had one. I remember being blown away by the incredible graphics (remember, this is coming from a vic 20) and was obsessed with it, going around every occasion I could, even putting up with the fact that the owner’s parents were chain smokers, which made the place stink with it lol. Shooters were at that time my favorite. These days of course, I have my own :o)

  6. My grandad had a Commodore 64 in the house for the grandkids to play with when I was six-ish… we spent hours playing Park Patrol and some flight sim type game I forget the name of…

    We also spend nearly as long trying to load Nightbreed (I think? Something with zombies, anyway…) while watching the door for disapproving parents, staring at the loading screen for 20 minutes at a time before giving up on it.
    “Has it crashed?”
    “I dunno….give it a minute.”
    “Okay… I think it’s crashed though. Has it?”
    “It’s loading…”
    “No it’s not. Shall we try again?”
    “Wait a bit longer…”
    “Mum’s coming! Quick, switch it off!”
    I think we got it working once, after which my mum came in and told us off. Heh.

  7. The Commodore 64 was my 3rd computer which followed a ZX71 and ZX Spectrum 48K (Christmas was amazing in the 80s…especially when I got an Amiga, but I digress). Anyway, when I got my Speccy, my friend got his C64 so we were really sorted to evaluate both systems. I have a great fondness for the C64 because the first game I ever played on it was Arcardia (that and Frogger64). Arcardia took about 20 minutes to load from tape so we’d play chess and other board games while waiting, but the anticipation made us appreciate the games even more. Games on the C64 looked and played a lot more like proper arcade games (I’ll never forget seeing Commando on C64 for the first time), especially as it was easier to add a joystick due to the 2 built-in ports. I will also never forget being awestruck by the sound from the C64. The SID chip still holds interest for me today as I like to dabble with sequencing music, inspired by the genius of Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway and Ben Daglish. Crazy Comets FTW! Two player Way Of The Exploding Fist kept us busy for lots of very happy days. It really was the best of times.

  8. The Commodore 64 was my first ever computer of any description. I’d used the BBC computers in ‘computing’ lessons at school and I’d envied all of my friends who had Atari games consoles and Nintendo Gameboys (as well as coveting their Lego, which I was never bought, on the basis that I was a girl). I was adamant that I wanted a C64 when I became aware of them, although how that happened I have no idea, because I’m pretty sure it wasn’t due to TV advertising, which was so much less aggressively targeted at kids back then.

    Anyway, my parents bought me a C64 for my 12th birthday in February 1983. I was SO excited when I opened the wrapping paper and revealed the box that held within the beautiful brown plastic treasure. Dad (then, and still now, a technophobe) and I somehow managed to set it up without really knowing what we were doing. And then we tried to get the only game they’d bought with it – Frogger – working. As any C64 owner will know, this was no mean feat. The cassette player took forever to load the game, frequently crashing and requiring you to start the process again…and again…and again… In frustration, Dad called the shop where we bought it – John Lewis in Southampton I believe – and they told him that it was completely normal and we just had to be patient. When it did finally load up, though, I was overjoyed, and I spent hours getting my frog to jump across the screen from log to log, using the keyboard (no controller or even joystick), avoiding the crocodiles masquerading as logs and the water. Friends came to visit me so they too could play with my marvellous new toy.

    Over the years I accumulated more games, all of which had the same problems loading, equally rubbish graphics and tinny electronic music. My favourites were perhaps Ghostbusters and BMX Racers, which I used to spend hour after hour playing while listening to Big Country’s The Seer album on loop (you had to listen to music while playing because the C64’s sound effects and music were so bad). The trick with the games was to play them repeatedly, because every level was exactly the same every time you played it, so you could learn how to time every move precisely.

    That C64 was my only source of games right up until 1993, when I purchased an Amiga 600 from a games shop in Walthamstow, using the earnings from one of my first full-time pay packets after leaving uni. The C64 is in its original box on a shelf high up in my Dad’s home office and the Amiga 600 in a box in our garage.

  9. The best thing about the C64 is that all the users had the same hardware. It meant software had to be dynamic and unique. No one told you to go out and buy more RAM or get a better video card.

    If your software didn’t work in a standard C64, it didn’t get sold. That simple. As a result, software was written tight. Every last byte was carefully chosen due to space limitations.

    This is the problem with computers today. It’s too easy for lazy software developers to just tell you to upgrade to a faster machine to make up for their laziness and poor coding skills.

    I’ve elaborated at on my blog about this…
    Click my name above to read it.

    Note:

    (I find that in my Firefox I have to stop the loading of this page to see the Post Comment button. If I wait until the page fully loads it disappears for some reason – just in case someone else is having problems finding that same button)

  10. Hi there,

    Even though I didn’t own a Commodore 64 back in the 80’s, I had several friends that had one. We often played together and it was a lot of fun. My first computer was a SVI Spectravideo, which was quite advanced for its time, but never got as popular as the C64. 😉

    My best memory is from a birthday party a friend had.. the C128 was hooked up to the TV in the living room and everyone at the birthday party participated in a tournement of California Games. We were all young kids and we had a blast. 🙂

    After my SVI Spectravideo I got myself an Amiga 500. Since then, I’ve been an Amiga user for about 20 years.

  11. I didn’t get my first C64 until the early 90’s 🙁 We had a C16 which was a fantastic machine but unfortunately didn’t have too many games. I remember learning to program BASIC on the C16. I programmed some awful algorithms to search for prime numbers! 🙂

  12. My very first 8-bit computer I bought was the C64. I got it way back in February of 1986. It was the C64C version. It was sleek and the one beige colour instead of the ugly brown beige mix. I got the “America’s Cup” Edition pack which contained Arnie Armchair Cricket, and America’s Cup on tape. The joysticks didn’t last long, especially when playing America’s Cup and Hyper Sports.
    I will be writing up a feature article on my site about this in the coming week. I’ll be glad to share more memories of the C64.
    Oh yeh, I still have the C64 – it is guarded with my life.

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