Old photos of people hanging out with their Commodore 64s

Originally published at: Old photos of people hanging out with their Commodore 64s | Boing Boing


The computer in picture 15 is the Commodore 128, not the 64. It had a C64 compatibility mode but it’s a different computer


Nope, it’s a Commodore 64C. There was a restyling later in the model line to make it look 128-ish. The 128 has a numeric keypad, which is an easy way to distinguish them from a distance. I see your pedantry, and raise you, sir.


The one in picture 15 has a numeric keypad


Oh, I miscounted and was looking at #14. Well, you’ve won a great victory here today. You must be very proud.


Yes, this is probably the greatest achievement of my life


I’m really impressed at how many of these pictures feature the cassette drive rather than the disk drive. No one I knew had the cassette drive. When my disk drive died I was forced back to cassette and had to buy a cassette copy of Silent Service from a British computer magazine to stay sane. Good times.




The C64 achieved the majority of sales in Europe where disk drives were few and far between. I’d guess more than 90% of UK C64 owners remained on tape until the bitter end - especially when fast tape loaders ate up most of the speed difference between the two formats.

Although not having drives did mean most people never got to play the Infocom adventures.


You undercount!! Head over to Itch.io and search for Commodore 64 games. In 2020 I actually spent more money in C64 and Apple II games than on AAA releases.

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Thanks for that brilliant demonstration of nerdery to you and @VeronicaConnor. My only remaining question is which of the photos are of you two?

Funny, no one I knew had the disk drive. I only saw disk drives on the Apple ][ setups at school.

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Shoot, I still have the bulk of my C64 disks sitting in the media archive; shame I don’t have a drive to run them on anymore… (and most of them have probably suffered from bitrot anyway.)

Had a C128 for a very long time until I did something stupid and plugged a home made Serial port to RS-232 converter in upside down and sent 9VAC to the ground plane- fried every CMOS chip on the poor thing.


I still have my C64 Infocom games, packaging and all. The computer is long gone, sadly.

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All the ‘Feelies’? Some of those are probably quite collectable now.

Maybe all of them. :smile:

What I love about these photos is the authenticity. That is what the ‘80s looked like. Retro TV shows and such are always Memphis Design neon everywhere, zipper jackets, and pastel blazers. That stuff was on TV in the 80s, maybe. The real world was beat-up furniture left over from the ‘70s, papers piled everywhere, bad incandescent lighting, ‘70s wallpaper that your parents couldn’t afford to replace, and a dot matrix printer balanced on a folding chair dug out of the garage. I know I’m preaching to the choir in here, but it’s fun to see it and talk about it anyway.

You may have revealed yours respective places of childhood there. Disk drives were basically ubiquitous in North America, while tape drives were the norm in the UK and much of Europe. I only personally learned of this as an adult, comparing childhood notes with my British friends. The North American home computer market bypassed tapes almost entirely. They were only a thing briefly from about 1977 to 1980. Disk drives took over very very fast. They weren’t cheap, but still much more obtainable than in Europe, it seems.


I love this! I wanted a C64 so bad, as a kid, but never got one (we did get an old hand-me-down at some point, but it didn’t work). They were the only computer I really new about until I was probably 11 or so and saw my first Amiga (I think).

This is spot on. Outside of school, C64s seemed to live in dark basements filled with old furniture, sketchy carpet, and wood paneled walls.

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Most of them, yeah. I even have a version of Suspended with the 3D mask-cover. Could sell it on eBay for some change, I imagine.

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And well-fitting versions of those. The reality is that most clothes were really boxy and poorly made. Whenever I see modern shows trying to replicate it, it’s a slimmer, more flattering fit than you see in photos from the era. Same with hairstyles; they were way less refined and way frizzier. Possibly the least cool decade ever.



So who owns the trademarks for anything Commodore 64 related these days?

Back then in high school I rocked a C-64 running Dr T’s Keyboard Controlled Sequencer to MIDI a Korg Poly-800, Casio CZ something something and a Roland TR-505 in my electro-goth band.

I did not look like anyone in those photos.

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