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The New Commodore 64, Updated With Its Old Exterior

Commodore USA
The new Commodore 64
comes with all the modern
amenities needed to surf
the Web and play video
games.

The Commodore 64 is being re-released for the modern computer user.

I was just 6 years old when the Commodore 64 computer went on sale in the summer of 1982. Although I already owned a computer at the time -- a ZX Spectrum -- I remember my excitement about possibly getting my little hyperactive hands on the newly released Commodore.

At the time, the Commodore computer cost $595 and came with a whopping 64 kilobytes of memory. It also contained a graphics and sound card that stood apart from other computers of the day.

Now, nearly 30 years later, the Commodore brand has taken on new management and is re-releasing its flagship computer, this time with all the amenities of a modern-day computer packed inside.
In its heyday, the Commodore 64 was one of the most successful home computers made, shipping more than two million units a year for almost a decade after its release. Although exact numbers don't exist, experts estimate that the company sold between 15 and 30 million Commodore 64 computers.

But the Commodore 64's success was short-lived. Commodore International, the maker of the computer, declared bankruptcy in 1994 after several bad business decisions and aggressive competition from I.B.M. and Apple.

Barry Altman, president and chief executive of Commodore USA, said he purchased the Commodore trademark in September of last year with the goal of reviving the company and offering a product that no longer exists.

"Thirty years ago computers were an all-in-one product, with the keyboard, memory and components built inside," Mr. Altman explained. "Over the years that has changed, and we believe there is a huge potential to revive the early format."

The new Commodore 64, which will begin shipping at the end of the month, has been souped up for the modern age. It comes with a 1.8 gigahertz dual-core processor, an optional Blu-ray player and built-in ethernet and HDMI ports. It runs the Linux operating system but the company says you can install Windows if you like. The new Commodore is priced between $250 to $900.

The company's Web site says that the new Commodore 64 is "a modern functional PC," and that although the guts of the device have greatly improved, the exterior is "as close to the original in design as humanly possible." Most people would not be able to visibly tell the old or new versions apart, it says.

"The response has been completely dramatic," Mr. Altman said. "We've been averaging about five registrations per second on our Web site. This is from people giving us their name and e-mail address to be kept abreast of updates on the new Commodore."

Some may wonder why someone would want to purchase this type of computer when a world of iPads and laptops exists.

Mr. Altman says he sees two types of customers for the new computer.

"There are a lot of really young computer users who want to own a retro-looking computer," he said. "And of course there are those 30- to 40-year-olds who owned the original Commodore 64 and want the nostalgia of their first machine."


Source: Yahoo Finance


1 Comment(s):

tongchen@seattle said...

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Are you living in Philippines?
You are welcomed to visit me at:
http://blog.sina.com.cn/usstamps
Thanks!

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