• Judland's Commodore Blog

  • by judland

These are the ramblings of a happy Commodore computer user since 1983. I cover topics on both the C64 and C128, reviewing my favorite games and applications, as well as share some of my favorite memories from the 8-bit era. If you'd like to read more, you can visit my blog at: http://www.my64.in.nf

Aug
2

My first C64 experience

I'm trying to remember my first experience with a Commodore 64 computer.

I was just sitting here, listening to last night's recording of Slay Radio's BBB and the show's host, Boz, mentions the first time he heard a Commodore SID tune. This got me thinking about the first time I came across a Commodore 64. I can't recall exactly when I first got to play with a C64, but it was either seeing it on display at the local K-Mart or Canadian Tire department store in my home town.

I do recall my first computing experience. It was in my eighth grade class, when we had a Commodore PET on loan from the high-school. I can also recall the first time I encountered a Commodore VIC-20. It was on display, in a small privately owned stereo shop in my home town, demo'ing the game Omega Race - complete with gaming paddles.

My uncle bought himself a VIC-20 and we got to borrow it for a week or so, and I played on that thing as much as I could. I guess my enthusiasm and interest in the VIC-20 inspired my parents to buy me my own Commodore, which (fortunately) was my C64.

But, before that special Christmas came along, I can remember spending many Friday evenings at the local mall, hanging out with friends and playing on the C64 demo machines setup at the K-Mart and Canadian Tire store. And when we got kicked off the machines when the sales clerks got tired of us hanging about, I would head over to the book shop and browse through the few computer books, manuals, and magazines they had available.

Ah, the memories.

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Responses

Goog 8/2/2012

My first experience was at K-Mart. My dad had his own business and I would have to wait at his shop after I got out of school (boring). So I would go over to the K-Mart across the street and usually watch TV in their TV room. One day the Vic-20 showed up and I played with it for hours. I then remember the C64 coming out and thinking how crystal clear it looked compared to the Vic. The C64 was definitely used more by me at that store. I would type programs in (but couldn't save them) every day while I waited just to see what it could do. Luckily my parents had the foresight to purchase it at Christmas the first year - they paid $595 and then bought a 1701 monitor for $249. And yes, I had a tape drive so I could finally save my programs. Shortly after, for my birthday, they bought a disk drive for $249.

judland 8/2/2012

Wow, sounds like we had very similar experiences. It was Xmas 1982 that I got my C64 and monitor. Then, in May, on my birthday, I got my 1541 floppy drive. Up until that point, I didn't have any way to save my programs. But it really didn't matter to me at that point, because I was having a blast learning how to program, typing in programs from what ever books and magazines I could find.

Goog 8/2/2012

Yes, exactly the same situation for me :) It didn't matter that I couldn't save, but it was a bummer. That tape drive was a win for a while. My first games were Lemonade, Labyrinth, Motor Mania, and Jawbreaker. Ahhhh, now I want to go play those.

judland 8/3/2012

Here's one of the first typed-in games I did when I got my C64:

https://www.commodoreserver.com/PublicDiskDetails.asp?DID=EBD81E320BC0431A92CB025F01D02CAF

You need to get your bug across the floor (from right to left) without getting stepped on. You use the < and > to move. I can't remember if this was in the Commodore 64's manual or if I got it from somewhere else.