RT Cunningham


Commodore 64 and 128 Computers - Real Time Reminiscing

Commodore 64C System I don’t know if you can see the picture or not (I make no assumptions) but I had a Commodore 64C System exactly like that in 1988.

The system included a Commodore 64C computer, a Commodore 1084S monitor and a Commodore 1541C disk drive. If I remember correctly, I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 for everything.

That was 28 years ago, which might as well be several lifetimes when it comes to computer advancements.

Commodore Computer Nostalgia

I don’t know why it happened but it did. The nostalgia bug bit me big time this morning and I spent several hours doing some real-time reminiscing. What do I mean by “real-time”, you may ask? I installed VICE (Versatile Commodore Emulator) on the laptop I use every day, which is running Linux Mint. It took a bit of work and a bit of Googling to get the C64 emulator working. I never got the C128 emulator to work.

The Windows version (WinVICE) works almost flawlessly on Windows 10, certainly better than it does on Linux. I installed it in far less time on my Windows laptop.

The whole purpose behind this exercise was to load and run certain disk images I acquired after doing a lot of reading.

I’m repeating myself (from other pages) but I’ll go over this again. I played around with a Commodore 64 (the pre-64C version) when I was stationed on Okinawa in Japan in 1987 and 1988. It belonged to someone else. Shortly after I was transferred to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in 1988, I bought a complete system.

I played a few games on it, but what I really enjoyed was learning how to program with it. I learned BASIC 2.0 and Assembly Language before selling the computer and disk drive, so I could buy a Commodore 128D. It had a “64 mode” that could run almost everything designed for the C64. The C128D had a C1571 disk drive built into it.

In 1992, I started a bulletin board service with software designed for the C128. I bought some after-market upgrades, which included a battery-backed RAM drive and separate hard drive. If I compared running the BBS without the upgrades to running it with the upgrades, it was like trading in a car for a horse and buggy. The speed difference was incredible.

I discontinued the BBS in 1998, shortly after I retired from the military. Sometime between then and when I moved here (to the Philippines) in 2006, a friend of mine put all the equipment into a storage unit along with some of his. I have no idea if that equipment still exists.

Commodore Computer Magazines and Floppy Disks

After clearing the cobwebs from my memories this morning, I did a few searches for the Commodore computer magazines I used to read way back when. I also searched for disk magazines.

I found the Wikipedia page for “Compute!’s Gazette”, as well as the archive for the magazine at I haven’t downloaded any of them to read yet (and I probably won’t).

I also found the Wikipedia page for Loadstar, one of the disk magazines I was searching for. By accident, I found most of the disk images (for the emulator) once again at I downloaded some of them and viewed them with the emulator.

By the way, some of the Loadstar disks can also be found at The LOADSTAR Library. I don’t know how long they’ll be available there. The site doesn’t always connect.

If you want to play some retro 64 games, a lot of disk images are available at the games section of Arnold. I don’t know if the DMCA provision to exclude them from copyright protection still exists (because computers to play the games are no longer sold), so download them at your own risk.

Back to my Regularly Scheduled Programming

Or something like that. Now that the nostalgia bug is satisfied, I can go back to writing about other kinds of nonsense.

Photo Attribution: Bill Bertram (Own work) via [CC BY-SA 2.5], Wikimedia Commons

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By RT Cunningham
October 26, 2016

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