Welcome to the world of C64 nostalgia. Here you will find exclusive material about the Commodore 64 home computer that we all know and love. There’s detailed information about current and upcoming C64-related events and past developnments within the scene and game culture in general. We at C64.COM aim to save and store an important part of the history of those who played a part in the active era of the Commodore 64. Enjoy your stay!



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» August 31st, 2022 - THE C64 40 YEAR CELEBRATION with Bob Yannes, creator of the SID chip and the C64
"After I graduated high school in 1975, one of my goals in life was to have a significant impact on the world of home computers (which were still very early in their development). I was particularly interested in graphics and sound. It's almost unbelievable that MOS Technology, which created the 6502 microprocessor, was in my local area (not Silicon Valley), interviewing me at my college and ultimately hiring me in 1979 as a chip designer (something I had *no* idea how to do at the time).

Being fascinated by music synthesizers since junior high school, it was a total realization of a dream to be able to design the SID chip (a single chip, VLSI music synthesizer). When it fell upon me to design the C64 very, very quickly for the January 1982 CES trade show – because I was most familiar with the VIC ll and SID chips and wasn't currently busy designing something else – the assumption was it was only going to be some Commodore "vapor-ware" to make news at CES. The C64 was thrown together so fast, and with such abbreviated planning, it's amazing it turned out so well. I am also extraordinarily grateful to Bob Russell for all of his work in making the C64 real. We were kindred spirits and the C64 would not have been possible without him. Hardware without software is a non-starter.

I am always astonished and frankly humbled by the number of people who embraced the C64. I don't care whether I'm remembered for anything, but I will always find it deeply satisfying that so many people were so positively affected by something I designed."

» August 30th, 2022 - Game talk with Andrew Braybrook
As if a C64 40 years celebration text from Antony Crowther today wasn't enough! We're happy to give you an interview with legendary programmer Andrew Braybrook. Andrew is of course famous for programming games like Uridium, Paradroid, Morpheus and Gribbly's Day Out, and we delve into details in this one so I'm 100 percent sure you will enjoy it.

Interview quote: "It was a fabulous time, because Steve and I had both taken a risk to do something we were passionate about and loved doing. It never seemed like a real job, although we still worked nine-to-five because that's what we were used to. Every day was different, and we were in control of it. What's not to love? I even made enough money out of it to put a deposit on my first house." Read the full interview here »

» August 30th, 2022 - THE C64 40 YEAR CELEBRATION with Antony 'Ratt' Crowther (30/31)
"The C64 was the machine that moulded my future. The buzz I got from showing off on this machine got me addicted to wanting more! Luckily it was something I was able to make a living from.

I guess I was lucky as I didn’t have to pay for my C64, not in money anyway. The owner of Alligata Software offered me a C64 and in return I wrote six games. I ended up writing more than six games as I went on to write Killer Watt, Loco and Blagger as well. I felt like I would never move on from the C64 because it felt like there was so much more to give. Each game I wrote was an attempt beat the last.

I moved on from Alligata to yet another shop software house, this time it was Gremlin Graphics, where I wrote Potty Pigeon towards starting the company. I wrote the C64 version of Monty Mole and Black Thunder, then left for Wizard Development where I wrote William Wobbler and Gryphon. I also did the Atari version of William, but I have no idea if that got released.

Intertwined with all this games writing, I used to team up with a good friend, Ben Daglish. He was with me from the very beginning when we first started learning to code back at school, writing educational software. My skills at composing music were minuscule compared to the talents of Ben. I have to rely on sheet music – and lots of time – where Ben could do it in seconds. We teamed up many times to make a quick buck. He would get the notes and the timings and enter them into a data table that would instantly play back. I would play with the sounds, and try and make it even more special.

I would have remained on the C64 but I wanted an Amiga 1000 after seeing one and playing on one in Jeff Minter’s home. This was enough to prize me away. Phobia was the last C64 title I worked on and I transitioned to the Amiga by doing the conversion.

I have fond memories of the C64, even the Compunet years and the massive phone bills."

» August 29th, 2022 - THE C64 40 YEAR CELEBRATION with Mr.Z/Triad (29/31)
"In my teens, during a few intense years, I learned the basics of computer technology on a C64. It was my first own computer, which I had to fight hard to afford through extra work after school hours.

The C64 was not an obvious choice, so you can't say it was love at first sight. My heart beat for the Z80 processor found in competitors such as the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. But in the end the C64 prevailed, owing to its outstanding graphics and sound and its emerging popularity.

At that time, computers were simple enough for anyone to master in depth and the C64 was a perfect tutor. My dream was to make games and I had a lot of fun writing assembly code snippets, experimenting with graphics and sound. But the puzzle of game copy protections was what ultimately got most of my attention.

Even more important for my development than the C64 itself was the exuberant community; uniting people, with different ages and backgrounds, across cities and countries, in a shared passion. This formed a special bond in an entire generation.

Today, 40 years later, technology has evolved to become much more extensive and complex. The world seems to be more chaotic and unpredictable than ever with environmental issues, pandemics, economic hardship, internal polarization and wars.

I wish that current and future generations will experience a time when things are simple and predictable. I wish that they too will find a positive, common cause, uniting instead of dividing. I wish that they could feel the same kind of magic as we did during the C64 times. But perhaps I'm just being a nostalgic dreamer."

» August 28th, 2022 - THE C64 40 YEAR CELEBRATION with Bjørn Røstøen/Booze Design, Panoramic Designs (28/31)
"I was drifting without direction or purpose. Alone in an ocean of people, with no one to relate to on a deeper level in a meaningful way. Lost without hope. Then I saw it. The lighthouse that was the Commodore 64, showing me the way to port. There it was, the scene. All my soon-to-be friends had been drawn in too. No longer isolated in their rooms with their strange dreams.

When I was a kid, I was visiting a friend who had a father who worked for the Norwegian broadcasting corporation, NRK. He was very cool and had brought home two amazing items. One was a record by Iron Maiden. I didn't know it then, but that band would a few years later become the soundtrack to my scene life. The other item was an Atari games console. I remember vividly the first time I saw it. The game Dodge 'Em was on the screen. I was staring transfixed at the TV while jumping up and down on the floor rubbing my hands together, ecstatic with joy. Computer games were the most exciting thing I had ever seen. I was smitten. My birthday was coming up, and I just had to get my hands on a machine like that. I prayed to God to make sure I was given one. "Dear God, please, please, I need an Atari." Well, I ripped open all my presents, but no Atari. So, I concluded that God does not exist, but the seeds of what would become my future obsession had been sowed.

A few years later all my friends had bought a commodore 64, and I got one as well. The few first months were spent loading in all these creative game marvels from tape, and playing as much as possible. Boredom soon set in though as I wasn't all that interested in actually playing the games. I was starting to wonder how these things were made. Could I make them myself? There was a store in Oslo where some people showed what they had made. Letters moving on the screen. Logos and scrollers. Demos. Utterly amazing. I needed to learn how to do that! I was compelled. Utterly absorbed. Every waking moment was spent thinking about it. We were a bunch of local kids equally interested and soon we ventured outside our enclosure. I heard there was a guy in a neighbouring village that knew some programming tricks. On a bus ride I went. Soon we answered ads in computer publications and started to know people further away, in other cities. We started to swap with people in other countries, but exchanging games and demos was not for me. I was only interested in the technical aspects. Wico Cracking Group were too cool and refused to swap with lamers like us, but they gave us the address to some other lamers on the other side of Oslo. That is how I met my partner in code endeavours, Olav Mørkrid. We bonded immediately and started to make demos in a feverish tempo, calling ourselves The Shadows. A competitive spirit crept into it. Competing at computer parties. Trying to code something that hadn't been done before. Our 10.000 hours were put in without us thinking about it, and we were enjoying the hell out of it! Then I saw Mr. Cursors Double Density demo. I realized that we had been making bad-looking shit for years. We needed a restart. Design had to be a part of the equation. We regrouped as Panoramic Designs together with some outstanding Norwegian sceners. What ensued was quite a few productions I am very proud of to this day, and a lot of mischievous behaviour I am not so proud of.

In school, we had not been the cool kids, rather quite nerdy and socially maladapted. Here was an arena where these personality traits were exactly what was required to get ahead. It was so enticing that the world outside lost its appeal completely. The C64 was an area where mastery was within reach. We could achieve greatness and garner respect from our peers, and forge great friendships that have lasted to this day. There is nothing quite like having created something together that took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to complete, then presenting it at a party on the big screen. Having come with great expectations of a win, then seeing that the other groups indeed have brought their A-game as well, and that they were equally deserving the 1st prize.

When the C64 scene went into a nosedive after 1992, I am sad to report that life kind of lost its meaning for quite a few of my computer friends. Or rather, I should say that they went to other extremes, not conducive to longevity. The rest of us ended up sitting in front of the screen having our once sweet hobby slowly turn into workplace drudgery.

But after an eternity of this, something amazing happened. The retro computer scene. Rekindling of the old flame. I attended a few computer parties and saw a Booze Design demo. Wow. A nagging feeling that I was not done with the C64 started gnawing in the back of my mind. Then Pal started up Offence again and I went all in. He had assembled an amazing team. I realised we remembered everything from the old days, except for how long it took to get anything done. But we put in the hours and we loved it! Even Iron Maiden had started to release good albums again.

You can come at it from different angles. For some it's an emotional nostalgia trip, reliving the love of this computer from their youth. But it's also a living community of people doing something awesome here and now.

I guess it takes a certain kind of person to keep at it after all these years, and that is why the scene is full of extremely talented people with peculiar personality traits. In the old days, all my group mates were self-motivated and hyperactive with not much else going on in their lives. But making something nowadays that takes this much time and dedication in our spare time is a bit of a tricky process. People are quick to say yes to projects that sound like fun, but life has other plans that get in the way. People are not always so good at communicating that they just cannot find it in them to deliver the work when they said they would. You cannot tell others what to do. You are not their boss. But at the same time, things needs to get finished within reasonable time. Ideally, everyone on the team should be pushing the ball at the same time, in the same direction. But that is often not the case. You can feel like Sisyphos at times. You may need to manipulate in order to get someone's ass moving or inspire them as it might be called. And how do you manipulate someone whose IQ is well over the Mensa limit? The result is that we keep on hurting each other's feelings while running into invisible walls. Good thing that even though we never forget, we are quick to forgive. It feels like we started out as sharp rocks, but as the edges are gradually chipped off, we are slowly turning into round boulders on the beach of time. Or as some might call us, bald old men.

I find it utterly amazing what has been accomplished on the C64. And more is still to come. The fact that it's a closed system with tight boundaries is some of what makes it especially exciting for me. Every person is working within the same known limitations while trying their best to dispel all notion of those very limitations.

I greatly appreciate you all, and I am looking forward to competing with you again at the next computer party. May it be a long time until we meet the god I felt let down by in my youth. Keep it up, and keep them demos coming."

» August 27th, 2022 - THE C64 40 YEAR CELEBRATION with Darren Melbourne, Producer and Development Director (27/31)
"As a Sinclair Spectrum devotee I defended my 48K, rubber keyed games machine to anyone that dared claim it was anything other than arcade perfect. Colour clash was part of it's charm I would argue, as the Atari 8 bit owners carped on about a vast array of colours (most of which were shades of green I argued back). The sound chip was as good as anything else out there, irrespective of what the C64 owners claimed. Indeed, I walked tall in the knowledge that the mighty Speccy was as good if not better than everything else.

It was the summer of 1984. Gaming was all the rage and a new computer store had opened in our town. Full of anticipation I walked from the street and through an unmarked doorway, up two flights of metal edged, badly lit stairs before reaching a door inscribed with the acronym, N.K.C.C (The North Kent Computer Centre). Pushing open the door I walked into a large brightly lit room. Desks were arranged beneath the windows on one side of the room, each containing cassettes for various home computers, The Spectrum, The C64, The BBC, The Atari and other oddities such as the Dragon 32, Oric and even the ZX81 were aligned for us to peruse before making a selection. The right side of the room contained demo machines, a BBC, a C64 and a Spectrum, running various games.

Steve the impossibly old manager sat at a cash desk by the front door. Steve was probably about twenty four or thereabouts but to a sixteen year old, he was positively ancient, an authority figure to be feared and respected. Steve knew his stuff, reeling off the pros and cons of various games, whilst eating as much Chinese takeaway, burgers or pizza as he possibly could. Like Brad Pitt's 'Rusty' from the Ocean's series of crime capers that would be released three decades later Steve was never without a food source of some kind close at hand. Situated above the local snooker hall the NKCC was permeated by the smells of cigarettes and cigars and the stairwell had a lingering stale beer/urine smell to it. It was the greatest shop I had ever visited in my life, the smells, the sounds, everything about it combined into one exciting and intoxicating whole!

I was approached by the store assistant who introduced himself as The Dave. 'Watcha got mate?', he enquired. 'A Spectrum', I proudly replied. The Dave snorted in derision, 'You wanna get a 64 mate'. I spluttered indignantly, 'Why would I want one of those? They're huge and expensive and I love the Spectrum'. 'Sprites mate, that's why!! What's your name?' 'Darren', I replied. 'Right Dal, come look at this'. The Dave led me over to one of the C64's he had set up and handed me the joystick. The game was Falcon Patrol II and it reminded me of Harrier Attack from Durrell Software. As I flew the small jet from left to right Dave said excitedly 'See through the jet window, you can see the background behind it! That's sprites Dal, you need sprites'. Grudgingly I was forced to concede that spites indeed made a difference to the way a game looked.

The Dave dragged me to the next desk and handed me another joystick, 'Listen to this Dal, multi channel music'. It was at this point that Tony Crowther's Killer Watt sprang to life, immediately setting Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor as my favourite piece of classical music ever. It was an amazing game, incredible music and scrolling so smooth that it could have come straight from an arcade. I decided not to buy the Spectrum game I had come for and instead spent the first of many afternoons in the NKCC playing games against colourful characters such as The Dave, Ned, Ash, Poto, Benman and The Mighty Os.

The C64 changed the course of my life. I've spent 36 years working in the video game industry, all of which can be traced to my early experiences with the incredible C64. I've helped in the creation of hundreds of video games, some of which have been played by tens of millions of gamers globally. I've never forgotten my dedication to the mighty C64, I co created the C64 DTV with Jeri Ellsworth and more recently we created THEC64 Mini, THEVIC20, THEC64 and THEA500.

The future is looking bright... and also a little bit beige! Long live the C64!"

» August 26th, 2022 - THE C64 40 YEAR CELEBRATION with Hannes "McSprite" Sommer/Cosmos Designs (26/31)
"In the summer of 1984, at the age of 11, I scraped together all my savings to buy a state-of-the-art computer called the Commodore 64. The set included a floppy 1541 and a monochrome 12-inch monitor. I can remember it as if it was yesterday. It was a pivotal moment. Fascination from the first second.

rnrnI quickly reached the limits of reading all available literature and got to know people from the scene; Arnold BlĂĽml (Arny) and Alexander SchĂĽtz (Antitrack), then Cosmos. The power of this community and the scene completely fascinated me. Highly creative and passionate geniuses who pushed the operating system, and above all, the VIC & SID chips beyond the limits of what the inventors intended.

rnrnIn 1989, I decided to drop out of school to devote myself entirely to programming. A time followed in which I developed countless game titles and applications. This time laid the foundation for my later business as an entrepreneur in the field of marketing and sales.

rnrnThe Horizon Easter Party in 1991 was certainly one of the extraordinary events I went to. Since we didn't have a contribution for the demo competition, Dario Krobath (aka Gotcha) and I decided to create something spontaneously. The result was Mc Gottifant, a hymn to the German film by Otto Walkes.

rnrnI'm fascinated by how active the scene is these days. It's amazing how so many people are still passionate about it! Recently Bernd Buchegger (aka Panther) even managed to finish his game Outrage after 30 years. Big respect for that! I still work very closely with Bernd today by the way.

rnrnLike many of us, I am only now really aware of the value of that time. What would have been possible had we had a mentor almost 40 years ago who supported and encouraged us strategically and entrepreneurially, much more would have been possible. It was the birth of an unspeakably large industry, and probably also of digitization in general.

rnrnToday I live with my wonderful wife Jessica and our three children in North Carolina, USA. I laid the economic foundation for our success as a family back in 1984. Every moment I spend thinking about that time makes me happy. Thank you C64! And thanks to everyone who helped make this time so unique."

» August 25th, 2022 - THE C64 40 YEAR CELEBRATION with Laxity/Bonzai, Maniacs of Noise (25/31)
"Reflecting back on the influence the Commodore 64 has had on my life, I can truthfully say: It's quite significant.

I'm from a home with no tradition for the creative trades. None of my parents or other members of my family play instruments, paint, write stories or even remotely spend time on creativity. My Commodore 64 story is about how my life went on to become defined by everything creative, and how it helped establish a whole new direction for me, both personally and professionally.

My first encounter with the Commodore 64 was at a friend's house. His older brother had a Commodore 64, and was showing us Daley Thompson's Decathlon. As soon as the loading screen started to slowly reveal itself during the 20 minutes long loading sequence, with the unbelievably awesome music by Martin Galway, I was sold. This must have been back in 1985 or so. I was 12 years old at the time, and schemed to put as much pressure on my parents as possible to persuade them to buy one of these incredible things. Long story short: After a lot of grit and determination, I got myself a Commodore 64 about a year or two later.

At first, I was mainly interested in playing games, only occasionally messing around with programming in BASIC. Playing games was great, but I got increasingly interested in figuring out how to do the things I saw in them. It seemed to me that there was a quantum leap between what could be done in basic and what was actually being done in the games, and I really needed to figure out how that could be. I come from a small town, and I hadn't met anyone who really shared my growing passion for computers, so this was a solo endeavour. I somehow got my hands on a machine code monitor which gave access to a whole different type of power and performance, but in a time without Internet learning this was a pursuit of knowledge through trial and error.

One day I got hold of a copy of the game Commando with great music by Rob Hubbard. This music sounded to me like leaps forward in terms of quality, and I just had to know how this was done. I instantly wanted to make music like that, and I spend some time trying to figure out how to change and replace the music data, to write my own music. This set me on a path that would define a significant part of my future. We didn't have musical instruments in my home, and my parents weren't keen on getting any because they make a lot of noise. So with lack of instruments, I learned music by first hacking Rob Hubbard’s music driver and later wrote my own drivers as my programming skills got better. I finally picked up the piano some years later when I at the age of 16 years started a band with some friends. Playing the piano has stuck with me. I love it and still play as much as I possibly can with some great musicians and friends.

Because I was able to make original music on the Commodore 64, I came into contact with many fantastic equal-minded people in the demo scene. The Commodore 64 demo scene was and still is amazing, and it is and has been a source of great joy and satisfaction to me. Being part of this wild and creative scene has made it possible for me to apply my skills as a self-taught programmer and composer/musician in a professional context, simply because there were so many connections between the demo scene and the game development business when it was still in its infancy. For more than the past 20 years, I've been working in game development.

So, if you ask me if the 40-year-old Commodore 64 is important to me and has meant a lot to me in my life so far, it's beyond any doubt a huge YES. Happy birthday, Commodore 64! I hope you'll live forever."

» August 24th, 2022 - THE C64 40 YEAR CELEBRATION with Slaygon/SLAY Radio, Censor Design (24/31)
"Being a kid in the 80s meant we had so many new things to discover. Just like any kid in their teens. One of my main interests was to tinker with engines, and I had so many mopeds that I tweaked and rode to death. I played the guitar in a metal band called Anubis, badly. I spent quite a bit of time drawing things. Electrified myself trying to repair various gadgets I had torn apart because I was curious of how they worked. I read up on science discoveries, history of martial arts, botany.

My friend got a ZX Spectrum as a Christmas gift, and we spent a lot of time playing games and programming (bad karate animations, thanks to the line function it had in its implementation of BASIC) on those rubber keys. The year after, I worked as a summer worker at the local pipe factory to get enough money to buy my own second-hand ZX. The following autumn, we went to a friend who had a C64 and heard and saw for the first time what we would consider the future – The graphics were absolutely amazing, and, for me at least, the sound was out of this world!

My path was set in stone then and there. We needed to have one of those machines, so we convinced said friend to rent us his machine. I cannot remember how we paid him, but we did, and had his machine for about half a year or so, before we got our hands on our own. At this point, we had only tinkered with the BASIC that came with the Spectrum, so had no idea what machine language even was. My friend had a C128 so once we were done with playing Rupert and the Toymakers Party, we reset the machine, but forgot to hold the right key to get back to 64 mode, and ended up in the built-in machine code monitor of the C128. After a bit of fiddling, we found the text from the main menu and managed to change it. That, in itself, was fun, but once we were done and ready to play another game, we reset the machine again, now to C64 mode, but instead of giving us the familiar blue backdrop, the game started again and we saw our changes right there in the menu, because the game apparently restarted on run/stop-restore!

Needless to say, this piqued our interest. Now we needed to learn more about this magical way in which you could write things not entered by pre-defined rubber-key commands!

At this point, I got my hands on the C64 Programmer's Reference Guide and went hard at it, trying to learn everything there was to learn. The evenings tinkering with engines got shorter, and the nights learning everything I could about the C64 got longer and longer. I bought every copy of Datormagazin that came out, hoping to find something new and interesting in there, and often I did.

Many a night later, I had finally learned the basics of machine language, and later, assembler, to the point that I could actually write a rudimentary scroller. We realized that we needed handles, because we did get our hands on other peoples' productions, in which they used them, and thus, Rip was born. As was Codex. And we even started a group called Team 3. We had one more member whose handle I cannot remember, but he was my classmate (Patrik Engvall).

After creating/joining a few more groups, I briefly ended up in Triad, before finally joining Censor Design shortly after it had formed in 1989. During this period, I worked in a computer shop in Ă–rebro, where we had moved, selling and repairing Commodore 64's.

And, of course, during this whole time, my constant companion was the Sony Walkman which played my favourite SID tunes on repeat. Always carrying around a couple of "mix tapes" I recorded to last the day, unless I was at home playing them loudly on the Pioneer stereo system directly from the C64, much to my mother's dismay.

In late 1990, my son was born, so I took a break from all computing for a few years, returning to my roots in the mid 90s, when I registered c64.org and started offering email and web hosting to anyone scene-related.

Around the same time, I started collecting remixes of SIDs as well. Main sources were the Triad MP3z site by Kingfisher/Triad and c64audio.com. This, of course, set me on a path to start SLAY Radio. Some time in 1999, I heard of this newfangled thing called SHOUTcast, which would enable me to stream my collection from my home to wherever I happened to be so that I didn't need to carry around a hard drive with them! At first, we were just a couple of guys in the office listening to the stream (Geggin/Censor, THC Flatline etc), but then, all of a sudden, there were some unknown people tuning in. This was exciting! Pretty soon I had 10's and then 100's of listeners!

Obviously, the obsession of listening to SIDs and now remixes had carried on throughout the years, but now streaming instead of on a Walkman with cassettes.

Years later, I met with many of the authors of both the original SIDs as well as most of the remixers at events like BIT Live, the X parties and the SLAY Radio Gatherings – not to mention all the people I met at various copy-parties back in the day, some of whom I consider very good friends to this day. Puss&kram on you!

And as many of you know, I never stopped that stream of glorious remixes. I wonder how many petabytes of them I have streamed over the years? :)

Keep Da Scene Alive!"

» August 23rd, 2022 - Judge Drokk/The Infiltrators interviewed
We continue to celebrate the C64 40 years with an interview with Judge Drokk of The Infiltrators. He later went on to the Amiga and founded a small lil' group called Anarchy. ;) It's a great read so wait no longer! Read the interview here »

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