Sunday, February 7, 2010

My own Commodore 64

One of my close friends Jeff Benitz (whom I had originally met years before at Radio Shack while playing with their TRS-80s) bought a Commodore 64. I went with him to Westwood, Massachusetts to buy the used computer. It included a monitor, a cassette deck, and a dot matrix printer. We enjoyed staying up late into the night playing a game called Telengard, which was a popular Dungeons and Dragons style game. I seem to remember we went to Toys R Us to buy the game back when you could buy tons of software for this machine in the stores. Telengard was written in BASIC, and we figured out how to break into it to modify it. Terrific fun (if you ask me).

One other cool thing I remember doing with this computer was writing a custom routine to reprogram the custom graphics characters on the fly to draw detailed images. This was in BASIC. It was slow but it worked.

Eventually Jeff sold this computer to me. I didn't use it for much and after moving a couple of times I tossed it because I couldn't find the power supply. Oops. What was valuable became obsolete and disposable. Nowadays I wish I could find the time to rediscover the simple joy of programming old home computers.

No comments: