Creating the Commodore 64: The Engineers’ Story

A reprint of a 1985 article by IEEE Spectrum.

Despite complaints about quality control and the industry’s slowest disk drive, the Commodore 64 has been an unparalleled success, pushing a number of its competitors out of the market. Part of the reason for its success is the price, which keeps falling—from $595 at its introduction to $149 currently, for which the consumer gets graphics and sound equal to or better than that provided by machines that cost five times as much.

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Great. The best are the last sentences.

“They wrote it according to the spec. It didn’t matter to them whether something worked or not. As a result, programs made sound effects you couldn’t hear.”

I wonder if there were notable early Japanese games, that could now be run with sound (by emulator setting etc). And I wonder if there are still undocumented (hardware) features that are not yet discovered, but I doubt it. And probably there are more C64 stories.

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