Portable Commodore 64 Lives

Restoration of a SX64 by The 8-Bit Guy. Here is a direct link to the YouTube video.

When you think of a luggable computer, you might think of the old Compaq or — if you are old enough — a Kaypro. But you don’t see as many Commodore SX-64 computers. [The 8-Bit Guy] has wanted one for a while and finally got one, but it wasn’t working. No problem! Just fix it!

The device actually looks sleek compared to some other portables of the era and had a color screen, but — probably due to the price — they didn’t sell very well. The outside of the device looked pretty clean other than some loose screws and clips. The space key was quite yellow but at least there was a keyboard cable which is nearly impossible to find anymore.

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The SX-64 is a machine only for the dedicated enthusiast. If you get a good one — decent screen, floppy drive within spec, power supply adequate, keyboard and cable all there and working — they’re pretty neat if you like very heavy things. But if just one detail is off, it’s a world of hurt. Three separate bendy PCBs are joined together by iffy edge connectors. Structurally-important screws are hidden under PCBs, so it’s extraordinarily hard to test an SX-64 in a disassembled state.

If it hadn’t been built by a company so obsessed with saving manufacturing costs, it might’ve been quite good. I was never so happy as to get rid of mine, though.

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