Commodore 64 roots

Debunking Commodore 64 Roots

First of all, we’ll skip examining the skewed “history lesson” but pause to point out that it neglects to mention that Commodore had another computer available before the C64 that used BASIC V2 or that some 8-bit computers shipped with no BASIC or in some case no high level languages present at all.

2. Commodore released a games console called the Max in Japan only. This console failed miserably, but instead of forgetting all about it and cutting their losses, they had the cheek to use its custom chips VIC II  (graphics) and SID (sound) in another version which they claimed was a computer. This they called the Commodore 64!

They didn’t just claim it was a computer, it was a computer in the same way an Atari 800 is a computer whilst the same chips are used with a different memory mapping in the Atari 5200 – this situation is pretty much the same but Atari escapes being pilloried. And although the false history of the C64 being a revived Max was debunked previously, we’ll mention again that the C64’s development was started around the same time and in a different part of the world.

One other thing to note is the author’s misunderstanding of the difference between consoles and computers; generally speaking the only real functional difference between a console and a computer is that the former is a closed system that can’t easily be programmed and the latter an open one that can; some consoles can even be converted so, whilst it doesn’t work with the Max, swapping one ROM out on the C64GS and soldering a keyboard connection in gets you something that can be programmed in BASIC. To quote industry legend David Crane from a 1984 interview, “a home computer is nothing more than a game machine with a keyboard”.

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