Commodore 64

Talking about old times, my first computer was a brand new Commodore 64c which I proudly bought in cash from Sears in Bloomington, Indiana in 1987. I remember that before actually buying that one I walked around inside the store for more than half an hour, and then I finally decided to buy it. I took very good care of the computer, so much so that whenever I finished using it I would put it back on the plastic wrappings that came with the original box and put the whole thing back in the box, only to take the computer back out again when i used it. It was only a while afterwards that I finally put the computer on a permanent place on a desk, connecting it with a monochrome monitor (I was not rich then, and am still not rich now), a 9-pin dot matrix printer and most importantly a floppy disk drive that takes so long to load a program that I usually go for a cup of coffee or finish watching an episode of sitcom before coming back to the computer again.

Remember this?

I also remember keying the games and other programs from the Commodore magazines in HEX format. How much time you actually had when you were a student! Then I waited with excitement to see how the fruit of my patient keying actually worked. And after I knew how to program the sound on the computer’s surprisingly good music chip, I enjoyed myself further.

I remember all this because I actually wrote my entire Ph.D. dissertation on this little machine! All 280 or so pages of it, divided into several files. These files won’t be readable by any modern machine any more, except for some very special gadgets. But that is a moot point, because the 5 and 1/4 inch floppy on which my dissertation files were saved were long gone. The physical floppies might still be there in the closet somewhere, but I doubt that any machine could read them any longer.


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