The VIC-20 was on the market for about four years, but that was long enough for Commodore to revise it several times in pursuit of lower costs. Here’s a look at the various Commodore VIC-20 models.
The VIC-20 was quickly overshadowed by the Commodore 64, but if anything, that means the VIC-20 provides a more affordable challenge for collectors than its more common sibling. Despite its shorter time on the market, the VIC-20 has numerous variations for collectors to pursue.
Colecovision was a game console released by toymaker Coleco in 1982. In the context of its era, it was reasonably successful, selling about 2 million units before being discontinued in 1985. Colecovision’s main draw was a faithful port of the arcade hit Donkey Kong, which it licensed from Nintendo. Its original retail price was $175 and it measured 14 inches by 8 inches by 2 inches.
Colecovision sold well at first, selling 550,000 units in 1982 and another 500,000 units in the first quarter of 1983. Its catchphrase in its advertising was “we bring the arcade experience home.”
It’s hard to imagine now that Apple is a trillion-dollar company, but Apple very nearly went under in the 1990s. For a time, it seemed the company could do no right. So why did Apple fail in the 90s? And how did it manage to find its way?
Apple’s problems in the 90s were twofold: Its operating system was outdated and its products were expensive and uninspiring. Apple turned around when Steve Jobs changed the company’s message and took some chances with the design.
In the personal computer market, Apple and Microsoft are effectively a duopoly. And for some reason, both companies seem to like it that way. Why did Microsoft beat Apple? And why doesn’t Apple seem to care? The answer is nuanced, but not super hard to understand.
Microsoft beat Apple in personal computer market share because Microsoft achieved critical mass first, with a cheaper, good-enough product. Apple learned from this, then did the same thing to Microsoft in the MP3 player, phone, and tablet markets.
If you go to change or add drives in a vintage PC and your floppy cable doesn’t fit, there could be several reasons for it. Here’s what to do about it when this happens.
PC floppy cables are all 34 pins, but they can have several different ways of keying so you don’t plug them in wrong. This can cause physical compatibility issues that may require modifying the cable so it will plug into your motherboard.
The stock Commodore 64 power supply was notorious. I can’t overstate how big of a piece of junk it was. It was terrible in Commodore’s heyday and it’s no better now. If you have a Commodore 64 and want to keep it working, you need to consider which Commodore power supplies are safe to use, and make sure you have a good one. Otherwise, at the very least, you need to consider repair and protection for your vintage supply to prevent damage to your 64.
If your Commodore-branded power supply doesn’t have the Commodore logo in the corner of the unit, like part number 390205-01 for the 64 or part number 310416-06 for the 128, you have to assume it’s unsafe to use. Other Commodore power supplies for the C-64 fail in such a way that they deliver unsafe voltages that cause serious damage to a C-64 motherboard.
You may have heard rumors of a Playstation audiophile CD player. That’s a bit of an exaggeration. But early models of the Sony Playstation do happen to be a much-better-than-average CD player. And that may make them a touch more valuable than they otherwise would be.
Is Atari still in business? That’s complicated. It might be better to ask is Atari still a company. A lot of things happened to the Atari name through the years and that can make it hard to keep track. It also gives retro gaming people something to argue about.
So let’s look at what happened to Atari. Atari is still a company, and that company actively uses the brand and Atari logo. But the ownership changed hands a lot in the last four decades, and sometimes multiple companies used the Atari brand at the same time.
Computerland was perhaps the first big computer store to go national. It played an important role in the growth of the computer industry in the 1980s. It faded toward the end of the decade but hung on longer than you might think.
The company’s slogan in the 1980s was “Make friends with the future.”