Commodore 64 models

Commodore 64 models

Over the course of its 12 years on the market, Commodore released a number of Commodore 64 models. The computer’s capability changed very little over time, but the technology did. The world changed a lot between 1982 and 1994, and that gave Commodore some opportunities to lower costs, chase other market segments, or both.

Here’s an overview of the various Commodore 64 models that hit the market over the machine’s long life.

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Save money on appliances

Save money on appliances

If you want to know how to save money on appliances, I have some unconventional advice: Buy used. Yes, really. Here’s how to buy used (or refurbished) appliances and save big money without getting ripped off.

I’ve had a number of friends get hit recently with appliance breakdowns they couldn’t afford, and since I’m a landlord, I’ve probably bought a lifetime’s worth of appliances in the last seven years. A dead appliance doesn’t have to turn into a financial catastrophe.

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Lionel CW-80 vs vintage transformers

Someone asked me recently about the Lionel CW-80 and how it compares vs older transformers. That’s a fair question, and one that tends to stir up a lot of emotions on train forums. So I’ll try to present the pros and cons in a fair manner.

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My garbage disposal adventure

Changing a worn-out garbage disposal can be a 10-minute job–assuming you anticipate everything, use the same brand as the old one, you know what you’re doing, and the person who installed the old one was at least as competent as you.

It didn’t quite work out for me like that the last time.

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How to repair a dryer

How to repair a dryer

The other night I had a dryer go out. I had a few surprise expenses this month, so I really didn’t want to replace a dryer on top of the other things, so I looked into how to repair a dryer.

I learned quite a bit, but the most important thing was that I fixed a $200 dryer with $7.50 worth of parts, and it only took a few minutes.

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Fun with multimeters

I’ve been going through A+ training as I have time. Whether I go through with getting the certification will depend on whether my bosses think having someone with an A+ lurking in the corner is useful–by contract I can’t do much more than swap a keyboard or mouse, but in the meantime I’m picking up some stuff I haven’t had to think about in a very long time.

One thing I picked up is the proper use of an ohmmeter or ohm meter.

Testing American Flyer track
Here I’m using a multimeter to test a piece of vintage American Flyer electric train track. I should get infinite resistance between the two rails, so this piece shows symptoms of having a short in it. On a good piece of track, my multimeter would read “1.”

Ohm meters measure resistance. Frequently, you’ll have a tool that does several things, so you flip your multimeter over to ohms or resistance to turn it into an ohm meter. Then, if you need to test a cable, put the red lead on one pin, and the black lead on the corresponding pin on the other side. If you get infinite or higher-than-expected resistance, then the cable is bad.

When you’re testing for continuity, you need to do so with the power off. Testing for continuity on a live system will cause the multimeter to malfunction at best, and at worse, blow a fuse. That’s a tricky bit you have to remember if you’re doing component-level testing on a board–something of a lost art these days. You might be testing voltage on a live system, then when you don’t see what you expect, you might want to test resistance. Be sure to remember to shut the system down when you switch from volts to ohms to avoid damaging your multimeter.

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