Today on Computer Insider, we look at a technology that changed the world we live in, but ultimately was a nice try, but no cigar. A now dead gadget that redefined technology was the Commodore C64. The 8-bit brown and taupe lo-fi 1982 masterpiece was, actually is, the best-selling single computer in history. Why? Well, the chunky, relatively affordable keyboard-housed system which cut corners by using a TV with an RF box for a monitor did more to popularize the idea of the personal home computer than any device since. The C-64 marked a significant shift in the computer industry as well. Up to that point, Commodore was a close competitor with Apple producing business-focused machines like the 8032 which popularized apps like word-processing and spreadsheeting. The C64 put great games onto a viable platform and really opened up the gaming market. While all this was going on, a company called IBM had just hooked up with a guy named Bill Gates and Microsoft and had just launched a machine called the IBM PC, a product that completely redefined the computer market forever.
Commodore’s early primary competitor, Apple, was also forced to change. They had been primarily reliant on the Apple II, but when the C-64 launched, Apple rethought things and went after that home market with a product called the IIe which came out in 1983, and was later replaced by a number of not quite so spiffy machines like the LISA which would ultimately evolve into the Apple Mackintosh.
You know, as much as we talk about best Smartphones today best computers, tablets, watches and so on, the reality is that all of these technology battles are mere duplications of the early wars that defined the personal computer market and led us to today’s incredible toys.