Commodore 64 - 1982

Even Commodore lovers might see the VIC-20 as a bit basic but what followed was massively improved. The C64 was released in 1982 and between then and 1993 when production stopped some 30 million were sold worldwide. It looked a little like a VIC-20 (different coloured unit) with even better sound and sprites and a full 64KB of memory according to what you were running at the time. BASIC was virtually identical. Commodore were very keen on producing high-quality peripherals for their systems. The 64 had its own external cassette deck (which worked!), there were dot matrix and even business-quality daisywheel printers and a rather massive disk drive. The floppy disk, though, was an unusual design. Every other floppy drive sends data in parallel, 8 bits at a time. Commodore, for some obscure reason, decided to create a serial device, one bit at a time. The result was ridiculously long load times (only around twice the speed of the cassette). On top of that, they were fairly unreliable (surprising considering the reliability of their computers), expensive and normally in short supply. Not many people bothered to buy them. At least they offered a more compact version later on.

Later on, the 64 was redesigned into a "cool" new case:

I have to say that I much preferred the original!