Commodore was part of the home computing revolution back in the 80s. Their C64 was a big hit back then, because of its low price and high capabilities. C64 owners were enjoying their games in the fast hardware-accelerated graphic and high quality sound from its 3-channels sound chip. The sound chip was said to be so good and produces unique sound, it has quite a dedicated community, and even a special product based on it.
Another phenomenon on the 80s was the demoscene. I think it’s safe to credit C64 for starting this.
These guys produces stunning graphic demos, by pushing the hardware to maximum and utilizing undocumented features. These demos are usually accompanied by no less stunning music. The music is so good, I’ve read news where they’re plagiarized for commercial artists’ songs.
C64 isn’t only good for games though. About 10.000 applications were available for it, including business software. Quite impressive for a console-like computer.
The next of Commodore’s success is Amiga. Its main edge over the competitors are various custom co processors – a chip for each task; graphic, sound, etc. This enable Amiga to perform much better than others, sometimes spectacularly so. This machine was way, WAY ahead of its time; there’s still communities based on it. A lot of famous artists / public figures are keen Amiga users. And many TV series / movies are utilizing Amiga for its production.
Then Commodore went bankrupt. I don’t know the details, but it seems that Commodore wasn’t able to market it effectively, and got lost in the competition over PC makers. The loss was mourned by many.
Several attempts were made to revive it, but none made it as a world wide success. Now, a bunch of people are giving it a try again with Commodore Game PC.
Commodore XX is its current top of the line.
Featuring : Intel® Core™2 Extreme Quad-Core processor QX6700, ASUS® P5N32-E motherboard, 4GB Corsair® Dominator memory, and 2 (two!) NVIDIA® 8800 GTX SLI graphics cards. True to its Commodore roots, it’s also preloaded with a C64 emulator, containing more than 50 classic games.
Commodore was known as an innovative company, and the new Commodore is continuing this tradition with the C-Kin. Currently there isn’t anything really stunning in its choices, but I’m sure overtime we can expect some awesome designs making its way to the C-Kin collection. Also C-Kin may not seem to be much of an innovation, but one can hope that this is the start of a torrent of wonderful ideas from the new Commodore.
The PC scene is getting more and more interesting nowadays. I’d like to be among the first to welcome the comeback of Commodore.