The Terminator was a Commodore Vic-20

Recently I’ve been on a retro computing kick.  I don’t know what it is but I am always amazed to see how much stuff you can pull out of a machine from the early 80s.  The retro computing scene is running full-speed around the world.  People are coming up with new games for old platforms like the Atari, Coleco, Commodores and others.

After muddling around a few retro computing sites I found something that made me stop and drool (Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m 100% geek)…a guy who claims to have made the Commodore Vic-20 talk with no extra hardware.

For those of you who don’t know, the Vic-20 was one of the most popular and powerful computers released in the early 80s.  This thing was a total powerhouse: 3.5 K of RAM, 1 MHZ (yes <MHZ, NOT GHZ) 6502 CPU, 22X23 character display, 176X184 pixels and 16 colors.

So back to the graphics and sound demo.  The one I am speaking of is “Robotic Liberation” by Pers’ Wastaieset Productiot.  This demo placed first at the Assembly party in 2003…27 years after the Vic-20 was released to the public.

The whole thing runs on an unexpanded Vic-20 and the story line is a bit creepy…just watch the video as the story unfolds.  The music is excellent and the “voice” is just so strange that it is awesome.

Commodore 64 dev kit for Windows

commodore-basic-on-windowsIf you are like me you have a crazy interest in anything retro when it comes to computers.  The majority of the computers I’ve owned growing up were Commodores.  It started with a Commodore Vic-20, then a Commodore 128, Amigas, and so on. 

Though they were fun to program, there was no real IDE to aid in the development of anything too extreme.  My buddy Arthur Jordison feels the same way.  This led him to develop something that I feel is one of the coolest tools ever made.  The product is CBM Prg Studio and it allows you to develop for 8-bit Commodore machines using Windows.  The CBM prg Studio allows you to type in BASIC OR Assembler and then run it on an emulator like Vice.  But it doesn’t just stop at writing programs.  Arthur actually stuffed this IDE with a bunch of other cool things:

  • Tabbed MDI interface
  • 6502/6510 assembler/disassembler/integrated debugger
  • Sprite Editor
  • Character Editor
  • Screen Designer
  • Code formatting
  • Project tutorials and examples

The best thing about the studio is that it is totally FREE.  Go ahead and check it out and make some stuff with it.  Also, make a donation to that chap…you’ll soon learn that the toolkit is well worth it. 

Developing Commodore BASIC programs on Windows has never been more fun!