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Watch: How "oldschool" computer graphics worked back in the eighties

YouTube personality TheiBookGuy produced an easy-to-watch, easy-to-understand explainer piece on how computer graphics worked in the 1980s.

In part one of a multi-part video series, he digs into the limitations of color on eighties-era computers and early game consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and the Commodore 64.

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Commodore PET cellphone

PETPHONE

Before the Amiga, before the C64, there was Commodore's PET, its first great 8-bit machine. Now it's being resurrected, in spirit, as a cellphone.

Although nostalgia is not the core of the product, there is of course room for retro gaming. The Commodore PET runs a custom version of Android 5.0 Lollipop and two preinstalled emulators. They weren’t finished on the prototype I used, but I’m told they’ll be customized versions of the VICE C64 emulator and the Uae4All2-SDL Amiga emulator. The team also is working with unnamed software houses to bring some of the 1980’s best games on the PET before shipping.

When it launches later this week across Europe, the Commodore PET should come in two different versions, a light one (costing around $300) with 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, and a regular one (costing around $365) with 32GB of internal memory and 3GB of RAM. Both will have a 32-gig microSD card included—though the dedicated slot will support cards up to 64GB, too. Users can choose a white, black, or classic biscuit-beige case, though I’m told green, blue, and other colors might be added.

Whereby "in spirit" means "BRANDING" yelled in a booming Daniel Plainview voice.

Small world, tracker music edition

I love to hang out with online pal Cabel Sasser, founder of Portland software company Panic, whenever our paths cross in real life. But I only just realized that he was an early 90s tracker musician whose work I listened to in England as a kid, on my Commodore Amiga, decades before we met.

Read the rest

Commodore 64 creator dies

"We need to build computers for the masses, not the classes" — Jack Tramiel [Mercury News]

Commodore is beautiful

Boing Boing reader Byron shares this photograph of one of our ancestors in the National Museum of Scotland:

An old Commodore PET computer (complete with tape deck for loading and saving programme and a built in monitor). I think this model was the very first home computer (as we know them) that I ever saw, when I was a wee boy, late 1970s. My dad's friend was an amateur meteorologist, had a room full of (for the time) hi-tech equipment like a HAM radio, a print out that fed him data right from a weather satellite and the like. He got himself one of these and knowing I like science fiction he thought I'd like it so he got dad to bring me round. Two or three years late I'd have my own home computer, a Texas TI-99 4/a and I've pretty much had a computer of some sort right through till today.

Thanks for sharing it in the Boing Boing Flickr pool, Byron!