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The Lost continent of

You've found a bug on my site!

Abstraction is selective ignorance

Andrew Koenig

My First Computer: The VIC-20!

The 1980s Power-house with bits to spare...

I got my first computer when I was eight. It was the mid-80s, and the computer was the venerable VIC-20. The whole computer fit into the keyboard casing, and you had to plug it into your TV like a game console.

It had just a millionth of the memory my current workstation has, it's CPU ran at 0.001GHz, and it's primary storage medium was plain audio tape, but I spent untold hours writing crappy BASIC programs on the thing — there was very little else you could do!

VIC-20 Logo The venerable VIC-20

The 'Desktop'

The VIC-20 Desktop!

This is all you got when you turned on the computer, just a Commodore BASIC prompt.

A 22 column x 23 row screen seemed pretty good back then... This faked screenshot is at the original resolution of 184 by 176 pixels. It looks quite ridiculous on my large modern monitor — a mere stamp sized square of cyan and white!

Photo Gallery

(See www.old-computers.com for more photos.)


The VIC-20 Cassette deck

That damn tape deck! I had to wait quite literally half an hour for my only commercial game, chess, to load....


The venerable VIC-20

Views of various models. Over a million of these bad boys were manufactured from 1981 to 1985.

The venerable VIC-20

Even prehistoric computers were beige...

Side view of the VIC-20

When William Shatner said that it was cool, I believed!

The venerable VIC-20