The Commodore 64 Book – 1982 to 199x

Several months ago my old C64 buddy, Andrew Fisher, emailed me to tell me about his new book, The Commodore 64 Book – 1982 to 199x. At the time his email fell through the cracks in the Thunderbird inbox and was destined to remain unanswered until I received a reply from another friend, Iain Black, curator of The Def Guide to Zzap!64 to a recent email I sent him. He asked if I had heard from Andrew so I went digging and found Andrew’s correspondence.

I’m glad I did. I just visited his site and ordered my copy of his book. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it and poring over all the reviews and little nuggets of retro goodness. If you were ever a fan of the C64, I think you owe it to yourself to splash out the couple of quid this books costs so you can bore the pants off your significant other, your work colleagues or friends with hopelessly antiquated nonsense from 20-30 years ago!

For the Speccy fans, there was The ZX Spectrum Book – 1982 to 199x but unfortunately only 1000 were ever printed and it’s sold out.

c64 golden years

In 1982, the Commodore computer company launched its new machine – the Commodore 64.

Twenty five years later, that machine is still going strong with new games and thousands of users worldwide.
To tell the story of the best-selling home computer of the 1980’s, writer and Commodore 64 fan Andrew Fisher looks back at around two hundred of the top games and how the industry has changed. From the pioneering third party companies like Electronic Arts and Melbourne House, to the homebrew software of the new millennium, the story of an 8-bit computer (and its remarkable sound chip) is a nostalgia trip for games fans.

Yes, difficult as it may seem, but people are still coding on the C64. I presume most of them work on emulators and I remember reading a forum post from a young guy who had never owned the machine but wanted to learn 6502 assembler. The C64 Scene Database lists almost every single demo produced and new ones are being added all the time. Not bad for such an old machine eh?

Author: Donncha

Donncha Γ“ Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

17 thoughts on “The Commodore 64 Book – 1982 to 199x”

  1. Ross – I spotted them! IK+ and Paradroid if memory serves.

    I’d buy except I have so little time to play them and when I can play them on my PC why take up the family tv with them?

    I definitely did own both of those games at some stage, on compilations I think.

  2. Mikhail – that’s strange. It redirects to my feedburner feed for me!

    I even tried it in Lynx to make sure cookies are screwing up things and it worked too.

  3. Well, let me be more specific.

    My Sage 1.3.10 started reading your feed – XML Parse Error about a week ago. By visiting your site today and hitting “Discover Feed” only “Comments for Holy Shmoly” pops up.

  4. Stranger and stranger. All the correct feed tags are in the header.

    I just tried subscribing with Google Reader and it picked up my /feed/ url, but for some reason it didn’t redirect to feedburner. Something for me to investigate when I have a spare moment. Thanks for notifying me!

  5. Thanks for checking that. That’s how I was counting cached pages vs fresh pages served, but it shouldn’t have appeared in the feed.
    I had /feed/ in the reject uri area of wp-super-cache but I didn’t have /feed which is what you were accessing!

  6. I have The Commodore 16, where the keyboard is brown and you have to plug in a cartridge in the back to make stuff work, and a tape recorder on the side of it…lol

  7. Donncha, listen up

    Neither IE7 nor Firefox 2.0 Live Bookmark Feed can read you feed.


    “Internet Explorer cannot display this feed

    This feed contains code errors.

    Only one top level element is allowed in an XML document.
    Line: 481 Character: 2


    “Holy Shmoly Live Bookmark Feed failed to load”

    Needless to say you keep losing subscribers – seems like 200 dropped already in one week.

    Hurry up

  8. Crap, Alrighty, I removed my Analytics code completely because frankly I don’t have time to debug it any more.

    Anyway, I now know that about 65% of requests here are supercached which is pretty cool!

  9. And just to get this back on topic. The book arrived yesterday and I’ve had a quick flick through it and it’s a great read.

    Shame it all ends in 1994 but it’s starling to see the difference between a 1982 game and one of the last commercial games, Mayhem in Monsterland, in 1993.

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