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How Things Work: Commodore 64 and Summer Games Edition

Commodore 64 startup screen

I’m always trying to convey a sense of the audacity and creativity of hackers of the early PC era, who made so much out of so little. I include amongst this group both the hardware hackers who created the machines themselves and the software hackers who took them to place even their creators never imagined. In that spirit, I thought today we’d look at how the Commodore 64′s hardware team managed to make it do some of what it could given the technical constraints under which they labored, and how the software team who created Summer Games at Epyx found ways to make it do even more than they had fully considered. So, much of this article is for the gearheads among you, or at least those of you who’d like to understand a bit more of what the gearheads are on about. If you’re a less technical sort, perhaps you’ll be consoled by learning about some of the softer factors that went into the Summer Games design as well. And if that’s not interesting, hey, you can still watch my wife and I (mostly I) fail horribly at various Summer Games events via the movie clips. This is, by the way, my first attempt to make use of WordPress 3.6′s integrated video capabilities. You’ll need an up-to-date browser with good HTML 5 support to see the clips. Hopefully my site won’t choke on the bandwidth demands. We’ll see how we go.

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13 Aug
O'Reilly Radar @radar
How Things Work: Commodore 64 and Summer Games Edition http://t.co/KviUBKlm51 "admire the real craftsmanship in those early games" -@gnat