Saturday, April 05, 2008

Blast From the Past.. It's the Commodore VIC-20 - The World's Worst Personal Computer Ever !!


Son, I Can't Figure This POS Out Either.....
I work with a pair of co-workers in their mid-20's, and they have no idea how bad technology was when they were born. A perfect example of this is the Commodore VIC-20, the first personal computer to sell a million units back in the early 80's. And my family was one of them.
I got mine in 1982. We never had Atari, because my parents were convinced that video games were the devil's handiwork - or something like that. Martha can help me out on this one. So, they were all excited when they bought the VIC-20. I remember how jazzed my Mom was that we could now learn how to work a computer, and how we'd all be tech savvy from now on. It lasted about a week.
The VIC-20 had no memory or power - it only had 8 bits . It was slow as sin, it was made before the mouse was invented, so to play games, you had to use the arrow keys. But worst of all, to use it, you had to know FORTRAN. I told Heather at work about this, and her first question was, "What's FORTRAN?" Enough said.
Sometimes getting on the bandwagon too early is a bad thing, and this is a perfect example. This piece of crap got me so intimidated with computers that I didn't finally try to buy another one until 1998. They did have a great ad campaign though. Here are a couple clips. the first is Bill Shatner shilling for the VIC-20. You know, "Get Into the Future With Capt. Kirk !!". The second clip is the one that scared the crap out of every parent in America - if you don't know computers, you kid will NEVER GET A JOB AND LEAVE THE HOUSE !!!! Guess it was right...
.

6 comments:

Earl Capps said...

So between your blog and mine, it must be Pick on Shatner month.

Mike Reino said...

Every day is Open season on Shatner.. he's .. just.. so... easy....too pick on!

Not a China fan Moye said...

I may have one in the barn in the original box. I may have Shatner.

Mike Reino said...

Unless there's a cult market for them, you're cellphone is a more powerful computer.

Earl Capps said...

Ok Mike, you asked for it.

My relatiatory Shatner posting just went up. Now go top that,if you will.

Martha said...

The Commodore! WOW!And I dont mean the one with Lionel Richie (for those under the age of 25, Nicole Richie's father)What an exciting day that was when we opened the box! It was probably the only time Dad ever had any interation with us kids on Christmas. What fun shooting down pixal aliens with even smaller pixal bullets! Your right, I think it ended up in a damp basement closet after a month.