MARCH Shows off Apple 1 replica at HOPE 9 and it makes SLASHDOT

MARCH (MidAtlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists) showed of their Apple 1 replica and the people at picked up on it

Here is link to he article

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30 Years ago the Commodore 64 was released to the public

Yes, 30 years ago Commodore International started to ship the Commodore 64 to the public. It was announced at the 1982 Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in Jan 1982.

What they didn’t know was the icon that they created.. The Commodore 64 wasn’t just another 8bit computer in the 80s.. It was the Volkswagen Beetle of home computers.

See, they look alike

  • It was inexpensive, but very capable
  • It had a round case
  • and it sold in massive numbers, est 17 million between 1982 and 1994
  • It touched the heart of computers users all around the world, many who still use the C64 today.

The Commodore 64 is listed as the best-selling computer of all time in the Guinness Book of World Records and for good reason. The C64 retailed for $595.00 and it had:

  • 64k of RAM, 20k of ROM
  • 320 x200 screen resolution with 16 colors
  • Microsoft Basic
  • 3 Channel Sound

In 1982 this was a lot for $595.00. Compared to it’s competition it was much cheaper and still quite a capable computer. Remember you had to spend roughly $900 for an Atari 800 back and at least $1000 for the price of an Apple II. The C64 brought a lot of people who wouldn’t have normally bought a computer into the world of computing because the price was good given what it could do.

I had friends with Apple IIs who would come over to play games on my machine. Given the graphics and sound capabilities and the large numbers of users, many software companies produced games for the C64.


Also like the Volkswagen Beetle the Commodore 64 has a large and dedicated following that still creates new hardware & software for their beloved systems.

To give you in idea of the popularity of the C64. In 2004 the C64 Direct to TV was released. It wasn’t just one of those 10 games in one joystick that connects to a TV.. It was a complete Commodore 64 on a chip. It was designed by Jeri Ellsworth.  It was so popular it sold 70,000 on the first day. Now the joysticks are collectors items commanding prices that exceed what they sold for originally. Many of them were taken apart by hackers and made into C64 clones or other projects.

Here is a tiny palmtop that was made using the C64 Direct to TV device, The Picodore 64

The Picodore 64

The Picodore 64


Now you may say, why is this computer so popular and so well remembered?

The Commodore 64 given it’s low price made it possible for many people like myself to have a real home computer. It’s graphics and sound capabilities made it a killer game machine and because of that it swayed a lot of people who would have bought a console like the Atari or even a NES to come to the world of computers.

The Commodore 64 was not my first computer. I had a Timex Sinclair 1000. Later on I got my C64. While I did learn a lot on it, I spent a lot more time on the Commodore playing game after game after game. While other people were buying the Nintendo NES, I still had my C64. When the Sega Master System came out, I still had my C64.  I had my C64. Why have a console, when you could have a full computer?

For many people, the 64 was the first computer and it introduced them into the wonderful world of computing. It was the system they played games on, or the system they used to communicate over modems, or programmed their HAM Radio or balanced their check book or did their homework on. I mean there are many stories and memories. Like a first car or a first love, it will be remembered fondly.

Funny story, I was at a Hackers on Planet Earth conference and the speaker was John Lee, from the group Masters of Deception and he was talking about the old days of breaking into the phone company’s computer systems using his Commodore 64.

There are hundreds of stories like this out there, feel free to share your own in the comments area.

For collectors and hobbyists, this is a great computer to have.. They are still inexpensive because they are far from rare. They are built well and you can probably find a working one easily and there are many people who still have them so you can find someone to help you. Do a simple google search for Commodore User Group and you will see many pop up. It shouldn’t be too hard to find one near you.

Below are some great videos and some great sites to explore

Here are a number of great sites about the Commodore 64 and about Commodore in general

Commodore 64 Computer System Review – Lazy Game Reviews

Commodore 64 Commercials

Ask a Computer

More than Apple


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Evan Koblentz & Corey Cohen on CNN talking about the Apple I Auction

MARCH Members Evan Koblentz & Corey Cohen were on CNN to talk about the Apple I as a recent auction of a Apple I went for $375.000

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An interesting story on the history of Project Marklar (The Intel version of the Mac Operating System)

Kim Scheinberg wrote an interesting post on about Apple’s Secrecy by telling a story on how her husband John Kullman ported the Mac OS to the Intel x86 platform.

To make a long story short, Around June of 2000 Apple Employee John Kullman and his wife had a child and wanted to move from California east to be near their parents so that their son would have grandparents in his life. To do this, John Kullman needed permission to telecommute. This means he couldn’t work on any team project he needed to find something to work on. So Apply finally gave him the ok.

Eventually his boss came to him and aked what he was working on to justify the budget. Kullman showed him the MacOS running on Intel machine. This caught the attention of upper management. They asked how fast can you get it working on a Sony laptop. John replied a few hours. Later that day John shows the OS running on a Sony Vaio that was bought that day from Frys. The next day Steve Jobs was on a flight to Japan to talk to Sony.

Apple then put John Kullman and his family on lock down. No one could talk about the project and the home office was reconfigured to meet “Apple security standards”. So for 18 months only 6 people knew about the project, code named “Project Marklar”.

When asked about where they got the name Project Marklar, she responded

“It was unintentional.

JK had three machines in his office for which IS&T required names. He came up with the first two pretty quickly (t3w and bob) but was stuck for a third. He tried several, but they were all taken by other Apple employees. In a fit of desperation, he asked me and I suggested Marklar.

Yes, it’s the South Park reference.”

You can read more about this from Kim-Scheinberg’s port on Quora.
Link to post:

You can read more about the naming of the project here.
Link to post:


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The Hardware Project, a place to find documentation

The Hardware Project is a site that has all sorts of documentation for all sorts of computers and they are looking for more.

I give them credit. It’s not easy gathering, cataloging and posting all that documentation.

You should really check it out and if you have documentation, may I suggest contacting the owner to contribute.

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Lee Felsenstein is coming to InfoAge in NJ on July 1st 2012

Lee Felsenstein will be visiting the MidAtlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists over at the Infoage Science History Museum and Learning Center in NJ on Sunday July 1st 2012 around 10:30am.

He will be giving a small lecture and hopefully answer some questions.

Lee Felsenstein is an engineer who was one of the early pioneers in both the design of the personal computer, computer networks and personal computer technologies. He was there in the beginning and his contributions helped shape the personal computer industry.

Just a small list of his contributions include:

The members of MARCH just ask for a $10 donation to Infoage as they will be hosting the event.

For more information about Lee, he has his own blog:

For more information about MARCH, check out their website at

For more information about InfoAge check their website at

For directions check out

Update: Sorry I spelled Mr. Felsenstein’s name incorrectly.. Thanks to Evan who updated me



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Inventor Portrait: Ralph Baer by David Friedman

Photographer David Friedman has a series of videos titled Inventor Portraits.

In this video he interviews Ralph Baer inventor of the Magnavox Odyssey and the electronic game Simon.

Inventor Portrait: Ralph Baer from David Friedman on Vimeo.

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The art of modern retro: how indies can create wonderful pixel art

I really enjoy Pixel Art..

Penny Arcade has a great article on Pixel Art and tips for people who want to create pixel art.

Link to the article

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BBC Micro live shows off the Amiga 1000 back in 1985

Someone posted this in the Vintage Computing area on

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Classic Gaming Expo August 11-12, 2012

So Classic Gaming Expo is back for 2012.

I have always wanted to go to this in years past but I was never able to so I cannot give an opinion but I found some other people who have and here are some reviews.

If I can somehow find myself over there this August I will write an article.

Here is a video from Gamester81 on Classic Gaming Expo 2010

Here is video 1 of 2 about the Classic Gaming Expo 2010 by VegasPeterArceo

Here is video 2 of 2 about the Classic Gaming Expo 2010 by VegasPeterArceo

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