Upgrading like it’s 1982!

Like technically, the Commodore 64 version C wasn’t released until 1986, but let’s not be pedantic nerds. 🙂

There has been a lot on my mind this year and indeed, the last few years. Allow me to tell you with certainty, being forty is a whole lot easier than turning forty! Mortality and self awareness are completely bizarre experiences – I KNOW that I am not going to live forever, I have experienced the death of a loved one first hand and I’ve lost many other friends and family members over the years, yet I have still somehow managed to ignore the passage of time as though I will both never run out of it and I will somehow magically achieve everything I at one point intended to achieve, even though it would be entirely impossible to do so without living infinite lives simultaneously. Farley Mowat touched on this concept in an interview with George Stroumboulopoulos not too long before he died. He answered that he had been focusing on pealing back the layers of reality to peer into and better understand the truth beneath, and I was like, “You go Farley! Our human existence sure is one messed up and arbitrary construct that we’ve created for ourselves!”. I hope he found his answers before he stepped into the great beyond. I have found some of mine.

My heart breaks when I hear of people who end their lives or hurt themselves as the result of being so wrapped up in this fucked up and completely arbitrary social existence that we all seemingly must endure, because the truth is clear and limitlessly beautiful…

None of this matters.

Not you, not me, not the air we breath nor the Earth we walk upon. Beyond the star dust coalesced, all out beyond endlessly and right here within each of us is energy. Touch something, feel it. The crazy reality is that on the fundamental level you are so full of empty space that you’re not really touching that object at all, yet you can FEEL it. You can feel it, because we are energy.

Energy given the gift of this shared existence, with which we may each, to the best of our will, experience, achieve, and leave behind shadows of our deeds and desires. Fleeting and overwhelming as it will be, your life is your gift. Yours.

So with whatever I have left of my own blip of existence, I will be dedicating my “nerd hobby time” to making things for the Commodore 64, using a Commodore 64C!

Late last year I purchased a Commodore VIC20, largely because it was an inexpensive reminder of the Commodore 64 that I learned to program on as a kid in the early 1990s. Indeed, it was the first computer I ever touched in the early 1980s! While I do enjoy the nostalgia of the machine, typing on it tends to be uncomfortable due to the height of the “breadbin” style chassis. And even though the VIC20 is an important and still widely popular computer, one can not deny that the C64 is the real hero of computers yore.

Indeed, if one wishes to attach one’s self to something that will stand the test of time, one can chisel one’s self a stone tablet or one can create something enjoyable for the Commodore 64. I have decided to do the latter!

Soon, thanks to my good friend Chris “Kinshi” Edgin from Uncharted Gaming (and the brains behind the former Tarkin Star Wars Galaxies Emulator server), I will be the proud owner of a Commodore 64C! That’s the more ergonomic version of the chassis, which feels very much the same as any other desktop keyboard to type on.

I have used (and tremdously appreciate!) the VICE emulator on my desktop PC and my Chromebook, but at the end of the day when I am using these modern machines, my feeling is thus, “if I’m going to be using a Linux PC, I may as well program for a Linux PC!“. Using a real C64 to develop programs for the C64 as folks did “back in the day”, enjoying the full and true experience/process, is what I find appealing.

I enjoy making things. I especially enjoy making humorous and whimsical experiences on the computer. I also enjoy learning and understanding. Focusing my efforts on a machine such as the (extremely well docuemented and supported!!) Commodore 64 will press all the right buttons when it comes to how I like to spend my “hobby time” – creating, thinking, learning, failing and trying again, because it’s the creative process that drives me.

With C= I will create and enjoy, star dust to electric ether and beyond…

My Commodore 64C on Chris’ test bench