Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Commodore 64C

Commodore 64C

Speed1 MHz
Memory64 KB

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Commodore 64

Release Date: 3/1/1987
Manufacturer: Commodore
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
The 64C is a repackaged version of the Commodore 64. The look was updated to the brighter beige color similar to the Commodore 128 and Amiga, and the production cost was reduced by putting most of the logic into a single VLSI chip.

In Europe, this machine became known as the "C64-II".

Commodore also revamped many of its peripherals to coincide with the launch, and released color matches versions of the following:

  • 1541C disk drive, internally the same as the previous 1541, but with a beige case
  • 1541-II disk drive, a smaller 1541 with external power supply and a beige case
  • 1351 two-button mouse which could operate in either proportional or joystick mode
  • 1802 color monitor which accepted both composite and RGB video signals,
  • 1764 RAM expander which plugged into the expansion port and boosted the system RAM to 256 KB.
The first 64C's were also bundled with GEOS, developed by Berkeley Software, a good window and icon operating system, considering that it ran on a 8-bit processors and 64 KB of RAM. The base of this operating system later became GeoWorks Ensemble on the PC.

Commodore 1541-II

Commodore 1541-II
Release Date: 6/1/1988
Donated By: H. Jarvis
The Commodore 1541-II is the second of two upgraded versions of the CBM 1541 (the first upgrade was the 1541C) disk drive. The 1541-II has the more modern 'radial handle' locking mechanism.

This disk drive connects to the Commodore 64 (or 128) and is a single-sided 170 kilobyte drive for 5" disks.

The disk drive uses Group Code Recording (GCR) and contains a MOS 6502 microprocessor, doubling as a disk controller and on-board disk operating system processor. The number of sectors per track varied from 17 to 21 (an early implementation of Zone Bit Recording). The drive's built-in disk operating system is CBM DOS 2.6.

Use of "flippy disks", which were double-sided disks converted by cutting/punching a notch on the left-hand side, would give access to the reverse side of the disks and effectively double the storage capacity. The notch could be made with a knife, single hole paper punch, or "disk notcher" tool that was specifically designed for this task.

User Comments
Sercan SEVER on Thursday, February 17, 2011
I am addressing you from Turkey. I am a "COMMODORE 64C" holder. it is quite old but it works. I sometimes get the pleasure to set up "basic" book by playing games. I think "COMMODORE 64C" to have a privilege. Greetings from Turkey .. (Sorry, English is a bit poor.)
Anonymous on Friday, April 24, 2009
You could not only read the disks on the C64 but of course also write it. For example, if you had typed a program, you could save it to the disk (giving it a filename) so the next time you could load it again. Because if you turned the machine off, your program was gone, because it was all in RAM, so you used disks to save it and load them again. It also had a tape drive which would use standard MC tapes to save your programs, but this was much slower. Of course there were also programs to copy files or entire disks and even compressors to make the files smaller and hence fit more on a disk. (like you would use ZIP or RAR today). Disks like the Ms. Pac-Man disk in the video, which were sold as software, were not very different from blank disks you could buy for yourself, i.e. you could even erase them and put your own stuff on there (which would be stupid unless you made a backup before).
Joy Reese on Sunday, October 28, 2007
If the Commodore memory was non-resident, who was making the floppies, and on what kind of machine? Were the discs being "burned" or in some way magnetically copied? I can't quite imagine how a user would have more freedom in usage. It would seem they would be limited to the programs. I will come to the museum soon so I can get a look at how this was used. At one time, in the 80s my Dad had this machine but I hadn't learned about computers yet. I was both too old and too young, as I was out of school, raising a family, didn't have a game system, and was not retired and looking for a new hobby. I really love your site!! Thanks
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* Inflation data courtesy of Values are approximate using our own calculations.