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A question for you computer-buildery-type people..
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Jarrod
Brisbane, Australia
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August 3, 2011 - 1:57 am
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I see the humble Commodore 64 has gotten a re-vamp and has recently been released.

http://www.commodoreusa.net/CU.....A_C64.aspx

 

Is that an ok price for a PC of similar capabilities, or is it just expensive bloatware?  I'd love to get one to replace my aging machine...  in fact, I might encourage my machine to suffer a premature death in order to justify getting one...

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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geggis
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August 3, 2011 - 8:44 am
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I can't really say Jarrod. The computers that me and Mat C recently built are in a different league to the specs shown there so I wouldn't know my arse from my elbow with those components. Having said this, it does look sweet! I want that big chunky keyboard!

Still, I'm betting you'd be paying a premium for the novelty/appearance of it.

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Jarrod
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August 3, 2011 - 10:02 pm
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Yeah, I think you're right...  so long as it's not excessively expensive for just the novelty aspect.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Helmut
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August 4, 2011 - 1:49 pm
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Those are some seriously underpowered parts. Atom processors at 1.8 GHz are typically for embedded systems. I would not expect this to 'run all modern pc software,' unless by modern they mean 1995. Their thermal design power (TDP) is rated at 10W, which indicates low power consumption and price design goals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Atom

In my opinion, this looks like a niche product. Good for what it's designed for, but not much else.

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Jarrod
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August 5, 2011 - 12:42 am
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Bugger... cheers Helmut.  Well, I try not to play too many games on the PC as it is, so maybe I could get away with it if I bought one.  Still, it'd be an easier decision to get one if the system was comparable to currently available PCs.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Scout
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August 5, 2011 - 1:56 am
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I had a Commodore 64 once. 64K...hot damn!

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Jarrod
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August 9, 2011 - 12:11 am
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C64's were lovely, in their time.  If I could marry a machine, I would marry a C64.  Did you have many games on it, Scout?

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Scout
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August 9, 2011 - 10:50 pm
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Not really. It was a loaner that I eventually returned. I wanted to try out word processing to see if it was time to dump my Selectric. I basically thought the games that came with it were sort of homely looking. I remember liking the text games. I was fascinated by the idea of word processing. Graphic computer games didn't do much for me until later when the visuals improved. Probably not the info you were looking for. [Image Can Not Be Found] I didn't even like videotape much back then. I was a pretty strident film snob.

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Scout
Portland, Oregon
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August 10, 2011 - 11:59 pm
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Commodore confessions:

 

In 1985 I was happily ensconced in a beautiful 1920 style apartment with a smart, beautiful, talented and funny woman. (who later came to her senses, left me and married a potato farmer.)  I had quit my full time job as a near minimum wage laborer in a film studio/stalag making thirty second TV commercials for all the bushiness  in town that needed them and moved in with this person.

At some point,  early on, we tried out using a studio together. She was a graphic artist who had stayed freelance her whole life, a wizard with a razor blade and some glue. She could also draw a perfectly round circle freehand and  match colors by mixing tints freehand. (Esp handy when you are painting the house.) Which is like having perfect pitch for a musician, but I digress.

The whole idea was to spend as much time as possible in the company of this amazing creature and one way to do that was to share a studio space. Since we were already living together there was only one room left for our conjugal creations to occur, the studio. I first tried sculpture. Two days of cleaning up the mess of dusty red terracotta pushed me toward plasticine and from there I spent a month modelling in grade school  playdough quality clay the head of the woman across the room. (This piece of "art" actually survived intact for almost 4 years, gather dust in a corner of a garage before finally being re-purposed as landfill by the potato farmer.

One day a friend bought for himself an early Apple computer, fell in love and offered to loan me his abandoned Commodore 64. I packed away the messy, messy terracotta clay, set up a bit of chair and desk and starting writing on the Commodore. The word processing program was called Speedscript. It changed everything for me.  Before, on the Selectric I kept trying to write essays or how-tos, and reviews, progenitors of a lot of online content today, in a way but when I got my hands on the Commodore 64, everything changed. I started writing all topsy turvey.  I started writing fiction. Later I bought a Microsoft PC and a dot matrix printer and it was all over. About 7 years later I noticed that some of those video games were looking pretty nice. Much nicer than my Flight Simulator game. Nicer than those game on the C64.

I did get to play Adventure once on a mainframe in 1978 with my programmer friends. At least I think I did. Knowing them, I might have been pushing the deguass button on the monitor all night.

Jerrod. Buy it.

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Jarrod
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August 21, 2011 - 9:56 pm
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I went through a few C64 monitors that needed deguassing!  Thanks for the story - I did a little word processing on the C64, we had a dot matrix as well.  I think my parents thought the computer would help with study, and were then disappointed that we mostly just played games on it.  I did surprise them one day by typing up a school assignment on it, though.

 

I had a few text games on it, including Fahrenheit 451 (based on the book which I have yet to read), and some text adventure where you investigate Mayan ruins.  It was lovely games like that this eased me into the welcoming world of MUDs during the 90s.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Ernest
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August 30, 2011 - 3:15 pm
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Just a reconfirmation that the system isn't cutting edge.  But it could run stuff more recently that 1995!  Silly Helmut.  1995 if I remember right was like Pentium 2 stuff. 

The computer seems a little expensive for the components.  You probably could get a normal system like that for $500-800 USD.  But then you wouldn't be buying it for the components anyhow.

Probably smarter/cheaper just to haunt ebay for a C64 though. 

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Steerpike
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August 30, 2011 - 4:17 pm
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I've been holding off on buying an entirely new rig, despite having one fully parted out on NewEgg. Gregg will be pleased to know that it's built around that FUCKING HUGE cooler he selected. During a moment of weakness or drunkenness I'll surely click "buy all" despite the fact that my current machine manages every task I throw at it with great aplomb. Each time I read this thread I'm reminded of days when upgrades or specialty computers were out of reach because I bagged groceries, or worked as a telemarketer, or sold CDs, none of which are Buy-New-Computer level jobs.

My family missed out on the Commodore era. We had a stolid old Apple II+ throughout the period. I have to check out an Amiga emulator, if only to experience the graphics I used to worship at the software store.

 

*Amiga screens shown. Other graphics may vary.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Jarrod
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August 30, 2011 - 8:58 pm
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I'm surprised by how many people missed out on the C64 experience - I thought they were pretty prevalent.  Ah well, our childhoods are so subjective, I guess.

 

Thanks for the confirmation, Ernest - we're sinking more money into our house renovations than we'd planned, so a new compy is out of the picture for a while, at least until our house is beautiful.  Maybe I'll pour some Sprite down the back of my current computer or something...  I wonder if that would be covered by insurance.  I haven't bought a new computer for ages (not counting iPads and Netbooks), and I miss having a more cutting edge system.

 

Don't wait for a moment of weakness to buy your FHC computer, SP - life is short.  As they say, if you find yourself falling, dive.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Scout
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September 1, 2011 - 2:56 am
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I wouldn't count iPads or netbooks either. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Jarrod is right. Life is short.

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Helmut
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September 1, 2011 - 10:56 am
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Dating the s/w performance equivalent was for hyperbolic/comedic purposes and not representative of true consultative evaluation of h/w performance metrics in a true quad sample statistical comparison.

However, these are some interesting parts. The $999 kit consists of essentially this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813121442 which is a $85 mobo and processor combo

while the $1499 kit has: Intel Core i7-2720QM http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....0i7-2720QM

Which is a $400 processor alone! What's up with that? Given the specs, the latter probably would run modern s/w, given that it can increase processor speed up to 3.2 GHz, which is in the ballpark for most modern cpus, although in a more expensive mobile package.

The days of breathlessly waiting to press 'buy' are over. I've noticed that the graphics and performance arms race is over, replaced with development of graphics packages that work on the lowest common denominator console. What's this? A new Crysis game that doesn't require a system from 3 years in the future to run? DXHR comes out and runs buttery smooth on existing systems? I'm ok with that actually.

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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