Компьютеры уже давно стали неотъемлемой частью жизни человечества. В 21 веке в доме каждого человека стоит свой собственный персональный помощник, логично, так как они и создавались для облегчения нашей жизни. Компьютеры подарили нам новый уникальный вид искусства – компьютерные игры. Сейчас игровая индустрия набрала широкий размах и действительно доказала, что можно делать лучше, чем в популярных блокбастерах. Игровая индустрия не смогла бы приобрести популярность, если бы не ПК – средства на которых создаются и воспроизводятся игрушки. Сейчас история ПК насчитывает полвека и за это время она пережила большое количество событий. Именно эти события мы и рассмотрим. Сегодня поговорим о Commodore 64 – компьютер, который в течение почти 10 лет диктовал моду в индустрии.

Компания Commodore International начала свою деятельность в 1954 году. ЕЕ учредителем был господин Джек Тремиел, этнический поляк с весьма непростой историей. Во время своего основания компания имела название Commodore Portable Typewriter Company. Следя за тенденциями, компания в различные времена специализировалась на разработке печатающих машинок, калькуляторов, домашних компьютеров и игрушек.

В 1981 году дочерняя компания MOS Technologies завершила работу над микросхемами обработки видео и звука для нового поколения игровых приставок, которые получили названия MOS Technology VIC II и MOS Technology SID. В то время в студии велись споры относительно политики компании. Сотрудники компании, среди которых были Чарльз Уинтебл и Альберт Карпент’е выступили против использования новых микросхем в нестабильном на то время рынка аркадных видео игр. Они предложили альтернативу – интегрировать схемы в новый, недорогой компьютер. В ответ Тремиел выдвинул два требования:

  • Оперативная память должна была составлять 64 КБ
  • Компьютер должен был быть готов к январю 1982 года, до проведения CES (Consumer electronic show).

Следует отметить, что компания уже имела опыт разработки компьютеров. В предыдущие годы были выпущены Commodore PET и Commodore VIC 20. Выход первого ознаменовал переход от стандартных калькуляторов до домашних компьютеров, однако пользовался популярностью только в Великобритании. VIC 20 же был действительно всемирно популярным. Статистика продаж достигла отметки в миллион экземпляров, что в истории ПК было впервые. VIC 20 является прямым предшественником Commodore 64. Новая машина пользовалась той же ОС, что и предшественник и имела несколько переработанный дизайн.

До начала CES было готово 5 экземпляров. Начальная цена составляла 595$( на то время довольно бюджетно). Название Commodore 64 была принята в связи с трендом тех времен – название компании и объем оперативной памяти.

  • Commodore 64 имел оперативную память объемом 64 Кб, при желании ее можно было увеличить с помощью специальных картриджей.
  • За графику отвечал процессор MOS Technology VIC II, который воспроизводил палитру из 16 оттенков на мониторе с разрешением 320х200 в двухцветном режиме или 160х200 в четырехцветном. Графический процессор поддерживал возможность плавного горизонтального и вертикального скроллинга и набор 2 и 4 – цветных символов в текстовом режиме.
  • За звук отвечал MOS Technology SID, который превращал компьютер в полноценный синтезатор. Процессор позволял воспроизводить звук в три голоса, 8 октав на каждый.
  • Стартовый экран был идентичным тому, что был в VIC 20 и PET.
  • Процессор – MOS 6510 0.9 или 1.2 MHz(8 bit).

Сейчас это конечно примитив, однако на то время это был настоящий эталон качества.

Компьютер был представлен на CES и там он произвел настоящий фурор. Он обошел своих конкурентов, среди которых были Atari 800, Apple II, Apple IIe, Sinclair ZX Spectrum и другие компьютеры похожи по характеристикам. Главным преимуществом Commodore была цена – вдвое меньше, чем у конкурентов. Агрессивная ценовая политика компании стала ключевым фактором банкротства многих компаний. Продажи компьютера осуществлялись не только через сети дилеров, но и даже через магазины игрушек. Разработчики предоставляли скидку пользователям, которые покупали игровые приставки других производителей и направляли их на утилизацию в Commodore, что привело к полному банкротству нескольких крупных компаний, таких как Texas Industries и привело к кризису на рынке видеоигр 1983 года.

Commodore 64 имел возможность подключаться к телевизорам, что делало его конкурентом игровым приставкам.

В середине 80х годов большинство девелоперов (среди них был сам великий Сид Мейер!!!) при разработке своих игрушек ориентировались именно на Commodore 64 и только благодаря этому не исчезли. Компьютер был столь популярным на мировом уровне, что завоевал звание компьютера года в Финляндии. Его слава держалась почти десятилетие и исчезла лишь с началом новой эры 16 битных и 32 битных ПК.

Хотя и сейчас есть энтузиасты, которые играют и создают игры под эту систему. Одним из ярких примеров поддержки является создание C64 -Direct-To-TV – однокристальной реализации культового компьютера.

P. S. К сожалению, в России этот ПК не найти, а на Ebay его можно купить за 80 фунтов.

P. P. S. Помните начало GTA Vice city? Это стартовый экран ОС Commodore 64.

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