Old magazines… pure nostalgia

At home, I keep quite a large collection of old Commodore magazines.  They range from the more gaming oriented, like “Commodore Format” (remember the free tapes stuffed with games and demos you got each month) to the more serious Commodore user oriented, like the excellent German magazine “64’er”.

For me, these magazines are like small time capsules, that take me back 20-25 years to my early computer days and the fond memories of playing games and making my first Basic programs on the Commodore 64.
Most of the magazines I owned back then, and I still see myself reading a fresh copy of “Commodore Format”, browsing through the articles and reviews to see what games were hot and which were not and then rush out to the computer store to pick up a copy.
One of the articles talked about the Commodore SX-64 and this, I told myself, was the machine I would one day own. I pictured myself playing my favourite games on a Commodore with a built-in colour monitor –  how cool would that be!  Sure, I was in my early teens back then and I surely was not in a position to go out and simply buy one (they were “Executive” computers, and hence were a bit too pricy for me!).  It comes as no surprise that the SX-64 I have in my collection now has a special place and it is definately the machine I enjoy most today (it’s also the Commodore I used to go online a couple of weeks ago!)

They’re time capsules as they remind me how far we’ve come in a mere 25 years from the early 8-bit era to the vast computer power we have at our disposal in our PCs, netbooks and the likes.  But it reminds me also that we shouldn’t loose focus, as back then, the essence of games for instance, was gameplay.  There simply wasn’t the firepower to produce top-notch graphics (although some games on the C64 pushed the limits).  Now, the essence in many games is flooding the player with cinematics, cut scenes, awesome graphics but shallow gameplay.  Who can say (apart from the World of Warcraft players – and even for me this game gets boring quite rapidly), that they had to spend 2 weeks of play to finish a game (like for instance the Champions of Krynn adventure on the C64)?
Reading reviews, walkthroughts etc. about these classic games makes me want to play them again and relive the magic on my C64!

Reading the 64’er magazines today reminds me of the cool things you could do with a soldering iron, a circuit board and some patience.  For a litlle money, you could get the needed ICs, wires, boards etc. from your local electronics shop and build yourself a complete weather station; add in some mecano or even Lego and you could be controlling a robot arm… all this and more, with nothing more than your C64 controlling it.
I remember my professor in an applied electronics class give me 4 broken C64’s along with the C64’s circuit diagrams and tasking me, as a project, to build one working C64 out of the 4 broken ones.  Just try to do that today with the integrated I-don’t-know-what-component-but-it’s-integrated-with-some-other-essential-component PC mainboards today.  Impossible, but back then with the Commodore, definately possible.

So, if like me, you feel nostalgia for the 80’s and the era of Commodore, be sure to pick up some old magazines and relive the great days of home computing!

Share This Post


2 Responses to Old magazines… pure nostalgia

  1. Many magazines are available online now in scanned format… Many in torrents, and some in individual collections of files.

    See also: http://www.bombjack.org/commodore/magazines.htm

  2. Robby "The C= guy"

    Thanks for the link! A great resource!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *