Commodore 64 vs ZX Spectrum, the challenge is renewed


There was a time in recent history when for the first time it was possible to do from home what no one had ever done before, at least with that scale. That was the moment 1982the year in which two of the very first home computers (or microcomputers as they were called) were released: Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.

In fact: two plastic “boxes”. which contained a computer logic board and keyboard and allowed, when connected to a home television and a tape recorder that functioned as mass storage, have a complete set for everything: programming, gaming, studying, even connecting to the first BBS (online bulletin board network, predecessor of the Internet) after purchasing a very expensive modulator-demodulator to connect to the handset of a home landline.

Certain, before the US Commodore (he was actually born in Canada) with his C64 and the British Sinclair Research with its ZX Spectre, there was much more. A computer for everyone: apple II, very expensive and extremely powerful, created in 1977 by Steve Wozniak and finally released from production only in 1993 in version IIe. And then there were home computers (Acorn, Atari and BBC for example), the first consoles (Atari again, Mattel’s Intellivision) and the first compatible PC, approved by IBM in 1981.

But the pair of two computers for girls and boys that changed the history of computing is different. They are Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. And no one will ever be able to steal this record from them.

Brothers of the digital age

Both born in 1982, based on an 8-bit processor architecture and with 64 kilobytes of standard memory (for Commodore) or 16-48 for Spectrum (depending on versions), seen through today’s eyes they are two prehistoric creatures, two paleolithic computers. Yet throughout the 1980s I was an object of desire and an instrument loved by two generations of children. And even today, thanks to the love of enthusiasts and a certain market for used and new specialized software and hardware products, they still live on, albeit in their own special niche.


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