Commodore VIC-20

Wired has a photo gallery,”Looking Back at 25 Years of the C64, the Ultimate ’80s Computer

Commodore VIC-20

My first computer, the Commodore VIC-20, was actually the precursor to the Commodore 64. I remember rushing out to buy the $(US) 299 VIC-20 from a computer store on Lexington Avenue in the 50’s.

The VIC-20 I bought came with 5K RAM and a tape cassette storage device. It was marketed for games that were sold on ROM plug in cartridges, but there was a word processing application and a 300 baud modem. I later upgraded the RAM to a total of 8K and bought the 5.25″floppy disk drive.

Commodore VIC-20

I think I used the VIC-20 with Citibank’s first online banking service, “Direct Access” (or was the first iteration called Home Base?). Kim Moser has put up a few photos of Citibank’s Direct Access brochures. The main thing I remember about it was that at 300 baud (Citibank gave me the modem), I could pretty much read the data that was coming up on the screen as it scrolled. When modems got up to 2400 baud, I couldn’t keep up. A Compuserve and Prodigy membership followed shortly after that.

I passed the VIC-20 on to my mother, when Kenny, (who gave me a lot of stuff) gave me an Apple II+, which I still have. That was the start of my downward experience with computers.

VIC-20 Photo courtesy of cbmeeks and Wikipedia, C64 photo courtesy of Commodore

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