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December, 2010:

Is the Commodore 64 on the Comeback Trail?

I saw this just before Christmas – there are plans to launch a computer capable of loading both Windows and the 8-bit Commodore 64 operating systems [^]. Now for the really cool bit! The whole package comes packed into the classic mid1980s designed C=64 case.


Also in Windows you will still be able to play your favourite C=64 games as it comes with a Windows C=64 emulator. All in all, that means that you can play Dynamite Dan, Leisure Suit Larry, and Manic Miner until your heart’s content, and pretend to do something productive at the same time.

The new PC is powered by an Intel Atom processor, 2Gb RAM comes with DVD drive and is able to read most common memory card. A distinct improvement on the 1MHz MOA 6510 CPU, 64kb RAM and separate cassette tape storage. That means no more having to wait for some dodgy cassette tape to load in an ear-splitting cacophony, and die at the last minute. Ah, the good old days.

Of course a Google will get you a C=64 emulator for download for a normal PC, but you will have to find and hack your own case.

Celebrity Interviews

It’s always nice to find out a bit about the things that go on behind the scenes. Lateline’s Leigh Sales does just that in her blog – Well read-head.  In “Getting stars off message in interviews [^]“, Leigh talks about the negotiation that went on on- and off-screen to secure an interview with ex-British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

As everyone suspects, it’s a case of juggling the interviewers search for material for their audience and the interviewee’s need to “advertise” their product; in Mr Blair’s case the “Tony Blair Faith Foundation”. I guess that the trick is to manage it all in such a way that it is still informative and pallatable to your audience.

One situation where that has gone horribly wrong of course is Michael Parkinsons interview with Meg Ryan [^] – that ended-up just above name-calling and hair-pulling. Another was Tom Cruise’s “Put your manners back in [^]” (whatever that is supposed to mean) interview with Peter Overton, that Leigh mentions. It just goes to show what a delicate balance an interview can be; an overreaction on either side can end up with the interview being a right schmozzle. Ah well, someone has got to keep the bloopers shows running!

Cracking Contraptions

The internet is a wonderful place, where else would you find out about something like the Haynes Explains manual for Wallace and Gromit’s “Cracking Contraptions Manual [^]“? - Affliate Link - Cracking Contraptions
Haynes Cracking Contraptions Manual

I hope that Santa is feeling generous this year because believe me this book has gone on my Christmas list.  I’m really looking forward to the exploded diagrams that Haynes are famous for.