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Background

 


The Commodore 64 Computer

The Commodore 64 was the most successful 8-bit computer of the mid to late 1980s, with millions sold world wide.

The Commodore 64 (or C64 for short) had many features that set it apart from its competitors, 64k memory, smooth scrolling, sprite graphics and an advanced music synthesiser chip. It was an ideal games machine, and some of the best games of all time were produced for it.

There were several versions produced, including the original 'bread-bin' version above (the one I had), a sleeker, white version, a portable version with a built-in disk drive and tiny monitor, and a 128k version with a z80 co-processor.

Most C64 games in the UK and Europe came on cassette tape and took a long while to load, even with fast 'turbo' loading systems - up to half an hour in some cases! To give the users something to look at instead of a blank screen while loading, games often had loading screens which showed a pretty picture, often based on the box artwork.

Scanners weren't generally available at the time, so the pictures were drawn by artists. I was fortunate enough to be one of those artists, and ended up drawing dozens of loading screens.

The following sections are a guide to the C64, as it related to my art, social life, and career.

 

Graphics

This section deals with the C64's graphic capabilities, and how I drew art on the C64.

  1. Graphics Overview

  2. High Resolution Mode

  3. Multicolour Mode

  4. Drawing Tools and Software

  5. How I Drew My C64 Pictures

  6. Transferring C64 Pictures

 

History

This section covers significant items in the C64's history that are relevant to my art and career.

  1. Compunet - The C64's Internet of its day.