Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Commodore VIC-20

Commodore VIC-20

Speed1 MHz
Memory5 KB

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Commodore

VIC-20

Release Date: 1/1/1981
Manufacturer: Commodore
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
$299.95
$787.91*
 
Commodore once again had a number of firsts with the VIC-20. It was the first computer to sell more than a million units, and it was the first color computer to break the $300 price barrier. The "20" in the VIC's name was just abritrary as the machine only had 5K of RAM and a 22 column display. It was family friendly however, and caught on with people of all ages. The mold that the VIC-20 was made from would be repeated with the Commodore 64 and even later with the Commodore 16. The VIC had built in BASIC v2.0 and ran a 6502A microprocessor at 1MHz. It had 16 colors and 3 sound voices.

VIC Trivia

  • In Germany, it was rebranded the VC-20 because of the play on the popular VW cars, and VIC when pronounced is very close to a swear word
  • The last VIC-20's were produced in January 1985, giving the VIC a full 4 year life cyclce

 

This computer is currently interactive in the Museum.
 

User Comments
The Mad Russian on Monday, September 21, 2015
The VIC-20 was the first computer I owned or even had any interaction with. A friend of mine had purchased one and invited me over to see it and show me how it could be programmed to show on the screen, what else, “Hello world!”. I was fascinated by the concept of programming and my friend gave me a challenge to use what he had shown me to write a simply Fahrenheit/Celsius conversion program for when we would get together the following week. I wrote it out on paper, but couldn’t wait the week to see if I had understood the concept of programming properly, so I ran off to Canadian Tire, where they were on sale luckily, purchased one and entered my first attempt at programming. It ran like a charm! Although I never became a profession programmer or IT person, I did end up doing a lot of programming for my own purposes both on the VIC-20 and later on my upgrade to a Commodore 128, as well as on PCs once they became an everyday item that one could own for their own. All because of that one day, I was inspired to learn the basics of several programming languages, learn the ins and outs of computers so that I could troubleshoot and even build them from scratch and I used that knowledge to my benefit when PCs first started to make their way into my workplace. And it all started with a little old VIC-20!
Vicman on Sunday, May 05, 2013
Hi guys, i've made many short game-video-snaps for the VIC-20 look on my YT channel. Maybe you want to link the videos to your game entrys... cheers, Vicman
Anonymous on Sunday, May 05, 2013
www.youtube.com/user/Vicman110309
Bruce on Saturday, April 21, 2012
Back in the early 1980s, this was the first computer I did any programming on. I recently found one at a garage sale with the cassette recorder and a few games. I hooked it up to a TV and it still works great - I was just playing GORF on it last night!
Rob from Victoria BC Canada on Thursday, June 16, 2011
I remember when I got my first computer....this was it. I also remember it was the day before my brother was born January 9, 1983. The first game I played on it "Froggee" (not a typo...just a knock off frogger game. Very fond memories
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* Inflation data courtesy of www.inflationdata.com. Values are approximate using our own calculations.