Battered But Not Beaten Commodore C64 Survives Over 25 Years Balancing Drive Shafts In Auto Repair Shop

One common complaint in the twenty-first century is that nothing is built to last. Even complex, expensive computers seem to have a relatively short shelf-life nowadays. One computer in a small auto repair shop in Gdansk, Poland, however, has survived for the last twenty-five years against all odds.

In January a photo was taken by Facebook user Bartek for the page Retrokomp/Loaderror. The picture recently resurfaced on Commodore USA’s Facebook page. The computer claiming victory here is a Commodore C64C that has been balancing driveshafts non-stop for a quarter of a century. The C64C looks like it would fit right in with a scene from Fallout 4 and has even survived a nasty flood and pigeon poop.

Commodore C64 Repair Shop

This Commodore 64 contains a few homemade aspects, however. The computer uses a sinusoidal waveform generator and piezo vibration sensor in order to measure changes in pressure, acceleration, temperature, strain or force by converting them to an electrical charge. The C64C interprets these signals to help balance the driveshafts in vehicles.

Commodore itself made many changes to the C64's hardware during its lifetime. The motherboard was redesigned twice and switched the positions of the VIC-II, SID and PLA chips. These changes were completed during the price wars of the 1980’s and done to compete with 16-bit computers.

original commodore64

The Commodore 64, also known as the C64, C-64, C= 64, is an 8-bit home computer. It was released in January 1982 and is currently the best-selling computer of all time. At its unveil, it cost around $600 USD or $1,481.25 in 2016. The computer was finally discontinued in April 1994.

Many techies cut their teeth with a Commodore 64. The computer boasted 64 kB RAM, 20 kB ROM, and VC II graphics. Its operating system was Commodore KERNAL or Commodore BASIC 2.0 GEOS. Users could plug in a ROM cartridge, a floppy disk, a cassette player, and two CIA 6526 joysticks. To date, there are almost one hundred recorded enthusiasts that still develop new hardware for the Commodore 64.

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