This week marks a very important moment in personal computing: Thirty years ago, at the 1982 CES, the world was first introduced to the Commodore 64. And even though it's old enough to run for congress, it's still considered by some (ok, just us... and maybe these guys) to be one of the best home computers ever unleashed upon the market.
Don't believe us? Well, let's compare it to the behemoth that is the Apple Mac Pro — which several people have told us is "today's Commodore 64." (No one told us that.) How does the 30-year-old wonder-keyboard stack up? We looked back on the fond memories we have of our sister's Commodore 64 (the one she would never let us near, when we were kids) and found five things that it can do that the latest, "greatest" Mac Pro can't. Check it out:
- Load Programs from Tape and / or Buy Them in Book Form
Without a tape drive, how do you plan on loading Rootbeer Tapper into your Mac Pro's RAM? You can't. And when's the last time you saw Photoshop offered as a book full of code that you can input yourself? That's right, you haven't. But I've sat and watched my father hand-code ZORK from a printed book. Sure, there may have been some bugs in the final game, but it was still fun to play (until it wasn't ... frustratingly, maddening wasn't). Also, think of this: All media has a shelf-life, even CD-ROMs, but good old printed books will be around for ever and ever ....
- Connect to Any Tube Television
With its convenient RF-modulator output through an RCA cable, it's a one-plug connector to any standard CRT TV. Have an older TV? You can even get a converter and hook it up through the rabbit-ear antenna's connector! Will any of the Mac Pro's 12 cores help you connect it to a tube TV? Nope! So that means that you'll have to spring for one of those new, non-tube "flat screen" TVs or monitors, if you want to use your computer. Sounds like a waste of money to us.
- Be Carried Under Your Arm
Let's face it, living the life you live, your house is going to burn down at some point. Which would you rather try to save from the burning wreckage? The heavy tower of the all-metal Mac Pro? Or the light, plastic all-in-one of the Commodore 64?
- Take a Spill Like a Champ
We have, personally, spilled an entire cup of water into our sister's Commodore 64 (see, there was a reason she wouldn't let us near it), so we can tell you that the little keyboard-that-computes can shake it off. We tried to test this theory on a new Mac Pro, but were hustled out of the Apple store in Grand Central Terminal before we could say "think different." We're pretty certain though that moisture and new computers don't mix.
- Blend in With Any Mid-70's Decor
Styles are cyclical, so it's only a matter of time before beige and brown come back around as being the "in" thing. When that happens, your Shiny silver-ized Mac Pro is gonna look really silly sitting next to the Tan dishwasher that you buy in 2013. (Though, why are you doing your computer-ing on top of a dishwasher, in the first place? To each their own, I guess!)