Yesterday I had a conversation with my wife, she was griping about her computer, this is a conversation that we have every few months and always results in me reloading it back to factory settings. This is a non trivial escapade, saving data files, hunting down drivers, eight gazillion reboots while Windows sorts itself out, etc, etc.

It made me think back to earlier and simpler times. In my mind the perfect home computer was the Commodore VIC 20. You could not go wrong with one of these critters.

vic20.jpg

Obviously it had some limitations as a serious gaming platform, but those people into serious gaming could always invest in a Nintendo Super NES. It came bundled with Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt.

To me the VIC 20 had the modern PC beat all the way around. Here are my top 10 reasons:

10. There was none of that hard drive BS. Lets face it who cares about IDE, SATA, etc. The Vic 20 just ignored them, and what would you have done with it anyway? Real geeks had no use for expensive stuff.

9. It didn’t run any version of Windows, so there were no Blue Screens Of Death.

8. You could plug it straight into your TV, you didn’t need $1000 of cables and gizmos.

7. You could buy it at Sears for $399 and it came with everything you needed.

6. There were no viruses, so you didn’t need to pay money to Norton or McCafee.

5. As it did not come with Email, Facebook or Farmville, it didn’t annoy you with a constant stream of trivia or offers for cheap Viagra.

4. It did not reboot the second Tuesday of every month because of upgrades to the Operating System

3. Anyone could program it. BASIC was pretty Damn basic.

2. Cassette tapes were cheap and plentiful. Once you were fed up with the bootleg Gratefull Dead tape you could lay down your own version of Pong.

1. It never crashed. The VIC 20 was bullet proof. Best of all you can still find them dirt cheap on eBay.

Simon Barrett

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