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C > COMMODORE  > VIC 20


 

This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Commodore  VIC 20 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message! For other purposes like sales messages, hardware & software questions or information requests, please use our main forum.

  Click Here to add a message in the forum

 

Monday 28th March 2011
Paul (UK)

My parents went out to buy a computer for my 3 bothers and I, I was hoping for a ZX Spectrum or even a C64, imagine my disappointment when this appeared in front of the TV, 2 years of early mornings and paper rounds later I did save up for the 48K Spectrum, I’ve never truly forgiven them and always ask my kids exactly what they want.


Friday 11th June 2010
JohnnyJ (Sweden)

Hey, I had hoped that "lodger" from Germany would have posted the explanation to why the VIC20 was renamed to VC20 when released in Germany. It''s quite funny linguistically when you think of it: Commodore didn''t want to launch it using the name VIC because in German, "V" and "F" sounds very much alike, so the name would have sounded like the German word "fick" (Google the translation all)... $-)


Monday 15th May 2006
leon (birmingham uk)

i had a fit when myparents bought me a vic 20 instead of a 48k speccy... but then i grew to love it. usedtolove the tape based mags with little games and demos on. crazy cavey too and i had a 16k expansion so i could play submarine commander. pity i went and bashed it so hard when i was playing scramble. i got so far but you had only one life... the poor vic went haywire and i eventually got the speccy i wanted about 6 months later.


Friday 7th November 2003
Ian Maddock (Stoke on Trent (UK))
Electro Entertainments & IT

1st comp i ever owned was a VIC20. sadly all my mates opted for C64's & Speccies but i preferred the VIC for some reason. I had a vic for about 4 years before deciding to buy a ZXspectrum 48. I even remember the 1st program I ever did from the vic manual.
10 PRINT "HELLO! ";
20 GOTO 10
Ready.
RUN

The comp finally died a death in the late 80's & i did manage to get my hands on another VIC but it only lasted about a month. I then got a CPC464. I think 90% of Vic owners all made a game of their own that they were proud of & countless others used to spend hours typing in 400 line programs from computer mags such as "Commodore user" or early editions of C+VG mag which also often incurred leaving the thing on for a week solid.

If only the Playstation owners & kids of today had to wait 45 minutes for each game to load up from a tape or even sit for weeks typing the code in from a book they may just appreciate the thing. Best games of the day Jetpac, Rockman, Crazy Cavey & some of the other Mastertronic games which i got from the shops at school lunchtime for £1.99.... Whatever happened to Petrol stations & newsagents selling cheap games

Now I use PC everyday & even did some work for Dell & Sun microsystems as a result.. thanks VIC & thansk commodore.. best £150 my parents ever spent on me. I even have managed to get some authentic VIC20 fonts for MS word. doesn't look the same though unless you have it on font size 48 to get the full effect of 22 characters per line.


Thursday 18th June 2015
johnH

I have one and I have been programming it. Its pretty awesome but you lose all your stuff when you shut it off.
It''s manual came with this first program:
1 PRINT "VIC"$
2 GOTO1


Wednesday 21st January 2015
jeffpas (Springfield, USA)

Will never forget the smell of that brand new VIC20 wrapped in plastic, unpacking and setting it up.... hooking it up to the TV.... very first computer I ever owned as a kid. It was exciting and cool.

Many people have posted disappointment in not getting a better computer, say for Xmas. There was no disappointment.... no stigma I can remember. As there always kind of was with the Atari 2600, since we all went to the quarter arcades and could clearly see the chumpy gaming. But nobody had a computer at all at home I knew, there was nothing to compare it to.
Sure there were Apples.... but who could afford one and you''d only rarely see one at a school. Plus they were boring and colorless mostly as far as I saw.

The VIC20 took you right in... it responded, made colors and sounds, you could write little programs and see them run...save them on tape for later.... even carefully type in laborous lines of code out of magazines and then let them spin to see what they do. It was just fun. Of course eventually everyone wanted a C64 and a disc drive....and yeah I finally got one too. And then eventually you dreamed of the 128, lol. But with the lower costs for Commodore stuff it was a realistic goal for most people.

You could get tons of free software too. Man what a piracy racket with the C64... all of the codebreakers were proud of their work and had their own intros ha.


Wednesday 23rd April 2014
Daneel (Italy)

In 1984 I bought a VIC 20 for 180.000 italian lire, about 93 euro, and a commodore cassette recorder for vic 20 for about 80.000 italian lire, about 40 euro.
Was my first computer and I''ve spend a lot of time with it, learnig programming with basic. I really enjoyed myself with that computer, a long time ago :-)


Friday 21st February 2014
MegaHertz (Germany)

The name VC-20 here in Germany was sold as abbreviation for Volks-Computer $ Computer for everyone. During the introduction of it, you could win a real VolksWagen Beetle Cabrio sponsored by Commodore.


Friday 25th October 2013
Brian scarratt (England)

Hi ihave just bought a vic 20 and would like to know if the commodore 64 cassette player will work with the vic 20 best wishes Brian


Friday 25th October 2013
Brian scarratt (England)

Hi ihave just bought a vic 20 and would like to know if the commodore 64 cassette player will work with the vic 20 best wishes Brian


Monday 15th July 2013
Massimo PORZIO (Italia)

My God, how many time has passed since me and a good friend of mine went to the rail-station to get our two VC20 ordered a month before by the postal service.
We were from the first who owned them here in Italy.
The rail station employee before give us the packages want to see the inner of the boxes because he said it was impossible that a computer was there inside!
And when Commodore marketed it six month later, I still remember the wonder of the seller when we asked to buy the cassette tape only. Indeed we built and used our own cassette interface till that day (we were 15 and have not so much money to buy it before).
My own was marked VC20 and despite was built in Germany had the flat top keyboard with the katakana glyphs instead of the right graphical character.
I would be back those times!


Thursday 11th July 2013
Kenneth R Wylie Jr. (Colorado / U.S.A.)

I remember opening the family Christmas gift in Germany in 1981 and finding this awesome computer, the VIC 20! We were the only family to afford it$ my dad was a low rank in the U.S. Army and my mom was working two jobs! I still have this computer in my closest, including the tape deck and many games. I even have the original box still with duck tape holding it together though all the traveling. Thank you, commodore, for giving me a wonderful childhood and requiring me to have an imagination to play many of the games. For those of you who do not know, there was no animation back in those days. The biggest deal was being able to type in COLOR! HAHAHA! Oh how times have changed.


Wednesday 18th January 2012
0$0 (Canada)
BustedE

I ate one of these computers when i was a toddler.


Thursday 15th December 2011
Paul (Paisley UK)

The VIC was my first computer and I truly loved it. My friends mainly had spectrum''s or C64''s but those of us that had other systems probably learned more about actual computing rather than just playing games, partly cos there where less available.


Sunday 30th October 2011
Nick

I just found a Vic 20 at my local recycle depot! with introduction manuals and games. No leads though, where do I get them from?

Im a sinclair kid at heart but couldnt bear to see a vintage computer going to the bin, it looked so sad.


Saturday 20th August 2011
lodger (Germany)
CommFUD Headquarters

@JohnnyJ: just found out about it a few years ago. In fact, the other option for Commodore would have been to call it "Vixen", a name they wanted to use in the US before deciding on the VIC name. But given the fact that a "v" and "w" are often pronounced similar in german, it would have sounded like "wixen" (again, you are free to Google the translation).

Another thing: my "old" VC-20 served me as a backup system during the 1988 christmas season, when my C64 was broken and I had sent it in for repair. So a friend of my brother lend me his 16K RAM expansion and a tape with a few 16K games on it. It was only then, that I could appreciate the real strength and features of the VC-20. I remember playing a game similar to pacman, where you had to navigate a mouse through a maze and aviod cats hunting you.

A collegue of mine as the full-blown setup on his attic, including that cool metal frame you could put the computer into and that offered five cartridge slots that would work together in parallel.


Wednesday 3rd August 2011
mudguts

To the people whining that they didn''t get the computer they wanted when they were ten, grow up, you sound like you were right spoilt little todgers.


Saturday 30th April 2011
Paulette

And would you buy a gun for your kids if they wanted? And if you didn''t, would they grow up to get one on their own and come back to ''forgive you''?
Sounds to me like your parents did the right thing and made you better for it.


Monday 6th April 2009
Richard (Colorado, US)

I remember that in 1982 I had saved up $100 to buy a computer. I was comparing the Timex Sinclair 1000 with the Vic-20. My dad asked me to make a choice and I chose the VIC-20. I spent hours typing in programs from magazines, programming in basic, and even programming it in assembly. I still have that computer and I even have it connected. Over the past 10 years I have been collecting some of my favorite computers from that era. My current collection consists of the VIC-20, a C64, a C128, a C128D, a Plus4, an Atari 800 (original), and an Apple IIe platinum.


Thursday 11th October 2007
lodger (Germany)

Here in germany, it wasn't until the mid-1980s when homecomputers became popular among people. So it was not until december 1984 that my parents bought a VC-20. Although the VC-20 was sort of becoming "outdated" at that time and I had to wait another four(!) years until I got a more powerful C64, I enjoyed hours and hours with it (I even took it with me, when we went on holiday). It was the VC-20 that introduced me to BASIC programming and computer technology in general. And it's pretty much because of this machine and all the good time I had with it, that I am now working in the IT business. Thank you Bob Yannes! ;)


Saturday 21st April 2007
alessandro (italy)

my very first computer , i was 14y old and it cost a fortune back in '84 but I still have it and in working condition .... well I had to replace one of the memory chip (tms-2114) and the modulator is not the original one .I've made one using an astek module. Few weeks ago I've found some game module in a flea market that make me enjoy the VIC20 again.


Wednesday 4th April 2007
Christian (Cumbria, UK)

A friend of mine came back from australia with a VIC 20. (I had a speccy 48k) enjoyable games - chariot race, snakebite and scramble!!!! he couldn't get rid of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday 1st April 2007
James Cullimore (Missouri, US)

The VIC-20 is really cool just because of the pure fact it is a relic and a late pioneer of todays computers, so for that I thank it. My name is james, I live in missouri, I am 15 yrs old and no novice when it comes to computers. I even do a bit of rendering and programming in my free time. I found a VIC-20 in an old abandoned house, with several 5¼ floppies, and a dot matrix printer. I also found the power supply, but I could not find the floppy drive, or the cord-thing that connects it to a tv. Does anyone know where I could find one?


Tuesday 31st October 2006
Chris (Ipswich UK)

Along with everyone else I love my VIC.

Problem though, it has died. I just get a black screen when I switch on and no evidence it's doing anything. Do any of you know what's wrong so I can ressurect it?

Thanks!!!


Tuesday 3rd October 2006
KRt. (Budapest Hungary)

In 1983 My father bring it to me from austria. It was a miracle I wrote some program but his 3k of memory was enough for 2-3 mounth. I'l receive a 16k memory extension card. I think the world was mine. Time passes and my first died and no parts for repair :o(


Friday 8th April 2005
j4ck (nyus)

VIC is *everyone's* first computer :D I inherited mine from my sister, who bought it for some college programming class she was taking. After the class was over, she lost interest, and I gained it!


Thursday 24th March 2005
Peter Korsbjerg (Denmark)

VIC-20 was also my first computer. I got it for my 13th. birthday in august 81, and I loved it - actually all my friends in the hole neighbourhood love it. We spend hours typing in a program so we could play a little game. The first year, I had no tape drive, so each time my mother turned it off, we had to start all over typing.


Friday 28th January 2005
Dave Kellow (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Just to say the Vic-20 was one of the first I ever used... It was a gem of a machine. My Grandad (Ed Kellow, CEO of Commodore Canada) brought it home one day and handed it to me to see what I'd do with it. Good times. My Grandfather has some awesome stories...


Thursday 24th June 2004
Marco (the Netherlands)

VIC-20 was my first computer! Great device with color and sound. Made lots of stuff on it. Sadly blew it away by trying to hook it up to the phone myself ;-) (Was only 10y old then..)
Would love to find an old VIC-20 again..


Tuesday 4th May 2004
Kevin Dent (Wiltshire, UK)

Well what can I say about the Vic-20. Mine helped me through Computer Studies in the earily 80's, when most of my classmates were using the schools RM 380Z!!
Liked games on cartridge, mostly 'Radar Rat-Race' and 'Jelly Monsters' and also got a few games I wrote published in an UK computer Mag in 1983 (Grave Robber / Dogrun)

I still got my faithful Vic and it's still working although now a bit 'Tanned'!! These days I use a (superb) Vic Emulator on my PC so now and again I can relive my early years (talk about en never growing up!!)

Upgraded to a CBM 64 then the the Amiga 500 / 1200 before deserting Commodore in the Mid 90's to go the IBM compatible route

Many Thanks Commodore in Producing some affordable friendly computers.


Monday 5th April 2004
Stephan Olsen (Norway)

Hi
I just made a bid on a vic-20 on ebay, but then I remembered that the US have ntsc and Europe have pal.
Will the US version of vic-20 work on my tv?


Monday 8th March 2004
miles jackson (31) (essex)

Glad to see everyone still appreciates the Vic. I had to buy another 3 years ago cos Ifound out my mother took the other 1 down the tip 10 years ago. No comment but the one i have now has a square power inlet lead and orangey function keys instead of the round lead and grey fuction keys on the circuit board of this one it says its a 1981 rev. so I guess my mother threw out the new and i bought the old?


Friday 6th February 2004
A Hodson (England)

I bought my 1st vic20 off a friend. I need a tape deck for my C-64. I fixed another vic20 by using the top half of 1 & the bottom of another!


Monday 22nd December 2003
Derek Bistricky (Kelowna BC Canada)

Interesting, that after 20 years I found myself in the past year picking up a worn out (but working) Vic-20. The Vic was my first home computer and I learned computers and computer programming from it. To this day I can still develop quite complex programs (given the added k's) on this computer. It wasn't that hard to pick up a used Vic-20 but what I have been unable to find were the mags for it (such as, Compute, Compute Gazette, and Run)..... the search continues. Quite frankly I'll still be using the original Commodore machines for many years to come.


Friday 14th November 2003
Sarah Dal (UK)

My dad, a software programmer, was given one of these great little machines to celebrate the birth of his new daughter. Yes, that would be me - I am immensley proud of this computer that's the same age as me, and I remember playing on it when I was very small, before we moved up to a BBC-B. It's still in full working order, despite lacking a del key!


Friday 26th September 2003
reuben cornwall (uk cumbria)
joeshots cheats and walk throughs

the vic 20 was my first computer i learned to program on this very special computer its how i first started out i made quite a few games for this computer some better then actuall games that where sold via software houses i hope if i ever have the time to maybe put them up on my site so people can down load them any ways i still have my vic 20 along with a few other computers and i still to this day play my favourit games yes i still do and guess what thay are well thay are gridrunner and bewitched well done cbm for makeing one of the all time greatest computers along with the 64 and amiga the vic 20 will always be close to my heart


Monday 18th August 2003
Magic Knight (UK)

First comp - still love it - hooray for Vice !

Llamasoft MATRIX was fantastic ! So many good versions of so many games.. check out the Veni Vidi Vic demo - http://www.mds.mdh.se/~dal95acn/vic20.html - WOW


Wednesday 4th June 2003
Miles Jackson (UK)

Vic 20 is the best thing I have ever owned in my life and it still works. My Spectrum 128k+2 is also still kicking arse get an em for this and play these games; Chronos, Amourote, Cobra{yeah Stallone},all the Agent x series from Mastertronic. I loved Bubble Monsters on vic well pac man really but BIG. Ever played jetpac on the vic? Fantastic


Tuesday 22nd April 2003
Malc (UK)

My first computer! My two brothers each bought one before me. I only had mine a couple of months before upgrading to a Commodore 64 which was a massive improvement (Except in the Basic language!)


Friday 4th April 2003
Brian Bagnall (Canada)
Commodore Retro

Great ads, Olivier! Good to see Captain Kirk plugging the VIC-20. I wonder how much he got paid? Probably not as much as from his priceline.com commercials.


Wednesday 26th March 2003
Tom Widauer (Brisbane, Australia)

The VIC 20 was the very first computer I could call my own. After working on CBM 30XX and Apple ][ machines at school, I finally saved enough money to buy a VIC. It came with the datasette, a BASIC course, two games and manuals, all in a white Commodore carrybag :) I just loved my VIC and I was heartbroken when it died :( Well, 15 years later, I finally bought a replacement a few weks ago and now it all comes back...


Wednesday 22nd January 2003
michael smith (isle of wight ,england)

just a short note to sayi love my vic-20.
i spent many hours programing it to flash all different colours and the writing to go all over the screen.
and to type in a program from a magazine to for ever, then to watch it say syntax error was a night mare.
but i still occasionly bring it down from the loft where it has rested now for a number of years.
and plugged it all in and yes it still works.
and i have all my tapes to go with it.
i wonder if they are worrth anything these days.
although i would never sell.
i hope there are still more vic-20 lovers out there who know what i mean by love them but hate them.


Monday 29th April 2002
Reverda (Spijkenisse, the Netherlands)

The first computer I ever programmed.
Completed it with a tape recorder and a small matrix-printer. I spend hours to program it and it really was fun to do.
But ow what time it cost to load a game.
I still have it in my house somewhere...


Friday 8th March 2002
Jason Priebe (North Carolina)

Ahhhh, the Vic-20. Not the first computer I ever programmed, but the first I could call my own. What a fun box. I tell you, there was nothing like those old computers that booted right up into the BASIC interpreter. Made for nothing but programming. Plus, the cartridge interface was great for games. Spiders of Mars, Gorf, Amok, ... those were the days. I had the Super Expander, too, which added another 3KB of RAM and high-res graphics capabilities. If only I still had the tapes where I saved the programs I wrote. Those would be fun to look at again. I don't miss loading programs from cassettes (and the frequency of data corruption). But that computer was just pure fun.


Tuesday 12th February 2002
Carlos López (Murcia (Spain))

My first computer after I saw a friend's Sinclair ZX-81. It still works except the RF modulator and minor keyboard problems. I have it hooked to one of my PCs via composite video and looks weird. The problem is keep the tapes well after all these years.


Saturday 26th January 2002
Ron Enderland (Arkansas)
The Bald Guy's Website Solutions

You never forget your first. The Vic-20 was the first computer I laid my hands on in 1982. It was in a Montgomery-Wards store in Amarillo, Texas, where I worked. The demo model featured a sheet that showed how you could write a quick BASIC routine that flashed a message across the screen. I altered it a bit so that it flashed a rather uncomplimentary message about my boss. I don't think they ever figured out who did it . . .





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