Ever wished there was a laptop version of the Commodore 64 computer? Now there is.
One hardware hacker has taken apart a netbook and replaced the screen, processor, and nearly every other internal component to turn it into a portable Commodore 64 with a 7 inch display, a touchpad that works as a joystick, and an infrared remote control.
While it takes a lot of work to make one of these C64p laptops, the developer is selling a limited number one at a time on eBay.
The Commodore 64 has been out of production for decades, about ten years ago the company that bought the rights to use the name released the C64DTV, a sort of C64-in-a-keyboard that you could plug into a TV to play classic games.
The developer of the C64p takes the guts of the C64DTV and stuffs them inside the shell of a 7 inch netbook, replacing a number of other key components for good measure. In fact he says just about the only thing he keeps from the laptop are the chassis and battery (which offers about 3.5 hours of run time).
After the conversion is complete, the system can run a number of games as well as C64 BASIC, JiffyDOS, and GEOS. In other words, it’s not just a game console. You can use it as a real computer… if you’re cool with running a 30-year-old platform.
Not every classic Commodore 64 game or app will work. Since the C64p is based on the C64DTV rather than an actual C64 computer there are some programs that may not work. On the other hand, the system-on-a-chip used in this system actually has more memory and support for more colors than a real C64 computer.
These days you can buy significantly more powerful hardware for well under $100, and if you’re feeling retro you can always install a C64 emulator. But that’s kind of missing the point here: the C64p is a pretty awesome retro-computing project that takes hardware from days gone by and stuffs it into a modern, portable package.
If someone can just hack together a time machine next, imagine how impressed people would be when you took the C64p back in time to show them what the future could hold (although they’d probably be more impressed with a smartphone).
You can find more details and more photos at The Future was 8bit.
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