Commodore VIC-20 (1981-1985)

The Commodore VIC-20 was an 8-bit computer system introduced by Commodore Business Machines in 1981, and the the first inexpensive colour computer available.

In 1982 the VIC-20 was the best-selling computer of the year, with 800,000 machines sold. That summer, Commodore unveiled the Commodore 64, a more advanced machine with 64 KB of RAM and considerably improved sound and graphics capabilities. Sales were slow at first due to reliability problems and lack of software, but by the middle of 1983, the latter had turned into a flood and VIC-20 sales abruptly plunged. It was quietly discontinued in January 1985.

Like most video game consoles and many computers at the time the VIC-20 had a ROM cartridge port to allow for cartridges with games and other software as well as for adding memory to the machine. Port expander boxes were available from Commodore and other vendors to allow more than one cartridge to be attached at a time. Cartridge software ranged from 4 – 16 KB in size, although the latter was uncommon due to its cost and only larger software houses produced 16 KB cartridges.

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