Fort Apocalypse

A game to play with one joystick. You are steering a helicopter. Your aim is to have enough fuel to explore the area. Enemies shooting at your helicopter. Entrances have to be found. The Navatron helps to find things.

Even the kids of today find this game addictive and funny. The game is 32 years old. It was one of the very first games ever for the 32 years old homecomputer C64 from Commodore. The technical score is awesome for this prehistoric gem.

fort_apocalypseFort Apocalypse

Get some more information at Lemon 64 or – The german wikipedia for C64-related stuff
or read another article on this site of course!

Computer Parties

What are Computer Parties and who visits them? What happens there?
These questions will be answered here. Consider being a computer freak. You are playing computer games with all your heart. But you are lonesome at home and no one communicates with you. So you make up your mind and plan to visit a computer party.

What awaits you there? A full weekend of fun with friends. Many of them brought their own computers. Some also brought an old classic, the Commodore C64. It was the first computer affordable for everyone, offering the best colour graphics and sound.

Ein übliches Party-Setup (c)Thunder.Bird
A typical Party-Setup (c)Thunder.Bird

So whats happening on a computer party? It is organized very well. There is an opening ceremony, to let the visitors feel welcome to the party.

At Friday evening some actual or classical Demos (audio-visual demonstrations) are shown, the last pieces of code are programmed and everybody attaches their computers and talking about the latest rumours. Over the night, the boozing begins and gaming competitions start. Sleeping is allowed but what for? If someone attends a computer party, he doesn’t think about getting sleep at all, but to have as much fun together with his friends.

Saturday night is usually the most important time. After hours wasted playing games and coding the last bits for the new game or demo, live-acts will be held. Well-known composers of the old games do live music on real instruments but with the old melodies of games. Even real-time events like Floppy disc throwing or dance-mat action with 8bit music is usual.

Eingang zum Di-Treff Bunker (c)Thunder.Bird
Entrance to Di-Treff Bunker (c)Thunder.Bird

At some locations the location itself is interesting to be shown. In Bochum it is the „Bunker“, an air raid shelter from World War II. The party location is at the attic of the four floors, but the basement offers a spooky athmosphere, especially with no lights and screaming ghosts! Saturday night is the big demo competition, where the newest productions for the computer is shown to the party people at a bigscreen and with a really good hifi-set.

On Sunday, breakfast is often offered for free or included in the entrance fee. After the competition prices have been given to the demo competitors and even the sleepiest party people are awake, the party slowly gets to its end. The computers will be packed and one after another leaves the party with a real good feeling, because it was a great party with lots of booze, bytes and beloved pixels and 8bit-sounds.
Never to be forgotten.

Commodore64 today

Once in a while, the old Commodore homecomputer pops up in the modern world of 2014. And once again Thunder.Bird, the founder of the Commodore C64 Club Berlin sits in front of his beloved computer. Every odd weekend of July and August 2014, he promoted the beloved computer in the Computer Spiele Museum in Berlin. You may have visited him and played the old classic games like Giana Sisters, listened to 8-bit music and had a smalltalk about the old times.

The Commodore C64 „Breadbin“ is the first affordable homecomputer in 1982. It was the first one with colour graphics in high resolution, 3-channel synthesizer music, a real keyboard, cozy design and the lowest price. It was sold over 15 Million times between 1982 and 1994, the year Commodore went bankrupt.

C64 Set-Up im CSM Berlin (c)Thunder.Bird
C64 Set-Up at CSM Berlin (c)Thunder.Bird

Whats the normal athmosphere in a museum, do you think? Its quiet, forbidden to touch or photograph anything and you will be watched. But not the weekends, when Malte Schulze has his C64 Set connected and powered there. Then, the athmosphere is a bit like a party weekend, where old friends meet to have a drink or two and to have fun.

Party weekends with the old C64 are held every then and when since ~1989 until now, with no sign of an end. All friends of old computers meet there, from Friday to Sunday, to play the classics, but also to code new games and programs. The average age of a so-called Nerd is around 32 years. He isn’t shy and doesn’t look ugly, like some people may think about a computer Nerd. Those symposia are visited very well: The biggest C64-only meeting counts around 350 visitors!

What can one do with an old computer like the C64 today? Well the answer is that easy: Everything (and more) like with a modern Personal Computer. Of course the graphic capabilities are low. Consider a mobile phone. It has better graphics. But the games are more or less equal to modern mobile phone games. And the gameplay is much more addictive on the C64. There are people, that wrote their doctor work on the C64. Desktop Publishing also is possible as well as networking over the Internet. There even isn’t any virus, that could harm the C64, because no hacker wants to kill his darlings. And there is no excuse, not to set up the C64 again today, because it takes less space than a desktop PC, it consumes a tenth of the power of a PC. The C64 doesn’t even need a special monitor. A normal TV set will do. And there are existing over a million of games, all without the need of online-registering or any spy-action over the internet 😉