In 1983, the year was launched with Time Magazine choosing a machine instead of a man, with the realization that the personal computer was the star of the show for technology – and helped to the forefront by the Commodore 64.
Computers in previous years were created for business use – but in the early 1980s, it became the focus of tech companies to make computers for the home market.
Commodore and Apple were neck in neck in bringing computers to the household and in January 1982, Commodore brought its C-64 to the market.
Starting volume production in spring 1982, the Commodore 64 hit the shelves in the summer, priced at $595.00, a lot cheaper than the Apple II competition, priced at $1200.00.
Named 64 for its 64 bytes of RAM, the Commodore 64 gained notice and sales thanks to a strategy to sell the machine in retail (toy, discount, college bookstores) not just electronics stores. Over 10,000 software titles were created to work on this computer – from games to word processing.
For those early adaptors, the Commodore 64 was seen in so many households, reportedly between 12-17 million machines were sold in the first few years of production.
I remember my neighbour getting a Commodore 64 and all us kids being very excited about it, although none of us really knew how to use it. We were just starting our understanding of computers and this machine became the reason that Time Magazine chose the personal computer as machine of the year (instead of man of the year) for 1982.