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You can now order a PC case that looks like the classic Commodore 64

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Enjoy retro computing? It seems one company does, as My Retro Computer have revived the classic Commodore 64 as a barebones PC case.

Inspired by the Commodore 64x replica PC released in 2011, which met an untimely end when the Commodore USA founder Barry Altman died back in 2012. Not to be confused with the original Commodore, as this was a newer company that acquired the name. Commodore USA had a pretty murky history too following multiple controversies, which My Retro Computer are hoping to improve upon and they're not using the Commodore name.

Here we are again though, as someone else is now taking the reigns to keep the spirit of it all alive with Sean Donohue, Director of My Retro Computer Ltd. They've announced today they're going to be shipping two classic styled mini-PC cases inspired by retro systems like the Commodore 64 and the Commodore VIC-20.

Retro is the new modern, according to My Retro Computer. Designed to fit Mini-ITX hardware inside, What do you actually get with each apart from a very cool retro case? They say each has:

  • Unique low noise USB Mechanical Cherry Switch keyboard.
  • Multi-format SD card reader.
  • DVD/hard drive cradle.
  • Chassis 40mm cooling fan.

So it needs you to source your own Mini-ITX motherboard and everything else. Even so, if you love building systems it looks like a nice set of retro casing. This means you can run whatever you want with it and whatever operating system.

You can also see a video of them putting one together with a parts list on YouTube. They used Windows at the end but you get the idea clearly at least.

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It seems they plan to expand to cover more retro computing inspired cases, plus they also plan to support mini-computing devices like the Raspberry Pi & OROID. To do that, they will be offering an adaptor plate and panel mount cables which they hope to have before the end of the year.

You can find out more and buy one on their web store.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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46 comments
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mirv 12 Oct
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Quoting: follower46
Quoting: mirvi.e either skimmed through it, or didn't watch it all
Oh! I had the audio muted when I watched the video. Sorry about that!
I still don't see where the PSU in is (the power plug location) but thank you for that info

Heh, like I said - like me so many times! I quite often do the same, and then rewind because I realise that I'd stopped paying attention. Further info: have to BYO, as others have mentioned here. It's just the case, have to buy your own internals for it.
Dunc 12 Oct
It's kind of cute, but you can tell something's “off” a mile away. I wouldn't be quite as harsh as Nanobang, but “kitsch” is a better description than “retro”. The Checkmate A1500, inspired by the good-looking Amiga 3000, is a more sensible choice (although personally, I'd rather have a 4000T; the guy behind the Checkmate says he went for the 3000 because it's so hard to get any kind of desktop case these days).

If we're going early '80s Commodore though, I'd rather have one that looked like a CBM-II or 610.
slaapliedje 12 Oct
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Quoting: DuncIt's kind of cute, but you can tell something's “off” a mile away. I wouldn't be quite as harsh as Nanobang, but “kitsch” is a better description than “retro”. The Checkmate A1500, inspired by the good-looking Amiga 3000, is a more sensible choice (although personally, I'd rather have a 4000T; the guy behind the Checkmate says he went for the 3000 because it's so hard to get any kind of desktop case these days).

If we're going early '80s Commodore though, I'd rather have one that looked like a CBM-II or 610.
Watched a video recently that pointed out the reason the death of the desktop form factor happened was that we no longer needed giant bases to sit CRTs on... makes sense, but I still would rather have the system up on the desk to make the monitor stand a little higher up with the computer underneath it instead of sitting on the floor.

Also I have a desktop 4000 and one in a Tower (as opposed to an actual 4000T, it's just a standard 4000 inside a Tower case) and both of them are rather odd to work on. Mainly because they're situated so the Zorro boards are set up horizontally, (the Towered one is the same way, but since the motherboard is set up vertically, they did some weird base board on top of it so that it would fit, but it leaves very little area for putting better cooling within the area, so I haven't put my PPC in that one.
wvstolzing 12 Oct
Quoting: NanobangSomeone needs to tell Sean Donohue that this isn't retro. It's kitsch.

My first computer was a VIC-20. I bought it in 1981 from a local stereo store for $300, so I could maybe see someone getting a kick out of playing around with an original VIC or C-64 nowadays, or maybe retrofitting a modern computer into a real VIC or C-64 shell, but I don't get this.

This is a fake antique. This is the equivalent of one of those phones that look like a rotary phone, but have buttons instead of holes in a dial, and have modern electronics inside.

And how'm I gonna get my GTX 1070 into that? ;)

Yeah, I think so too. My first thought was that this is an attempt to sell off 10-year old unused stock from the 2011 thingy, and it looks like that really is the case. (No pun intended.)

By the way, if anyone's inclined to use their existing Commodore machines for their keyboards on modern pcs*, there's long been an add-on board that allows doing just that: http://wiki.icomp.de/wiki/Keyrah_V2

(* I haven't touched a C64 in a *long* time (I'm an idiot, so I got rid of mine the day I got my first 486); but as far as I can remember, the original keyboards on those devices were pretty awful, with thick springs under each key (*not* buckling spring style, just a straight spring that the keycap bounces on) with ridiculously long 'action', and no real sense of feedback. So unless you're using the original keyboard specificially on VICE, there really is no point.)
follower46 12 Oct
Quoting: whizse
Quoting: follower46I must be missing something here. Is it powered by hopes and dreams?
I don't see a PSU plug for the computer, lol.
I see a fan, I assume it cools the PSU, but it doesn't have any information on the site about power output or PSU requirements like SFX (if it's bring your own).
This https://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-90 and an external power brick. It's in the video at around 4:11 or so.

Yup yup! I'm dumb and watched the wrong video. thank you!
randyl 12 Oct
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There was a VIC-20 in the science room when I was in 8th or 9th grade around 81 - 82. It had a cassette tape drive to load programs. They took minutes to load. It was a nightmare of impatience for a young kid. I loved playing that program where your cannon was supposed to shoot the other cannon. You were given the mass, distance, and wind velocity and were supposed to calculate your shot.

I don't want to go back to the beige days. Honestly, as a mechanical keyboard fan, that thing looks horrible.
slaapliedje 12 Oct
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Quoting: randylThere was a VIC-20 in the science room when I was in 8th or 9th grade around 81 - 82. It had a cassette tape drive to load programs. They took minutes to load. It was a nightmare of impatience for a young kid. I loved playing that program where your cannon was supposed to shoot the other cannon. You were given the mass, distance, and wind velocity and were supposed to calculate your shot.

I don't want to go back to the beige days. Honestly, as a mechanical keyboard fan, that thing looks horrible.
I do believe someone made a mechanical keyboard for the C64 / VIC-20s. Yeah I mean for me, why would I want a 'retro' case for a modern PC? I'd rather an actual Retro computer. Granted these days instead of dealing with the old parts (which can be fun as well) I ended up getting an FPGA based C64 called the Ultimate64. It's pretty sweet. And is currently my only working 'c64'. Now being the Atari guy that I am, I do own multitudes of Atari 8bits now...
wvstolzing 12 Oct
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: randylThere was a VIC-20 in the science room when I was in 8th or 9th grade around 81 - 82. It had a cassette tape drive to load programs. They took minutes to load. It was a nightmare of impatience for a young kid. I loved playing that program where your cannon was supposed to shoot the other cannon. You were given the mass, distance, and wind velocity and were supposed to calculate your shot.

I don't want to go back to the beige days. Honestly, as a mechanical keyboard fan, that thing looks horrible.
I do believe someone made a mechanical keyboard for the C64 / VIC-20s.

He was hand-building and selling that (the 'Mechboard64') in small batches; but earlier this year he open sourced the project: https://www.breadbox64.com/blog/diy-mechboard64/

There are occasionally crowdfunding campaigns to produce small batches of keycaps as well. If I can (ever) sort out my current ... stuff ... I seriously intend to put together an almost-all-new C64 with the help of projects such as these.

64C-style new cases have been in production for a while now: https://shop.pixelwizard.eu/en/commodore-c64/cases/37/c64c-case-classic-beige
axredneck 12 Oct
Commodore x86_64 ^_^
The closest thing I had to a C64 was an Amiga 600. I can imagine pairing this with a CRT monitor and playing modern games on it. The only thing that holds me back is that 200+ euro price tag.
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