I loved the Commodore 64. It was a huge part of my life for a significant number of years–I guess maybe seven or eight. I used it for play. I used it for work. I wrote programs for it. I held on to it tenaciously even after it was significantly outdated. Lots of memories, fond memories.
When I got my first C-64 I felt that I was stepping into the future. It had so much more memory than my VIC-20, and a superior architecture as well. It never occurred to me that one day I would be looking back with nostalgia to a time when computers were slow, and when graphics were relatively primitive.
It can be hard to know how to deal with nostalgia. There is now a retro version of that wonderful computer–not the same but close enough. I have little doubt that it will be very successful. There are so many people who have similar fond memories of what was the world’s most popular computer. I don’t think I will buy this retro version, though. As the years go by I feel blessed to have so many wonderful memories of many wonderful experiences. It is tempting to immerse oneself in such memories. I believe, though, that even in older age we are called to live in the present.
The present is where we are, and it is where we can interact with and be useful to others. It is in the present where memories can be real, as they enrich, in countless ways, our experiences of the present. For me, the C-64 lives on, not in memories of the past, but in the many ways in which it gave me the grasp of computers that I have today, together with a deep appreciation of the way in which, wisely used, they can enrich human life in countless ways.
[This blog was originally published July 2, 2019.