Released in 1980 the VIC-20 was designed to be a home user friendly version of the already in production Commodore PET. So friendly was it that the '20' in its name doesn't relate to any feature or chip but rather that Michael Tomczyk, VIC-20 project manager, thought it was a 'friendly number'.
The VIC-20 was amazingly popular and was the first home computer to sell more than a million units. While it only allowed for twenty two characters per line, making it almost useless for business application, it was great for games. Featuring both a ROM cartridge port and an Atari 2600 compatible joystick port combined with, for the time, decent sound and graphics the VIC-20 quickly became the popular home computer. Best of all it was cheap, retailing for under $300 USD.
The VIC-20 was basically Commodore's attempt to recover losses made on a video chip they'd produced which was intended for game machines. Not finding a market for it they bundled it together with a MOS Technology 6502A microprocessor and a legend was born.
Its low cost made it not only a home computer but a family computer and saw many young programmers to be start their coding careers on the VIC-20's BASIC 2.0. As a child, Linus Torvalds, the 'creator of Linux', was given a VIC-20.
The VIC-20 was superseded by terrible Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4 range but in most people's mind it was replaced by the Commodore 64.
|Unit pictured has been sold and its location is unknown.|