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Flashback Friday: The Vic 20

by Sean P. Aune | November 30, 2012November 30, 2012 11:00 pm PDT

Flashback FridayDid you know the Vic 20 was “the wonder computer of the 1980s?” I mean, it must have been, right? William Shatner said it enough times in this commercial.

What I find so funny is that the Vic 20 and the Commodore 64 were on the market at the same time, and the 64 was far more powerful than the 20, so you have to wonder if it was “the wonder computer of the 1980s,” what the heck was the 64? Seems like odd marketing to me.

Unlike a lot of recent installments of Flashback Friday, this video isn’t tied to any piece of recent tech news, it just makes me laugh every time I see it. I mean, hey, the Vic 20 also came with a “real computer keyboard” as opposed to all of those fake computer keyboards that were flooding the market in the early 80s … which wasn’t happening.

As silly and goofy as this commercial may be, it still doesn’t match Shatner’s acting partner Leonard Nimoy talking to a glowing rock while trying to sell you on DiscoVision.

It is definitely easy to make fun of commercials like this one for the Vic 20, you have to respect its place in computing history. Commodore really was at the leading edge of getting computers out to the masses. Yes, Apple definitely played a huge role as well, but as someone who lived through this period, a lot more of us were out there buying up Commodore’s products because they were cheaper. I used my 64 up until the late 1980s, and even splurged on a 9600 Baud modem for it. I was a wild man.

So, respect Commodore’s place in computer history, and then laugh at how silly this commercial is.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...