Intro I recently came across this article about using the Commodore 64 (the most popular model of computer ever produced) in education and the follow up article that suggests the possibility of a Commodore notebook. When I read those articles I was reminded of two things. I remembered having a dream around 5th grade of having a sub notebook C64. Probably the closest thing that existed at the time was the Apple Powerbook 100, which I don’t ever recall seeing. The second thing that I remembered was that the first time I saw an Eee 2G my very first thought was “this needs to be running a C64 emulator.” Now that Best Buy has released a 9” Eee with a 1.6Ghz CPU at $280, the dream of the ultra portable C64 is easily attainable.
Economics The Commodore 64 plus a matching C1541 disk drive was approximately $900, according to Wikipedia, in 1982. According to the inflation calculator, $900 in 1982 is $1900 today, making a 9” netbook about 1/7 of the cost of the C64 and disk drive. For 1/7 the price you get a computer that is at least 1600x faster, 16,384x the RAM and 49,344x the storage (without removing or swapping disks/flash). Also, the Eee can easily emulate the C64, C128, Vic20, NES, SNES, Atari and old DOS systems (plus many, many more). Software The main difficulty for your new system will be finding software that you can legally run on your emulators. Fortunately, E-bay is full of commodore software and some Commodore developers have chosen to release their software in these later years as freeware.
Disclaimer I haven’t actually tried out this configuration, but I have just about convinced myself to purchase it while writing this article.