Commodore 64 to reboot as 'Phoenix'
Harkening back to the days of Commodore64-yore, when nerds were losers and keyboards contained entire computers within their casings, Commodore USA will be releasing a new all-in-one(der) keyboard/computer.
Posted March 29, 2010
By SHAUN CONLIN, EVERGEEK MEDIA
A dead ringer for the original commodore64 save for some contemporary trimmings and brushed faux-aluminum aesthetics, Commodore USA's forthcoming Phoenix computer will actually pack a decidedly modern wallop, including user-configured options for an Intel Core 2 Quad, Pentium D or Celeron D processor on a Intel G31 Express Chipset, up to 4 GB of SDRAM, integrated audio and video, a Blu-ray or DVD optical drive, 4 USB 2.0 ports, optional Wi-Fi, up to 2 TB hard drive plus removable/swappable 2.5 inch hard disk drive space, and a host of other modern day computer conveniences.
Essentially, the Commodore Phoenix will be somewhat akin to a "netbook," or a modestly powered but lithe and efficient laptop or compact desktop (minus the monitor, sold separately). At just 17.5 inches wide and no taller than 2 inches at its peak, the Phoenix will have the same small (albeit swollen) footprint of a standard computer keyboard and reportedly consume less than 5 watts.
The system will come bundled with the open source Ubuntu operating system but will also accommodate Microsoft Windows and Apple OSX if desired - even at the same time, thanks to multi-boot capacity of its Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI).
Scheduled to ship June 1, 2010, the Phoenix will not be a direct descendant of the Commodore 64, first introduced as an 8-bit computer "for the masses not the classes" in 1982 by Commodore International Ltd. Rather, it's a fully-functional homage to the world's best selling computer (estimated at 22 million) and still a cult classic among retro-enthusiasts today. According to Commodore USA's web site, the company is "negotiating" for rights to use the original logo.
Commodore went bankrupt in 1994, though the name survives as a boutique brand privately owned by Netherlands-based Commodore International BV, a subsidiary of Nedfield NV, which licenses the brand to several companies including Commodore Gaming, a niche gaming hardware manufacturer, but not Commodore USA LLC, purveyors of the forthcoming Phoenix and other minimalist netbooks and retro-chic devices, which only owns the keyword-friendly domain name at this point.