3 years after release of PET, Commodore understood
that their computer was too expensive to become popular. Designed as
home computer, VIC-20 was cheap (later it was made cheaper by using
less, but more specialized chips) and enough for home/gaming
applications. In 1982 it was the best selling coputer of the year.
Sales slowed down in 1983 and later, as Commodore released Commodore 64 microcomputer with bigger memory, SID sound chip and better graphics modes. VIC-20 was discontinued in 1985.
There's a strange story about introducing it in Germany. In some German words, F and V sounds much alike, so VIC was read as "fick" (Google translate explains it) by most Germans. After futile tries with VXN (this time read as "ficken" - an infinitive form of "fick"), someone sane enough decided to rename it to VC-20 - as VolksComputer 20.
|Manufacturer||Commodore Business Machines|
|Year of unit||1985|
|Year of introduction||1981|
|End of production||1985|
|Display modes:||Text: 23x22
External 5.25" floppy disk drive
7-pin DIN Female:
1,2,3 - Ground
Commodore 64 power supply is compatible.
Alternatively may be used:
|Possible upgrades:||A few are known|
|Software accessibility:||Very Easy (TOSEC, sites, servers)|
My unit is late CR (Cost Reduced) vrsion, which has smaller mainboard and has C64-like power supply connector. Earlier units had full-size mainboard, 9V AC two-wired connector and they containde built-in 5V DC regulator. This regulator overheated much and caused many problems.
My unit is in very good condition, I have no idea where it survived over 25 years.
|Contents:||Starting||Image file formats||Recording media||Video pinout||Links|
It just boots to BASIC or to cartridge program, if cartridge is installed. From here you can load programs as follows:
LOAD "programname" - loads program "programname" from
LOAD "" - iterates thru all programs on cassette, Commodore key loads it.
Similar to Commodore 64.
As VIC-20 is Commodore 64's older brother, tapes are similar. See the same paragraphi in C64 section to get info about recording software.
In many programs you'll see options to switch to VIC-20 mode. The newest WAV-PRG nas such options, so you can convert PRg to TAP/WAV and further to cassette.
5-pin DIN female socket:
|1 - +6V DC 10mA (used to power external RF modulator)
2 - Ground
3 - Audio out
4 - Composite video out
5 - Composite video out, in some early units it's luminance.
- Make 32K expansion for your VIC.
http://sleepingelephant.com/denial/ - VIC-20 community - wiki, forums, information.
http://www.kdef.com/geek/vic/ - Some articles and software
http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/vic20/ - VIC-20 section of well known server.
and http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/vic20/roms/index.html - cartridge dumps archive.
http://web.archive.org/web/20120220130718/http://www.girv.net/vic-20/games.html- A few games for download
http://www.boray.se/commodore/ - huh, some games are too strange to describe...
http://www.6502dude.com/cbm/vic20/arma/staps.html - One of the last stands of VIC-20 software libraries outside of TOSEC.