My book “Commodore VIC 20: a visual history”

Commodore VIC 20: a visual history

After planning this project for months, I launched the Kickstarter campaign to fund my book on the Commodore VIC 20.

The campaign goal of €20,000 is needed to print about 500 copies of the book counting the English and Italian versions. During this first day of the campaign, the first backers supported my book, I got questions and comments from Kickstarter and from the social networks – I’m really thrilled!

This is the introduction I published on Kickstarter, if you’re interested in the book please read the full description on the site.

Commodore VIC 20: a visual history is a book about the computer that made Commodore enter the home market, with all its early peripherals. The VIC 20 was the first colour home computer to cost less than $300, the first to sell one million units, the first to have a modem for under $100, and the first approach to personal computing for a whole generation.

Many books celebrate the even more successful Commodore 64, but I felt that its little brother deserved some attention too.

“A visual history” doesn’t mean that there won’t be any text: every chapter will have an introduction, and many pictures will be described with a caption. “Visual” just means that the pictures are what makes this book special.

Suggestions and comments are welcome :-)

Please spread the word!

April 26 update

This campaign didn’t reach its goal. I will start a new campaign by the end of May, offering the book in English only.

May 24 update

The new campaign will start next Monday! I have made a teaser video for the campaign… or should I call it the iTeaser?

May 30 update

The new campaign is live. Back it and share it!

May 31 update

The campaign reached its €10,000 goal in one day, thanks to the support from the backers of the previous campaign.

June 29 update

The campaign is over and the book is funded. If you arrived late, I’ve set up a page on this site to preorder the book. You can pay with PayPal (you don’t need an account, you can use your credit card).

Staff C1 (Apple II clone)

Staff C1

One of the many Apple II clones, this was designed to look more professional, moving away from the “all-in-one” concept by having a more pc-like style with a central unit, double drive and a separate keyboard. Besides a small ad in an old magazine, I couldn’t find any information about this Staff company. Continue reading

Apple IIe (1983)


Apple IIe

Here in Italy the Apple II family of computers wasn’t very common. The Apple II was used by my parents’ generation rather than my own, mostly because it was much more expensive than more “popular” alternatives. The configuration of this Apple IIe is fairly standard for the times: third party Centronics printer interface, Apple 80 columns + 64KB RAM expansion, mouse interface, and floppy controller; DuoDisk and monochrome monitor. Continue reading

Commodore 64 (1982)

Commodore 64

About a year ago I bought this Commodore 64 from eBay US. I got it cheap because the seller didn’t advertise the fact that it was a “silver label”, and there were 4 pictures of the (not so good-looking) box before seeing an actual photograph of the computer. So I was the only person who bid on the item! It’s a bit yellowed on the right side and a most of the hooks are missing on the back, but otherwise it is in good working condition. Continue reading

Commodore MPS 801 (1984)

Commodore MPS 801 - front

I don’t usually care about printers: they take up precious space (especially the office/business ones), there are tons of models and most of the times they’re just rebranded items.

But there are a few printers that deserve some care, mainly the early ones or those that made us print the first happy birthday card for a friend. Continue reading

Apple Macintosh IIfx (1990)

Apple Macintosh IIfx - transparent

In the previous post I thanked Enrico for the donation of this Macintosh IIfx, now it’s time to show how it’s been cleaned and repaired. A quarter of a century ago this was the most powerful Macintosh of the series II: it was powered by a 68030 processor at 40MHz, outperformed only by the following Quadra computers with a 68040 processor.

Continue reading

Donation from Enrico F.

Apple Macintosh IIfx - complete system

Last year I found an online classified from a person in Milan that was giving away for free a Macintosh IIfx, collection only. I called him and we had a nice chat on the phone, and he added a few other items to the lot after asking me if I was interested. But since I live in the opposite part of Italy, I asked a friend (Thanks Daniele!) who lives in Milan to pick up the items and keep them until he was coming back home. Continue reading