What it is:

The C-One computer started off as a 2002 enhanced adaptation of the Commodore 64 - the most-sold computer model (Guiness book of World Records). While retaining almost all of the original's capabilities the Commodore One adds modern features, interfacing and capabilities. The C-One fills a gap in the hobbyist computer market.

During development, it evolved into a re-configurable computer, a new class of computers where the chips do not have dedicated tasks any more. The two main chips carry out different tasks, depending on the needs of the program. The technology used is called FPGA - field programmable gate arrays. These chips can be programmed to do the tasks that the chips of the C-64 or other computers have done. It's no emulation, but it's a re-implementation of the chips that are no longer available since many years.

After a cold start, the FPGA programs (also called "cores") are loaded from a mass-storage device like harddrive or a compact flash card. What's described in one short sentence is a giant leap in computer technology: The hardware can be altered by the user without even opening the computer. The FPGA programs - so-called "cores" - turn the C-One into clones of famous 80's computers like the C64, VIC-20, Amstrad/Schneider CPC and even the Amiga. It can of course also be a completely new computer with specs yet unknown, as developers can alter the hardware on their own. A good example of that is a turbo-CPC that is a lot faster than the original CPC computer, while still maintaining compatibility to the old machine.

The price is 333,- EUR, including a CPU/RAM card, a 72-pin SIMM module and the FPGA extender card that allows running the Amiga "minimig" core. The user will need to supply an ATX style case, ATX power supply, drive(s), PS/2 keyboard, mouse and VGA capable monitor. The monitor should be able to sync to vertical frequencies of 50Hz in order to display certain core's output. Please check your monitor's specifications and read the disclaimer before you buy!

picture shows the rev.0 prototype - see more recent pictures on the pictures page