I'm only going to comment on my experience with the C64...
When it works, it's great. When it doesn't I hope that you're somewhat technical because you'll be opening the case a lot. The C64 is sensitive and the SID chip is probably the most fragile part of it.
- For instance: don't plug in/unplug controllers while the unit is on. The controls are routed through the SID. Doing so could damage it.
- Here's another: make sure you turn on external audio equipment hooked up to the C64 ( like a mixer) first - then turn on the C64. Apparently, the signal spike can damage the SID. Also, in this situation, you turn off the C64 last.
- This one is from experience: If you by a C64 just buy a new power supply. You can't trust those 30 year old PSUs anymore. They're suicide boxes. When they go they tend to take the computer (or part of it) with them.
- Also, the noise on a stock machine is ....not great. I've been exploring ways to cut it down but reports of success are not agreed upon across the board.
-And then there's the cost. Yes, you could probably get a "working" C64 for between $60 and $100. However, what level of "working" will be a mystery until you start playing with it. Here's what I've spent so far on this pursuit:
$60 for a C64 breadbin
$30 for a new SID
$35 on another new SID
$60 on another C64
$75 on sd2IEC (cause most floppy drives are in terrible condition these days)
$80 on MSSIAH cart
$20 on JiffyDOS for faster operation
$20 on SID2SID
$35 on another SID
$100 on x2 SwinSID Ultimate (cause I'm just done with factory SIDs)
$35 on a 1351 mouse (that I have never gotten to work)
$20 on a VGA box
$95 on a NEW power supply from Ray Carlsen
+ Components like caps and resistors
+ Countless hours of researching problems and teaching myself how to not blow these things up. I still consider myself a novice.
So take that all into consideration. Granted, I destroyed some SIDs myself because of inexperience but the other just bit the dust with no rhyme or reason. The cost of an Amiga or ST might be higher than the initial C64 buy but those machines are more modern and reliable. In the long run you may wind up spending more on the C64
That was a lot of cons. Let me mention the pros:
+ Nothing else sounds quite like the SID chip
+ MSSIAH is a joy to use once you get the hang of it
Last edited by gilhelm (August 17, 2016 3:49 pm)