My First Computer – Vic 20

My First Computer: Vic 20 by Commodore
by Phyllis Irene Radford

More years ago than I like to think about, my son was in 3rd grade and his school just received a grant to buy 3 computers for the entire school. Who would ever need more?

Um… Hubby and I decided that maybe our little baby boy needed a computer of his own so he could keep up. We went looking and found an entry level machine that we could almost afford. The Commodore Vic 20. No hard drive. We could buy rudimentary games on a plug in like a mini VCR or save data to a cassette tape drive. LBB subscribed to a magazine and started typing in programs in Basic language.

When he graduated to a Commodore 64 the good time began for him. I inherited the Vic-20 as a word processor.  This was about the time I started taking my writing seriously. Remember the part about no hard drive and only a cassette tape for storage? I could get only about 2000 words at a time. 14 pages in manuscript format. At the time I thought I was writing romances and standard chapters were 20-25 pages.

Fortunately by the time I knew I’d outgrown the Vic LBB had graduated to an Apple II and I got the Commodore 64. 5.25 floppy discs. I could get half a novel on one.  Or two. I have always been wordy. Life became good.

And LBB now works for Intel as a computer engineer. He makes a lot more money than I do.


About Phyllis Irene Radford

Irene Radford has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. A member of an endangered species—a native Oregonian who lives in Oregon—she and her husband make their home in Welches, Oregon where deer, bears, coyotes, hawks, owls, and woodpeckers feed regularly on their back deck. A museum trained historian, Irene has spent many hours prowling pioneer cemeteries deepening her connections to the past. Raised in a military family she grew up all over the US and learned early on that books are friends that don’t get left behind with a move. Her interests and reading range from ancient history, to spiritual meditations, to space stations, and a whole lot in between. Mostly Irene writes fantasy and historical fantasy including the best-selling Dragon Nimbus Series and the masterwork Merlin’s Descendants series. In other lifetimes she writes urban fantasy as P.R. Frost or Phyllis Ames, and space opera as C.F. Bentley. Later this year she ventures into Steampunk as someone else. If you wish information on the latest releases from Ms Radford, under any of her pen names, you can subscribe to her newsletter: Promises of no spam, merely occasional updates and news of personal appearances.


My First Computer – Vic 20 — 1 Comment

  1. I wrote a contour-plotting program on our VIC-20 which ended up being featured in an article in “New Civil Engineer” magazine! Talk about cutting edge 😉