What If The Commodore 256 Existed? Someone Is Making That Happen

What If The Commodore 256 Existed? Someone Is Making That Happen

Commodore may be best known for the C64 and Commodore Amiga, but Stefany Allaire is hell bent on creating the natural successor to the C128. Meet the Commodore 256 Foenix.

Founded in Toronto, Ontario as long ago as 1954, Commodore would go on to make an indelible mark on the history of home computing.

The company’s eventual demise would come in 1994 at the hands of poor management and decision making. The ‘Commodore Amiga’ was an icon in itself but the company found that it couldn’t compete against the booming console market. Their own games console, the compact disc based ‘Amiga CD32’, flopped.

Take a couple of steps back in history to 1982 and you’ll find Commodore on the verge of greatness. The 8-bit ‘C64’ and subsequent ‘C128’ would go on to be probably the most successful home computing line ever – selling over 17 million units during its 12 year lifespan.

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Commodore 64

The Commodore 64 sold over 17 million units

So Commodore went from being hugely successful with the C64 to going out of business with the Amiga. What if something happened between these points in time? What if there was a natural successor to the C128? A simple, but more powerful home computer, similar to it’s predecessors?

Stefany Allaire of Waterloo, Ontario, chose not to simply ask this question, but is striving to answer it too.

A successful hardware designer by trade, Stefany has set about designing and building what she envisions to be the natural next step. The Commodore 256, or more accurately the ‘C256 Foenix’.

In essence the C256 Foenix will be a new, old computer. Built using authentic components to a specification that is sympathetic to that which one would expect to find in the next evolution in Commodore’s home computing line. It’s the spiritual big brother to the C64  and C128.

Stefany is making her work open source allowing anyone to recreate her concept from the 3D printed housing to the electronics and hardware. She plans to build up to 25 units which she states she will sell for cost price. This is a project of passion, not a money making exercise.

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You can follow Stefany’s progress at c256foenix.com, and to read more about the inspiration behind the C256  Foenix check out this interview with Stefany Allaire.

Will Harrison

About the author | Will Harrison

Founder of The Unheard Nerd. A husband and father of two girls, Will is a fan of Nerdcore Hip-Hop, a comics fiend, a podcast host and champion of independent nerd culture. | Follow will on twitter: @TheUnheardNerd

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