The Remixes: Gold 64/Jubilee 64, 64G, "Aldi"
.gif Image of the Jubilee 64 (24K, courtesy Christian Janoff)
Views of the Jubilee 64 (.jpg, courtesy Zock.com/Sascha Hoogen,
except where noted)
Portrait (26K, serial# 1000199) | Plate Closeup (18K) | Serial Number Closeup (16K, serial# 1000264) | Edge Closeup (13K, courtesy Markus Mehring) -- you decide if it's dipped :-)
aka Jubilee/"Goldener" 64 (Germany)
Introduced Multiple dates (see Comments).
Hardware, Graphics and Sound See Comments.
Eventual Fate Released as a commemorative item only.
The Gold 64s, all commemorative models, are interesting footnotes in Commodore history. Jim Butterfield notes that all Commodore commemorative models are dipped, not plated or spray-painted.
The Gold 64 appeared at CES 1984 to commemorate the millionth 64 to be manufactured in the United States. Appearing under a protective Plexiglas case, it shared Commodore's CES booth with the Silver VIC, another commemorative model. The Gold 64 had the original NMOS hardware and chipset. Bil Herd in On the Edge comments that the original Gold 64 wasn't actually unit #1,000,000 -- in reality, no one had thought to catch it as it came off the assembly line and Gayle Moyer merely fished a random unit out of the trashbin to dip and show!
Germany's commemorative model is considerably better known. Also referred to as the Jubilee 64 and also manufactured to celebrate the 1,000,000th model (here in Germany), approximately 150-odd units were claimed to have been made (this is obviously false, as serial numbers up to 1000348 are known -- there could be as many as a thousand in the total production run), manufactured by the Commodore branch in Braunsweich, Germany, and the unit released December 1986. The serial number for each unit is attached to the front case (and apparently hand-numbered), and the computer itself is attached to an acrylic plate with the imprint of the mainboard circuitry and this inscription: "GOLDENE EDITION aus Anlass des 1.000.000sten C64 in Deutschland 5.Dezember 1986" (Golden Edition for the occasion of the millionth C64 in Germany, 5 December 1986). The lowest numbered units were given out internally to Commodore personnel; the remaining higher numbered units were given away as prizes by a figure in a Santa suit at the Commodore booth at CeBIT 1986. The particular unit pictured in Christian's image, according to Markus Mehring, is serial number 1000058. The Jubilee 64 is based on the 64C HMOS hardware and chipset, but is packaged in the regular breadbox (so similar to the 64G).
All the Gold 64s are fully functional and operate normally (but geez, if you have one, take care of it -- they really are collector's items!). Unlike the VIC-20, which also came in a silver commemorative edition, there is no known Silver 64.
.jpg Photograph of the 64G (50K, courtesy Nicolas Welte)
aka C64G, 64 BN/E, C64-III
Hardware Identical to the later 64C and the 64GS (except the BASIC code, of course :-), based on the infamous BN/E motherboard version; different case and electronics than the classic breadbox version. Packaged in the classic breadbox case but now in white (with the 64C's off-white keycaps); the BN/E version motherboard caused some slight incompatibility with older programs (Marc notes that SMON malfunctions on BN/E version boards). Single ROM with both BASIC and Kernal code (23128); PLA and logic chips now on a single GAL (along with the 2114 colour RAM).
Graphics and Sound Identical to later 64Cs. 8580 (R5?) HMOS SID, 8565 (R2?) HMOS VIC-II.
Eventual Fate Announced 2/88, released in Europe, but not North America; the earliest model Nicolas has is dated 12/88. Some (very!) late models were apparently refurbished 64GS systems sent back to the factory; version depicted here with included joystick and cartridge (also shades of the 64GS), though the 64G predates it.
The 64G pictured here was part of a later promotion that packaged the system with a game cartridge and joystick, much like the 64GS and 64CGS. Entitled the "Video Supergame 64," it came with a black joystick and a three-game cartridge (Colossus Chess, International Soccer and Silicon Syborgs [sic]), as reported in the August 1988 issue of 64'er. This particular black joystick is actually none other than the same stick used for the 264 series, with of course the proper 9-pin DSUB connector, according to Markus Mehring, who also notes that this package was intended for supermarkets and department stores. The more cerebral electronics chains sold the ordinary 64 package. The jersey the soccer player is wearing is also noteworthy; Markus states the jersey belongs to the most successful German squad of the day (Bayern Munich), for which Commodore was then the major sponsor.
While the new case mollified some complaints that the 64C did not allow keyboard overlays to fit properly (certainly things like the Music Maker wouldn't fit on it), the board's software kinks made the 64G a real clinker. Commodore, in typical fashion, continued to use the BN/E revision all the way through the remainder of the 64C's lifetime.
aka The Aldi was christened by 64'er Magazine, and not an official
Hardware, Graphics and Sound Identical to BN/E board 64 units (see above).
Eventual Fate German release only. Replaced by the 64G.
Thanks to Nicolas Welte.
This forerunner to the 64G appeared in Germany only, and was christened Aldi by the German 64'er magazine after the German discount supermarket it was sold in; Oliver Graf further points out that in fact the Aldi stores were the only ones to sell the unit. Interestingly, the Aldis were manufactured in the United States. They have the old brown breadbox shell, but 64C-esque white keycaps; internally, they are no different.
64'er's disenchantment with the Aldi was well-known. Their most enduring flaw was the lack of 9V on the userport, which affected hardware attaching there; while some units do indeed have this limitation repaired, many do not.
As an interesting postscript, Aldi stores are now appearing in the United States.