Commodore 64, known just as C64, was the first computer manufactured and marketed heavily for the home use. It became very popular after its release in 1982. Many software and games were released for the C64 systems in those times. If you watch older movies or TV shows, you can get a glimpse of people working on C64 systems with their iconic keyboards. However, if you want to experience what it felt like to use C64 systems then you can use the VICE emulator that can emulate a Commodore system on your Windows 10 PC.
VICE is an open-source emulator for the cult “bread box” C64 and other Commodore computers (C64DTV, C128, VIC20, almost all PET models, PLUS4 and CBM-II (C610). It works on almost all the known platforms including Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, MS-DOS and many many others. The binary files for VICE emulator for all the platforms are available on the VICE website. The port for Windows is called WinVICE which works on Windows 10 systems.
In order to run WinVICE in Windows 10, you can download the WinVICE 7-Zip archive, extract it to a folder and launch X64.exe from there. You will see the familiar screen of the C64 system just like it is 1982. Since C64 supports the BASIC language, you can enjoy carrying out some basic BASIC commands.
VICE does not come with any disks, tapes or cartridge images. You will have to secure these images from somewhere else. But if you have these images, then you can run the software, applications, or games designed for C64 systems. In order to attach a disk image, you have to select File → Attach disk image from the menubar. Similarly, you can attach tape or cartridge images.
After attaching the disk, tape or cartridge image, you have to give the command LOAD. This command makes the attached tape available to C64 system. Without this command, C64 system won’t know whether you have attached the tape (or disk etc).
Upon successful loading, you will see message Press play on tape. When you see this message, you can either select File → Datassette control → Start from the menubar which is same as playing the tape on the physical C64 systems.
The C64 system will scan the tape for programs or games and show you a list. If there is just one program or game, you can give RUN command to launch it. If there are more than one programs, then you have to give command RUN “PROGRAM NAME” to run it.
This is a very simple way of bringing back the charisma of Commodore 64 systems back into your life. Now you can re-live your childhood memories all over again. VICE is a really well designed C64 emulator that works not only on Windows but other popular platforms as well.
You can download VICE from http://vice-emu.sourceforge.net/.