Commodore 64 turns 40!

Happy 40th Birthday Commodore 64!

The Commodore 64 was launched in August 1982, making it 40 years old. It cost hundreds at a time when PCs running DOS cost thousands, and was the first computer for many Australians. It brings back many memories of typing games written in BASIC from computer magazines, long load times, and plenty of arcade game conversions. 

5 years later, the Commodore Amiga 500 was launched, and it was vastly superior, but the Commodore 64 remained on sale for several more years, selling 17 million units worldwide – a tiny number compared to the global population, and yet still a very beloved computer. 

You can buy second hand C64 units for several hundred dollars on Gumtree and eBay, so if you have one in the garage somewhere, it still has a lot of value!

Fast forward to 2022, and Telstra has new on Wi-Fi. The telco has announced that 3,000 of its 12,000 payphones now offer a free Wi-Fi hotspot. If the payphone box has a purple Wi-Fi logo on top, it’s one of the units that once offered the Telstra Air Wi-Fi service, to shut down in September, but will now offers “Free Telstra Wi-Fi”, which you’ll see on your phone, tablet or computer. 

There’s no password, but you’ll need to accept a page of terms and conditions which, in short, states you won’t do anything illegal while using the service. It’s not recommended to do banking, although anytime you connect to public Wi-Fi, you should use a VPN. 

Telstra says the service is to help the community, especially during times of floods and summer bushfires, with payphones in those areas to be hardened, especially to ensure they have power. 

There’s no official download limit, with email, social media, regular surfing and anything else possible on the service. I went to my local Telstra payphone and tried the service out myself, and managed 141mbps download and 42mbps upload speeds, but when there are many more people using the service, speeds will obviously get slower. 

You need to be within a 25 metre range of the phone booth to get a Wi-Fi signal. 

The other 9,000 Telstra payphones will be upgraded to offer free Wi-Fi over “the next few years”, so if it’s not available in your area yet, it will be, and helps anyone who has run out of data on their phone, wants to save data, or just needs a connection, and will be especially handy in times of natural disasters.

The move follows Telstra’s decision to make phone calls to standard landlines and mobiles in Australia completely free from any payphone, meaning the only thing you need to pay for with the phone is calls to satellite or overseas numbers. 

Apple’s operating systems for all its devices received an update that close security vulnerabilities, so please update if you haven’t, and check all your other devices for updates, too. 

See you at the Club Forum in September!

Alex Zaharov-Reutt
Director – Sponsorship and Promotions