Is The Asus EeePC The New Commodore-64?
I was just reminded that the Asus EeePC is also being sold in Toys R Us (so far UK-only, I think).
Toys R Us (in the U.S.) is where I bought my own first computer: the Commodore-64!
Here’s some interesting bits from the wikipedia entry:
The Commodore 64 is an 8-bit home computer released by Commodore International in August, 1982, at a price of US$595.
Oh yes. When it debuted, it was actually being sold in computer stores at the time. That’s where I first got a demonstration — from a snooty woman in pinstripes who really did not like me touching her demo unit.
It was only a matter of months later, I think, that the price was dropped to $200 and it was at Toys R Us. What a relief to go into a store, grab it off a shelf, pay for it at a supermarket-like cashier, and go home without encountering any of those pinstriped zombies hunting for corporate bodies to feed on!
This I didn’t know and astounds me:
During the Commodore 64’s lifetime sales totaled 30 million units, making it the best-selling single personal computer model of all time.
Asus still has a long way to go to come near that.
I think it was a little over a year after I got my C-64 that the computer and video game markets both crashed. Many magazines went under and so did Commodore. The market consolidated around the Apple II, the scarily-expensive Macintosh ($2,500!), and the boring and fugly IBM PC (which had a keyboard guaranteed to cause RSI!).
Me, being both perverse and
poor still frugal then, took another turn off the main path and wound up with an Atari 1040ST! Otherwise known as the Poverty Mac. It was ghastly! Really! I think I must have bought it at Toys R Us too! I was able to sell it to someone just before no one ever wanted to buy one ever again.
What Asus has in its favor that Commodore didn’t: the EeePC can run a popular operating system.
A C-64 couldn’t emulate a PC (then MS-DOS), so people were stuck.
The EeePC is now being offered with Windows XP. That — along with its ability to be hacked into running other OSes too, including Mac OS X! — guarantees a longer life than the Commodore-64.
But Asus needs to follow that Commodore pricing model.
Ditch the worthless 2G Surf model and make the 4G 701 $200.
Make the 8G 701 $250.
And make the new 900 $400.
And if they can improve the keyboard in future models, perhaps the EeePC will reach the number of sales the 64 attained.