The Commodore motto of "Computers for the masses, not the classes" was fulfilled completely in their revolutionary Commodore VIC series. The VIC-1001 is the first computer in that series, being released only in Japan. The computers that followed it, including the famous VIC-20, arrived in the American and European markets on the heels of its success. Aside from being first, the VIC-1001 also has the unique virtue of a modification from the standard Commodore PETSCII graphics set. Being Japanese designed and born, this computer includes the Japanese "character" set, called "Katakana". You can get a real good look at the keyboard here.
The VIC-1001, like all other Commodore 8-bit computers, greets the user with a flashing READY prompt. The operating system is built into the hardware of the computer, and the user interface is BASIC 2.0, a programming language Commodore purchased from Microsoft in the late 1970s. The VIC featured 5 kilobytes of memory, and color graphics at a time when that was very uncommon, though it's display is only capable of 22 characters per line. The joystick port and game cartridge port are prominent features, as Commodore meant to market the VIC as a game console/computer hybrid. The cartridge port could also be used to expand the VIC's memory up to a whopping 28/32 kilobytes.
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