Commodore 64 Web.it
This computer is very loosely associated with
Commodore 64. In 1994, Commodore was after their best times and after
trying to sell overly expensive PC clones, they filed bankruptcy. The
thing which could be sold to compensate losses was a trademark which was
sold to Escom - a German PC giant which sold re-branded PC components.
They tried to do something with Amiga, but in 1996 they went to
liquidation too. The Escom Netherlands inherited the Commodore trademark
and they quickly got down, being bought by Tulip Computers. Literally
every company messing with Commodore name got into troubles - this is
sometimes called "curse of Commodore". In 1998 open licensing, similar
as with Gateway2000, allowed to build machines and sell them under
Commodore brand. This is an effect of such agreement with Web Computers
International (a Belgian? company), when machine totally not
Commodore-like built to order by some ?Asian? manufacturer has been sold
Inside, this is a small, all-in-one PC, powered by AMD ELAN SC405 processor (486-like) running 66-100MHz, with 16MB of RAM, 16MB of ROM with some flash and a modem. It was upgradeable with PCMCIA cards. The built-in software based on MS-DOS and specially adapted Windows 3.x allowed to use the Internet and work in some productivity applications. Thanks to built-in CCS64 emulator it was also possible to run some Commodore 64 software, but it was not exceptionally good emulator and media emulation was quite poor. There was no hard disk, only 1.44MB 3.5-inch floppy drive, although built-in Prime2 I/O controller allowed to connect IDE drive (there was a connector, but no space for one).
The machine has a typical PC keyboard with some keys renamed and a touchpad which could be used with a pen. It was possible to connect the machine to TV, so buying expensive monitor was not needed, although there is a VGA output too. There is a sound input/output, serial and parallel port, as well as infrared link - a popular method to exchange small amounts of data in 1990s.
The machine ended like all Internet client appliances these days - when built-in Netscape Navigator 3 and Lotus software became unfeasible for WWW's development, it was over. And before, it was not too popular too, it got some purchases based on brand, but that causes signifiacnt disappointing. Full computers going cheaper finally ended the business of "Internet appliances".
If I could recommend some material about end times of Commodore, I would not recommend any modern movie, but the classic 1994 documentary called The Deathbed Vigil. I know, it's more around Amiga and has a relatively poor quality, but you are literally watching the last days of Commodore from inside.
|Manufacturer||Web Computers / Commodore|
|Origin||Nederlands / Belgium|
|Year of unit||1998|
|Year of introduction||1998|
|CPU||AMD Elan SC405|
|Graphics||On board CyberPro 2010|
|Sound||SoundBlaster-like chip onboard|
|System expansion bus||PCMCIA|
|Floppy/removable media drives||3.5" 1.44MB
IDE port (not used)
|Hard disk:||16MB of ROM / Flash|
|Other boards:||Modem expansion|
|Operating system(s):||MS-DOS / Windows 3.x adaptation|
The history of my machine is not known. Inside it has some hacks, but they look like factory-made: ROM board is installed in place of two Amiga-like ROMs, by using poor extensions made with DIP sockets cut. RAM stick seems to be patched too, probably to pull some signal. It came to me in quite neglected state, was probably disassembled earlier, and the only thing I'm sure it works is floppy drive. It boots VGA screen and halts there, so it's probably some problem around BIOS.
These machines were popular mostly in Germany and in
some neighbouring countries.
The left LED is for power/standby, the right one
informs about modem operation. A small red LED in the infrared
window shows activity of IR port.
The system menu image courtesy of OS Beta Archive.
Although there is some info on the net that it is running a Windows version of CCS64, here is a screenshot of CCS64 I have launched from Web.it files in pure DOS. This screenshot has been obtained by booting the VFD EmbOS image in BOCHS, quitting the Autoexec by F8 and launching CCS64 from C64 directory of drive D. We can see that it used a DOS version, as probably it gave a nicer full-screen experience.
Inside, there are resistor jumpers for rome ?multiplier?,
however it is not known is it multiplier of bus for CPU or for
PCMCIA controller. The LGS Prime2 Multi-I/O controller is
pre-configured in system and it is possible to use IDE oprt,
however, there is no space for hard disk (maybe CF card would
http://amiga.emugaming.com/c64web.html - a description
https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39285 - EmbOS translation to English, for PC virtualization.
https://www.mingos-commodorepage.com/sammlung/systemedetail.php?id=49 - Photos of running unit and German description.
http://www.spacereh.de/hc/com/web64.htm - In German collection
http://web.archive.org/web/20170701170712/https://retroport.de/C64_C128_2.html - Description and detailed photos
https://microhobby.speccy.cz/stalvsmvsevm/webits.htm - In collection