My first contact to a Commodore computer happened while a seminar held by a business machine retailer in summer 1980. My father had an invitation and took me with him. So I typed in my first program:
10 INPUT"WHAT IS YOUR NAME";A$ 20 PRINT"HELLO, ";A$ 30 GOTO 10
Soon after the seminar, we have acquired such a CBM8032 and a Datassette and I typed in every basic program that I could find and also started to develop my own ideas. After Christmas that year, I started to write professional software for a real estate agent like different methods of real estate valuation, statistics and database programs. Those have been used until they were rewritten for DOS in 1987.
My first own computer was a VIC-20 (we have called it VC-20 in Germany), which I have bought end of 1981 for about DM900. I still keep it in my attic. In summer 1983, a C64 was my greatest desire and I have spent DM868,11 (I still have the invoice). I have spent many hours programming basic and assembler, all kinds of graphics, sprites, SID sounds and building my own hardware boxes, which I have attached to the user-port. I have also repaired a couple of C64s for my friends.
This C64 is still working and I have bought three more C64s of different board versions. I would call the C64 and the other Commodore computers a vital step on my way of becoming a hardware engineer. I have also learned a lot by writing software for people, not just for geeks (like me).
Meanwhile I have made dozens of open hardware developments for the Commodores. They can be found on github: https://github.com/svenpetersen1965