There are some hacks that don't solve real world problems. Getting to work on a 40-year-old computer with a hideously outdated display is usually nothing more than an exercise in trying to make something work.
Although best known for the Commodore 64 8-bit computer that went on to sell over 12 million units around the world, Commodore was founded in 1958, long before the C64 arrived, and was partly responsible for the personal computer revolution in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The PET computer was released by Commodore in 1977 in an attempt to make computers feel like part of the family and less intimidating, but it still sells for over $3,500 today.
A few years later, a Commodore 8296 SK model was re-released for the Swedish market with a 128KB of memory, but it was hidden from the public. The machine has a bright green display with the ability to display a large amount of characters. To say it is ugly by today's screen standards is an understatement, so what better way to use it than by watching videos on the internet?
The machines behind the PET 600 were so slow that they would take a few seconds to load and display lists of files. There was no chance that a dedicated YouTube app for Commodore BASIC would be developed.
The BlixTerm was a combination of hardware and software that was connected to a port on the back of the PET 600. An 80x25 grid of ASCII characters is converted from a 640x200 grayscale stream to an 80x25 grid from the PET's internal rom.
A second interface card loads the generated frames from theRaspberry Pi into the PET's video memory, which is the main roadblock of the process given the antique PC's limited processing power. It is difficult to watch a video on a desktop PC, but it is possible.