YouTube and Commodore PET computers aren’t synonymous, but one programmer managed to get a video playing on a 40-year-old device. That’s right, Thorbjörn Jemander found a Commodore PET 600 with 128GB of memory and monochromatic green CRT display. The latter is typically used to display letters, numbers, etc., that is until…BlixTerm was created.
Since no dedicated YouTube app exists for the Commodore PET 600, Jemander has to use a combination of hardware and software to create BlixTerm. In other words, a cartridge-based system that connects to a PET 600 expansion part. Inside this cartridge is a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, which is used to connect to a local WiFi network, request the YouTube video and then convert it into an 80 x 25 ASCII character grid. Then a second interface card takes that grid and loads it to the PET 600’s video memory, allowing you to watch the YouTube video at 30 fps. Some are still using the Commodore 64 to mine bitcoin.
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