"This shortest straw has been pulled for you." -Metallica/Shortest Straw

I don’t really know “how” to release this. I don’t even know if anyone will be interested. I hope somebody is.

In March of 2007, via Craigslist, I purchased a large lot of Commodore hardware and software. For the grand total of $39 I ended up with six Commodore 64s, six 1541 disk drives, a couple of 128s, one Commodore 16, a bunch of monitors, and boxes and boxes of software. A few of the floppies were original games; most of them weren’t.

While recently digging through the boxes of disks, I found several disks labeled “CUON.” These disks came from a local user’s group, the Commodore Users of Norman. Back in the day, it was common for computer user groups to compile disks of public domain software. Some clubs sold copies of these disks to members at a minimal cost (usually just enough to cover the cost of the disks). Some clubs sold them with a slight markup as an on-going “fundraiser” for the club. Some clubs let you copy the disks freely if you brought your own floppies.

A Google search of “Commodore Users of Norman” returns two things: scanned in magazines which contained the group’s name in their “active club” listings, and robohara.com. :) Although I haven’t been able to find out much (any) information about the club using Google, I can tell by the dates on the disks that they came from between 1984 and 1986. The man I bought the lot from (David Cowan) appears to have been a member. I recognized two of the members’ names: Bruce Yarbor used to be the owner of an old local computer store (Second Hand Software), and Bill Lyons … well, if you’ve read Commodork, you know Bill and I go way back. I was able to track down one additional former member via Google, who I hope can give us some more information about the club.

As many of you know I picked up a ZoomFloppy not too long ago, which is a great device for converting physical Commodore 64 floppies over to virtual D64 disk images. I was able to convert about 45 disk images, error free. One disk had errors, and two disks (#1 and #43) were missing. In addition to disks #2-#45, there were half a dozen non-numbered disks, also attributed to the club.

I don’t expect anyone to find anything on these disks earth shattering. Like most club libraries from that era, these disks contain of public domain games and utilities. I’m not sure where one would even check (help?), but I assume all the programs found within have previously been discovered elsewhere. Then again, maybe not. Dig in and let me know!

The entire collection can be downloaded here: D64-CUON.ZIP. (Right-Click, Save As.) The collection is just under 7.5 megabytes in size, and includes not only all the D64 disk images, but actual physical pictures of all the diskettes as well. If you would like to simply browse through the pictures of the diskettes, I have uploaded them to my photo album as well.

Again, don’t expect to be dazzled by most of the programs contained within. That being said, I think this little collection serves as a pretty neat time capsule. I was glad to find the disks in such good (read: error free) condition, and I hope you enjoy them.

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2 Responses to “For Release: Commodore Users of Norman PD Collection (C64/D64)”

  1. Commodore Computer Club says:

    This is awesome Rob. Thank you for preserving this little bit of Commodore history.

    What do you plan on doing with the actual disk media now that you have it backed up?

    The ZoomFloppy is awesome as you know. At our recent Commodore computer club meeting we added an IEEE port to my ZoomFloppy. Should come in handy for things PET related.

  2. ladyjaye says:

    Heheh, nice set of pics! It’s weird when the sleeve is white, since the floppy then looks cut off. :P

    I remember very well those colored diskette stickers (the ones with the left-hand colored bordered).

    The most interesting sleeve is the last one from Datamart, although I find the Memorex and Verbatim ones fascinating as well (the Verbatim logo is still the same, although the font used for the name has since changed).