July 02, 2020, 09:07:23 AM

Author Topic: The C64, returns.  (Read 8042 times)

Offline Qube

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #150 on: February 17, 2020, 05:34:08 AM »
That's bad, did you mention it?  Seller has a 100% rating.
eBay isn't fair these days. You can't neg a buyer which is really stupid and sellers have great tools for removing negative feedback.

I have a dedicated store room where the other brands of old 8 bit computers are from Acorn, Oric, Atari, Sinclair, Dragon Data, Mile Gordon Technology, Enterprise and Mattel. Last count was around 30 computers.
Super sweet 8)

Acorn Electron, wasn't that the same as a BBC Micro but without Mode 7?
Oric  Atmos, I remember playing with that at John Menzies when I was a little ginger runt ;D
Dragon Data. I don't remember them being called that. I thought it was Dragon 32? - Could have a dodgy memory though.
Mile Gordon Technology, Enterprise and Mattel - No idea, lol :P

I did own a Sinclair Speccy and a Sinclair QL. I also had an Atari 400 with a custom keyboard ( little grey keys ) which I loved. However I've never been able to find what the heck that custom keyboard was :(
Until the next time...

Offline iWasAdam

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #151 on: February 17, 2020, 06:42:31 AM »
the Atari 800 was my dream machine - never had one though :(

Offline Qube

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #152 on: February 17, 2020, 07:08:12 AM »
the Atari 800 was my dream machine - never had one though :(
I had an Atari 800XL and absolutely loved it ;D - I can still remember waking up at 6am+ and playing Bruce Lee and IK+ before school :P - Me and my mate completed Bruce Lee in two player mode so many times it was crazy.

*sniff* *sniff* can I go back the the early 80's please? ;D
Until the next time...

Offline dawlane

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #153 on: February 17, 2020, 08:33:19 AM »
Acorn Electron, wasn't that the same as a BBC Micro but without Mode 7?
Oric  Atmos, I remember playing with that at John Menzies when I was a little ginger runt ;D
Dragon Data. I don't remember them being called that. I thought it was Dragon 32? - Could have a dodgy memory though.
Mile Gordon Technology, Enterprise and Mattel - No idea, lol :P

I did own a Sinclair Speccy and a Sinclair QL. I also had an Atari 400 with a custom keyboard ( little grey keys ) which I loved. However I've never been able to find what the heck that custom keyboard was :(
Dragon Data Ltd was the name of the Welsh company that produced the Dragon32 and Dragon64, practically an unintentional clone of the TRS-80 Colour computer, there were some differences.

Miles Gordon Technology aka MGT. If you owned a Speccy, you would know of this company. Ever heard of the Disciple Disk interface and the D+ disk drive?
They decided to venture into the computer market it's self with the MGT Sam Coupe and to some extent could run a few Speccy games when the Sinclair Emulation software was loaded (Think it relied on a the prototype ROM written by Nine Tiles for the ZX Spectrum issue one, but I would have to check). The machine had graphics on par with a Commodore Amiga and a sound chip that would have given a good AYA chip a run for it's money.

If Enterprise Computers had not had development problems causing a two year delay. The Amstrad CPC 464 would have been the machine forgotten. The Enterprise 64 & 128 was a much more powerful Zilog Z80 based computer. There were only 80,000 units made and 20,000 were shipped to Hungary were it has quite a following.

Mattel Electronics (part of the Mattel Inc group), better known for making electronic hand held games. Also decided a foray into the home computer market with a computer designed by Radiofin called the Mattel Aquarius (dubbed by those that wrote games for it as a computer for the seventies and considered as a severe punishment for some). It was a very limited and over priced at the time. You could think of it as a colour version of the ZX81 with a cut down version of Microsoft basic released when the likes of the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 were starting to dominate. If the machine had 16/48K as standard instead of the basic 4K (user only had 1K to play with on the base machine), a more capable ULA (had type of Feranti chip that the Sinclair ZX81 and ZX Spectrum used) and didn't expect you to have to buy expensive peripherals such as a data recorder and an expansion interface if you wanted to use game controllers with extra memory and came cartridges; then it may have had a bit of a chance against the Spectrum. Mattel discontinued production after a month, with Radiofin taking the rights to produce the machine. The Aquarius ended up with only 20,000 units being made and the rarest is the Aquarius II (not much of an improvement with a better BASIC and 20K of memory) produced just a Radiofin went bust. Sellers were off loading stock in bargain bins for £50 near the end. Mattel's idea was to sell the machines at a loss and get the money back on the sale of peripheral and games. A few peripherals were made, printer, RAM packs, Mini Expander with controllers and a disk drive (rumour is that a few disk drives were produced).

For after market keyboard's, there were a few. Fuller was the main one for the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum and the Atari 400 had B-Key keyboard and something made by ATTO-SOFT.

Offline BasicBoy

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #154 on: February 17, 2020, 09:13:11 AM »
Quote from: Qube
Acorn Electron, wasn't that the same as a BBC Micro but without Mode 7?

Yep, no Mode 7 (which usefully consumed only 1Kb of screen memory), and only 1 sound channel (Beeb had 3 tone + 1 noise), and the machine was overall slower than its bigger brother. No peripheral interfaces either - the Beeb had several. Beeb programmers, because RAM wasn't too plentiful, used portions of the screen memory to stuff machine code and other data and were able to 'mask' it out so you didn't know it was there, whereas masking out code/data resident in screen memory on the Electron was a lot more challenging, which is why so many Electron games had random-looking garbage on the screen (usually at the top and bottom). I'm aware of only one Electron game which successfully hid on-screen garbage, and that was Camelot. Heaven knows how the author achieved it.

Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #155 on: February 17, 2020, 01:42:59 PM »
At last!  The Retro Corner is now complete so I can play the C64 games too, because my Competition Pro Joystick has just arrived; and a brilliant little joystick it is too!  The pi3 is running the arcade games using SNES-style game pads.    :D
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Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #156 on: February 18, 2020, 11:20:26 AM »
Glad to see we're back!  I posted the same time as the crash (but it wasn't my fault).   :D

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Offline iWasAdam

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #157 on: February 18, 2020, 11:56:34 AM »
Honest..? Looks super sweet  ;D

Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #158 on: February 18, 2020, 12:15:52 PM »
Quote
Honest..? Looks super sweet  ;D

Yeah lol.  Thanks, I'm chuffed with it.   :D

It's great having the real hardware, and a pet peeve of mine is jerky scrolling in some modern games/emulators.  Scrolling is fast and silky smooth with the real C64 running at only 1MHz!
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Offline Qube

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #159 on: February 18, 2020, 07:33:20 PM »
Awesome! ;D ya giving me ideas of getting a C64 & CRT screen for silky smooth retro goodness, lol
Until the next time...

Offline Xerra

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #160 on: February 18, 2020, 07:43:59 PM »
Awesome! ;D ya giving me ideas of getting a C64 & CRT screen for silky smooth retro goodness, lol

Me too. I want to do some more 6502 stuff - probably demo effects rather than games. Try sprites in  the border and stuff like that. For this I'd like to be doing it on an actual machine although I'd compromise and have an sd card loading system. Could use the C64 full-size that I got for Xmas but I would really like to get one of the ones like Steve has so might as well use the real thing.

Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #161 on: February 18, 2020, 09:22:35 PM »
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Awesome! ;D ya giving me ideas of getting a C64 & CRT screen for silky smooth retro goodness, lol

When I have some spare cash I might get a CRT (a PVM version is the way to go apparently).  It seems the more modern the tv the worse the picture for old hardware, and so the more you have to invest to get the intended picture back!  Luckily I had an old flat screen tv hanging around doing nothing.  It's old enough to allow composite, but not too modern that it turns the low resolution C64 picture into a blurry mess or over sharpened pixelated mess (S-Video Input would be ideal though).  Scrolling is super smooth on games like Dropzone and Mayhem in Monsterland.

I never had a C64, but I must say I'm very impressed with the build quality and I really like the design of the C64c version.  I know I have new cables but everything plugs in tightly and securely.  The whole machine seems very solid, compared to some machines of the day and a nice keyboard too.  Some of the better games play like Amiga games, now that really surprised me.  What a lovely machine, I hope I can keep this piece of 80's computing history running for many years.

Quote
Awesome! ;D ya giving me ideas of getting a C64 & CRT screen for silky smooth retro goodness, lol

Me too. I want to do some more 6502 stuff - probably demo effects rather than games. Try sprites in  the border and stuff like that. For this I'd like to be doing it on an actual machine although I'd compromise and have an sd card loading system. Could use the C64 full-size that I got for Xmas but I would really like to get one of the ones like Steve has so might as well use the real thing.

Learning 6502 Assembly Language is something I'll definitely be doing.  Well yes, emulators are ok but they don't give 100% accuracy.  Nice to try out how your program looks on both though.  Yes you can see the SD Card Loading/Saving Drive on the photo I posted (the Fast Load Cartridge you can't because it's so small).  But one of the first extras you must buy is a modern C64 PSU!  Those old Power Supply Units were extremely good at frying the C64 lol.

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Offline Qube

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #162 on: February 19, 2020, 08:23:51 AM »
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It seems the more modern the tv the worse the picture for old hardware, and so the more you have to invest to get the intended picture back!
For me it's the visuals of silky smooth 50hz scrolling which were perfect on old CRT TV's with zero ghosting or other artefacts. Quite shocking that modern TV's just can't do the same thing. On our Samsung QLED if I enable motion smoothing then it works a load better but playing retro games on a 43" screen just isn't right :P

Quote
I never had a C64, but I must say I'm very impressed with the build quality and I really like the design of the C64c version.
The C64c was a nice redesign and it still looks smart to this day. I think I'd opt for the C64c as it's a neat looking machine and you can install a mod to select between the older 6581 and the C64c's 8580 SID chip for the best of both worlds.

Quote
Learning 6502 Assembly Language is something I'll definitely be doing.
Quite amazing what these so called 8-bit dinosaurs can actually do. So that's three of us pretty keen on having a blast with 6502 Assembly so all we need now is another handful of people for a real C64 game comp :P
Until the next time...

Offline dawlane

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #163 on: February 19, 2020, 01:27:01 PM »
Quite amazing what these so called 8-bit dinosaurs can actually do. So that's three of us pretty keen on having a blast with 6502 Assembly so all we need now is another handful of people for a real C64 game comp :P
I think it would be about time that there was a dedicated section for old 8/16 bit programming. Throw a few hint out there that the competitions are getting spiced up.

I'm sure we should be able to trawl the inter-web for resources to post. But the time limit would have to be extended to a year for the plebs to get to grips with hardware/emulator and tools.

Edit: First link folks.
https://techtinkering.com/articles/

Offline Xerra

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Re: The C64, returns.
« Reply #164 on: February 19, 2020, 11:20:23 PM »
Wow, some of that techy information is a right brain-freeze. Will take a while before I start pissing about with stuff like self modifying code in 6502 :)

 

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