SyntaxBomb - Indie Coders

General Category => 8-bit / 16-bit retro world => Topic started by: Steve Elliott on June 25, 2019, 11:14:30 PM

Title: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on June 25, 2019, 11:14:30 PM
https://youtu.be/4yOch48SScs
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Rick Nasher on June 25, 2019, 11:44:05 PM
Luv the commodore stuff.
But I still don't see the point.
How often would it really be used?
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Naughty Alien on June 26, 2019, 03:44:25 AM
..nice but..no..
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on June 26, 2019, 05:58:52 AM
Luv the commodore stuff.
But I still don't see the point.
How often would it really be used?

..nice but..no..

Yeah, that's what I thought about this. After a couple of hours of nostalgia it'd probably just then gather dust. Had it of been a full replica of the C64 with cassette / disk drive + the emulation side as an extra ( HDMI + USB etc ) I think the audience would possibly be bigger but still very limited to the nostalgia side.

I think you'd have more fun with a Raspberry Pi setup to emulate all the old retro kit ( as per my other post in the Pie 4 thread )
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on June 26, 2019, 07:03:22 AM
I disagree. The main selling point for me is that it's a Vic 20 as well. I've always wanted to code a 100% machine code Vic game since I was a teenager. I never learned enough of it to do more than just basic scrolling and char moving routines back then so I bought a real Vic 20 a year or so back on Ebay. Needless to say it never actually worked so I'd be looking at spending more dosh on getting it repaired and then getting probably modern power supply and so on.

I'll probably keep the Vic because I like looking at it in my collection of retro consoles up in the loft but I'll have one of these large C64 remakes to actually use for testing code and develop it on my Mac with Parallels and CBM ProgEd for convenience.

I have two C64 mini's here (one was a present which I've left still sealed as it might be worth a few quid in a decade or two) and even that doesn't put me off getting the big brother as well.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on June 26, 2019, 10:54:13 AM
Quote
I disagree. The main selling point for me is that it's a Vic 20 as well.
Only by emulation and not real hardware. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of it and having a full sized C64 keyboard but I think I’d have more fun via a dedicated retro setup with a Pi, joystick and fast response monitor.

Gotta admit though it’s a tempting purchase as it just looks the part :P

*edit* wonder if you use it as just a keyboard?.. I have the ZX Speccy version of a bluetooth keyboard and it feels very authentic to use.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Dabz on June 26, 2019, 06:47:40 PM
You just know the joystick is gonna spoil it all!!!  ;D ;D ;D

Dabz
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on June 26, 2019, 10:53:40 PM
You just know the joystick is gonna spoil it all!!!  ;D ;D ;D

They say it's been redesigned so it must be internal improvements as it looks the same in the video. It's modeled on the old Competition Pro joystick which was, imho, the best joystick for commodore machines ever made. Mine outlasted all my machines as it was a fantastic bit of hardware. Even now on Ebay they go for a fair few quid. Hope it works as well as the original as the one that came with the Mini was really poor in comparison.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: fairgood on June 27, 2019, 05:58:06 PM
The Mega65 looks interesting also
http://mega65.org/
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on June 27, 2019, 07:13:10 PM
Quote
It's modeled on the old Competition Pro joystick which was, imho, the best joystick for commodore machines ever made.
Nah, the Konix Speedking was the best ;D

Quote
The Mega65 looks interesting also
Looks interesting but will it ever exist? I also wonder if it'll gain any sort of community. Perhaps if it's also fully C64 compatible it might get some interest from those who still create games and demos for it.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: GW on June 28, 2019, 02:34:15 AM
Couldn't even afford to have some SID chip music..  Smells a bit like someone trying to cash in on nostalgia.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on June 28, 2019, 09:33:42 AM
The C64 just looks like it's going to be another cut price emulator using an ARM SOC. I've always thought doing this was just cheap and cashing in without any real work having to be done other than designing a PCB and a case.

The Mega65 looks interesting using FPGA (same as the Spectrum Next). I think that they will have to replace the floppy disk with a floppy emulator drive.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: 3DzForMe on June 28, 2019, 09:16:42 PM
Hmmm, nostalgia is nice (after all I whiled away a few hours doing a speccy esque thing recently), however, I've a real Amiga 1200 that booted a couple of months ago. Whilst I relished the challenge of what could be achieved in Bliz Basic on the old Amiga, I confess, coding in something that looks specky (but clearly isn't under the covers) was fun. Actually coding in 8 bit world, too much like pushing jelly uphill these days . ;)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: bsisko on July 01, 2019, 08:20:50 AM
I must be the weirdest guy living on Earth.   The C64 was my second computer that I ever owned.  The zx81 was my first, and while bad by today's standards, I still love it, and appreciate it for what it had to give.

I definitely am going to purchase one, maybe even two for the nostalgia reason, and finally to teach myself ml code.
I wish it were able to emulate the 128 as opposed to the Vic 20, but I can live with that.
BTW,  the specs say that it will boot in Vic20 mode basic.  Did Vic20 have a different set of basic instructions than the C64.

I know that the screen size of the Vic20 was smaller than the 64, but did it have sprites as well, and did it have a SID chip?
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Dabz on July 01, 2019, 08:38:35 AM
I would love to see a smaller form factor Amstrad with modern ports, I have my 6128 on my desk which I use, I love it to bits, its connected to my Wifi, so I can drag and drop roms into it via the browser on my PC, and yes, I can connect to bulletin boards on the net. I have it connected to SCART onto my monitor, but Amstrad video signals are a bit odd (Which is why you had to use a modulator to connect it to a TV back in the day), and to get the best picture, I have a scart coming out of my Amstrad, into the back of a DVD/RW player, a little bit of magic goes on inside the player, and it pumps out a great picture to the monitor.

Its a big setup really, it works really well and is crystal clear, and I could record stuff if I wanted... But, a little modern respin on the machine would be nice so I could declutter the whole shebang, they could significantly reduce the size of the machine by getting rid of the media readers on there (Disk drive or tape deck)... But they'll have to keep the keyboards as they were though, like, the 6128 is my fave, but the 464 with its pretty colours and layout does look good IMO! :)

Dabz
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on July 01, 2019, 05:09:57 PM
BTW,  the specs say that it will boot in Vic20 mode basic.  Did Vic20 have a different set of basic instructions than the C64.

I know that the screen size of the Vic20 was smaller than the 64, but did it have sprites as well, and did it have a SID chip?

Vic 20 didn't have sprites. Some people were clever enough to simulate them in software but it wasn't practical for games, even with a 16k or 32k expansion, because it took so much memory to do it. Not to mention it wasn't very quick either.

There was no Sid chip in the Vic 20. From memory it had 2 sound registers and a white noise generator.

The instruction set was the same as the Vic 20. I'm not sure it was identical and some of the illegal op-codes were probably new to the C64 but you could port games which didn't use sprites pretty easily by just taking into account the smaller screen size and changing the screen memory location variables. A game like Gridrunner or Matrix which Jeff Minter originally wrote on the Vic 20 probably only took him a couple of hours to port to the C64 and most of that would be changing the sound routines.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on July 01, 2019, 09:51:06 PM
BTW,  the specs say that it will boot in Vic20 mode basic.  Did Vic20 have a different set of basic instructions than the C64.

I know that the screen size of the Vic20 was smaller than the 64, but did it have sprites as well, and did it have a SID chip?
The VIC-20 and C64 are two totally different machines hardware wise, with both being based on the MOS 6502 CPU. Note that the CPU  (MOS 6510 CPU) in the C64 has a different pin arrangement to cater for dynamic ram and rom banking. The VIC 20 used static ram.

The BASIC language was the same with the difference being the boot up greeting. The Video Interface Chip in the VIC-20 had no true bitmap graphics mode or hardware sprites, but did have two character modes: high resolution two colour and a four colour low resolution mode. You could fake a bitmap mode by redefining the character set in double height character mode with a memory expansion cartridge. The VIC chip also handled the sound using three pulse-wave voice generators with each voice having only a three octave range and a white noise channel. The three voices octaves overlapped in the middle ranges.

Most of the advanced games were released as cartridges, which could get round memory limitation issues.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: therevills on July 02, 2019, 03:45:56 AM
I wonder if their is any chance of an Amstrad CPC version... one can dream....
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on July 02, 2019, 05:22:36 AM
I wonder if their is any chance of an Amstrad CPC version... one can dream....
Nah, to peak interest it'd have to ship with a keyboard that felt like the awesome CPC6128 as anything else would just break the feel.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 22, 2019, 04:58:46 PM
The 8-bit Guy just posted a review: 
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on December 22, 2019, 09:43:12 PM
The 8-bit Guy just posted a review
Cool, will watch that in a minute, thanks :)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on December 22, 2019, 11:21:56 PM
Just watched it and.... I'm definitely going to be buying one of these in the new year ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on December 22, 2019, 11:57:02 PM
Just watched it and.... I'm definitely going to be buying one of these in the new year ;D ;D ;D

I've dropped enough hints for my mother to have one of these for me under the Xmas tree now. I'll find out in a couple of days :)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 23, 2019, 08:55:16 AM
Yeah I'll be getting one too.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Pfaber11 on December 23, 2019, 01:25:47 PM
A blast from the past . I think they have them in Argos .
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on December 23, 2019, 03:23:31 PM
A blast from the past . I think they have them in Argos .
They only have the joystick.
Amazon have them at £199.95. But other retailers that the C64 site link to show them at £104, but sold out.
I would just wait until the Christmas madness has passed before getting one. But then I would sooner prefer the mega65 when they get it released.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 23, 2019, 03:49:56 PM
Yes Argos are just selling the joystick and last time I looked I thought it said £109 at Amazon, they seem to have bumped up the price for Christmas.  I'm in no rush so will get mine in January sometime, when prices are sensible again.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on December 23, 2019, 05:03:50 PM
I did some digging about too and, yeah, they are trying to make money based on Xmas desperation. Usually it seems the sites that had it sell for around £104 but they are all currently out of stock. Either they've sold them all or a lot of the retailers didn't get deliveries yet.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on December 24, 2019, 01:12:12 PM
Well the price just keeps going up at Amazon. Now £203.26, but only £114.99 from here https://www.365games.co.uk/retro-consoles/the-c64-retro-console-uk-plug?gclid=cjwkcaiai4fwbrbxeiwaeo8_hrxo7suqjwttin6hj1trtv4riyqrlzy_fmysnfuxvkdkuqrindf7groc9aqqavd_bwe
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 24, 2019, 01:34:10 PM
Like I already said, it'll probably come down after Christmas - not before.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Hardcoal on December 24, 2019, 09:03:47 PM
I want a commodore 64 but with enhancements

like 64MB etc..

that will be compatible with old C64

yea i know there is amiga..

but i always wanted a what if a commodore could be 100 times stronger than Commodore but still a commodore ;)

I would Implement Blitzmax as its main language, Sorta ;)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 24, 2019, 09:13:23 PM
I can't see the point of a retro computer with enhancements.  You might as well as use a Raspberry Pi or old PC.  And there's no 80's nostalgia value there.

But with a system that adds much faster loading times, access to USB devices and a modern TV that's fine though.  And for coding you're still going to be coding a system that requires you to be extra efficient and coding to the metal - which you can't on modern systems, because the OS and API systems are laid on top.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on December 24, 2019, 09:25:26 PM
I can't see the point of a retro computer with enhancements.  You might as well as use a Raspberry Pi or old PC.  And there's no 80's nostalgia value there.

Agree with Steve, here. Have you not noticed the trend in minimal computer simulators doing the rounds? Like Pico8, for example. When A machine doesn't have all the whiz-bang you can throw into it then the people coding the system have to work much more efficiently to make magic with it. And it's in our nature to do exactly that.

If you're bringing back the C64 then bring it back basically as it was and let the kids loose on it. The stuff that's done on the machine now is fucking amazing as there's been such a long passage of time for people to learn its limitations and break them.

Give people a modern machine with 8 gigs of ram and they'll go write a monstrosity of a large game with no optimisation, and it will insist on reloading the level whenever you die even if it's already in memory. Bloat just encourages laziness.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on December 24, 2019, 11:04:16 PM
I can't see the point of a retro computer with enhancements.  You might as well as use a Raspberry Pi or old PC.  And there's no 80's nostalgia value there.
I agree. Calling something like ZX Spectrum Next doesn't make it the classic ZX Spectrum 48k.

But with a system that adds much faster loading times, access to USB devices and a modern TV that's fine though.
That's the decent approach and only enhances it rather than say "The C64+ with 4K resolution, true 32bit colour palette and 16 channel sound" <-- NOT a C64.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Hardcoal on December 25, 2019, 03:35:24 AM
I disagree with you all.. :)
I want my C64MB Computer Dream and Ill build it one day! :)

Anyway.. I love the concept of keyboard integrated with computer..

The real question someone should ask himself before doing some major project is..
would I buy such a thing myself..
if the answer is no.. dont bother doing it
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on December 25, 2019, 09:58:36 PM
I will just say that I now have my lovely "The C64" in my man-cave waiting to be unpacked. Good old mum :-)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 26, 2019, 07:12:34 PM
Quote
I will just say that I now have my lovely "The C64" in my man-cave waiting to be unpacked.

Great stuff!  Have fun.   :D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: bsisko on December 28, 2019, 07:04:02 AM
Well guys, have any of you heard about the Commander x-16 project.  The 8-bit guy is building this thing.  Its based on the C-64, but like the Spectrum Next, it adds enhancements to it.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Hardcoal on December 28, 2019, 07:16:47 AM
Well thats interesting and thats exactly what I like. an enhanced C64 Legend.

And yea, im following 8 bit guy. so Ive heard about it already
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: MikeHart on December 28, 2019, 01:59:41 PM
Well guys, have any of you heard about the Commander x-16 project.  The 8-bit guy is building this thing.  Its based on the C-64, but like the Spectrum Next, it adds enhancements to it.


They already have docs and an emulator for all desktop OS out.


https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-emulator/releases/tag/r35 (https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-emulator/releases/tag/r35)




This sums up the project quite nicely:


https://www.pagetable.com/?p=1373 (https://www.pagetable.com/?p=1373)



Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 29, 2019, 12:13:16 AM
Quote
Well guys, have any of you heard about the Commander x-16 project?

Yes I've watched all of the 8-bit Guy's videos, so really like what he does.  Like me he likes the idea of a simple computer that you can code and understand every bit of - so then you can try and push it to it's limits without having to fight the OS and the layers on top that come with modern machines.  Having said that, it really needs to take off (the Spectrum Next has yet too).  The problem is it's not a classic machine (it's a hybrid, kinda like, but not, which I don't think works as well when exciting people).
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 29, 2019, 06:20:29 PM
Now that the 64 is back at sensible prices post Christmas I've ordered my 'the 64'.   :D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on December 30, 2019, 12:33:46 AM
Now that the 64 is back at sensible prices post Christmas I've ordered my 'the 64'.   :D
Woot woot! Whip up a review when you get it and have played with it ;D

Where did you order it from? Can't seem to find it on Amazon or any game related store ( out of stock ) :( - Will have to search harder...
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 30, 2019, 04:27:24 AM
Quote
Woot woot! Whip up a review when you get it and have played with it ;D

Will do!   :D

Quote
Where did you order it from? Can't seem to find it on Amazon or any game related store ( out of stock ) :( - Will have to search harder...

I ordered mine from Amazon yesterday for £120 and they say I'll receive it 2-4 Jan, but immediately after I ordered it was either listed as unavailable or £227.99!  Word on the street is the 'Menkind' Store might have them.  I'm going to Cardiff today so was tempted to wait and pop into the store, but you just know they'd be sold out.  You might be lucky if you have a Menkind store near you (they sell all sorts of gadgets there from retro stuff to drones).
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on December 30, 2019, 04:51:14 AM
I ordered mine from Amazon yesterday for £120 and they say I'll receive it 2-4 Jan, but immediately after I ordered it was either listed as unavailable or £227.99!  Word on the street is the 'Menkind' Store might have them. You might be lucky if you have a Menkind store near you (they sell all sorts of gadgets there from retro stuff to drones).
I checked Amazoom and was presented with the same extortionate £200+ price tag :o

Menkind? - Never heard of it and not a chance of having one of those stores in Northern Ireland :P - We have Smyths Toys but it's not listed on their site and it's not listed on Argos either.

I shall have to meditate for restraint and wait until somewhere has it for around the proper £99 to £110 price tag ;D

Quite looking forward to grabbing one and very tempted to dive into assembler to code some simple games.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 30, 2019, 04:58:33 AM
Quote
I checked Amazoom and was presented with the same extortionate £200+ price tag :o

Yeah it seems they're holding a few back for those willing to pay the extortionate £200+

Quote
Menkind? - Never heard of it and not a chance of having one of those stores in Northern Ireland :P

A shame, but I thought I'd mention it just incase.

Quote
I shall have to meditate for restraint and wait until somewhere has it for around the proper £99 to £110 price tag ;D

Yes, just check now and again on Amazon for a sensibly priced one.

Quote
Quite looking forward to grabbing one and very tempted to dive into assembler to code some simple games.

Yes that's my plan too.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on December 30, 2019, 05:10:42 AM
I think I'm going to enjoy a C64 sitting next to my iMac, especially as it can also play Vic-20 games \o/ - Old and the new whereby the old has the better fun games - Wonder if they'll ever produce an Amiga A1200 version? as that would have me bouncing up and down like a kid at Christmas :))
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 30, 2019, 05:25:07 AM
Quote
I think I'm going to enjoy a C64 sitting next to my iMac, especially as it can also play Vic-20 games \o/ - Old and the new whereby the old has the better fun games

Quite a contrast lol.  While I never owned a C64, given the choice at the time I would probably have jumped at the chance to own one; but everybody I knew had a Speccy.  I did at one point own an Atari 130XE though, and that ran very similar looking (and sounding) games to the C64.

Quote
Wonder if they'll ever produce an Amiga A1200 version? as that would have me bouncing up and down like a kid at Christmas :))

Well it's very difficult to get hold of a 'the C64' so I guess they've sold plenty enough to consider another project.  Maybe by then our Assembly Language skills would allow us to move to a more sophisticated machine lol.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on December 30, 2019, 05:42:29 PM
Wonder if they'll ever produce an Amiga A1200 version? as that would have me bouncing up and down like a kid at Christmas :))

Fuck yes. Do this. Take my money. Instant purchase for me if they did an A1200 :)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 30, 2019, 06:59:26 PM
Yep an Amiga replica for me too.

It's ok Qube, they only had the C64 Mini for sale in Menkind.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on December 30, 2019, 08:04:37 PM
It's ok Qube, they only had the C64 Mini for sale in Menkind.
That's OK then, I can cancel my flight now ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 30, 2019, 08:09:42 PM
lol that'll save me some postage.  ;)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 06, 2020, 05:17:56 PM
The C64 hasn't arrived as promised by Amazon.  They've told me to contact Menkind, which I have.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Krischan on January 06, 2020, 06:16:07 PM
My current C64 looks like that. A little bit ugly. But... it is an Amiga, too. And an Atari ST. And a Macintosh. And... so what do I use? ;D Hint: it is not emulating, it is simulating the hardware. And costs about the same. A nice toy for nerds.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on January 06, 2020, 07:41:05 PM
The C64 hasn't arrived as promised by Amazon.  They've told me to contact Menkind, which I have.
Aww, that's a shame :( - What did Menkind say?

My current C64 looks like that. A little bit ugly. But... it is an Amiga, too. And an Atari ST. And a Macintosh. And...
Cool box, what's it called?
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 06, 2020, 07:49:55 PM
Quote
The C64 hasn't arrived as promised by Amazon.  They've told me to contact Menkind, which I have.

Aww, that's a shame :( - What did Menkind say?

It should have come 2 - 4 Jan but didn't.  I just tracked it via Amazon and that was the message - contact MenKind.  To be to fair to Amazon they already emailed me to say there was a delay and apologized.  I've just emailed MenKind so will probably get a response tomorrow.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Krischan on January 06, 2020, 08:23:58 PM
Cool box, what's it called?

Let me say first that I don't want to hijack this thread, I just want to mention this other option which is quite cool. It's the MiST, an FPGA board with a case for about 200 Euros. I got mine from Lotharek (https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=45) in Poland. There are a lot of custom Cores on Github (https://github.com/mist-devel/mist-binaries/tree/master/cores) you can install on a SDcard.

The great advantage over a software emulator is that it's running on real hardware which means really smooth scrolling like on the originals. You can plugin an original 9pin Joystick, a Mouse and a Keyboard over USB.

But you could need a special VGA TFT as the cores run like the originals only on special frequencies. See here (https://github.com/mist-devel/mist-board/wiki/Displays) for more details on that issue. I have an old Eizo Flexscan S1921 which runs perfect. I have the old board version, don't know if the newer boards need this, too.

A software emulator may run more stable and supports more games, but this FPGA solution "feels" more like the original IMHO.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 06, 2020, 08:46:35 PM
Cool, but does it have a replica C64 keyboard?   ;)

Maybe start another thread for it.  :)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 08, 2020, 06:07:46 PM
Menkind said "we can’t guarantee when we will be able to get the stock in."

So I've cancelled my order.  :(

Also got fed up waiting for the RetroPie guys to get a version out for pi4, so started using my pi3 again instead.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 08, 2020, 10:03:30 PM
Installed a C64 Emulator (the same one used in 'The 64') on the pi3 via RetroPie so I have arcade emulation through MAME and now C64 Emulation through VICE.  Follow the instructions here, but install from source NOT binary as that didn't work for me (it does take ages).  Also I've heard some people have problems with zipped files so unzip them before copying across to the pi's IP Address via network.  He used a .TAP game which is loading from tape emulation, my first game (Wizball) is a .d64 which I guess stands for disk so was much faster to load.  I've downloaded 6 C64 games so far.

https://youtu.be/u2TwHKVYAZk
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 09, 2020, 12:27:06 PM
Installed a couple of ZX Spectrum games now (Manic Miner and Chuckie Egg).  So ZX Spectrum, C64 and Arcade Games all run perfectly like the originals because of shader settings also emulating a CRT screen with subtle scan lines, anti aliasing and even a subtle CRT curved sides shader (plus colour clash on the Speccy lol).  I'm using a 1080p monitor with a low 2ms delay, brightness and contrast appropriate for retro games.  Arcade games such as Ghouls and Ghosts look stunning.

I'm archiving my personal gaming history here lol, and having fun playing the old classics!  I guess ST/Amiga is the next to try.  I've tried Amiga on pi4, hopefully it will run great on pi3 too.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 09, 2020, 06:27:33 PM
Testing Amiga, so far so good on pi3...We'll see what more demanding games are like.  Mouse sensitivity needs to be turned way down for Lemmings as it's too fast (.25 works much better).

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on January 10, 2020, 04:00:52 AM
Testing Amiga, so far so good on pi3...We'll see what more demanding games are like.  Mouse sensitivity needs to be turned way down for Lemmings as it's too fast (.25 works much better).
Cool 8)

I've ditched the idea of using my pi4 for retro stuff so I'll use it for something else ( got bored with waiting for RetroPie ). I noticed today that a USB-C multi function device I have plugged into my iMac has an HDMI port \o/ and as the gaming monitor I bought for the pi4 is sat right next to the iMac, does 50hz and 1ms response time I'll setup all the retro stuff on the iMac and use the external monitor for the output.

As that will work perfectly smooth for 50hz PAL games and I also want to dabble in assembler for the 6502 CPU / C64 specific stuff then I've no need to get the C64 Maxi but will still get a proper microswitch joystick. Now if they released an Amiga A1200 replica then that's another story ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: LineOf7s on January 10, 2020, 08:50:31 AM
Go with what works for you, but I've had spectacularly good success with Amiberry on the Raspberry Pi (as part of RetroPie) for Amiga emulation.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 10, 2020, 09:31:41 AM
Quote
I've ditched the idea of using my pi4 for retro stuff so I'll use it for something else ( got bored with waiting for RetroPie ).

Yeah, me too, that's why I dug out my pi3.  I find that annoying because with the pi4 I know it wouldn't drop frames, with a pi3 it might (I wouldn't notice because I don't have a real Amiga to compare it against).

Quote
I've had spectacularly good success with Amiberry on the Raspberry Pi (as part of RetroPie) for Amiga emulation.

Cool, thanks for that info, I might give it a go.

Quote
as the gaming monitor I bought for the pi4 is sat right next to the iMac, does 50hz and 1ms response time I'll setup all the retro stuff on the iMac and use the external monitor for the output.  As that will work perfectly smooth for 50hz PAL games.

Great stuff, but I wanted a completely separate retro system so I'm not tying up my main computer or laptop.  Yeah my monitor can do 50hz too.

Quote
I also want to dabble in assembler for the 6502 CPU / C64 specific stuff then I've no need to get the C64 Maxi but will still get a proper microswitch joystick. Now if they released an Amiga A1200 replica then that's another story ;D

I do too...or maybe Amiga 68000 Assembly?  I just wish Commodore had chosen a less drab palette, I prefer the Atari 800 palette.  But the Atari 8-bit line I guess aren't as popular with the 'homebrew' coders, so less support/books etc.  There again, playing IK+ I think Archer McClean produced a real nice scene for the game, with good use of colour using the C64 palette.  I don't think I'll go down the micro switched joystick route because I'm also emulating arcade machines, and they require up to 6 buttons, not one!  Although using one for ZX Spectrum and C64 games does really seem so much more authentic!...Actually I think I'll get one and plug it into a spare USB Port...An Amiga A1200 replica would be even more popular I'm sure.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on January 11, 2020, 12:23:12 AM
Quote
Great stuff, but I wanted a completely separate retro system so I'm not tying up my main computer or laptop.  Yeah my monitor can do 50hz too.
Got it all setup today ;D - Well the Amiga side anyway as I wanted to see how smooth Turrican II and Pinball Dreams ran which luckily is lovely and smooth with no frame drops \o/

Quote
or maybe Amiga 68000 Assembly?  I just wish Commodore had chosen a less drab palette, I prefer the Atari 800 palette.  But the Atari 8-bit line I guess aren't as popular with the 'homebrew' coders, so less support/books etc.
Think I'll just be messing with 6502 / C64 specific as there is a tonne of info and tutorials about that side. Plus it'll be fun to be working with something less advanced than an Amiga for a first outing. On a side note, I loved my Atari 800xl but it was let down by some really bad versions of games. Shame as Bruce Lee and IK+ were pretty much identical to the C64 versions.

Quote
I don't think I'll go down the micro switched joystick route because I'm also emulating arcade machines, and they require up to 6 buttons, not one!  Although using one for ZX Spectrum and C64 games does really seem so much more authentic!...Actually I think I'll get one and plug it into a spare USB Port
I think I'll grab both too as there are some arcade games I want to play like Kung-Fu Master which I spent a fortune on at the arcade :P
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 11, 2020, 12:40:36 AM
Quote
Got it all setup today ;D - Well the Amiga side anyway as I wanted to see how smooth Turrican II and Pinball Dreams ran which luckily is lovely and smooth with no frame drops \o/

 :D 

Quote
or maybe Amiga 68000 Assembly?  I just wish Commodore had chosen a less drab palette, I prefer the Atari 800 palette.  But the Atari 8-bit line I guess aren't as popular with the 'homebrew' coders, so less support/books etc.

Think I'll just be messing with 6502 / C64 specific as there is a tonne of info and tutorials about that side. Plus it'll be fun to be working with something less advanced than an Amiga for a first outing

Assembly language was at it's most potent when it could take over the whole machine, OS (could be bypassed) code, graphics and sound hardware could directly be accessed; not with modern systems.  So it's a case of using the Z80/6502 or the Atari ST/Amiga Motorola 68000 processor for full control.  So either is a good choice for Assembly noobs like us lol.

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I want to play like Kung-Fu Master which I spent a fortune on at the arcade :P

Me too!!  Butlins Minehead and I was hooked on that game!  And guess what?  I was playing it earlier today under emulation lol.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on January 11, 2020, 07:25:02 AM
Quote
Assembly language was at it's most potent when it could take over the whole machine, OS (could be bypassed) code, graphics and sound hardware could directly be accessed; not with modern systems.  So it's a case of using the Z80/6502 or the Atari ST/Amiga Motorola 68000 processor for full control.  So either is a good choice for Assembly noobs like us lol.
That's why I fancy having a crack at the 6502 / C64 as it uses assembler to access everything. I'm not aiming to push the C64 to it's limits but would really love to accomplish a game where the coding ( assembler ), graphics, sound and music are all done by me to fill a childhood dream ;D - As far as I got with C64 BASIC was to create multi coloured sprites and move them around but doing anything decent was soooo slow.

Quote
Kung-Fu Master which I spent a fortune on at the arcade... Me too!!  Butlins Minehead and I was hooked on that game!  And guess what?  I was playing it earlier today under emulation lol.
Sandown pier, Isle of Wight, early 80's ;D - It was the first game as you walked it the door and it blew my mind. Just around the corner was the huge sit in Star Wars game which was just something amazing to experience "back in the day". The lights and sound of an arcade filled with people who are excited and gob smacked as you is a memory that I highly doubt can be repeated. Long live the 80's ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on January 11, 2020, 07:50:09 AM
Quote
Assembly language was at it's most potent when it could take over the whole machine, OS (could be bypassed) code, graphics and sound hardware could directly be accessed; not with modern systems.  So it's a case of using the Z80/6502 or the Atari ST/Amiga Motorola 68000 processor for full control.  So either is a good choice for Assembly noobs like us lol.
That's why I fancy having a crack at the 6502 / C64 as it uses assembler to access everything. I'm not aiming to push the C64 to it's limits but would really love to accomplish a game where the coding ( assembler ), graphics, sound and music are all done by me to fill a childhood dream ;D - As far as I got with C64 BASIC was to create multi coloured sprites and move them around but doing anything decent was soooo slow.
Well if you don't know or are rusty with programming old 8/16 bit hardware in assembly, then check out Chibi Akumas (https://www.chibiakumas.com/). You will find tutorials on a number of CPU's and hardware and how to write a cross platform game. There are also a number of YouTube videos associated with the site.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on January 12, 2020, 07:50:39 AM
@dawlane - Thanks :) Will take a look at that.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 12, 2020, 07:06:25 PM
Yep thanks.

I know some of you watch the 8-bit guy on YouTube, well he developed a RTS Game in 2017 for the C64.  He talks about the challenges of making the game in the video below.  I've just bought the boxed version, complete with manual, sound track on tape and an 80's floppy disk!  Nostalgia Overload!  :D  However you also get a digital version which runs extremely well on the Vice Emulator using a Raspberry pi3. 

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on January 12, 2020, 11:25:48 PM
I know some of you watch the 8-bit guy on YouTube, well he developed a RTS Game in 2017 for the C64.  He talks about the challenges of making the game in the video below.  I've just bought the boxed version, complete with manual, sound track on tape and an 80's floppy disk!  Nostalgia Overload!  :D  However you also get a digital version which runs extremely well on the Vice Emulator using a Raspberry pi3. 
Oo, I must of missed this one :o - I've watched his DOS ones but I don't recall this one, thanks.

Do you get the source code when you buy the game? I suspect not.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 12, 2020, 11:33:51 PM
Quote
Oo, I must of missed this one :o - I've watched his DOS ones but I don't recall this one, thanks.

Yes the DOS one was Planet X3 follow up project, no problem.

Quote
Do you get the source code when you buy the game? I suspect not.

No, you get a manual on pdf and the sound tracks on mp3 with the game though.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on January 12, 2020, 11:37:57 PM
Quote
Yes the DOS one was Planet X3 follow up project, no problem.
Ahh, I see on his website, X1 Vic-20, X2 C64 and X3 PC / DOS.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 12, 2020, 11:45:49 PM
Yep that's it!  3 Assembly Language Games on 3 different computers.  Impressive.   8)

I've just received an email that my boxed version has been despatched.  Old school big box goodness.   ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on January 13, 2020, 12:09:34 AM
Quote
I've just received an email that my boxed version has been despatched.  Old school big box goodness.   ;D
Them were the days... Ordering software and waiting for the postman to deliver it :))
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 13, 2020, 12:15:30 AM
lol or walking into a store full of big, or extra big boxed software, containing all sorts of goodies!   :))
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 22, 2020, 03:57:26 PM
This arrived today.   :D

The Homebrew C64 RTS Game from the 8-Bit Guy.   Nostalgia overload and tactile enjoyment of oldschool media on tape and floppy disc, with a printed manual contained within a good old game box.   8)

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on January 23, 2020, 05:20:17 AM
This arrived today.   :D

The Homebrew C64 RTS Game from the 8-Bit Guy.   Nostalgia overload and tactile enjoyment of oldschool media on tape and floppy disc, with a printed manual contained within a good old game box.   8)
Oo er! very nice indeed 8) - For nostalgia I'd love to have the original hardware and physically load the game. Probably drive me nuts that it takes more than a couple of seconds to load :P

Mind you, I think i'd still enjoy the Ocean loader screen and music ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: 3DzForMe on January 23, 2020, 06:21:01 AM
That is beautiful attention to detail, shweet! :D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 23, 2020, 09:24:31 AM
Quote
That is beautiful attention to detail, shweet! :D

Yep I love that kinda stuff too, completely replicating the look and feel of a quality computer game box.  There's a 'Notes from the Author' section in the manual that describes the process of fitting a RTS Game into only 64K too, a nice touch.  There are still people producing games for the C64 today as people can get complete and direct access to the hardware (unlike today) and enjoy the challenge of coding on such a restricted system.    :D

As an example:  https://www.knightsofbytes.games/samsjourney

Quote
Oo er! very nice indeed 8) - For nostalgia I'd love to have the original hardware and physically load the game.

I might get a real C64 some day, but the extra's really do bump up the price (the disc drive is expensive for a start).  Talking of nostalgia, it was quite strange handling a game cassette which I used for my Speccy back in the day (although in this case it's just full versions of the game soundtrack).  A mate had a disc drive with his Atari 800, but I didn't get one until I got an Atari 130XE.  Again you don't see these old 5 1/4 inch floppy discs any more, so a real blast from the past and a part of history.    ;D

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Probably drive me nuts that it takes more than a couple of seconds to load :P

lol while the Speccy tape load was certainly not, the disc drive load would be quicker and quite relaxing to hear it whirring away in the background as you did something else on your main computer.  Or you could use an emulator, VICE is very good indeed (I run it on my pi 3).     
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: 3DzForMe on January 25, 2020, 04:01:20 AM
Quote
lol while the Speccy tape load was certainly not, the disc drive load would be quicker and quite relaxing to hear it whirring away in the background as you did something else on your main computer.

Oh, the time you had to relax - attempt to load, a few mins later - FAIL, rewind the tape - tweak the volume - the exultation when/if it finally loaded.

Oh yes, those were the days.  :D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 25, 2020, 08:49:06 AM
Haha, it was a skill in itself - to get the volume just right.  And then putting a white line on the volume dial (with Tipp-ex) to remind you exactly where the optimal position was.  :))
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: iWasAdam on January 25, 2020, 10:40:19 AM
Quote
Again you don't see these old 5 1/4 inch floppy discs any more, so a real blast from the past and a part of history.

Here's an interesting offshoot. both the 8" and 5 1/4" disks are very robust - usually data can still be saved and read from them after 40 years! The drives might not work, but the disks do :)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 25, 2020, 01:48:59 PM
Quote
both the 8" and 5 1/4" disks are very robust - usually data can still be saved and read from them after 40 years!

Oh good.  I might actually have a real C64 by then.   ;)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: 3DzForMe on January 25, 2020, 06:00:02 PM
Quote
Here's an interesting offshoot. both the 8" and 5 1/4" disks are very robust - usually data can still be saved and read from them after 40 years! The drives might not work, but the disks do

Yep, I've known them to be used as 'Frisbees' and still work ;)
 :)) :))
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 28, 2020, 07:28:31 PM
I accidently bought a real C64 lol.   :o

It's a C64c and looks in great condition for £79.99.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on January 28, 2020, 08:21:53 PM
I accidently bought a real C64 lol.   :o

It's a C64c and looks in great condition for £79.99.
Depends if the SID chip is still functional. Getting hold of a real SID and one that actually works can be a bit of a nightmare.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 28, 2020, 08:31:09 PM
The SID Chip is functional.   :D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on January 28, 2020, 11:12:47 PM
I accidently bought a real C64 lol.   :o

Accidentally, eh? Heard that one before.

I'm thinking back to all those times I've been on Ebay while drunk and had packages arriving all week that I never remembered bidding on :)

I've got a broken Vic 20 in the loft room but not a real 64 yet. Just the C64 max at present but I do want a real one. Not a breadbin though, as i've always liked the look of the 64C later models and never had one.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on January 28, 2020, 11:18:24 PM
The SID Chip is functional.   :D
I thought that as well with the first one I bought from eBay. Until I noticed some of the filters were not working when playing a number of games.
One thing you should do is open the case. If I remember the RF shield on the C64c was metal and had tabs with a bit of thermal paste that made contact with the chips.
Some people removed the shield, but didn't put heat sinks on the chips. In the old bread box, the RF was foil covered cardboard. That definitely should be removed and heat sinks used.
If the metal shield is there, the paste more than likely will need refreshing. It would also be a good idea to get it recapped and a safer PSU sorted out. There should be plenty of Youtube videos on servicing Commodore machines.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 28, 2020, 11:31:40 PM
Quote
In the old bread box, the RF was foil covered cardboard.

It's not the bread box design.

Quote
Accidentally, eh? Heard that one before.

I'm thinking back to all those times I've been on Ebay while drunk and had packages arriving all week that I never remembered bidding on :)

LMAO, the best and worst of the internet.   :D

Quote
Just the C64 max at present but I do want a real one. Not a breadbin though, as i've always liked the look of the 64C later models and never had one.

I recently bought a new(ish) game (2017) and there are others who are still today producing software on disc and cartridge for the C64.  And while I wanted a C64 Max I was let down and the company couldn't fullfil my order.  But really it was just a replica (all-be-it with a full sized C64 Keyboard and easy connection to modern monitors).  I already have that with a Raspberry pi, although that unique keyboard I didn't have, so that's why I was tempted...But really, I just wanted the real thing, with connection ports to disc drives, monitor and cartridge. 

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on January 29, 2020, 05:48:32 PM
I assume all you C64 fans are aware of this fanzine that comes out every couple of months. Vinny does a cracking job of creating this magazine. I've been a subscriber since day one and I think it's around 30 issues in now.

https://freeze64.com/
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 29, 2020, 06:03:39 PM
Thanks for that info, I'm a recent convert to the C64.  But if you're gonna revisit the early home computers, then the C64 is probably the best system to choose.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: 3DzForMe on January 29, 2020, 06:18:52 PM
Hmmm, 3 decades ago (it's not quite 4 yet!) , I may have disagreed (I cut my coding teeth on the speccy a while ago), the C64s graphics were superior, but..... The loading times!
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 29, 2020, 06:43:03 PM
I loved my Speccy back in the day (some fantastic games) but the lack of a good keyboard and built-in joystick ports, terrible sound, colour clash, no hardware sprites or scrolling.  Yep Commodore made a mess of loading - even on disk drive.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on January 29, 2020, 07:32:16 PM
Commodore just used the same tape loading system - complete with bugged code - that was in the Vic 20. As that was a machine that only had to load around 5k of data, a fast loader hadn't really been required. Once it was on the C64, the tape loading was so bad that some games could take up to 20 minutes to completely load.

Turbo load systems soon became the norm after that because clever coders fixed the error checking bug that slowed it down so much and started doing more and more stuff with interupts to play music and show colours to make the time a bit less painless.

Most people think the turbo load originated with the C64 but I can remember a listing in, I think, Your Computer magazine in the very early 80's for the Vic 20 +8k expansion which you could type in and use a fast loader for your own software or games that weren't protected. I tested it on a few mastertronic ones and anything else that I could break the load systems at the time.

Interesting bit of trivia: That program was credited to John Twiddy - who is still in the business today doing PS4 and other console games, such as Constructor, for System 3 software. His name may be memorable to people who owned C64's back in the day as he did some of the fondly remembered games such as Ikari Warriors and Tau Ceti as well as The Last Ninja series.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: 3DzForMe on January 29, 2020, 08:15:44 PM
Interesting to know Mr Twiddy is still cutting the old mustard  :)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: TomToad on January 30, 2020, 10:59:59 AM
The 8bit guy recently did a video about the Commodore disk drives and why they were slow.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on January 30, 2020, 12:11:54 PM
Yes I saw that.  8-bit Guy knows the machine inside and out.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 04, 2020, 11:37:49 AM
It looks like DHL left my C64 in a van over the weekend and it walked.  It never arrived.   >:(
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: iWasAdam on February 04, 2020, 12:49:15 PM
BUGGER - will you get it back from them??  >:(
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 04, 2020, 01:23:29 PM
Tracking said it was scanned and on the van Friday (in Scotland). No movement listed over the weekend.  Next it was in my hometown on Monday (in Wales) but now listed as not received.

I've told the seller via Ebay I've not received and has he heard anything from DHL? If DHL manage to have lost it then I'm looking at a refund through Ebay I guess.  Anybody else have an Ebay parcel not turn up?
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Derron on February 04, 2020, 09:17:35 PM
In Germany (and most probably in Scotland/Ireland/...UK too) you could blame on eBay that you did not receive the delivery. It is not your fault. You do not even have to talk to DHL or so. The sender is the only one who can create requests for "in depth search" (they then check more exactly what happened there...). These packages are insured - so as long as they do not dispute about the content ("na, you only sent a brick!") the seller will get the value of the sent device refunded - this might be less or more than what you paid to him on ebay.

You do not have to pay shipping costs (seller risk) so you will have to get fully refunded (whole buying price - as if you never bought the item). Of course the seller can ship you another one. And if you receive the item after being refundet it is up to you to: not accept the package (return to sender - with additional cost - but on his "risk"). Or to accept the package and send it back on your costs (with hope that the seller pays this then too).

If seller says "no, I won't refund anything and you need to wait until it is shipped" you will contact ebay - and they will take care. If they then somehow decide to not help you (which won't happen) then you could still refund the money via paypal (by describing the situation there too). In such situations I often had telephone calls with ebay rather than mailing.
The C64 will also have been a bit more expensive than just 10-15 bucks. This is an amount ebay pays without requesting it from the seller. So they pay it from their "pocket" to keep you as satisfied customer. Had this a multiple times for some cheap stuff which was not delivered or broke within the first months of use and the seller not accepting my refund requests ("playing dead" - happens for Chinese eBay users and also normal German "companies").



bye
Ron
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 04, 2020, 10:02:53 PM
Yes I've asked the seller if he has any more information - in other words hassle DHL to see what they have done with the parcel.  As you say Derron it's his responsibility.

Shipping another one is impossible because it's a unique item, so I'm pretty sure this is a case of a refund and I won't receive any hardware.  Really annoying because I was already let down by a company that told me they had stock of the very popular C64 replicas, and now problems with a real C64!

Ebay have said they will step-in if the matter is not resolved by 13/2/2020.  In the mean time I've lost some money and no hardware received.  Very frustrating, even if I get my money back.

As for Ebay, I once sold an expensive camera lens without any problems, sold an even more expensive Music Organ for a relative without any problems and bought a bunch of cheap products too from them.  Personally I blame DHL.  All the facts are not in, but it does seem like they left the parcel in a delivery van over the weekend and that is where it went missing.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 04, 2020, 11:12:17 PM
Just spoke to the seller and he tells me it's still in Glasgow and showing delayed.  And also he has switched from Hermes to DHL because of problems in the past.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 05, 2020, 01:07:53 PM
C64 arrived.   :)

Xerra was right, a nice looking machine.  I always remember the breadbin design, but I've heard they're not so reliable.

I've ordered a modern replacement C64 Power Supply because the old one's would sometimes fry the computer (no surge protection).
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: iWasAdam on February 05, 2020, 01:52:06 PM
Yay \o/
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 05, 2020, 06:19:46 PM
These 3 videos are appropriate.   ;D





Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 06, 2020, 07:51:04 PM
To connect the C64 to my monitor I've ordered this setup.

https://lyonsden.net/commodore-64-video-over-hdmi/

Plus the disk drive emulator and fast loader cartridge as seen in the last video above.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on February 07, 2020, 02:39:01 AM
C64 arrived.   :)
A real life C64 \o/ - super cool  8) :o

Is it the early version of the C64c as that had the original SID chip in it. Later models had a different board design including a different SID chip which had a weak bass and not as punchy as the original 6581.

Overall though I'm jealous and getting an urge to buy the real thing too :P - Wonder if I could squeeze an old CRT TV on my desk?  ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 07, 2020, 08:13:11 AM
Quote
A real life C64 \o/ - super cool  8) :o

Yep, after Menkind let me down with my 'The C64' replica, and playing some games under emulation I thought sod it lets get the real thing!   ;D

Quote
Is it the early version of the C64c as that had the original SID chip in it. Later models had a different board design including a different SID chip which had a weak bass and not as punchy as the original 6581.

I haven't opened it to gather more information and am waiting for all my goodies before I can actually use it.  Maybe I'll be lucky and have the better SID.  Although I do have some nice speakers connected to my monitor so that should give some good bass.  Weither the SID Chip in the breadbin design is slightly better or not, it ran hotter and had far more chips and components, therefore a higher failure rate is possible from this old hardware version.  I didn't want to take a risk on that model.

Quote
Overall though I'm jealous and getting an urge to buy the real thing too :P - Wonder if I could squeeze an old CRT TV on my desk?  ;D

lol I might get a CRT at some stage, but I'm quite happy with a 24 inch flat screen possibly running in 4:3 ratio.

It's expensive but did you know you can almost buy a brand new C64 today?  You still have to supply a couple of the old chips so it's not quite 100% new, but you can get a new circuit board and new cases printed from the original Commodore moulds as mentioned in the above videos.

https://icomp.de/shop-icomp/en/produkt-details/product/c64-reloaded-mk2.html

https://shop.pixelwizard.eu/en/commodore-c64/cases/37/c64c-case-classic-beige
 
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 08, 2020, 04:18:20 PM
The extras have started to arrive lol.  A C64 Manual, which includes details on moving hardware sprites about in BASIC, a very classy manual too.  The Speccy Manual was huge in comparison because it used a large font.  I prefer this C64 version because it's a perfect size and more like a technical document.  A video out cable arrived too, and now my RCA to HDMI converter.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on February 09, 2020, 12:55:05 AM
Oh I'm so tempted to follow suit :P - Real hardware, real manuals and real media, ahhhh ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: iWasAdam on February 09, 2020, 06:14:32 AM
when the words 'help' and 'documentation' meant something  :D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on February 09, 2020, 09:19:57 AM
From memory, the C64 and Vic 20 technical documentation was excellent. I'm getting myself the original documents in paper form as well as my current downloads as sometimes it just works better.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 09, 2020, 09:30:15 AM
Quote
Oh I'm so tempted to follow suit :P - Real hardware, real manuals and real media, ahhhh ;D

You can't beat it.  One beer away from pushing the button?  ;D

Quote
I'm getting myself the original documents in paper form as well as my current downloads as sometimes it just works better.

Yes I have a couple of C64 manuals in PDF format too, but wanted the real printed User Guide at least.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Pfaber11 on February 09, 2020, 01:24:36 PM
Strange how a company as successful as Commodore went bust same story for Atari. Their computers were excellent and everywhere around the globe. So what happened?
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 09, 2020, 01:34:01 PM
Poor management choices.

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on February 09, 2020, 04:16:56 PM
Poor management.

This. I read a detailed book about Commodore a few years back that went into the back story in great detail as the author had researched it very well and spoken to lots of key people. Jack Tramiel was a very good businessman, although by the sounds of it he probably would have struggled in today's environment where managers need to have molly-coddling skills. A big part of the problems came after he sold up and bought into Atari. The rest of it is just bad management and excessive, wasted spending.

It's a crying shame as they had genius tech people there such as Dave Haynie and Andy Finkel. Stiil, at least a lot of us were there for the good years. I went the Vic 20, C64, Amiga route and couldn't have been happier with those machines.

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 09, 2020, 04:26:50 PM
Yes I know quite a bit about why Commodore failed, but didn't want my thread to be derailed by talking about it here!

Quote
I went the Vic 20, C64, Amiga route and couldn't have been happier with those machines.

I'm not surprised, 3 excellent choices.  Sadly financially I or my parents couldn't afford them.

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on February 09, 2020, 04:38:15 PM
I'm not surprised, 3 excellent choices.  Sadly financially I or my parents couldn't afford them.

Me neither. I inherited my Vic 20 when my grandad upgraded to his C64.

I paid half of the money for my C64 to my mother and she paid the rest after agreeing that it would be both my birthday and xmas present for that year. I spent the whole summer holidays that year working 2 newspaper rounds, working afternoons in a snack bar washing up and working an hour a night in an office emptying bins and ashtrays just so I could afford my share. Even then my mum waited until the sales before getting it for me :)

My first Amiga 500 I bought in 1988 and had to finance it as I was working on a Youth Training Scheme at the time, which was something like £27 a week.

It was hard back then but I think I appreciated the machines more because I had to work hard to get  them.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 09, 2020, 04:51:05 PM
Ah cool, you certainly deserved them then. The nearest computer I had to the C64 was quite a bit later with an Atari 130XE. I didn't get a paper round until a few years after receiving my 16K Spectrum...Dad later paid for an internal upgrade to 48K.  The Amiga I could have saved up for (it was only a £100 more expensive than the Atari ST).  But all my mates had ST's and I'd been told the Amiga sometimes crashes.  Probably just because it had a more sophisticated OS.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on February 09, 2020, 11:44:50 PM
It was hard back then but I think I appreciated the machines more because I had to work hard to get  them.
Yup, I agree highly with that. I had a Vic-20 for my 10th birthday but my parents wanted to get me a C64 but couldn't afford it. I'm glad to be honest as I loved the Vic-20 typing in the examples from the manual and playing Hoppit and Blitz to death which came with it.

On my 18th birthday my Dad took me out and I bought the Amiga 500. I'd saved up for a long time and a few weeks before sold my Atari 800XL with loads of games. Of course the guy who came out to buy it said he wasn't interested in the games and wanted a price reduction. My Dad said "We'll keep the games then", to which the guy went "No no, I'll take them".

*edit* forgot to add that my Dad sold some of his Hi-Fi equipment to make up the difference just so I could have the Amiga on my birthday. I really wish he was still around so I could spoil him rotten but that story is not for this topic.

We were all poor kids back in the day and you young ones have it sooooo easy :P

Sorry for the thread derail :)

Ah cool, you certainly deserved them then. The nearest computer I had to the C64 was quite a bit later with an Atari 130XE. I didn't get a paper round until a few years after receiving my Spectrum.  The Amiga I could have saved up for (it was only a £100 more expensive than the Atari ST).  But all my mates had ST's and I'd been told the Amiga sometimes crashes.  Probably just because it had a more sophisticated OS.
I almost went for an Atari ST instead of an Amiga but once I saw NoiseTracker on a mates Amiga I knew that'd be the machine for me ;D

Sorry for the thread derail ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 10, 2020, 08:33:09 AM
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 10, 2020, 02:48:44 PM
Well just waiting on a power supply now!  :P The disk drive has arrived with an Epyx Fastload Cartridge, all plugged in ready to go.   :D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Pfaber11 on February 10, 2020, 07:33:06 PM
I noticed a couple of C64 games on itch.io  . Not sure exactly what you do with them . I guess they're for use with an emulator .
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 10, 2020, 07:40:17 PM
Quote
I noticed a couple of C64 games on itch.io  . Not sure exactly what you do with them . I guess they're for use with an emulator .

You can either use the 'Vice' Emulator (VersatIle Commodore Emulator) that runs on anything from a Raspberry pi to a PC or Mac.  Or do what I'm doing and run on original C64 Hardware and use a Floppy Drive Emulator with all your d64 files (d for disk) games on a SD Card.

Fast forward to 13 minutes...A few of my favourite C64 games so far, Dropzone, Monty on the run, International Karate+ and Wizball.  Plus modern games like Sam's Journey.

&feature=emb_logo
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 10, 2020, 09:44:09 PM
@Xerra,

Quote
.   My first Amiga 500 I bought in 1988 and had to finance it as I was working on a Youth Training Scheme at the time, which was something like £27 a week.
     

Snap! I might've bought mine in 89, but I'd to buy mine on finance also as I was doing an apprenticeship
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 10, 2020, 09:52:28 PM
YTS worked out great for me too.  An office course and a placement in a market research company that led to a full time job in data processing using the mainframe. 
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: 3DzForMe on February 11, 2020, 05:21:06 AM
Quote
  YTS worked out great for me too.
   My YTS amounted to a time filler for 9 months whilst I got old enough to join the MOD. Still, 9 months training as a Sparky helps with DIY around the house - even if it was over 3 decades ago!
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: TomToad on February 11, 2020, 09:57:55 AM
I noticed a couple of C64 games on itch.io  . Not sure exactly what you do with them . I guess they're for use with an emulator .
The Pi1541 works great for those.  I built my own using the schematics from https://cbm-pi1541.firebaseapp.com/ (https://cbm-pi1541.firebaseapp.com/).  The Pi1541 is a cycle exact emulation of the 1541 drive, so fastloaders will work properly with it.  There are also SD2IEC devices which are far cheaper than the Pi1541, but they are not cycle exact so many games with custom loaders will fail.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 11, 2020, 12:34:19 PM
Thanks for that info, if I have problems loading from sd card I'll consider that option.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 13, 2020, 06:47:20 PM
My new C64 Power Supply finally arrived so I was now able to test the computer, it's keyboard and it's ports (cartridge, cassette, video out, and power).  And also to test the fast loader cartridge and SD Card Drive (most of the games I have loaded fine, a few didn't).  Scrolling is much smoother with the real C64 than under emulation.

All worked fine (including sound from the SID) but the AV to HDMI adaptor gave running artifacts down the screen so was very distracting.  This was a very cheap £7 one so more expensive adaptors might work.  In the end I brought in an unused 32 inch flatscreen tv, simply plugged in the standard red, white and yellow cables then ran it in 4:3 ratio.  The artifacts dissapeared and it gave a much better picture, obviously not up to modern standards of course, but pretty sharp, very usable and authentic.  Unfortunately I was outbid on a Competition Pro Joystick, but have managed to order another one and it will come next week.  :D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on February 13, 2020, 11:55:33 PM
Competition Pro joysticks. The best by far for the Vic and 64. I had one of these beasts and it lasted for years. Can't remember what happened to it but it never broke and I was never careful with it. No wonder these things still go for quite a few quid these days.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 14, 2020, 09:29:22 AM
Yes even today The Competition Pro Joysticks are quite expensive and quite rare to find on their own (rather than bundled with a C64).  I had a ZX Spectrum and it's a very similar design to the Kempston Joystick, so I had to have one to complete my 8-bit system.  Or was it the Kempston Interface that you plugged the Competition Pro Joystick into?

Today I tweaked the tv settings, my tv has a noise reduction setting that I enabled, this made a massive difference to the image quality!  River Raid looks just how I remember it now and with silky smooth scrolling too (not something you get under emulation).  C64 classics like Mayhem in Monsterland (and other scrolling titles) really benefit from using the real hardware.

Maybe I need an Amiga next  ;) ...Or save for one of these:

&vl=en
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on February 15, 2020, 06:38:06 AM
Maybe I need an Amiga next  ;) ...Or save for one of these:
Buy a real Amiga, but check out a few repair videos first so you know what problems to look for. Plus you can legally use the Kickstart ROM images for that Amiga in an emulator. I currently own in the Commodore range an Amiga A500, A600, A1200, as well as a three bread bin C64, one Vic-20 and a C128.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 15, 2020, 10:24:35 AM
I think it'll be a while before I invest in another retro computer (if ever) it would be good to get S-Video from the C64 first.  I've managed to get a pretty good composite picture by tweaking the TV Settings, the noise reduction feature really cleaned-up the picture.  Not as sharp as an emulator (I wouldn't want it that sharp) but at least scrolling is far smoother using real hardware.

Plus some of my games won't load from the SD2IEC so that problem needs to be solved.  Maybe I can get them working with some experimentation, or use the Pi1541 that Tom recommended.

As for repair videos I've seen them and maybe that's something I need to invest in too - soldering irons and such.  Although both the C64 and the Amiga have modern replacement boards, but you still need a few chips.  At least the new components are modern and off the shelf, so readily available - and video out capabilities are improved.  I'm using a brand new modern power supply with surge protection for the C64, so that should help with the longevity of the computer.

I've had a play with BASIC on the C64, but would love to try some assembly language too.

Quote
I currently own in the Commodore range an Amiga A500, A600, A1200, as well as a three bread bin C64, one Vic-20 and a C128.

Wow impressive, I wouldn't know where to store that many computers.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on February 16, 2020, 09:28:36 AM
Wow impressive, I wouldn't know where to store that many computers.
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.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on February 16, 2020, 11:54:25 AM
Wow impressive, I wouldn't know where to store that many computers.
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.

Do you have photo's of your collection?
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 16, 2020, 04:25:29 PM
Quote
Do you have photo's of your collection?

Yes photo's would be good.   :D

This looks like my first mod.  American, so fast forward to 3:50.

I'd prefer to have the video look of an authentic C64 rather than the faked over sharpened emulator look; but would also like the video signal cleaned up a little.  Vertical banding is not as bad on my system as shown here, but I would love it to be removed if possible.

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on February 16, 2020, 05:20:48 PM
Do you have photo's of your collection?
Hmm where to start......
(https://www.dropbox.com/s/3j4hd85i019ckmj/packing.jpg)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3j4hd85i019ckmj/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/13o38ozdp6i857j/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/votd1hry1ecl0va/box_1.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rp1m10n08wyaotv/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fxet25gcujv57jk/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/54eu894qw8z4ig3/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/e94hg73k7vjbuhn/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/yrut49m742bduj0/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/n7ze6pft97n2ww1/box_1.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/oq49et5u6zx5rc1/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/og61wygf40popql/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xaq12jgjl3qz63b/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ds0l4u42f2xox60/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/69uv1ope4q3moat/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b4ynskw9sc2lpw4/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/iy4k5af3v8tlz3w/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/joq2xdh5ak8nhuc/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/miv0lujhauq6y2m/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/iywgr01pmsxz0q8/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/pod2rawfs00tw10/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/yri7hajb2wkspfj/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/akcgcljd7vxodlv/box_1.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9yku400zszohlyr/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g0ty6i08ixpbvf5/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lta7q3e21pdzk07/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/q1irml9h17rqzsg/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mu97708kmneai46/box_1.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/usbocqsbcl5zw15/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zzwvqrsyonq6286/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/62dqgjy66nkjpch/box_1.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/v4m2p87v6rik8os/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qrqt1opo6342shw/setup.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kwpwxl46oun1324/box_1.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wpco2pcd7rjxa12/packing.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7kziam7ghl0f7zy/setup.jpg

Don't know why, but images stored on drop box will not display. Any Ideas?
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 16, 2020, 05:42:42 PM
I'm impressed you have a working Atari 800, that thing is a beast.  Powerful for the time, great keyboard, 4 joystick ports and 2 cartridge slots!  They're very expensive on Ebay.

Edit: You've added more pictures now, wow what a great collection!  A BBC Master running a good version of Chuckie Egg too, hmm the C64 version is crap; the speccy had a better version...I have a working C64 and a faulty ZX Spectrum 48K lol.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on February 16, 2020, 06:14:39 PM
The Atari 800 with a 410 datasette cost me £147 the XL was £70 with the 1010 datasette.
There are more photo's of peripherals and games etc. The only ones I cannot find are the Amigas.
I need to finish of the custom database I was working on to store all the information about each item I have, it's costs and current working state and repairs.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 16, 2020, 06:18:06 PM
Quote
The Atari 800 with a 410 datasette cost me £147

Lucky you, have you looked recently?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303444112528?var=0
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on February 16, 2020, 06:19:22 PM
Just checked a few prices of the machines I own on ebay. Mattel Aquarius going for around £150. I paid just over that for a lot of four with peripherals. Though the game cartridges cost me £20-25.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on February 16, 2020, 06:25:27 PM
Quote
The Atari 800 with a 410 datasette cost me £147

Lucky you, have you looked recently?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303444112528?var=0
That seller talks out of his arse. Bought a C64 from them once. Claimed it was fully working, turns out that the SID chip was knackered.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 16, 2020, 06:32:54 PM
That's bad, did you mention it?  Seller has a 100% rating.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on February 16, 2020, 06:43:51 PM
That's bad, did you mention it?  Seller has a 100% rating.
It must be about 10 years ago when I got it. Think I did mention it, but I don't recall if I ever got an answer from them.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on February 16, 2020, 08:45:34 PM
That is some collection of computers right there. /impressed.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube 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 :(
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: iWasAdam on February 17, 2020, 06:42:31 AM
the Atari 800 was my dream machine - never had one though :(
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube 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
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane 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.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: BasicBoy 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.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott 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
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott 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

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: iWasAdam on February 18, 2020, 11:56:34 AM
Honest..? Looks super sweet  ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott 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!
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube 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
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra 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.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 18, 2020, 09:22:35 PM
Quote
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.

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on February 19, 2020, 08:23:51 AM
Quote
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
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane 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/
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra 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 :)
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on February 20, 2020, 04:32:04 AM
Some more links.....
Another good place (but could be a grey area) to go looking for info is https://archive.org/
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/6502_Assembly
http://www.6502.org/tutorials/
https://www.chibiakumas.com/6502/
https://skilldrick.github.io/easy6502/
https://digitalerr0r.net/2011/03/19/commodore-64-programming-a-quick-start-guide-to-c-64-assembly-programming-on-windows/
https://nurpax.github.io/posts/2019-08-18-dirty-tricks-6502-programmers-use.html
http://www.c64.ch/programming/
https://dustlayer.com/news

When I get a bit of time I will work out some sort of cross platform PC tools tutorial.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 20, 2020, 10:38:42 AM
Quote
I think it would be about time that there was a dedicated section for old 8/16 bit programming.

Great idea!
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Qube on February 21, 2020, 08:33:04 AM
Quote
I think it would be about time that there was a dedicated section for old 8/16 bit programming.
Great idea!
I agree and it will be done. Sorry about the lack of forum admin recently from my side but I'm snowed under with real life coding work :( - Don't worry though as soon as I've hit the last key on the backlog coding shite I'll leap into action and be uber Qube once again :P
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 21, 2020, 10:18:54 AM
Quote
I think it would be about time that there was a dedicated section for old 8/16 bit programming.

I agree and it will be done.

Excellent.   :D

Look what arrived today, the LumaFix64 (it improves C64 image quality).

While my tv picture is much better than this example, here's a review of what it does for image quality:  http://biosrhythm.com/?p=1340 

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Xerra on February 22, 2020, 03:46:00 PM
Decided to get the C64 up and running properly today. Stuck it into Vic 20 mode and got tinkering. Surprising all the old manual poke addresses I still remembered such as 36879 to change the colours.

Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 22, 2020, 03:49:47 PM
Yes the emulators really cover all the bases, so are great for testing...I just wish they could offer smooth scrolling though.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on February 22, 2020, 11:10:21 PM
Here's another find on the net that maybe worth a look at for the C64.
https://codebase64.org/doku.php?id=base:sprites
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 22, 2020, 11:15:45 PM
Cool.  We really need to put this info into the new 8-bit page.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 22, 2020, 11:23:58 PM
This guy seems to know his C64, Commodore 64 Assembly Language Programming of particular interest here.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3gRBswFkuteshdwMZAQafQ
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 27, 2020, 09:22:48 AM
Well I've been gradually increasing the amount of time I leave the old C64 on for.  A few days ago I came back to the computer to see 'Mayhem in Monsterland' exhibiting some worrying screen corruption in the top third of the screen (dark lines at first).  As I watched the scrolling it got worse as the top section of the scrolling background began to tear back n forth.  At this point I turned the computer off.  I tried it the next day and those dark lines within the top third are still present.

I know that replacing the capacitors can improve picture quality, but I'd hoped that I wouldn't have to do any repairs for a little while.  I don't yet even have a soldering iron so am not equiped to make any running repairs.  I'd seen C64's listed as 're-capped' but they cost more than I was willing to pay, because I knew I wanted to also buy a modern replacement power supply and floppy disk emulator drive (and those things weren't cheap).

So basically it's man down for now until I can get at least a soldering iron and new capacitors.  I don't have any spare cash at the moment so that will have to wait, a shame.   :(
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on February 27, 2020, 10:24:23 AM
When it's running, do the finger test on the IC's. If they are hot, then there is a chip failing.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on February 27, 2020, 10:28:32 AM
Quote
When it's running, do the finger test on the IC's. If they are hot, then there is a chip failing.

Thanks, I'll try that when I'm in a position to do some proper maintenance.

So I guess it's back to the emulator for now...
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 31, 2020, 12:32:00 AM
Well we're all in lockdown and guess what?  The TV goes.  So I bring the TV that the C64 is using downstairs...And that quickly goes completely nuts.

So no TV what-so-ever!...On the (possible) plus side the trouble with the C64 picture could well have been a TV rather than computer problem.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Derron on March 31, 2020, 07:15:15 AM
You meanwhile could try to stream the video streams of your beloved TV channels - most of them offer "live feeds". If uncomfortable, then install Kodi on a connected laptop / box and run some ipTV addons.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 31, 2020, 10:07:36 AM
Or just buy a new tv.   ;D
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on April 01, 2020, 03:25:04 PM
Phew it wasn't a fault with the C64 it was a faulty TV.  The new TV doesn't show the tearing in the top right corner after a few minutes use.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: dawlane on April 04, 2020, 05:19:19 PM
Speaking of the video output on a C64.
Title: Re: The C64, returns.
Post by: Steve Elliott on April 04, 2020, 06:43:18 PM
Thanks for posting this.   :)

I didn't have any luck with the LumaFix64 either, and it bent the pins on the old VIC II chip because the fit was so tight, so I had to carefully bend them back.
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