While this is completely optional it will dramatically increase the speed of loaded software from the SD2IEC or even a real disk drive. Note: I highly recommend if this is your first time using the SD2IEC that you have any other peripherals disconnected. Do not install modems, daisy chain disk drives, printers, or other devices with the SD2IEC installed until you know everything is working correctly.
Simply type the following commands:. Use the cursor keys to browse the menu to select the disk image you want to mount and then simply select the program in that disk image that you wish to load and press return. The next screen will show you the contents of the disk image you just selected to mount. Select the file you want to open and press return. In a matter of just a few seconds you should see your game on the screen and ready to play!
In my case I am playing Spelunker, one of my all time favorite C64 games even if it was ridiculously hard to win. There are some additional SD2IEC features that the average user may not be interested in, but could help if your a more advanced user. This file should simple contain a list of D64 images in the correct order. Now instead of selecting a disk image, press Q to exit the program.
This will select the first disk. Enter the C64 load commands or follow whatever instructions your game came with as shown here:. This will load the game. LST file. When you reach the last disk, the SD2IEC will simply start the list over and select the first disk again. This is the default Commodore 64 Disk ID. Enter this command to that:. Mike is the founder of The Geek Pub. A jack of all trades who simply enjoys the challenge creating things, whether from wood, metal, or lines of code in a computer. Mike has created all kinds of projects that you can follow and build yourself, from a retro arcade cabinet to plantation shutters for your home.
Great article. I have the same SD2IEC as you have pictured and it works with the original Epyx fastload cartridge from the 80s without any problem! Brilliant article for a novice, thank you, especially the information on setting up the reader for a VIC Lot of thanks! How to use blank. D64 for having all the files on it? Thanks if you can help me! Thanks I nave just got my sd2iec different model, without cables ; i need to understand the function of the two pushbuttons, i suppose one for reset and one for changing image.
Did you managed to make your one working, i think i have the same like you all on one board power from tape port and with DIN port to connect drive. It is a very well written and informative article. I wish it would expand the discussion on firmware and how to upgrade it. You follow the instructions, pressing CTRL-9 to enter reverse type mode and then holding down the space bar to create long lines. In order to program the computer, you learned last night, you have to speak to it in a language called BASIC. It was invented by two Dartmouth professors, John Kemeny and Tom Kurtz, who wanted to make computing accessible to undergraduates in the social sciences and humanities.
It was widely available on minicomputers and popular in college math classes. Now you try using the PRINT command on all sorts of different things: two numbers added together, two numbers multiplied together, even several decimal numbers. You get there soon enough. You then type your program in:. The 10 and the 20, the manual explains, are line numbers. They order the statements for the computer. The manual warns you to be careful with variable names because only the first two letters of the name are actually recognized by the computer, even though nothing stops you from making a name as long as you want it to be.
You then learn about the IF With all these new tools, you feel equipped to tackle the next big challenge the manual throws at you. Non-printable command characters, when passed to the PRINT command as part of a string, just do the action they usually perform instead of printing to the screen. This allows you to replay arbitrary chains of commands by printing strings from within your programs. It takes you a long time to type in the above program. You make several mistakes and have to re-enter some of the lines. But eventually you are able to type RUN and behold a masterpiece:.
You think that this is a major contender for the coolest thing you have ever seen. It then teaches you how to change the background colors of the screen. Those commands allow you to, respectively, examine and write to a memory address. The Commodore 64 has a main background color and a border color.
Commodore 64 Programmer's Reference Guide
Each is controlled by a specially designated memory address. You can write any color value you would like to those addresses to make the background or border that color. You write a program to cycle through all the available combinations of background and border color:. You think this is pretty neat. The "Scanntronik Handyscanner 64" is a hand held scanner that uses the C64 user port.
Frame grabbers like the "PAL Colour Digitizer" that connect via the user port, will turn an analog composite video frame into a digital picture on the C On power up, the column mode is active. To download pages and software transmitted via the teletext broadcast system. Software was provided on a C tape. As Commodore offered a number of inexpensive modems for the C64, such as the , , , the machine also helped popularize the use of modems for telecommunications.
The could only dial Pulse. The used a modified set of Hayes AT commands. The Commodore shipped with a rudimentary piece of terminal software called Common Sense. It provided basic Xmodem functionality and contained a line scrollback feature. Later, Quantum Computer Services which became America Online offered an online service called Quantum Link for the C64 that featured chat, downloads, and online games. In the UK, Compunet was a very popular online service for C64 users requiring special Compunet modems from to the early s.
In Australia, Telecom now Telstra ran an online service called Viatel and sold modems for the C64 for use with the service. In Germany the very restrictive rules of the state-owned telephone system prevented widespread use of inexpensive, non-telco licensed modems, prompting the use of inferior acoustic couplers instead. The receiver uses the user port edge connector on the C64 computer. Third-party cartridges with UART chips offered better performance. The Retro-Replay expansion cartridge enabled the addition of the Silver Surfer add-on serial board, which also enabled 56k modem connections, and the RR-Net add-on serial board, which allows for broadband internet access, as well as LAN.
Also, on November 5, Quantum Link Reloaded was launched enabling C64 enthusiasts to experience all the features of the original Quantum Link service in present-day with some enhancements for free. One of uses were hard disks like the Commodore D Other monitors available included the and Introduced in , the featured separate chroma and luma signals, as well as a composite green screen mode suitable for the C's 80 column screen.
Early in the Commodore 64's life, Commodore released several niche hardware enhancements for sound manipulation.
Best Commodore C64 Manuals
The Sound Expander and Sound Sampler were both expansion cartridges, but had limited use. The Sound Sampler in particular could only record close to two seconds of audio, rendering it largely useless. The Music Maker was a plastic overlay for the Commodore 64 "breadbox" keyboard, which included plastic piano keys corresponding to keys on the keyboard. The External keyboard was an add-on which plugged into the Sound Expander. These hardware devices did not sell well, perhaps due to their cost, lack of adequate software, marketing as home consumer devices, and an end result that turned many serious musicians off.
Possibly the most complex C64 peripheral was the Mimic Systems Spartan, which added an entire new computer architecture to the C64, with its own CPU and expansion bus, for software and hardware compatibility with the Apple II series. Announced shortly after the Commodore 64 itself at a time when little software was available for the machine, the Spartan did not begin shipping until , by which time the C64 had acquired an extensive software library of its own.
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The long delay between announcement and availability, along with heavy promotion including full-page ads running monthly in the Commodore press, made the Spartan an infamous example of vaporware. Gamesware produced a gaming peripheral for the Commodore 64 in , where a target board was attached to the computer using the RS port to enable use of its Gamma Strike suite of games. A reworking of the original Dr. This saved Commodore 64 users from needing to modify their computer motherboards to enable it with dual SID chips.
Creative Micro Designs CMD was the longest-running third-party hardware vendor for the Commodore 64 and Commodore , hailed by some enthusiasts as being better at supporting the Commodore 64 than Commodore themselves. The benefits of a KERNAL upgrade meant that the cartridge port was free for use which would have normally been taken up by an Epyx FastLoad cartridge or an Action Replay , however the downside meant that one had to manually remove computer chips from the C64's motherboard and associated floppy drives to install it.
Over the years, a number of RAM expansion cartridges were developed for the Commodore 64 and While these devices came in , , or kB sizes, third-party modifications were quickly developed that could extend these devices to 2 MB , although some such modifications could be unstable.
Some companies also offered services to professionally upgrade these devices. Typically, most Commodore 64 users did not require a RAM expansion.
Very little of the available software was programmed to make use of expansion memory. The cost of the units and the requirement to add a heavy-duty power supply also was a factor in the limited usage of RAM expansion cartridges. The volatility of DRAM was also a factor in the limited usage, as the RAM expansion cartridges were normally used for fast RAM disk storage, data stored on them would be lost at any power failure.
Aside from power-supply problems, the other main downfall of the RAM expansions were their limited usability due to their technical implementation. The RAM in the expansion cartridges was only accessible via a handful of hardware registers, rather than being CPU-addressable memory.
This meant that users could not access this RAM without complicated programming techniques. As GEOS made heavy use of a primitive, software-controlled form of swap space , it tended to be slow when used exclusively with floppy disks or hard drives. This method provided substantially slower transfer speeds than the single-cycle-per-byte transfer speeds of the Commodore REUs. A benefit of using SRAMs was lower power consumption which did not require upgrading the Commodore 64's power supply.
Eventually the Super Clone , a third-party clone of Commodore's RAM expansions was developed, designed in such a way as to eliminate the need for a heavy-duty power supply. Its primary feature was that the external power supply kept the formatting and contents of the RAM safe and valid while the computer was turned off, in addition to powering the device in any case. It also features a battery backup, thus preserving the RAM's contents. Unfortunately, there was no on-board or disk-based RAM disk functionality offered, nor could any existing software make use of the directly addressable nature of the RAM.
The exception is that drivers were included with the unit to explicitly allow GEOS to use that RAM as a replacement for swap space, or as a regular 'disk' drive, as well as to make use of the acceleration offered by the unit. Probably the most well-known hacker and development tools for the Commodore 64 included "Reset" and "Freezer" cartridges. As the C64 had no built-in soft reset switch  , reset cartridges were popular for entering game " POKEs " codes which changed parts of a game's code in order to cheat from popular Commodore computer magazines.
Freezer cartridges had the capability to not only manually reset the machine, but also to dump the contents of the computer's memory and send the output to disk or tape. In addition, these cartridges had tools for editing game sprites, machine language monitors, floppy fast loaders, and other development tools. Freezer cartridges were not without controversy however.
Despite containing many powerful tools for the programmer, they were also accused of aiding unauthorized distributors to defeat software copy protections. Kernal hard drive subsystem included a push button on the host adapter called ICQUB pronounced "ice cube" , which could be used to halt a running program and capture a RAM image to disk. The RAM image was runnable only on the Lt. Kernal system on which it was captured, thus preventing the process from being used to distribute unlicensed software.
As the Commodore 64 featured a digitally controlled semi-analogue synthesizer as its sound processor, it was not surprising to discover an abundance of software and hardware designed to expand upon its capabilities. Various assemblers, notators, sequencers , MIDI editing and mixer automation software were created which allowed users and programmers to create or record musical pieces of impressive technical complexity. Notable hardware included various brands of MIDI cartridges, plug-in keyboards such as the Color Tone or the Sound Chaser 64 , Commodore's own SFX range which included a sound sampler and Sound Expander plug-in synthesizer and keyboard, the more recent Commodulator oscillator wheel and the Prophet 64 sequencer and synthesizer utility cartridge.
Recently a few professional musicians have used the Commodore 64's unique sound to provide some or all of the synthesizer parts required for their performances or recordings; an example being the band Instant Remedy. Also noteworthy is the Commodore 64 Orchestra who specialize in re-arranging and performing music originally composed and coded for the Commodore 64 games market.
Its patron is celebrated Commodore composer Rob Hubbard. In normal mode the circuit simply passed signals through but at the flick of a switch it could take over the mechanism and turn the drive into an Apple II drive. The potential for grave damage to both Apple II and floppies was enormous and often happened. Applesoft BASIC was included and very compatible, since it was created by disassembling the binary from the Applesoft ROM and reordering the assembly level instructions such that the binary image would be different.
One could set up various debugging and use slave computing to enable fast 3D rendering etc. The box had functionality to switch video between C64 and Apple. Due to timing issues with the VIC-II video controller—the same issues that caused the disk drive to be incompatible and the C's "fast mode" to usable only with the 80 column display—CPU accelerators for the 64 were complex and expensive to implement.
It used the WDC 65C microprocessor running at 4. Code ran from faster static RAM on the accelerator expansion port cartridge. As the VIC video controller can only access the C's internal DRAM, writes had to be mirrored to the internal memory; write cycles would slow the operation of the processor to accomplish this. It also had a JiffyDOS option.
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It was a copy of the Turbo Process system. Early Turbo Process circuit boards shipped with PAL chips that did not have their security fuses blown, an oversight which made duplicating the PAL logic and hence the cartridge design trivial. No known litigation took place over the copying of the German company's design. A lot of software would write zeros to this location turning off the high-speed mode on the Turbo Process - this was considered a design flaw that was fixed by the Turbo Master.
Understandably, due to a very limited "market" and number of developers, there has not been much software tailored for the SuperCPU to date— however GEOS was supported. While CMD no longer produces Commodore hardware, new peripherals are still being developed and produced, mostly for mass storage or networking purposes. And several revisions and add-ons have been developed for it to take advantage of extra features.
It contains many improvements, such as C compatibility, a built-in.