Commodore 64

8 bits o'fun


The Commodore 64 has held fond memories for me ever since I got one for my first computer. I got it around the time I was in 6th grade, which would have been 2000 (maybe 1999?). I was with my father at a hamfest, either HamCom in Dallas, or the Belton Hamfest. I honestly can't remember exactly when and where! The ham radio operator sold it to me for $4, and it came with the 1541 disk drive, a monitor, joystick, manual, printer, and best of all over 50 disks filled with games!

My family had had a 100MHz Pentium for some time, and I'd had limited experience with it. (My brother screwed up the PC at one point in the past, so I'd been very cautious about using the family computer up to this point.) This computer, being mine, gave me a chance to really experiment and learn more about programming. The C64 manual taught one me how to program in BASIC.

After toying with this PC for a while, I eventually moved on to other computers. I gave my original C64 to a friend whose family didn't have any computers. They had some fun with it as far as I know. I eventually got another one at a rummage sale along with my first color TV, all for $10. This one had no software and only had a cassette tape drive with no tapes or other peripherals. I eventually learned how to get software off of the Internet, as there is a large C64 community around.

64HDD allowed me to transfer files directly from a PC to the C64. I built the XE 1541 to interface between the PC parallel port and the C64 serial port. It (usually) works rather well. The main drawback is that the PC must run DOS in order to get the hardware timing correct. Running it as a process in Windows simply will not work.

To use the tape drive, I figured out that WAV-PRG works really well to generate tape audio on the sound card. I just use a regular tape recorder, and I can load tapes directly on the C2N datasette. This allows me to free up a PC from having to serve files to the C64. For any files that aren't avaible in *.T64 tape format, I figured out that you can copy the program files (*.PRG) from disk format (*.D64) to tape format using 64Copy. 64Copy handles practically every conversion I can I will need.

I haven't really taken interest in games for any other systems. I have lots of fun with the C64 games, and there are plenty to be found on the Internet. I guess that makes me a C64 gamer.

Written on 10/25/2013
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