Likely lineups for those
..... to rival the line ups at the apple stores this time round.
might even find me there.
German retro enthusiast Jens Schönfeld of Individual Computers is about to start manufacturing new Commodore 64 cases from the classic home computer company's original injection moulds. His announcement follows a licensing deal with the outfit that now owns Commodore's trademarks, Polabe Holding. Schönfeld's announcement …
Doubt it. The whole point of owning an old computer isn't usually to use it , its because its an original. If use is your only factor then there are dozens of C64 emulators for all currents OS's. There's a reason classic cars cost a fortune and replicas are cheap even though the latter may be more reliable and out perform the former.
Unfortunately this problem is very likely to do with PNP depletion zones in the chips.
When you have PNP material sandwiched together it requires the application of a certain amount of power to overcome the resistance so that electricity flows (for example, 0.7 volts for Silicon).
This forms the basis of the logic gates in the chips. Over time, if those chips haven't been powered up (and thus breaking down the depletion zone where the two materials mix and 'intermingle') then the depletion zone gets larger and larger (one material type 'bleeds' into the other).
Now, when you add power it requires a lot more than 0.7V to break that barrier down and this typically burns out the chip.
I can't imagine some of these chips are easy to replace these days, I may be wrong :)
I can't imagine some of these chips are easy to replace these days, I may be wrong :)
Needing a long obsolete chip sounds like a good excuse to learn FPGA's... IIRC there's a crazy man on the intarwebz who is systematically going through every chip on the BBC Micro motherboard and defining it in VHDL...
In addition, 6510 emulation is pretty much a solved problem. The one thing that can't be emulated 100% correctly is the SID chip, but it hardly seems worthwhile just for that. The only C64 games I've seen that can't be emulated well are the ones with especially devilish copy protection schemes. (Though trying to find your codewheel for Bard's Tale III 25 years on is a whole other challenge)
I think the SID has just been emulated poorly historically because it's a digital-analogue hybrid with unknown analogue logic. So it's the combination of incompletely documented, expensive to emulate and slightly outside of the normal emulator author's core competencies. There are good soundalikes now though, despite the obstacles — e.g. reSID seems well-reviewed.
I believe the only analogue in the SID was the ladder DACs the filters and a mixer, hence why there's no sinusoid wave form. The filters idea was genius really, as it meant that a triangle waveform could approximate sinusoid (run it through a low-pass filter, and the closer the cut-off frequency is to the fundamental frequency, the closer the triangle approximates a sine wave).
I think the problem with recreating the SID lies less in the design, but much of the specific sound arose from minor flaws -- line interference due to proximity of components and issues relating to power distribution meant that the sound was imperfect, hence a lot less synthetic sounding. I still hold that (restricted number of voices aside) the C64 had the best sounding music right up until Lucasarts put an orchestra on the CD for X-Wing vs Tie-Fighter, and the subsequent move to MP3 soundtracks (although that was a travesty, as iMuse was the cleverest thing ever to happen to computer music and is still sorely missed).
My friends & I took the one CW we had to the local photo copier & made a few copies of the two halves of the CW. Then we trimmed out the "letter window" needed to form the codes, & used a thumbtack to pin the two halves back together. Viola, instant CW. Now we each had one to use instead of the originals in the game box, which allowed much... ahhh... oh hell call a Pirate a Pirate. YAR!
The result of this was that by having an easily disassembled paper copy to later digitally scan, it was rather easy to save the digital version to the copied game disks to distribute along with the game. As such you *may* be able to find a JPG or PNG of the original CW floating around out there on the net; lord knows I distributed enough copies to seed that bastard around the world a few times over. *Cough*
So don't give up hope, do a search in your favorite s'engine & look for the CW. They may even have copies of it included with the virtual FD images of the game at your favorite abandonware site!
*Comical shove* Now get outta my way, I've got files to leech! =-D
"trying to find your codewheel for Bard's Tale III"
Just download the DOS/Amiga version + crack then. The Amiga version likely looks and sounds MUCH better and since C64 version required 3 double sided diskettes (6 images) the constant diskette changing is annoying. I suppose the Amiga version (just 2 disks) can be installed onto the "hard drive" in an emulator as can the DOS version in DOSBox.
Within the community there are a lot of people who want to "retrobright" their C64's (plus other machines). Some of them have done it, but now it's becoming apparent that the technique is short term and the machines turn yellow fairly quickly. It's also reckoned that the technique makes the plastic easier to break.
But this company are doing a good thing allowing people to buy new cases for their C64, and allowing them to have different colour combinations. So this should be prove popular.
Me though? Well I like the aging yellowing of the C64c that I have. I don't, however, like the nicotine yellow colour of my spare Amiga 500. But I'm taking a can of black spray paint to that.
Ive never seen the fascination with calling it "Retro Bright"
Its basically hydrogen peroxide, you're just bleaching the plastic back to its original colour removing the grime/UV discoloration - yes it wears off but only because the plastic is still exposed to UV light.
My process was :
1. Walk into Hair Salon.
2. Ask for a 1l bottle of their strongest peroxide based bleach* (Bonus if you get the cream/gel) pay £15
3. Paint the cream onto the console (Didn't bother dismantling it)
4. Slap some cling film on it and put it in the sun for a bit.
In my opinion there are alot of people who want to make out that they are in some way special who spend their time on the retro forums making out that the process is more complicated, Ive seen people saying that you need a specific % peroxide, you then need to mix it with a specific washing powder (some oxi action one) microwave it and whisk it into a paste before dissembling the console/machine and painting it on - then you need to have a UV light to shine on it...
The process inst complicated, it doenst need some special name, though I suppose *retroBright* sounds better than *HairBleach*
* The brand that I got was Fudge its a cream based bleach and its pretty strong - Wear gloves!
Speccy vs Amiga is a pointless war, they are different generations and price brackets. The Spectrum was a machine built to a very tight budget, so didn't even stack up very favourably with the more expensive machines of its era such as the BBC Micro and Commodore 64. All 8 bit, Z80 or 6502 (6510), all from 1981/82. Sure it was fun to play with, and spawned a load of home programmers, but it was a bit of a toy.
The Amiga was the successor to the C64, and like the Atari ST or the same time, was based on the 68000, a 32 bit CPU and both launched in 1985. None of the 8 bit machines has a hope against these beasts.
"The Amiga was the successor to the C64"
Spiritually, the Amiga was closer to being the successor to the Atari 800. Most of the original development was done independently by Amiga Corporation which was founded by several ex-Atari staff (including Jay Miner) before Commodore bought them. Like the Atari 800, the Amiga was heavily-reliant upon custom-designed chips, and shared some architectural similarities with its predecessor as well as the general philosophy of being state of the art and also bloody expensive when first released.
(It was also originally intended as a games console that turned into a serious computer; much like the Atari 800 was originally intended to be the successor to the VCS/2600 console before being redesigned as a fully-fledged computer).
Ironically, the Atari ST was designed by Atari Corporation, the company Jack Tramiel founded after he quit Commodore and bought out the original Atari Inc's home and computer division. Atari Corp was quite different in approach to Atari Inc; Tramiel sacked (or rather, did not re-hire) almost all the Atari Inc engineers upon takeover and had his own, newly-installed people design what became the Atari ST with a "Power without the Price" philosophy.
The ST was also much more designed around pre-existing off-the-shelf chips than the custom ones in the Amiga.
It'll be noted that all this is somewhat different to the approach of the Atari 800. The comparison with the Spectrum (also based around off-the-shelf components) isn't overly flattering- or entirely fair- but in these respects, it *was* more like the Spectrum than the Atari 800 or C64.
Because- according to the website- the underlying keyboard is much higher quality than the original despite superficially resembling it. (#) It's going to be a lot easier to pull that off convincingly with Spectrum+ style hard keytops than it would be with rubber ones.
Personally, I thought the Spectrum+ case was nice example of mid-80s design- in terms of appearance at any rate (##). Perhaps not as iconic as the original, but it was never going to be.
(#) From the website: Q. Is the keyboard of the Spectrum Next the same as the ZX Spectrum Plus and QL? A: No, they just look the same. Underneath its looks one finds a modern butterfly system that aims to provide comfort and high bandwidth input for the keyboard, similar of what one would expect from a modern laptop.
(##) Even if its hard caps on rubber domes on membrane construction- similar to modern cheap PC keyboards- wasn't as nice to use as a high-quality mechanical one.
Yes, me too. PETs via the school (remember Polaris, anyone?), VIC-20/C64/C128/A500/B2000 with the XT bridge board (upgraded to a NEC V20 ) and hard card, which got me into PCs.
Ahh, the Novatel shows - they were great. I even helped out on the ICPUG stand once but kept getting told off for playing demos and general messing about.
One year I rinsed a Yak Society copy of Way of the Exploding Fist over the summer and then went to the Novatel show and beat down Jeff Thompson in a Melbourne House competition - he was *pissed* as he barely got a touch on me!
Unfortunately the prize was a copy of the game.. :-/
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I used a PET at school & liked it so much I bugged the holy hell out of my folks to get one for home. Mom didn't care as long as I used it for my homework, but dad decided to get "something better" once it finally came out.
He bought me my first Vic 20 with a datasette drive & an Atari joystick later, then a whopping 300baud joystick-port-connected acoustic coupler modem shortly thereafter. I used that until I could afford a C64, bought a 1541 floppy drive, then a second drive to make copying easier, plus a 9600baud modem. It got upgraded here & there until I was running a C128D with a 1750 Ram Expansion Unit (REU) with the slots packed with as much RAM as it could support, a pair of 1541's & a pair of 1581's, a cart expansion/switcher module that allowed me to have multiple carts plugged in at once & flip a DIP switch to activate them, a SwiftLink cart to attach a 56Kb modem, and a replaced Atari joystick.
I would turn the REU into a RamDisk, load my modem dialer into normal system space, & fly through the various BBS' just as fast as that 56Kb modem could propell me. I'd download files to the RamDisk so they came across just as fast as the bandwidth allowed, no having to wait for the floppy drive to catch up; granted I had to then save from the RamDisk to the FD afterwards to KEEP the files, but that was a small price to pay. I could run GeoCalc, GeoWrite, Paperclip128, and all sorts of other software in the RamDisk, saving the system space for the actual document being worked upon, then either save it to the RamDisk or FD as needed. I could run games like the AD&D Gold Box set & cheat like hell by swapping the floppies, editing the saved characters in the RamDisk, then reload them into the game - all without ever leaving the game to do so. *Grins*
I loved the fact that it was essentially virus proof since the only way to introduce one was via the files I grabbed off the BBS', but any corrupting code embedded inside never lasted past a simple reboot. What's that, you want to write to the next floppy I insert? Shame that's a virtual floppy image as a read-only file saved in a RamDisk. No virus writes for you! HA! *Cough*
When C= released a hard drive I was in heaven. I transferred most of my FD-based library to virtual FD image files, saved on the HDD instead, & could copy them to the RamDisk in seconds. I nievely thought I'd never be able to fill the whole 10Megabytes on the thing... *Cackle* Boy was I ever wrong! *Chortle* We've got Terabyte drives now & that's STILL not enough!
On one hand I want a *new* C128D with a HDD, REU packed full of RAM, & a high speed modem with which to get online. I'd download entire libraries of the virtual FD files, then relive my childhood in squealy glee.
Commodore Show in Hammersmith. I remember it well. I got the High Score on Super Pipeline two days in a row. The prize each day was a copy of Commodore Tennis. The bastards only sent me one copy. I too have no interest in this but it was fun whilst it was the machine to own.
I guess maybe he didn't want to go full sub-sub culture in the press release?
on the other hand, I do prefer the C64C myself... and that black one is certainly good looking.. I do have a spare C64c lying around... that would (presumably?) fit into it...
I grew up on one of these, I'd had pong machines and an Atari 2600 before but the C64 was my first proper computer and where I cut my teeth writing adventure games complete with very basic graphics.
If most of my favourite games are available, then I may just be tempted to pick one up rather than trying to use the emulator on my Mame setup (which is very hit and miss).
So I'd be looking for some Jeff Minter classics like Hovver Bovver, Mutant Camels and so forth. Along with Parralax, Iridium, Winter/Summer Games I/II, Daley Thompsons Decathlon, The Hobbit, Kick Start I/II and all of the others that I've either forgotten the names of or will come to me later today or this week.
I kept my C64 until I was in my early 20's and replaced it with an Atari ST and then added an Amiga before moving into full on PC's in the mid/late 90's.
Happy times, and as a now approaching middle aged man... I can feel my heart strings beginning to tug/yearn for simpler times of my misspent youth. :)
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