Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Announcements, advice, random banter, unrelated discussion, et cetera.

Postby Dude111 » 2017-8-04 @ 03:42

Scali wrote:Sure, spent most of my childhood on C64 and later Amiga :)
Indeed!!!!

I love my C64!!!!! :)


Looks like THIS BASE is a general disxussion area..... Excellent!!
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby Rekrul » 2017-8-04 @ 03:51

leileilol wrote:implies there's no other emulator but the forever one.

There's also Frodo, CCS64, Micro64, Hoxs, etc. I believe that Vice is the only emulator for the C128 and the C16/Plus4 though.

liqmat wrote:Many of EA's titles got an Amiga makeover and man they looked good.

Two of EA's signature games, Archon and Archon II: Adept got nice ports on the Amiga, although I have to admit that I was a little underwhelmed with Archon II's board graphics. Unfortunately, they were a bitch to get running on most systems. They only worked under Kickstart 1.x, you had to disable any Fast RAM or the graphics would be corrupt and there were/are copies floating around that only work under Kickstart 1.2, which almost nobody had once 1.3 became available. In the UK, they later put out the Archon Collection, which had updated versions that were much easier to load. Copies of those versions are available on the net as IPF images, but I don't think you can write them back to real disks, so they're only usable in emulators.

badmojo wrote:The NES has it beat for ease of use and quality control on games.

The NES had its share of crap as well. :)

Errius wrote:As for Commodore Amiga. I think they were pretty much slightly ahead of the IBM PCs right about until VGA and Sound Blaster coincided. Then gaming took off on the PC as being superior so it was a matter of time before Amiga went under.

For me, the day I knew the Amiga was doomed was when I opened a magazine and saw screenshots of Wing Commander. I expected to see "Amiga screens shown" under the images, but it said they were DOS VGA. Amigas were used in the creation of Wing Commander and everyone expected an Amiga version, but it didn't come out until two years later. Then there was Links. For several months in a row, the back cover of one of the magazines advertised Links with a note that an Amiga version was coming soon. The Amiga version finally came out and I thought "Finally, IBM owners will see that the Amiga can run these games too." The very next issue of the magazine had a full-page ad for Links 386 Pro, which of course was not available for the Amiga. All those months of waiting and the Amiga version of Links didn't get a single ad in the mainstream magazines. :(

Errius wrote:It did have a few games. I remember Lode Runner and The Ancient Art of War on it. I think Test Drive almost made it. A bunch of Sierra games also like Leisure Suit Larry and Space Quest.

Don't forget Dark Castle! A game that all Mac owners seem to love, but which is almost universally reviled on every other system.

shamino wrote:I had a closer friend around the same time with a C64. That was a cool machine, but the load times were horrific. I think his floppy drive was faulty though, so maybe that had a lot to do with it.

If you think the load times from floppy were bad, you should see it load something from tape. In later years in Europe, they came up with ways to speed up the loading (from 10+ minutes to only 3-4 minutes!).

shamino wrote:Something I don't like about the C64 and many other systems of that time is that they only supported 1 joystick button.

The one-button standard came about because of the Atari 2600. When the 2600 came out, games were very simple and didn't require much more than one button (although there were a few games that made use of the switches on the console itself). Other companies popped up to offer replacement joysticks and they all copied the Atari standard of one button. When the C64 came out, there were a wide range of Atari compatible joysticks on the market, so they just went with that.

The thing is that all those systems, Atari 2600, C64, Amiga, etc, could have easily supported at least three buttons, by using the two paddle/analog lines for buttons two and three. If they varied the resistance, they could have potentially added even more. Unfortunately no company was going to take the added expense of making 2-3 button joysticks without software to encourage people to buy them, and nobody was going to write software that required a 2-3 button joystick without there being such a joystick that you could buy. Catch-22.

shamino wrote:The fact that Apple is still in business, and has been for any length of time past say ~1994, just confuses me.

I'm confused how a system that started out with no graphics or sound at all, then had four vomit-inducing colors and ear-piercing speaker squeals, ended up becoming the dominant gaming computer in the world.

VileRancour wrote:IBM compatibility would've been seen as the safe bet by the industry then, no doubt. But the PCjr, of all things ;)

If they had done that, most companies would have just written IBM software and ignored the Amiga side. That's what happened with the C128. Since it was backwards compatible with the C64, most companies just wrote C64 software and ignored the C128.

I had a completely software XT emulator for the Amiga that sort of worked. It was supposed to emulate EGA graphics, but all I ever got to work was text mode and CGA. I think I played Stephen King's The Mist on it and I once tried the DOS version of Zaxxon. It probably wouldn't have run anything too complicated though.

95DosBox wrote:Checking here it seems the Amiga 500 only had 32 colors on screen at once but could fake 64 colors using 32 colors at half brightness.

I wouldn't say they were "fake" colors. The extra 32 colors were valid color choices, you just couldn't change them directly as they were tied to the first 32 colors. Change the colors in the main palette and the half bright color changes as well. I mean in one sense, it's a trick to get more colors on the screen, but you could use those colors in the image as if they were normal colors.

95DosBox wrote:I remember most of the C64 games were programmed in pure BASIC.

Except for some early games and stuff from small indie developers, pretty much all commercial C64 games were programmed in Assembly/ML (machine language). Type in games in books and magazines often used BASIC, but even then, a lot of the later ones were ML.

Unknown_K wrote:Have you seen some of the crap they did in R&D that never turned into a product, and some of the crap they did try and actually sell? All the money sunk into the C16 and other non gaming 8 bit systems was wasted, same with the C65.

As I see it, one of Commodore's biggest failings was that they wanted to tell the customers what they wanted, rather than giving them what they actually wanted. The Amiga was a great games machine, but they kept trying to push it as a business machine, especially in the U.S. They pushed the C16 as an upgrade from the Vic-20, but that role was already filled by the C64. The Plus4 was supposed to be a serious computer, but the built-in programs sucked and it was lacking enough of the C64's features that it really wasn't an upgrade. It was like Commodore was desperate to be seen as a serious computer company when they should have just emphasized the games.

Unknown_K wrote:They looked into half assed AAA video and talked about ditching the 680x0 processors which would have killed their software library.

As I recall, the AAA chipset was supposedly the more advanced one, and AGA was what they settled for. To be honest, most AGA games don't really look that much better than OCS/ECS games. Some have more background graphics that just make the games look more cluttered, or the graphics might be a little smoother, but for most games, if you looked at a screen shot of a game you weren't familiar with, you'd have a hard time telling if it was OCS/ECS or AGA. Going from 32 to 256 is a big leap, but most games didn't really take advantage of all the extra colors.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby shamino » 2017-8-04 @ 12:21

Rekrul wrote:
shamino wrote:I had a closer friend around the same time with a C64. That was a cool machine, but the load times were horrific. I think his floppy drive was faulty though, so maybe that had a lot to do with it.

If you think the load times from floppy were bad, you should see it load something from tape. In later years in Europe, they came up with ways to speed up the loading (from 10+ minutes to only 3-4 minutes!).

There was at least one game (some motorcycle thing kind of like Excitebike) that we would start loading from floppy and then go downstairs to eat lunch while we waited.


The one-button standard came about because of the Atari 2600.
[...] The thing is that all those systems, Atari 2600, C64, Amiga, etc, could have easily supported at least three buttons, by using the two paddle/analog lines for buttons two and three. If they varied the resistance, they could have potentially added even more. Unfortunately no company was going to take the added expense of making 2-3 button joysticks without software to encourage people to buy them, and nobody was going to write software that required a 2-3 button joystick without there being such a joystick that you could buy. Catch-22.


I agree that it's hard for a bunch of small game developers and joystick manufacturers to get together on something like this, but I think the computer manufacturers should have done it themselves while launching their systems. Seems to me it would have been a selling point, especially for gaming computers. As you mentioned, there were certainly ways to expand the buttons without breaking 1 button compatibility.

Atari and Sega both expanded to 2 buttons eventually, but using slightly different methods. Both methods were compatible with the 1 button standard, which allowed those to still be useful for games that didn't need the 2nd button.
I wish Commodore had done this for the C64 at the time of system launch. I also wish Atari had done it a lot earlier than they did.

I think it's a very narrow window of time when 1 button was adequate. I can't really blame the 2600 since it was meant to be a short lived system, like maybe 20 or 30 very simple games and then replaced with something more capable.
But when it's intended replacement hardware arrived (which ended up being packaged as the A8 computer line), I think they should have expanded the buttons right there for the A8 joysticks. I don't think it should have been hard to imagine this would quickly become a hindrance and system launch is the best time to make such changes. Maybe I'm being a bit ambitous for 1979, but as it stands, no major update to the A8 line ever rectified this, even the much later, game consolized XEGS (~1986). (I'm disregarding the goofy 5200 which wasn't compatible)

Didn't the C64 launch in 1982? By that time they should have been defining 2+ buttons IMO, especially given it's gaming capability. I guess Commodore didn't make their own joysticks.. I dunno, didn't have one. But it seems they would have had an interest in taking a lead on standardizing this, if not in 82 then at least after they became the dominant gaming computer. You did mention Commodore was in denial about being a gaming company, so maybe that ties into this.

Sega's 2 button 9pin controllers appeared on the SMS. I don't know when that implementation first appeared on anything they made in Japan.

Atari's 2 button 9pin controller setup only appeared on the 7800, which was designed in 1983 and was ready for release in 1984. Their wiring for 2 button controllers was a bit strange. It was designed so that in games which were programmed in the legacy fashion (including any 2600 game), it would detect both of the physical buttons as the same button. But in games which were 2 button aware, they could be detected independently.
I wish Atari had done this a lot earlier than they did.

shamino wrote:The fact that Apple is still in business, and has been for any length of time past say ~1994, just confuses me.

I'm confused how a system that started out with no graphics or sound at all, then had four vomit-inducing colors and ear-piercing speaker squeals, ended up becoming the dominant gaming computer in the world.

Apple can't be described very much differently. :) But yeah, IBM's eventual rise as a gaming machine is also kind of funny, considering how it started out.
The computers that originally were best for playing games didn't last. It seems they suffered customer losses when they became obsolete and changed hardware platforms, while IBM had a continuity that kept things compatible and kept x86 people coming back to x86 with each upgrade.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby JetSetWilly » 2017-8-04 @ 15:52

The C64 was my third computer -previously I had a ZX-81 and Spectrum 48KB. Lastly came the Amiga 500, so the answer is yes :blush:
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-8-07 @ 12:48

c64 was my first computer. then amigas and pc. I did a lot of coding on c64 but I have none of it anymore :( or any of my amiga code left.

right now I still have a C64c, C128DCR, and am (still, very slowly) building my GBA1000 amiga (its like half Amiga 1000, half Amiga 3000 motherboard combo, but basically its a clone of the Phoenix motherboard), and have MorphOS on my mac mini 1.5ghz!

I have no interest in Jens "C64 reloaded" replacement commodore motherboard (sooo expensive!), or Gideon's "Ultimate-64" motherboard (which is just a fpga basically). I have Gideons 1541 Ultimate cart (original one) but no interest in the fpga-c64/fpga-amiga really.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby sf78 » 2017-8-07 @ 13:33

shamino wrote:The computers that originally were best for playing games didn't last. It seems they suffered customer losses when they became obsolete and changed hardware platforms, while IBM had a continuity that kept things compatible and kept x86 people coming back to x86 with each upgrade.


I think so to, flexibility is the keyword here. IBM PC (and clones) weren't great at anything, but they were good enough and would only improve with hardware upgrades. Same can't be said for the competition where upgrades were either non-existent or were insanely expensive. IBM did fall for the same category with MCA, but that just sold more clones and made PC spread to every household.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby SaxxonPike » 2017-8-07 @ 14:01

badmojo wrote:
SaxxonPike wrote:Because it is hard coded to drive 8, and I am using a 128DCR with a built in 1571 also using drive 8, I had to modify the board so that the internal drive was instead 9. This has the caveat of fast loaders potentially not working with the internal drive, though.


Do you use the real drive much given you have the 1541 Ultimate? I added a switch to my C128DCR to turn the internal drive on and off, that worked well: http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=5 ... 20#p326336

What's your favourite fast loader? I use JiffyDOS on my C64 but have been messing around with the various fast loaders on the 1541UII+ to see how they compare, none are beating JD for ease of use / reliability so far.


- The real drive doesn't see a whole lot of use. It will, however, when I start nibbling some of the originals I have. I've been tasked with a preservation project from a friend who left me all his Commodore 64 stuff in order to move across the country. You mention a switch; that would probably have been a better route. Two switches would be useful: one to go between drive 8/9 and one to enable/disable it entirely. Maybe a project for another time :)

- I haven't used many fast loaders at all. Usually, I just run a stock system. Back when I was younger, however, the Epyx Fast Load was almost permanently attached to the system. A few other C64 developer friends of mine swear by JiffyDOS; I don't believe there is anything better based on our discussions. Can't say for sure myself as I don't really use them. (I just may have to try out JD...)
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-8-07 @ 14:10

I disabled the drive in my 128dcr and use the ultimate1541ii 100% of the time. I have jiffy dos in it, but my favourite cart is WarpSpeed 2.0.

jiffydos + carts all have one huge benefit, adding the wedge, so you just do $ or @ or % instead of load. wnat directory, just do $<enter>, want to run program %PROGRAM, no more load "$",8 etc.

https://www.c64-wiki.com/wiki/DOS_Wedge

the wedge is slightly different between carts, jiffydos, etc. living without the wedge would be difficult :P
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby badmojo » 2017-8-07 @ 22:17

BloodyCactus wrote:I have no interest in Jens "C64 reloaded" replacement commodore motherboard (sooo expensive!), or Gideon's "Ultimate-64" motherboard (which is just a fpga basically). I have Gideons 1541 Ultimate cart (original one) but no interest in the fpga-c64/fpga-amiga really.


Me either - might as well just use an emulator I think. A few years ago I put a Raspberry Pi + Keyrah in an empty breadbin case and it just felt all wrong. There's no shortage of real hardware yet though; maybe I'd change my tune if I didn't have a working C64 + spares.

And yes JiffyDOS really does rock - with the wedge, the 'always on' speed of it, and the compatibility, it's hard to beat. And with a 1541 Ultimate you don't even need to replace the physical ROM; the UII can do it all for you.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby SaxxonPike » 2017-8-10 @ 13:52

badmojo wrote:There's no shortage of real hardware yet though; maybe I'd change my tune if I didn't have a working C64 + spares.

Working systems are slowly disappearing. I have one working C128DCR and three non-working C64s. There are many reasons a C64 might fail, and I suspect that the reason they're making replacement PLA chips is because the failure rate for those chips specifically is high.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby shamino » 2017-8-10 @ 15:30

SaxxonPike wrote:
badmojo wrote:There's no shortage of real hardware yet though; maybe I'd change my tune if I didn't have a working C64 + spares.

Working systems are slowly disappearing. I have one working C128DCR and three non-working C64s. There are many reasons a C64 might fail, and I suspect that the reason they're making replacement PLA chips is because the failure rate for those chips specifically is high.


I don't keep up with the C64 world, but I wonder if some of the ICs (at least the proprietary ones) should be heatsinked. Maybe even some mild fan cooling would be justified to keep these machines healthy, but I understand nobody would want to hack up the case.
C64s were built to be cheap and nobody in the 80s cared if they lasted this long, so extra measures might be needed to extend their life.

Again I'm ignorant here, but I also wonder about the quality/condition of their power supplies. Does the C64 use internal 7805(s) or other such linear regulators? If so, maybe a modern regulated PSU that provides a more moderate input voltage to those regulators would help cut down the waste heat inside the case.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby liqmat » 2017-8-10 @ 16:19

shamino wrote:I don't keep up with the C64 world, but I wonder if some of the ICs (at least the proprietary ones) should be heatsinked. Maybe even some mild fan cooling would be justified to keep these machines healthy, but I understand nobody would want to hack up the case.


Interesting you say that. The C64s I restored years ago and donated to a museum used the shielding as a heatsink. When I lifted the shielding off, parts of it were factory molded to touch some of the ICs. There was a white thermal compound as well. I don't know if all models had this, but that was my experience.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-8-10 @ 18:03

shamino wrote:Again I'm ignorant here, but I also wonder about the quality/condition of their power supplies. Does the C64 use internal 7805(s) or other such linear regulators? If so, maybe a modern regulated PSU that provides a more moderate input voltage to those regulators would help cut down the waste heat inside the case.


c64 all used external power bricks to generate the 5VDC and 9VAC the c64 needed.

Only C128DCR had internal PSU, I have like 5 or 10 NOS c128dcr power supplies in boxes.. Ill probably never have to replace one so I dont know why I have 10 of them.

oh original 1571 drive had internal psu too.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby badmojo » 2017-8-11 @ 03:28

Yes I had to replace the PLA on my C64 but that's easy done these days; there are a couple of aftermarket re-creations that are cheap and work. The SID is a different story though - there is a reproduction available that's supposed to be pretty good, but not 100%.

I've removed that silly cardboard heat trap they put inside the breadbin's as shielding, and put heatsinks on the relevant chips - the PLA is one of the hottest so is good to replace even if it's still working. I also have a PSU I made out of modern power packs to hopefully that will help prolong the life of the aging IC's. And I re-capped the motherboard a couple of years ago too.

So yes there are a few easy-ish things you can do.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2017-8-11 @ 09:58

At least until DOS VGA games became common, many Amiga games have much much better graphics than their DOS counterpart; Interstel's D.R.A.G.O.N Force is an example, and it happens to be one of my most favorite games too. I never had an Amiga, but I'm really interested to re-play such games on Amiga. Is a real hardware Amiga really necessary? Or could you just use emulator? Have Amiga emulators reached the excellence of DOSBOX?
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby Scali » 2017-8-11 @ 10:19

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Have Amiga emulators reached the excellence of DOSBOX?


Are you kidding?
(Win)UAE is a near-perfect emulator, capable of cycle-exact emulation of many configurations of Amigas. ESpecially for the classic OCS/ECS Amigas (500/600/1000/2000), it runs pretty much anything you throw at it.
DOSBox is nowhere near that level of excellence. As far as emulation goes, DOSBox isn't very good. It runs a lot of PC software, but mainly because the PC software isn't that picky, not because DOSBox is so accurate.
Emulators for most other platforms are far more accurate at the hardware level.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby badmojo » 2017-8-11 @ 12:04

Scali wrote:Are you kidding?


Are you kidding with your "are you kidding"? Can't a person ask a simple question around here anymore without getting some abrasive nerd all up in their grill?
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby Scali » 2017-8-11 @ 12:09

badmojo wrote:Are you kidding with your "are you kidding"? Can't a person ask a simple question around here anymore without getting some abrasive nerd all up in their grill?


Well, excuse me. I thought it was a bit strange to take DOSBox as the 'gold standard' for emulation. I thought that was common knowledge.
Also, 'are you kidding' isn't abrasive, or at least, I didn't mean it that way. It's just a colloquialism.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-8-11 @ 12:18

fs-uae > win-uae. by miles.
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Re: Any Commodore 64 or Amiga fans here at Vogons?

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2017-8-13 @ 07:35

Scali wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Have Amiga emulators reached the excellence of DOSBOX?


Are you kidding?
(Win)UAE is a near-perfect emulator, capable of cycle-exact emulation of many configurations of Amigas. ESpecially for the classic OCS/ECS Amigas (500/600/1000/2000), it runs pretty much anything you throw at it.
DOSBox is nowhere near that level of excellence. As far as emulation goes, DOSBox isn't very good. It runs a lot of PC software, but mainly because the PC software isn't that picky, not because DOSBox is so accurate.
Emulators for most other platforms are far more accurate at the hardware level.

Ah, I see.

So I guess my remaining concern is converting those Amiga disks acquired from ebay into Amiga disk images. What is the best tool to do that on modern computers? USB is preferred.

An emulator, of course, is easier to integrate with big screen monitor, no?
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