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C64 Emulator Finally Approved For iPhone

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the give-us-basic dept.

Emulation (Games) 214

Gi0 writes "After a couple of months of rejection, the C64 Emulator has finally been approved for the iPhone (and is available at the app store now). 'BASIC has been removed for this release; however, we hope that working with Apple further will allow us to re-enable it. Despite its absence, BASIC is not our focus; ultimately, fans of the C64 want games.' It comes with 5 bundled games and will certainly give you that retro fix for your iPhone."

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214 comments

Turtle Neck Gestapo (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343061)

"No programming on your iPhone, poseurs.

The iPhone is only to be used for gay, Apple approved activities, like soliciting meth and sex on Cragslist. "

-Steve Jobs
9/7/2009

C64 without BASIC? (2, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343065)

Perhaps I'm missing something here, but isn't the C64 pretty much just a BASIC interpreter? I thought just about everything for the C64 was written in BASIC; and IIRC the start prompt on the C64 took BASIC code natively.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (2, Interesting)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343137)

Obviosuly, you never knew about BASICS's 'peek' and 'poke', in order to get assembly.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343485)

>>>>>isn't the C64 pretty much just a BASIC interpreter? I thought just about everything for the C64 was written in BASIC

Oh my. I will assume you are less than 30, and forgive your ignorance. Yes the C=64 came with BASIC but most everything was *not* written in that because it was too darn slow. Most programs ran directly on the hardware.

>>Obviosuly, you never knew about BASICS's 'peek' and 'poke', in order to get assembly.

Those commands, being part of the Microsoft Basic set, would not be included in this Iphone emulator. Usually when you run games, word processors, internet browsers, or other programs on a C64 you type LOAD "PROGRAM",8,1 which directs the external drive to load that code directly into memory - overwriting everything that's present including the MS-BASIC. The computer than executes instructions directly at the maximum speed possible (i.e. no interpeter to slow things down).

Using this trick, programs can occupy all of the computer's memory except about 5 kilobytes (the screen space, interrupt handlers, and so on).

BASIC is needed to fire up most games (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343769)

Most games started with a one-line basic program:

100 SYS 2100:REM [backspace][backspace][backspace]

This way, the program could be loaded like any other and run like any other. The real game would then start at memory address 2100.

Re:BASIC is needed to fire up most games (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343841)

>>>100 SYS 2100:REM [backspace][backspace][backspace]

That would mean you would have to type "RUN" after you load the game, and in my experience very few games required that. Most games just auto-executed without any need to type RUN.

Re:BASIC is needed to fire up most games (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343981)

But when cracked, they usually did not auto-execute anymore. The autostart got in the way of file sharing (back then done via floppies). Therefore many crackers would remove it and replace it by a "SYS XXXX" command that required the BASIC interpreter.

Background:
The autostart was usually done by overwriting the stack and thus feeding the "return"(from subroutine) assembler command a wrong address. At that address, a JMP command would lead to the actual jump in address of the game. Once you had removed the autostart, you had to supply a replacement, often in form of a SYS call to said jump in address.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (2, Informative)

Cmdr-Absurd (780125) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343871)

LOAD "PROGRAM",8,1 which directs the external drive to load that code directly into memory

Almost.
the ,8 specified device 8 (generally the primary floppy drive) rather than the default cassette tape drive.
(The under 30 drive probably has no idea what either device looks like)
the ,8,1 specifies not only device 8, but that code should load not to the default memory loading location (where basic expects it to be) but rather where the code "wants" to live -- the programmer saves with similar options so the code will load into memory ranges used by the programmer when s/he wrote the code.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (1)

thelexx (237096) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344091)

"Those commands, being part of the Microsoft Basic set, would not be included in this Iphone emulator."

This is totally confusing. What does Microsoft have to do with anything?

Re:C64 without BASIC? (3, Informative)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344173)

Microsoft wrote the original Basic version 1 for the Pet computer all the rest of the versions where written my Commodore but they were based on the MS Basic on the Pet. Just check the C128 screen after you boot, it says Copyright Microsoft and Commodore.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (3, Informative)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344221)

Back then, Microsoft had versions of BASIC for various platforms, including the Apple ][ plus I had, and for the C64. Back before they started trying to kill the rest of the computing world, they had stuff that would run on different platforms. I even had a version of MS Flight Simulator for the Apple. Mmmm, sweet monochrome wireframe graphics. Ah, memories ...

Re:C64 without BASIC? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344641)

Usually when you run games, word processors, internet browsers, or other programs on a C64 you type LOAD "PROGRAM",8,1 which directs the external drive to load that code directly into memory - overwriting everything that's present including the MS-BASIC.

Which essentially means that- like most 8-bit computers of that era- you need to enter the BASIC interpreter, however briefly, to load what are otherwise entirely machine code programs.

The Atari 8-bit computers (400, 800, XL and XE) were notable for *not* requiring that. In fact, on the original 400 and 800, BASIC came on a separate cart and was an optional and non-essential extra.

Disc software simply booted. Tape software required holding "Start" on power-up, then play (on tape) then return. Easy!

Although later versions (XL and XE) did include BASIC, it still wasn't required for loading non-BASIC games. In fact, you often had to disable it (by also holding down "Option" on power-up) for some games to run.

The Atari computers were released almost 3 years before the C64, but while this method of loading may have originally been a necessity due to BASIC not being included by default, it seems like (a) a simpler and (b) a "cleaner" way to do it, rather than having the OS built around one particular language as an ersatz command line.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344647)

More worthless trash-and-trivia:

This Iphone app emulates the world's most popular CPU - the Commodore/MOS 6502 (and other variants). This processor was the heart of machines like the VIC-20 (10 million sold), C=64 or 128 (40 million), Atari 400/800 computers, Apple I/II/IIc/IIe computers, BBC Micro, Atari VCS/2600 and 5200 game consoles (40 million), Colecovision (10 million), Nintendo Entertainment System (60 million), plus many other applications like store registers and handheld calculators. In total over 200 million 6502s sold.

The 16-bit version called the 65816 (with 6502 backwards compatibility) ran the Apple IIgs, the SuperCPU C=64, and the Super Nintendo, and then the design was retired.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343151)

You're missing a lot. The C64 was a 6502 (well, 6510)-based computer with a BASIC interpreter in the ROM.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (3, Interesting)

Cmdr-Absurd (780125) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343157)

It booted into the basic interpreter by default, leaving you with 38K for basic. You could configure the memory differently. Writing in assembly not only offered a huge improvement in speed, but freed up the memory range from B000 to Bfff. (And the C000 range was often used by calls to machine language subroutines from basic.)
So, no, it was not just a basic interpreter.
There's at least one running as a web server now.
I won't post the link to it. It takes very little to induce the slashdot effect on that hardware.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343213)

I don't know all that much about computers, but is "Bfff" kind of like BFF's but moreso?

Re:C64 without BASIC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343269)

I don't know all that much about computers, but is "Bfff" kind of like BFF's but moreso?

Indeed yes.
BFF, a girl and her dog.
Sadly, Heidi Stettner's dog, Biff, died on the 15th August 1993, at the age of 15.
you insensitive clod.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (4, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343563)

>>>I won't post the link to it. It takes very little to induce the slashdot effect on that hard

A wise man. But here's some other cool Commodore=64 stuff to check out. Remember this stuff all works on a machine with only a 0.001 gigahertz processor and 0.064 megabytes of RAM.

- A web browser - http://www.armory.com/~spectre/cwi/hl/ [armory.com]
- A 1984 Mac-style OS - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEOS_(8-bit_operating_system) [wikipedia.org]
- A true multitasking OS - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Contiki-C64.png [wikipedia.org]
- A photo viewer for your porn... oops, JPEGs - http://www.ffd2.com/fridge/jpeg/ [ffd2.com]
- Okay here you go (NSFW) - http://girls.c64.org/ [c64.org] :-)

Slashdotted already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343719)

Just the mention from you without the link was enough... The poor C64 just got slashdotted...

Re:C64 without BASIC? (3, Informative)

Jeek Elemental (976426) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343177)

Commercial software was mostly in machine code, basic was too slow and ate too much memory.
Basic was great for beginners and for trying out the programs listed in magazines etc.
And yes, it was also the shell, needed for loading from tapes and discs.

For an emulator tho you can populate the memory before starting, so you dont really need the basic.

If theres no basic ROM it will break some programs that used routines from there to save space tho.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (2, Insightful)

Carthag (643047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343215)

Pretty much everything commercial, be it games or productivity software, was written in assembly, usually via machine code monitors.

The BASIC interpreter was pretty bare bones (no sprites/sound/graphics), if you wanted to write games that weren't either text-based adventures or had your character as a horse simulated by the Ï character, you were pretty much required to use machine code. Note that sound/sprites/graphics could be done via PEEK/POKE as mentioned, but was a total chore without a proper monitor/assembler. It would also require a stack of graphing paper for drawing the sprites & determining the binary values.

Debugging something like

1000 DATA 123, 6, 43, 69, 240, 122, 51
2000 DATA 120, 120, 85, 239, 4

is for suckers

Re:C64 without BASIC? (2, Funny)

dachshund (300733) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343557)

Debugging something like
1000 DATA 123, 6, 43, 69, 240, 122, 51
2000 DATA 120, 120, 85, 239, 4
is for suckers

My debugging process --- deleting lines of code at random --- was simple and 100% effective. Sooner or later I always got something that "worked".

Re:C64 without BASIC? (1)

Carthag (643047) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344227)

I doubt that. Usually DATA statements were read in a for loop that assumed a length of the data, so deleting anything would result in

?OUT OF DATA ERROR AT line#

Re:C64 without BASIC? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343235)

BASIC was the "command line language" for C64 and was pretty much useless for any serious application. Most were done in assembly.
That being said, to the best of my knowledge, quite a few C64 programs used the BASIC subsystems so the ommission of BASIC may still cause problems.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343283)

The commodore ROMs and the individual games were licensed, but they had to remove the BASIC interpretor. The C64 interpretor said "Commodore BASIC, V2", but it was written by a little company that made money selling its version of 6502 BASIC.

I always knew which company made the barebones BASIC in the C64 because it had the same "print asc(0)" bug that the company provided in Atari, Apple, Amiga and IBM PC BASIC. The company also put an easter egg into Commodore 64 BASIC [wikipedia.org]. When Commodore's Jack Tremail found out this OS vendor had wasted dozens of bytes of his precious ROM for their easter egg, he was furious. It's possible that Apple is still afraid of the license Jack Tramial signed in the early 80s because the little company which put bugs and easter eggs in their BASIC ROM is now a big company known as Microsoft! But more likely, Apple just doesn't want you to be able to run arbitrary applications on their iPhone. They want to control every end of the software development process and if you're able to type your own low-res game, chat application or amortization schedule in Commodore BASIC, Apple doesn't get any royalties. And we can't do fun things like:

10 poke 53265,59

20 wait 60,1

30 poke 53265,27

But frodo64 has provided FULL C64 emulation for Nokia phones for at least 3 years. I think I've run it on a pre 20th century Nokia phone. Nice try Apple, but if you open your OS development environment to those who don't buy your latest OS and hardware and/or if you allow Java applications, you might eventually have as many applications as other phones in the global marketplace. They might not be as flashy or have as polished of an interface, but they will work for the user and for the author.

Re:C64 without BASIC? (5, Funny)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343467)

I think I've run it on a pre 20th century Nokia phone.

Did it have a big crank on the side?
"Operator! I want to speak to Frantic Freddy!"

Re:C64 without BASIC? (2, Funny)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344277)

I think I've run it on a pre 20th century Nokia phone

What is the Nokia phone steam powered or does it have a hand crank?

Re:C64 without BASIC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344667)

The full basic interpreter IS in this release and it's very easy to get to. And yes, poking to 53265 works just like on the real hardware!

Re:C64 without BASIC? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343441)

If you are going to be on the East Coast next weekend, come
by the Vintage Computer Festival:

http://www.vintage.org/2009/east/

and see how it compares to the real thing. There will be several
C64s on display, up and running.

Commodore 64? (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343067)

Commodore 64 emulator? You'd think they'd do an Apple II emulator.

Re:Commodore 64? (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343117)

Either in C64 emulation or in Apple II emulation, I would like to play Karateka!

Re:Commodore 64? (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343279)

I hated that *^*%* game!

Played it for about a week just trying to get to the end. It required split-second skills to get past some of the guys. One night I finally get past the last guy and when I finnnaaallly get to the girl... she knifes me.

I was so pissed, I literally threw the floppy disk out the window. Nearly 20 years later I learned it was some dude in drag, and the real girl was behind "him".

Ohhh, and fuck that bird.

Video games have not been that hard for a long time.

Re:Commodore 64? (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344655)

You're kidding, right?

Princess Mariko is a badass in her own right. You should try the game again today, with that in mind.

Re:Commodore 64? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343977)

>>>Apple II emulation

I tried an Apple II emulator one time, but it gave me horrible flashbacks to my middle school years which is something no one should have to relive. Grades 6,7,and 8 (ages 12,13,14) were an awkward time for me. I have no problems using Apple Macs (reminds me of my college years), but those ancient IIc and IIe machines are tinged with bad memories of boring schoolwork, embarrassing encounters with girls, and scary teachers.

Ahhhh! (runs away)

In contrast my Commodore 64 was what I used at home, so it's mostly good memories about playing games, typing book reports, learning to program, and just generally goofing-off.

Re:Commodore 64? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343327)

Hopefully, yes. But the 64 had a different fan base. While the ][ fanbase moved on to the Mac, a good chunk of the 64 hacking fanbase held on. The 64 went from popular platform to popular retro platform almost seamlessly. No surprise it got emulated first.

A ][ emulator shouldn't be far behind, but I'll love it if someone comes along with a Palm Pilot emu first.

Re:Commodore 64? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344535)

>>>While the ][ fanbase moved on to the Mac, a good chunk of the 64 hacking fanbase held on.

That's not quite true. The Commodore 64 is the world's best-selling computer, but the second-best selling computer was the Amiga 500. Why? Because just as Apple users remained loyal to Apple, most of the Commodore users remained loyal and when they upgraded, they moved from one multimedia machine (the 64) to another (the Amiga).

At least that was the case with everyone I knew. I've never met a 64 owner who didn't also own an Amiga at some point.

Then Amiga died, and we moved to IBM PCs (wipes away a tear).
So sad. Just like the ending of Braveheart. The man beat us down.

Re:Commodore 64? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344871)

Well, are you willing to take the time to write/port an Apple II Emulator, knowing that you'll have to wait months for corporate approval, and it may even be rejected altogether?

What ? piracy Allowed ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343085)

Obviously emulators are only used for piracy - so how the **** Apple approved this ?

Re:What ? piracy Allowed ? (1, Informative)

omgarthas (1372603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343133)

Or for people who wants to send Twitts.. Not joking, there is a Twitter client for Comm64...

what's wrong with BASIC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343109)

I mean, I know it sucks and has gotos and corrupts children's minds and all that, but what's the problem with having it available?

And why are people always so willing to let some huge company decide what software they are allowed to run?

Re:what's wrong with BASIC? (5, Informative)

omgarthas (1372603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343141)

You could run your own code

That's a DO NOT WANT for Apple

Re:what's wrong with BASIC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343319)

You could run your own code, yes, but BASIC apps on an emulated C64 won't exactly compete with Apple's app store. Not that I've RTFA or anything, but I would imagine the reason is probably something more like licensing issues with the BASIC interpreter.

Re:what's wrong with BASIC? (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344019)

considering the number of applications designed to run on a C64 there are probably many apple wouldn't appreciate

Re:what's wrong with BASIC? (4, Informative)

cicuz (1414125) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343377)

It actually is sitting there, just not on the main screen..
Tap reset while in a game (keep the keyboard onscreen) and you're right at the prompt.

Now you can tweet or run a webserver too ;)

Eagerly awaiting... (2, Funny)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343113)

All I need now is an iPhone emulator for the C64. That way, I can play all my C64 games on my C64

Re:Eagerly awaiting... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343277)

yo dogg i heard u liked playing emulated c64 games on ur iphone so we put an iphone in ur c64 so u can game while u game

Re:Eagerly awaiting... (2, Funny)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344949)

Here you are - it's surprisingly easy to write once you strip out the functionality that won't ever be hit:

10 PRINT "THIS APPLICATION MAY NOT BE RUN ON NON-APPLE APPROVED HARDWARE"

Copycat Sega Exemption... (1)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343115)

Why not just copy Sega's exemption and emulate BASIC as a rom. Then the C-64 program could essentially be MAME and access a directory where ROMs are located, one being for BASIC.

No way will Apple allow BASIC (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343159)

They will never, ever enable BASIC support.

The issue is that Apple doesn't want any iPhone application to be able to install and run other apps. No scripting languages, no loadable modules, etc. If they allowed this then there would be no need for the App Store and anyone could run any application they wanted just by using a "shell" application to load other apps.

Personally I think it's stupid, but it's Apple. They want control and they want your money.

Basic is there. Just reset the emulator. (2, Insightful)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343541)

Go to "extra" keyboard and hit reset. Voila, BASIC.
And it sucks. And it's from Microsoft. OMG C64 was evil ;-( :-)

Microsoft's greatest blunder in their early years was to license BASIC to Tramiel's Commodore with a once-ever fee of, some say, as little as $50000. C= then sold tens of millions of machines without paying any more to M$.

Well, M$ learned. C= died.

Re:Basic is there. Just reset the emulator. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344475)

as little as $50000.

In fact it was $25,000 [wikipedia.org].

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (3, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343737)

And because sandboxes tend to leak. VBScript, ActiveX, Flash, Adobe, and Javascript have all had their fair share of vulnerabilities.

Apple is committed to only running signed code on their handhelds. That way, if a regular app is discovered to be malicious, Apple can blacklist it. But how does Apple blacklist malicious third-party unsigned code that another application—say, a Flash player—executes? The best they could do is blacklist the Flash player itself, disabling all the perfectly benign Flash apps and pissing off millions of people.

Now, you may argue that "the user" should have control over what code their phone executes. And in the case of Slashdotters, you're probably right. But normal, non-savvy users don't understand technical warnings. They don't comprehend that executing a tiny bit of malicious code can hand their entire computer over to an attacker, and that there may be no way to undo the damage. They should not be put in a position where they can they can screw up their system with a tap of a "yes" button, for the same reason that cars should not have a "disable emissions controls, gain ten horsepower" switch and skyscrapers should not have a shiny red button that says "collapse building." Curiosity killed the cat, as they say; no matter how well-intentioned the user may be, dancing pigs win out in the end.

So long as Apple provides a means for people who know what they're doing to run custom code—anyone can buy a developer key for about the cost of one month's phone bill—I won't complain about Apple making it harder for ignorant people to do stupid things.

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (2, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344225)

And because sandboxes tend to leak. VBScript, ActiveX, Flash, Adobe, and Javascript have all had their fair share of vulnerabilities

Could you show me one incident where an emulated CPU/hardware system has ever lead to any kind of leak? We're talking about a BASIC interpreter running on a 6510 emulator here. And if the emulator leaking is a concern, then I would think an attacker would more than likely get as low-level as possible and write the attack in 6510 assembler.

In other words, your objection is moronic. It's even beyond moronic, it's pretty much the most retarded defense of not allowing C64 BASIC on a C64 emulator that I can imagine.

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344245)

"I won't complain about Apple making it harder for ignorant people to do stupid things."

It makes sense. It also makes it harder for you.

Rubbish. Users need to learn (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344519)

Now, you may argue that "the user" should have control over what code their phone executes. And in the case of Slashdotters, you're probably right. But normal, non-savvy users don't understand technical warnings. They don't comprehend that executing a tiny bit of malicious code can hand their entire computer over to an attacker, and that there may be no way to undo the damage. They should not be put in a position where they can they can screw up their system with a tap of a "yes" button, for the same reason that cars should not have a "disable emissions controls, gain ten horsepower" switch and skyscrapers should not have a shiny red button that says "collapse building."

No, actually it's more like saying scissors and knives shouldn't have sharp edges, and that cars shouldn't have accelerator pedals because in both cases it can lead to death or injury. In the case of a car the carnage you can cause unintentionally is so great that you require a license which is only granted when you learn how to drive properly (which is a more advanced skill than using a knife). In the case of scissors and knives there is a risk of injury but you're less likely to kill and maim lots of people and it's left to your parents to teach you the basic skill.

So you could argue that users need to be licensed and should prove they can use their device to no great harm, or more sanely you can argue that since they're most likely to only hurt themselves and not critically. So the skill should be taught at home or at school. Trying to use a phone or computer when you don't understand just doesn't work. It's not that kind of device. In any case if people can learn to text and IM it's an issue of laziness and neglect that they don't bother to learn how to secure their device. It's not brain surgery.

Apple's alternative - locking down the phone - is all about serving Apple's purposes and has nothing to do with the user's needs.

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (3, Informative)

tsa (15680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343913)

That's why I would much rather have a Nokia N900 [nokia.com]. No annoying provider tied to the phone, runs an open source OS... Beautiful.

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343947)

The only ones dumber than the one making such an offer, are those taking it.

Yes you can quote me on that. :P

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (1)

ninjeratu (794457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343995)

This is also why you're stuck with the games the app comes hardcoded with.
And the selection is abysmal.
Dragon's Den, Le Mans, Jupiter Landing, Arctic Shipwreck and Jack Attack...

I'd never pay money for those terrible "games". Not even SID-music in them.
Sure, they promise to add more games "later". We'll see about that.
Even public domain games would've been better than the crap they bundled.

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (4, Informative)

writermike (57327) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344027)

It seems that trying to predict Apple's actions is not terribly easy. I don't really care if they get Basic enabled. I really just want to play games.

What's interesting, however, is you can break into Basic in the app right now.

Here's how you do it.

1. Launch the app.
2. Tap the power button to power on the C64.
3. Tap the Advanced button on the bottom right.
4. Turn the option "Always show full keyboard" on.
5. Tap the "My Games" button on the lower left.
6. Run any game.
7. Tap the "Extra" button under the game screen.
8. Tap the RESET button on the left.

The app launches BASIC.

I don't know if it's fully functional, but it will run the "10 PRINT "I AM SO GREAT!!!!!!" / 20 GOTO 10" program, which is about the extent of my programming skills.

Disclaimer: I did not discover the above. It was posted on Engadget.

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344067)

Indeed, heaven forbid someone run something without Apple's approval. But why allow an emulator full stop - people could still run any unapproved application written in C64 assembler (you know, like most C64 applications), and indeed, what's stopping someone installing a C64 BASIC interpretter? (Do they have UAE [amigaemulator.org] for the Iphone yet? Now that would be even more useful as a way to run applications without Apple approval. Every other platform in existence can run UAE, have Apple approved it yet, or is the Iphone still playing catch-up yet again, I wonder?)

With stuff like banning what people are allowed to run on their own device, I'm suprised this platform is still so popular in a place like Slashdot.

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344643)

> Do they have UAE [amigaemulator.org] for the Iphone yet?

Uh oh... slippery slope time. The moment UAE exists, it'll be possible to launch A-MAX and go storming right into Apple's holiest sanctuary(*)

(*)For the uninitiated, A-MAX was a Macintosh emulator for the Amiga that ran some Mac software faster than a REAL Mac... conceptually, it was halfway between Xen and Wine. Nowhere near as hard as emulating a completely alien hardware platform (like the PC), but nowhere near as trivial as getting programs written for a Pet to run on a C-64. From what I remember, they basically copied MacOS into the Amiga's RAM, then overwrote its jumptable with pointers to code written for the Amiga. For example, when a Mac app wanted to display a file dialog, it ran native MacOS code up to the point where it had to render the graphics and landed on an overwritten jumptable pointer to graphics routines written for the Amiga's hardware. Program compatibility fell into two extremes: apps that used only published API calls ran almost perfectly, and apps that tried jumping directly to undocumented entry points or tried taking advantage of unofficial side effects that weren't guaranteed to work by Apple died a horrible death. As a practical matter, the main thing that broke compatibility was copy protection, and most apps that wouldn't work if you tried running legitimate copies ran flawlessly after they were cracked (the more things change... well, you know the rest... sigh...).

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344767)

Didn't A-MAX require hardware? You may be thinking of Shapeshifter (and later Fusion) which were software only emulators. But yes, it would be amusing to see classic MacOS on the Iphone, done via Amiga emulation :)

Re:No way will Apple allow BASIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344099)

People can write native C64 applications to run on the emulator. What's the difference?

No Basic because... (1)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343207)

it would obviously allow developers to write programs that are far superior to the built in Apple apps and that violates their policy of not being able to "replace" the functionality of the iPhone/iPod Touch.

You know... I guess their right... I mean, really, 40x25 characters and the primitive graphics that Commodore (Microsoft) Basic allowed should really allow modern developers to replace the built in apps with ease.

Seriously, Apple, get off your ass and actually look into the functions you're preventing from being implemented!

Bill

App approval? (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343217)

Do you *have* to get apples blessing to distribute an app, or is it just to use the appstore?

Re:App approval? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343299)

I'm not sure under which stone you've been lying under, but here is the heads up:

You have to get Apple's blessing in order to distribute anything via the AppStore.
AppStore is the only way (short of jailbreak) to get software into the iPhone and iPod Touch.
There is no such thing as a "developer hardware" that could make your development/testing easier - you have to wait the random approval process before any hands on testing (you are restricted to software emulators).
The development platform is MacOS X only.
Your app cannot duplicate functionality already on the phone (i.e. GoogleVoice). Your app cannot allow any form of access to cussing words or the like.

Re:App approval? (3, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343443)

There is no such thing as a "developer hardware" that could make your development/testing easier - you have to wait the random approval process before any hands on testing (you are restricted to software emulators).

Last I checked, you could get a developer's signing key to put an unapproved app on a limited number of devices for testing.

Re:App approval? (2, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343481)

AppStore is the only way (short of jailbreak) to get software into the iPhone and iPod Touch. There is no such thing as a "developer hardware" that could make your development/testing easier...

Neither of these statements is strictly true. Enterprise developers can distribute their own applications in-house, just not to the general public. Any developer can distribute their applications ad hoc to up to 100 users.

Your app cannot allow any form of access to cussing words or the like.

The rules were never quite that strict and Apple has relaxed the profanity clauses now that they have included parental controls for the iPhone. Their original concern was they wanted to make sure they did not poison the market for younger people by having issues with pornographic programs. Now that parents can lock down the systems, Apple is not as concerned as parents need not avoid purchasing the devices out of the fear of what their children will access.

Corrections to many mistakes on your part (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343643)

You have to get Apple's blessing in order to distribute anything via the AppStore.
AppStore is the only way (short of jailbreak) to get software into the iPhone and iPod Touch.

There is a whole other app store - Cydia. Yes you have to jailbreak to use it, but that's just a few clicks these days - and well over a million devices are jailbroken (according to Cydia). If there were a reason, I'd not hesitate to tell someone non-technical to go this route.

There is no such thing as a "developer hardware" that could make your development/testing easier

You say that like it's a bad thing you can use any commercial device to test, instead of paying more for custom test systems that often have worse abilities than the commercial versions (and you have to get the commercial variants to do final testing with anyway).

you have to wait the random approval process before any hands on testing (you are restricted to software emulators).

You pay $99 and you get approved in a few weeks - hardly "random".

The development platform is MacOS X only.

I can't develop Windows Mobile apps on my Mac.

Your app cannot duplicate functionality already on the phone (i.e. GoogleVoice).

That's a pretty useless statement by itself, since that whole area is wide open to interpretation - there are for example VOIP clients on the phone today, so you have to understand what it is that GV is "duplicating" since GV is not VOIP. It's the whole SMS/contact infrastructure Apple is not as happy about.

There are notebook apps a-plenty, Notebook is built into the phone.

There are a million picture taking apps, and the camera app is built into the phone...

You get my drift, things are not as simple as you make out.

Your app cannot allow any form of access to cussing words or the like.

Sure it can, it just has to be rated correctly.

Re:Corrections to many mistakes on your part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344123)

You pay $99 and you get approved in a few weeks - hardly "random".

You must be new here. He was probably referring to the criteria they use to judge apps. Your app could be blessed by Jobs himself and still get rejected. In fact I seem to recall this thing having verbal approval from the Apple higherups and then got denied.

I can't develop Windows Mobile apps on my Mac.

Yes but you can run a VM, so buying "Microsoft" hardware is not a pre-requisite. You just need the software, which runs on the OS. With the iPhone you need the software, which runs on the OS, which is locked to the hardware.

Re:Corrections to many mistakes on your part (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344271)

There is a whole other app store - Cydia. Yes you have to jailbreak to use it, but that's just a few clicks these days - and well over a million devices are jailbroken (according to Cydia). If there were a reason, I'd not hesitate to tell someone non-technical to go this route.

I don't know many people that jailbreak their phones anymore -- many are afraid, others don't think its "worth it" (see first reason for explanation). Anyone still using the "jailbreak then cydia" bs to "prove" you can distribute your apps is just full of it. I suggest you start looking for other excuses.

There is no such thing as a "developer hardware" that could make your development/testing easier

You say that like it's a bad thing you can use any commercial device to test, instead of paying more for custom test systems that often have worse abilities than the commercial versions (and you have to get the commercial variants to do final testing with anyway).

Agreed with you on that one, but it still bites that you have to register (not sure if you have to pay the 99$) to sign your apps for the hardware... of course, you usually have to do that when using "developer hardware", so the point is moot...

You pay $99 and you get approved in a few weeks - hardly "random".

The approval/rejection process is what people are considering random, not the "paying 99$ and get approved in a few weeks" part. You sure do like to avoid the actual points people are trying to make, huh?

I can't develop Windows Mobile apps on my Mac.

Your statement is correct (as far as I know) but besides the point. Nice one though.

That's a pretty useless statement by itself, since that whole area is wide open to interpretation - there are for example VOIP clients on the phone today, so you have to understand what it is that GV is "duplicating" since GV is not VOIP. It's the whole SMS/contact infrastructure Apple is not as happy about.

While I partially agree with your harsh opinion of the GP's comment, no one said GV was a "VOIP" app. But you are correct -- the whole are IS wide open to interpretation... APPLE's interpretation (see "random approval process" above). Apple claims they're not happy about GV's "integration", not the SMS/contact part (surely there are other SMS/contact apps out there, and they're approved even though they're "duplicate", no?). Apple is unhappy that Google is coming out with something very very cool long before Apple is ready for it, duplicate functionality or not.

There are notebook apps a-plenty, Notebook is built into the phone.. There are a million picture taking apps, and the camera app is built into the phone...

No one cares about notebook apps. No one cares about picture taking apps. People care about vidcam apps -- oh wait, those were refused till Apple decided it was time for *them* to release one. See my previous comment for reasoning on that...

You get my drift, things are not as simple as you make out.

I prefer the GP's "simplified" statements over what I've read in your post, to be frank.

Your app cannot allow any form of access to cussing words or the like.

Sure it can, it just has to be rated correctly.

Don't know how the whole rating system works, but I doubt its that simple. Unless, of course, I can publish an app called "F*cking iPhone Garbage App", in which case I stand corrected :-)

Re:App approval? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344273)

No stone, just been avoiding the iphone ( even tho i like apple ). Seems i will be for a while longer.

Re:App approval? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29344503)

Remember the 80's, when it was an Apple person throwing the hammer to destroy the IBM PC "big brother"? Does anyone else find it amusingly ironic that the most controlled platform in existence today is Apple's, and that the Apple fanboys who would have considered themselves to be that person throwing off the chains of PC control in the 80's are today touting the benefits of not having any control over the hardware and software you buy?

On Android Since June (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343343)

I guess it's nice having such cutting edge technology...

Slashdot tagline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343483)

Money may buy friendship but money cannot buy love.

Sure it can. It charges per hour, but still.

mod 0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343567)

[mit.edu] found and Help us! Its readers and be fun. It used And the Bazaar cans can become Clean for the next forwards we must pro-homosexual are there? Oh,

A C64 emulator without BASIC might be useless (2, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343587)

As at least one other has pointed out, even when writing in assembly language, it was common to make calls to the BASIC interpreter's functions and routines. If they manage to make things "other than basic" work, it is my guess that they merely disabled basic in some way and did not remove it. By extension, I would guess that it could be re-enabled as well.

Re:A C64 emulator without BASIC might be useless (1)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344109)

Not entirely true.

Commodore 6502 machines had a BASIC interpreter based on Microsoft BASIC but there was also a set of ROMs called the Kernal [sic - a spelling mistake that made it into the manuals]. This was a separate piece of code to the BASIC interpreter and was written in house by Commodore.

The C64 had an 8K BASIC ROM and an 8K Kernal ROM. Each of these was shadowed by RAM so you could switch out the ROM. If you switched out both, you had a bare machine but you could just switch out the BASIC and leave the Kernal which means you don't have to write your own IO etc.

Re:A C64 emulator without BASIC might be useless (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344139)

Yes, but doing so means that applications compatibility will be less than 100%... quite likely less than 90% and maybe even less.

But since the BASIC ROM could be switched out for RAM, there's no reason someone couldn't find a way to "put it back" even if it can't be distributed through the Apple store that way.

Some five years too late! (-1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343707)

I got a C64 and a GameBoy emulator for Symbian back in 2004. And there it was already not new anymore.

But hey, another reason to hype that horrible excuse for a phone called iPhone, right?

Re:Some five years too late! (0, Troll)

ninjeratu (794457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344295)

I'd mark that as flamebait, but ok... Somehow I doubt the C64 app was or will be a major selling point for the iPhone. And considering the iPhone was launched in 2007 it'd be mildly surprising if the C64 app had been developed 3 years before the phone existed, making your Symbian comparison completely nonsensical. Your hyperbole is silly.

Re:Some five years too late! (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344789)

Nice job mods. Leave the troll be and mod down the person who called them for what they are. Keep it classy.

"Easter Egg" lets you access BASIC in the app (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29343759)

Downloaded and verified this works. Simple "hello world" programs work, as do things like "poke 53281, 144" to change the screen color, and "SYS 64738" to reset.

Gosh people, learn to use Google ;-)

http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2009/09/06/quick-app-c64-commodore-64-emulator-iphone-hack-basic/ [theiphoneblog.com]

"If you're dying to get your BASIC on, however, reader Stooovie let us know you can still access it by enabling 'always show full keyboard', starting a game, paging over to the EXTRA keyboard, and then tapping RESET. Boom, dropped into BASIC with a ready-prompt"

I got to basic in 5 seconds. (1)

MikeDataLink (536925) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343867)

Load just about any of the games and then hit run/stop followed by restore. Whola! You get to Basic.

App Store censorship (1)

Samy Merchi (1297447) | more than 4 years ago | (#29343993)

As long as the App Store is being so tightly controlled by Apple, I'm afraid I'm going to have to stick with Windows Mobile. For all its flaws (like insane UI lag at times), it's at least mostly an open development platform, with a C64 emulator, Amiga emulator, DOS emulator and an application for just about anything you could imagine. As long as Apple keeps the App Store locked down, it's never going to be able to match the versatility of the WinMo application spectrum.

It's too bad, because from what I've seen, the iPhone OS seems to be a better OS, but crippling its software development is just a deal breaker for me.

Re:App Store censorship (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344147)

As long as the App Store is being so tightly controlled by Apple, I'm afraid I'm going to have to stick with Windows Mobile.

Why Windows Mobile in particular?

...it's at least mostly an open development platform...

But not as open as yet others. So you're making a compromise between the level of flexibility you want to control your phone and development environment, compared to the features and usability offered. You just draw the line in a different place than the average user.

As long as Apple keeps the App Store locked down, it's never going to be able to match the versatility of the WinMo application spectrum.

I think that's the point. You see it as a bug, but Apple is pitching it as a feature, as in, they police the spectrum of apps completely and thus remove the majority of security risks either immediately or when discovered.

It's too bad, because from what I've seen, the iPhone OS seems to be a better OS, but crippling its software development is just a deal breaker for me.

You might find yourself having fewer non-crippled choices if Apple's model is successful. Realistically, people don't want all that many applications on their phone and the range offered on iPhones is actually getting to be bigger than that on other phones. Regardless of if it is more open or not, it makes an attractive market to develop for and that's the kind of thing that can snowball. It's too bad. I prefer a more open and user controllable system with a bit more nuanced and open of security mechanisms and I think it can be done well. Maybe if Apple implements a better, less locked down version for their computers it will trickle down to iPhones.

Re:App Store censorship (2, Interesting)

Samy Merchi (1297447) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344375)

Why Windows Mobile in particular?

Well, frankly, Symbian and Android don't come anywhere near the amount of available applications that WinMo has. For me one of the top criteria is whether I can find applications for every need.

So you're making a compromise between the level of flexibility you want to control your phone and development environment, compared to the features and usability offered.

I believe that is normal behavior. Everybody makes their own personal judgment on what are important criteria for them and how important they are, and pick a product based on their own priorities.

You just draw the line in a different place than the average user.

If I'm not an "average user", I'm thankful for that.

Apple is pitching it as a feature, as in, they police the spectrum of apps completely and thus remove the majority of security risks either immediately or when discovered.

I don't need any Big Brother picking my apps for me. I'm an adult and I take my own risks.

You might find yourself having fewer non-crippled choices if Apple's model is successful.

And that's why I don't buy Apple.

people don't want all that many applications on their phone

I don't make my decisions on what platform I'm going to spend my money on, based on what *other* people want.

Business model (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29344407)

I'm actually quite surprised that they didn't jump on this opportunity of having been refused and instead use it as an excuse to sell individual old games for $0.99 a pop (or packs of 5, or whatever) instead of selling the emulator itself.

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