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Commodore 64 Runs Again On the iPhone

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the also-accused-of-flip-flopping dept.

Cellphones 146

Hugh Pickens writes "Stephen Williams reports in the NY Times that the app recreating some of the Commodore's seminal retro games, including Le Mans, Dragons Den and Jupiter Lander, has been re-issued after being pulled in September. The app features SID sound emulation, auto-save to continue where you left off, and a realistic joystick with a beautifully crafted C64 keyboard. Apple originally rejected the program for violating the SDK agreement, which dictates that 'no interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple's Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s).' After disabling the controversial feature, Apple published the app in September, but days later it was pulled and the developer was asked to remove, rather than just disable, the BASIC interpreter from the program, which would have allowed unscrupulous users to run unlicensed, emulated code on the iPhone or iPod Touch. 'The road was bumpy, but we remained persistent and made the changes Apple was looking for. Ultimately, BASIC has been removed for this release; however, we hope that working with Apple further will allow us to re-enable it,' the company wrote on its blog."

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Can you actually do anything useful? (5, Insightful)

omni123 (1622083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095172)

Is there actually a method of doing anything unscrupulous with a BASIC interpreter running inside a C64 emulator running on an iPhone?

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (5, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095178)

LOAD "VIRUS",8,1

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (3, Funny)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097736)

What exactly do you have against Braben?

If you feel you must (1)

dgr73 (1055610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097750)

..tag the above down, please use "Offtopic", as I know Virus was not made for C64

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (5, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095212)

That's not the point. The point is, Apple must control everything. Yes, they regard even a BASIC interpreter as a threat. And they are very correct to do so. You might laugh but Apple's principles are sound. I have just spent some time reviewing documents from just before the Wall fell [gwu.edu] and it was very clearly revealed that letting people have a little bit of freedom was ultimately disastrous.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1, Insightful)

KillShill (877105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095238)

Don't use the word "control" in the same sentence as App£€ when DRM is more accurate.

Telling the customer (or consumer if you support corporate rights over your own) what to do with a product after it has been sold = DRM.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1, Funny)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095388)

Haha only on /. would someone compare Apple to communist Russia and be corrected 'Its worse than that, you could even call it DRM'.

I hate DRM too but it probably isn't as bad as the USSR. Though really if Apple owned a country I'm not sure if it would be more or less restrictive than the USSR...

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095458)

I'm not sure if it would be more or less restrictive than the USSR...

Neither am I - but one thing is for sure.. they would ban the spork.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

olyar (591892) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095576)

New meme?

In DRM Apple, the iPhone unlocks you!

Not sure it has the same ring to it...

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30096404)

Though really if Apple owned a country I'm not sure if it would be more or less restrictive than the USSR...

If Apple owned a country it would be almost exactly like that commercial for the 1984 Superbowl. Except it'd be Steve Jobs up on the viewscreen and a bearded penguin running up the aisle while the mindless Apple drones would all be sticking their legs into the aisle trying to trip him. before he could throw a hammer through the viewscreen.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096358)

App£€

Nice Eurocentric twist on the ol' M$ dealy.

I've always thought of the pound sterling symbol as more of an E or F though. Appee? Appfe?

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096794)

I've always thought of the pound sterling symbol as more of an E or F though.

Nope, it's definitely an L - it's related to lira, livre and lb (pound weight).

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (0, Troll)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097182)

I like it, apple is probably about 1.7x as expensive as micro$oft.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098546)

Are you really trying to assert that DRM isn't a form of control with a straight face? Come on now...

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (2, Interesting)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095440)

I can't tell if you're trolling or trying to be funny.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (2, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096002)

I have just spent some time reviewing documents from just before the Wall fell [gwu.edu] and it was very clearly revealed that letting people have a little bit of freedom was ultimately disastrous.

WTF? Would you prefer the European Communist regimes run people over with tanks instead? You've pretty much Godwined the discussion right there.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (4, Funny)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096048)

Well! I certainly take back my assertion that Apple's app store is authoritarian. You have certainly bested me in argument, sir, and I bow my head in shame. My strategy of comparing different sorts of authoritarianism has come apart in the face of your assertion that I would enjoy the violent deaths of thousands of people. Moreover, your rhetorical strategy of making any references to communism off-limits for any sort of discussion can only make future debates more fruitful and productive by letting our society forget about 20th century history.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (2, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098002)

You can't compare the app store and totalitarianism. Apple sells products and people have a choice whether or not they use them. The store is exclusive and the entry policies are somewhat arbitrary/elitist/wanky, but that is no difference from a fancy nightclub. Legally they have a right to offer the service, and I have the right to ignore it. You can't choose whether you want to live under a communist system or not if you're born in a country that has one.

Also Apple haven't killed millions of innocent people.

Now I know people are going to say something like "but they banned my app from the appstore/won't let me run my OSX torrent on my netbook/kicked me out of the Apple Store for explaining the principles of Free Software! My life is just as hard as someone that got killed in a concentration camp! BAWWW!". And unfortunately there is no response to that.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100232)

You've pretty much Godwined the discussion right there.

Yeah, pretty much; I saw that the link was from "gwu.edu" and just figured, "GodWin University"...

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (4, Funny)

kandela (835710) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096054)

That's disappointing. Just when I thought my hard earned BASIC programming skills were going to allow me to write unauthorised programs for the iPhone. Oh well.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (3, Funny)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096102)

Ah, but there is another side to this technology. Next Friday will be Junis day [slashdot.org] ,a reminder to us all of the contributions of Commodore computers to the causes of liberty and to international journalism. Millions of impoverished Afghanis rely on Commodore Basic emulators on their iPhones to be able to participate in the international community. Apple are clearly hindering this in hopes of appealing to the lucrative Taliban market instead. Such cynicism is appalling.

OTOH you stay relevant by giving people freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30096300)

I have just spent some time reviewing documents from just before the Wall fell [gwu.edu] and it was very clearly revealed that letting people have a little bit of freedom was ultimately disastrous.

Or maybe it was the fact that they never let people have any real freedom, and had informants and spies spying on their own people, that made people eventually rebel?

Not a good sign for Apple.. I own an iPhone, which I'm now wanting to replace as soon as something better comes along and I need it. It looks nice, but is crippled in so many ways, of course it's hacked, but still can't beat other offerings in technical functionality. I also own a 17" expensive Macbook Pro, which easily overheats and have non-standard keyboard and "BIOS", on which I'm running XP. The trackpad is nice, but that's about it, and it cost easily 4 times as much as decent PC laptops today.

Microsoft on the other hand is on the other top of their curve, and now has to sell Linux applications in order to stay relevant in the coming years.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

welshie (796807) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096540)

So, in what way is a 6510 emulator not interpreting machine code opcodes, and executing, er.. program code, and why is that different to that same interpreter interpreting a program that allows you to interpret BASIC program code?

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098118)

Precisely. Apple's position is moronic. Maybe they're just pissed because back in the day of 8bit computers, Commodore eclipsed them.

At any rate, a vulnerability in the emulation is going to be accessible much more directly and easily via 6510 assembler than via BASIC. But I defy anyone here to provide an example of any such breach in any emulated processor/machine. Why would anyone even bother using a C64/6510 emulator to bust into an iPhone when apparently it's much easier to get malware approved and distributed by the App Store.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (2, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099764)

are you seriously comparing vendor lock in on software to the Soviet Union?

It's a PHONE. you're free to jail break and Apple won't zap your phone dead. Christ.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30100056)

You're quite right - Apple is at the top of the proprietary heap.

If iPhone isn't a purposeful implementation of The Innovator's Solution's [amazon.com] * description of the proprietary to commodity process I don't know what is. I mean, the authors even have a section on Blackberry and describe how to better it ala iPhone.

Once a reasonable competitor emerges (is it Droid?) Apple will loosen its grip, but until then it commands higher profit by staying as controlling as possible.

* I know, the apostrophe should be after the hyperlink, but slashdot's anti-goat display makes it too confusing.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (3, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095220)

I hate the ridiculous anti-free nature of the app store, but it's not hard to see why Apple would be concerned. The fear is that if a program gets into the App Store that allows any sort of user-provided data to be executed, then evil unlicensed apps could be delivered to the platform through that interpreter.

For example, instead of writing your games in C and paying Apple to sell them on the app store, you could write your game in BASIC and deliver them through the C64 emulator. Apple makes no money. Not exactly practical, but if there's a hole in the interpreter environment that allows a jump into raw binary data (which could be set to ARM instructions) then it's up to the app developer to fix it, and Apple has no control. This is the kind of problem that plagued TI calculators for years until they decided to open them up, and was the door into custom unsigned software on game consoles before the age of modchips and hard drives.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (2, Insightful)

RanCossack (1138431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095284)

*cough* I think someone may have already found a different way to jailbrea-- I mean run unsigned code.

Games written in BASIC that Apple wouldn't make money on, though... hmmm. How would Gorillas the iPhone Game [lhunath.com] make money if people are playing Gorillas [wikipedia.org] on BASIC?

(Actually, that's a free App. Oh, well.)

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095380)

For example, instead of writing your games in C and paying Apple to sell them on the app store, you could write your game in BASIC and deliver them through the C64 emulator.

Unless the emulator provides a way for you to load BASIC programs from unsigned user files you can provide outside the emulator into the environment, this is useless. As far as I know, the only files the app would let you load are ones in the app, that you bought.

Users aren't too likely to hand-key the program listing for a C64 game every time they want to play. Buying an iPhone app from the app store doesn't require you to key in the app's source listing every time you want to run.

(which could be set to ARM instructions)

It's a C64 emulator... as far as I know, there are no ARM instructions on the C64.

As for possible bugs... well, any app can have those.

Unless there's a 'LOAD xxx' command that allows the user to actually load external files they created on their iphone into the basic interpreter, it's kind of academic.

I suppose given the possibility to invoke ARM instructions from inside a C64 emulator (somehow), someone could make a BASIC program that would serve as a glorified bootstrap, whose sole purpose is to boot ARM code that was compiled for the iPhone using the normal SDK.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095698)

No, it's because they're still bitter that the C64 spanked the Apple II every which way.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096076)

I hate the ridiculous anti-free nature of the app store, but it's not hard to see why Apple would be concerned. The fear is that if a program gets into the App Store that allows any sort of user-provided data to be executed, then evil unlicensed apps could be delivered to the platform through that interpreter.

This problem is easily solved: Just require the code to be signed!

Although there are many upsides to interpreted languages, perhaps top of the heap is a short application development cycle. But I would happily throw a couple hundred bux for an interpretive SDK that let's me run unsigned code, so that I could develop my appz. Then, when I'm ready to sell, I get the code signed by Apple.

My company vends a product written in an common, interpreted language. It's closed-source, so we use a software obfuscation tool. It's largely the same idea...

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (3, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096146)

It is ignorant to talk about Apple being upset at not being able to make money from Commodore basic games.

You can already release as many free games as you want, which cost apple money to host, and they do not make a cent. Apple doesn't care if you release any game you want, or as many as you want for free. They will not stop you (as long as you follow the rules).

It is clearly not about money. It is about a rule Apple created, not for commodore basic, but for things like flash. basic just happens to fit into this rule.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (0)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098504)

It's about control. They can't have people bypassing the app store at all, even if it's just for simple games written in Commodore BASIC.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095310)

Yes. You can do things your Apple overlords have not expressly given you permission to do. This cannot be allowed, because they have not given permission.

The phone market is Apple's wet dream, because none of the customers have any expectation of openness or being able to actually do anything with their own hardware, so there's not much complaint when they give users the full Apple experience by locking everything down. I fully expect they'd do the exact same damn thing with OS X elsewhere if they could get away with it.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

Casandro (751346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095468)

Well it would transform the iPhone from a Gadget to a computer, by adding the final step, rapid application development on the device itself.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096050)

It's not about that. It's about FREEDOM OF CODE!

10 PRINT "FUCK STEVE JOBS"
20 GOTO 10

They can take our rights to run unsigned ARM code but they can't take our FREEDOM! RAAAAHH!

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (0, Offtopic)

leptons (891340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098724)

if you enter the commend:

10 WAIT 6502

it prints out

"Microsoft!"


This was an easter egg left behind by Microsoft when they licensed BASIC to Commodore (no joke).

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (2, Insightful)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095806)

Apple is just pissed that no one made an Apple2 EMU, because the c64 rocked ass and was 1000x more popular that apple
crap creation with 1970s green screen crap that was even crap in 1982.

Keyboard was nice, but the insides were dead boring and dull.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (2, Informative)

Dusthead Jr. (937949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096818)

You know, the Apple II had color back when Commodore had the monochrome PET.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

lotho brandybuck (720697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098256)

hahaha my thoughts exactly, and we had an Apple 2e...

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (0, Offtopic)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096772)

Not exactly useful, but see http://www.retrologic.com/jargon/K/killer-poke.html [retrologic.com]

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098824)

Not exactly useful, but see http://www.retrologic.com/jargon/K/killer-poke.html [retrologic.com]

Yep -- run that on your iPhone, and it will totally blow out your iPhone's CRT :^)

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097802)

No, and the whole thing is utterly disingenuous. If there was a hole in the underlying hardware emulator then a hacker wouldn't give a shit about Commodore BASIC, but would be crafting a 6510 assembly attack. Besides, as we now know, malware is distributed directly by the App Store.

In other words, Apple is full of crap and utterly wanton in its megalomania.

Re:Can you actually do anything useful? (3, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098470)

Apple's problem is that they have a bunch of thieving users who think the iPhone is theirs to use as they wish just because they paid for it. Next thing you know, they'll be writing "hello world" and you know where that leads! If you give a bunch of scumbags like that even an inch, next thing you know, they'll be demanding that they get what they pay for every time! The nerve!!

Yes. (1)

nhytefall (1415959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095176)

There's an app for that!

Re:Yes. (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095188)

Well I'm not a Commodore 64 person, i never owned one, but as far as i can tell, Commodore 64 without a basic interpreter is like a car with no interior. Sure it can move its self but whats the point if someone can't control or change stuff, i guess Apple doesn't want people off-roading, might get mud on there iphone.

One word (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095204)

Jailbreak!

Re:One word (1)

parvin (846446) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095214)

Here ya go: 10 POKE 53281,2 Voila! Verizon IPhone!

No (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096630)

No. Pick another platform which doesn't have such stupid limitations.

http://www.symbian.org/devices [symbian.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Handset_Alliance#Members [wikipedia.org]
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/devices/default.mspx [microsoft.com]

Show some kind of dignity. Stop buying devices treating you like some sort of criminal, 50 IQ idiot, 10 year old kid. Posted from Quad Core G5 btw...

The point is ? (3, Funny)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095222)

What is the point of running a Commodore C64 Basic application on a DAMN PHONE ?

--Ivan

Because it is there. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095246)

Just like a mountain.

Re:Because it is there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30096990)

Worst. Star Trek Movie. Ever.

Re:Because it is there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097682)

Or warez.

Re:The point is ? (3, Funny)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095276)

Today: Commodore 64.

Tomorrow: VAX/VMS

Tuesday: Plan 9

Thursday: MacOS

Oh, wait....

Re:The point is ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095562)

YES! I want a VAX/VMS phone right now!

Re:The point is ? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096826)

Friday: the Hurd.
Saturday: Duke Nukem Forever.

[small print] Days referred to above do not denote a specific Friday or Saturday, especially not next Friday or Saturday. VWP. YMMV. IJMUTA. [/]

Re:The point is ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097162)

vMac already runs just fine on the iPhone. There's a cydia repository that has everything you need to make it go. The UI is a bit wonky because, well, a touchscreen is not a mouse. But yeah, MacOS -- at least System 7.5.5 -- already boots.

Oh, wait, you were trying to be funny while misusing terms like "MacOS." Carry on.

Re:The point is ? (1)

RedOctober (10155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095334)

If you have to ask, you will never know.

Re:The point is ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095450)

What is the point of browsing the web on a glorified typewriter?

Go away, senile old man - this is not -your- lawn.

Re:The point is ? (1)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095858)

To save money on an external acoustic coupler?

Re:The point is ? (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096612)

On real smart phones, people does it for years, installing/running their old games, showing their friends the code they wrote.

The issue here is, your device vendor and your apologists shouldn't be asking this question. It should be YOU choosing what to do with the computing platform you do. Why don't you ask why there is such a limit of "running emulated code"? Why don't you think 10 SECONDS about the reasoning behind it?

I can't wait for the "app store only" OS X 10.7 and apologists for the most closed computing platform ever came to this earth. If things go that bad, I will be running Windows junk with 100 utils to make it my way so it doesn't bother me, I will just grab a popcorn and check Slashdot.

Re:The point is ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097498)

The point depends on who you are.

1. If you're a elementary or middle school student, BASIC is one way to begin learning how to program. Basic is ok, Logo is better, Python probably better still. (If you want to program in Java, well, you can switch to an android like device, expecially when a non-phone version becomes available.). In this case, image the iPod Touch as the $100 notebook computer that XO (Google, Microsoft, etc) is thinking about.

2. If you're a budding hacker or computer scientist, by the time you are in middle school or high school, the observation that "First the Commodore, then the Vax, then ... OS X" shows what's up. This is computer science of the 21st century.

3. If you're more sinister minded, well there are all sorts of nice things you can do in an interpretative framework. The least you can do is create security headaches for Apple and the App developer as you try to crack through the sandbox. The best you can do is get access to the phone services and make very infrequent calls to a nice 900 number ... something along the lines David Pogue "How Much do you Charge Now" article ... http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/verizon-how-much-do-you-charge-now/ ...or Randal Stross's article detailing Google Voice's complaint about "traffic pumping" ... http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/business/01digi.html

Re:The point is ? (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097832)

It's a great idea, as long as I can disable the phone part. Don't want my Ultimate Wizard game interrupted.

Heh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095224)

I'll be over here playing Fort Apocalypse on my G1 :)

GPL violation? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095268)

This App is based on Frodo, a GPL licensed C64 emulator. While it offers, upon request, to email the Frodo source code to you (which can also be downloaded straight from the web site), it doesn't offer to send the source code of the complete App.

The Frodo source code is an integral part of the app, obviously, so I suspect this app will land them in choppy waters soon.

Re:GPL violation? (2, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095408)

Indeed, if true, that would be a GPL violation. Distribution upon request is acceptable, provided section (3) of the GPL is met, which provides the option:

b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

However it doesn't mean the part of the source code you got under the GPL. The requirement is to distribute complete source code of the entire modified package based on GPL code.

That would mean all code in the app, including compilation scripts.

And (in the case of the GPLv3), any encryption keys required to install a modified copy of code.

Re:GPL violation? (1)

Trauma_Hound1 (336247) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095732)

Meanwhile I can run frodo on my Moto Droid unrestricted.

Re:GPL violation? (-1, Flamebait)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095820)

Froddo a free to spend 1000hrs to make their own iphone app that is free and has full source too.

Or are they too snub?

Re:GPL violation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30096150)

They need to way instain Froddo when these iphone app can't frigth back? It was on the news this mroning, a Froddo in GPL who lost their sauce code because they were too snub. My pary is with stall man, i am sorry for your lots.

How about another programming language? (1)

LoTonah (57437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095348)

What's stopping you from doing something like Simon's BASIC or Forth or something else?

Re:How about another programming language? (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096182)

Apple, that's what. It seems they will refuse any alternative to running code on the device except through their app store, and that's unlikely to change. I think there's a brainfuck interpreter though, so severely crippled languages can slip through.

/.'s commodore64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095412)

He hasn't commented yet, I'm sure he'll liken it back when he was a kid and the Romans were being really restrictive when it came to the slave trade. And we should get back to strong traditional morals laid out circa year 0.

Seriously, the guy makes my war hero grandfather sound like a hippy.

I have a Droid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095422)

Screw Apple, give US this app in all its glory.

The app's BASIC really wasn't that usable anyway (3, Informative)

rubenerd (998797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095486)

I downloaded it before it got taken down the first time and had fun entering BASIC command for a couple of seconds before I lost interest. Touch screen keyboards are fine for quick SMS messages or email but I couldn't imagine being such a masochist that I'd want to enter entire programs in with one! I suppose someone with enough resolve could do some amazing stuff and create an alternative interface to the iPhone with 8bit PETSCII glory. Actually that would be kinda cool.

Anyway despite that, I kept the application and won't be upgrading, if only just to (Mr Burns voice) honk off my Apple masters :).

Another STUPID iPhone story! (-1, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095502)

I had a C64 emulator on my Nokia 3650 in 2003/4! And a Gameboy emulator! And a MAMEmulator!
And all S60 phones from then on had it. And probably tons of other phones.

But because it's a stupid iPhone, from its stupid user community, who have never seen or heard anything from outside their reality distortion bubble, it must get a special mentioning!
Khat's next? An article about a SSH client? (Won't work, since the dumb iPhone hasn't even got all the necessary character buttons on its "keyboard [thebestpag...iverse.net] " to properly use it.)

Oh iPhone. You're really "special". Just like your users are "special"... (Yeah, in that "special" sense. ^^)

Re:Another STUPID iPhone story! (2, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095608)

Just FYI, jackass (make that "stupid", or perhaps, "special" jackass), the reason this is a story isn't because there's a C64 emulator for the iPhone. Rather, it's a story because Apple pulled it from their app store because you could run a BASIC interpreter on it, and only allowed it back on the app store after the interpreter was pulled.

I mean, jebus, is it so much to ask that you just read the "stupid" article summary?

Re:Another STUPID iPhone story! (0)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095880)

Being that the C64 was an 80s computer, just about anything can emulate and there lots of emulators about. I guess the story is about Apples dumb, only there code policy. Maybe you should run an iDon't [youtube.com] instead of an Iphone,

---

Retrogames [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:Another STUPID iPhone story! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095912)

If you'd bother to read into the history of this, you'd understand why it's news-worthy. It was accepted by Apple, then pulled down awhile ago, due to "breaking the agreement," which caused the media to pick it up regarding if Apple should be allowed this level of control and what not. So the program isn't what's news, the fact that they were able to get around Apple is. If you'd bothered to have read the articles and a little bit of the history, you'd know that. Then again, it's typical for you Apple bashers to just come out and bash them without knowing a single fact.

Does it come with software? (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095508)

For some reason, Legacy of Ancients for C64 tugs at my heart strings as one of my favorite RPGS. It was also one of my first computer RPGS, and there is always something about your first RPG where you feel powering up your character really matters. I bet a lot of WOW people think powering up their character matters somehow because the game is so big.

My favorite things to do in Legacy of Ancients is to rob towns or to play flip flop(and consequently run out of town when I break the bank). There is also a sequel: Legend of Blacksilver which was bigger, but Legacy of the Ancients seemed more fun... Sorta the same way Super Mario Bros 1 was more fun for its time than Super Mario Bros 3 was even though SMB3 was superior in several ways.

Other games I liked on C64 were: Mail Order Monsters, and Racing Destruction Set. I wonder if they built a modern "Racing Destruction Set" and gave it the level creation tools and networking power of Little Big Planet if it would be a long time hit.

Re:Does it come with software? (1)

kaoshin (110328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095676)

I loved making humongous ramps in racing destruction set, changing the gravity to like really wacky and then hit them really hard so the cars would jump forever. That was truly the most awesome game. I remember devoting countless hours to project firestart, phantasy, mig alley ace, cycle knight, speedball... Games that didn't suck.

Re:Does it come with software? (1)

mike_of_the_weeds (1393285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096214)

racing destruction set

God how I adored this game.

changing the gravity to like really wacky
MOON GRAVITY!

My friends all had Apple IIe systems and went home to Oregon Trails.

ModNation Racers (1)

Sir Toby (660923) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098700)

I wonder if they built a modern "Racing Destruction Set" and gave it the level creation tools and networking power of Little Big Planet if it would be a long time hit.

We may get a chance to find out with ModNation Racers [playstation.com] for the PS3.

Impossible Mission is the Problem (1)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095524)

They are afraid that a game that slick, played on the iPod, might cause the universe to collapse under coolness.

Also, I hear Jobs is jealous that he wasn't the first one to come up with the phrase, "stay a while. Stay...FOREVER!!!"

lalalalala (1)

kaoshin (110328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095536)

I can't help but wonder if this whole soap opera isn't like just some jealous retribution against those old "COMMODORE ATE THE APPLE" newspaper headlines. So now it is back, but they yanked out BASIC...

"Oh, no! We suck again!" - Rob Schneider

How many guru's started with BASIC? (1)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 4 years ago | (#30095742)

Boo apple. The early home computers, including Apple, shipped with BASIC and a nicely bound manual [scribd.com] with clear instructions on simple programming. This was the first step for many who are now players in the industry.

Re:How many guru's started with BASIC? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30096438)

Boo apple.

The early home computers, including Apple, shipped with BASIC and a nicely bound manual [scribd.com] with clear instructions on simple programming. This was the first step for many who are now players in the industry.

It's almost like the old days again. I hear current Apple products still ship with a book that's about as thick as the old programming manual that came with the Apple ][.

I believe it's called The License Agreement or something like that.

especially C64 BASIC (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096646)

Most of them started with C64 basic and became gurus of today. Why C64 BASIC? Because it was so horrible that you were required to do POKE hacks, ASM code, own ASM routines, know the registers etc.

Of course, after a certain level, they asked themselves "Why the heck am I bothering with this?" and moved to mixture of pure ASM and C.

Coding for 8bit computers were so hard that one Atari 800XL (8bit) game developer could move out of gaming business (because of distributor) and could start to code entire software of B2 stealth bomber.

Re:especially C64 BASIC (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098192)

I don't think Commodore BASIC was any worse than any other BASIC interpreter out there. It was still largely a variant of the then-ubiquitous Microsoft BASIC. Probably its biggest deficiency was a lack of direct support for sprites. But most of the 8bit computers I played with at the time required PEEKs and POKEs to do some fancy stuff, often small machine language routines to speed up things like sorts and graphics. Back in those days, would-be programmers started with the BASIC variant on their computer, and then graduated to assembly.

Obligatory XKCD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30095778)

http://xkcd.com/662/

so (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096020)

Where do you put the 5.25 in disks?

Re:so (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096194)

Just like Apple has a virtual keyboard, they just can provide virtual 5.25" disks, to be inserted into a virtual 5.25" drive, using multitouch gestures. OK, there's the problem of getting in your real C64 disks, but there's a solution: Display it in hex, and type that in through the iPhone's virtual keyboard. :-)

Where... (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096420)

is my Amiga emulator and a copy of K240 going to be on the iPhone!

It's A Phone First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30096712)

I think the biggest concern is that malicious code may render the iPhone unusable as a phone. Apple is protecting its product, as it should.

Re:It's A Phone First (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30096778)

Yeah, everyone remembers POKE8675,309 - this clears the dialing register and renders the phone useless.

Bozo.

Re:It's A Phone First (1)

tdknox (138401) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097640)

I understand your evil plot now! By stuffing a 16 bit value into an 8 bit location, you're actually inserting the upper 8 bits into the next memory location. Everyone knows that the value 00000001 when put into address 8676 is the "brick my phone" value. By sneakily tricking the user into memory location 8675, you've bypassed the internal security.

My hat is off to you sir!

Re:It's A Phone First (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098240)

I think the biggest concern is that malicious code may render the iPhone unusable as a phone. Apple is protecting its product, as it should.

I'm sure you can provide even one example of where an emulated machine has ever had a vulnerability allowing a program running in the emulated hardware to do something malicious to the (usually) unrelated host hardware.

Apple saves world from 8-bit nuclear attack (3, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097120)

Despite months of negotiations to get a Commodore 64 emulator approved for the iPhone, Apple has pulled the application after just two days [today.com] after a hack was found that enables the BASIC interpreter.

“Anything capable of allowing programming — any programming — could be a security risk to the iPhone and its users,” said Apple in a statement to the Library of Congress on copyright. “As such, it is absolutely vital for the safety of the nation that we vet every single application and collect 30% on each one.”

Apple software reviewers, who are generally moonlighting from day jobs as TSA airport security policy writers, fear a wave of 1980s-style “hackers” using the iPhone to “dial” into NASA or National Security Agency computers using the accompanying 300-Baud Acoustic-Coupled Modem application. “We had our suspicions when the app lit the user’s face from below in just the right shade of green to show off their cheekbones really photogenically.”

Reviewers were particularly concerned that the BASIC interpreter was originally written by Microsoft. “Of course, their security is famously terrible,” said one reviewer in a break from torturing kittens. “We’d probably get a Commodore 64 virus. And their sense of aesthetics! No way Steve would ever let that through.”

A similar Commodore 64 emulator that gives ten cents to AT&T every time a user runs a game has passed approval in two days.

“A strange phone,” said NSA correspondent “WOPR.” “The only winning move is not to buy.”

Wouldn't a 6510 emu essentially be an interpreter? (1)

LarrySDonald (1172757) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097494)

I mean, it is executing non-native code (6510 asm) without (I'm guessing) recompiling it for iPhone, providing a way to run programs with an in-between layer to not use the native stuff or keep Apples glorious blessing on the code. This is essentially what java or flash does, construct a secondary layer where code can run. On the other hand, Apple is Apple and pretty much reserves the right to be inconsistent, bizarre and allow or disallow things at will depending on what suits them so I guess it's par for the course.

C64 BASIC is a Microsoft Product (1)

leptons (891340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098044)

C64 BASIC is a Microsoft Product (seriously, it is). Maybe this is the real reason Apple doesn't want it running on the iPhone.

apple nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099546)

screw Apple's fascism. Port it to Android, free of those silly emulator restrictions, and a platform that is quickly overtaking iPhone

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