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Catch Up Via Video With World of Commodore 2012

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the vic-20-with-cf-card-and-time-machine dept.

Amiga 51

Leif_Bloomquist writes "Videos of the presentations from the recent World of Commodore, held December 1st 2012 in Toronto, have been published on YouTube. The presentations range from new product announcements to remakes of classic Commodore games for iPhone, from animation and music performances to coding tutorials and discussions for retro platforms. The revived World of Commodore is held annually on the first weekend of December by the Toronto PET Users Group."

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51 comments

first post (0)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42483639)

ib4 the amiga arrives

Dagnab tripped over one this morning (1)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42483769)

How much do they want for it?

I will attend... (3, Interesting)

Ashenkase (2008188) | about a year and a half ago | (#42483799)

If there is a live Killer Poke [wikipedia.org] demonstration.

Re:I will attend... (2)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42484413)

I fondly remember a simple c64 program I wrote that is the equivalent of giving your computer acid.

Bear with me, this pseudo code is rough since its been over 20 years.

10 i=0;
20 randomize timer
30 a=Random 1 to maximum first poke value.
40 b=Random 1 to maximum second poke value.
50 Poke a,b
60 Print i
70 Goto 10


Screen would split in sections sometimes, letters would melt, sounds would come out of the speakers, sometimes stuff printed.

Even if you supplied the random seed, you got different effects because some of the pokes hit the timer, etc.

There's no way you could do something like this on a modern computer because it'd most definitely write over some system files. Maybe in an emulation window if you're brave.

Debug Re:I will attend... (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42484425)

65 i=i+1

Re:Debug Re:I will attend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42484693)

What's the point of incrementing i when you set it back to zero with line 10?

Re:Debug Re:I will attend... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42484873)

so it will go from 0 to 1 and exit?

leet 8 bit basic skills there hehe

forgive me I am in the middle of writing an apple II basic game for a compo and have not so crazy stuff like

9045 SH = FT: GOSUB 9015: HCOLOR = 0: XDRAW 100 AT 220,97
9046 FOR I = 1 TO LEN(BO$(PA)): XDRAW ASC(MID$(BO$(PA),I,1)) - 31
9047 XDRAW 99: NEXT: RETURN

Re:Debug Re:I will attend... (1)

bedouin (248624) | about a year and a half ago | (#42492371)

Sigh. Graphics were so much easier to program on the Apple ][.

Re:Debug Re:I will attend... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42492733)

eh yes and no, that little blurb (for the most part) prints bitmapped fonts from ascii strings, which for a "non standard" thing is not too hard, but on the other end of it blanking redrawing the entire screen is too slow, so resource management becomes tricky

least the commies had a video chip to handle all the dirty work for you, just tell it where to look and let it run

Re:I will attend... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42485115)

Not sure what the I variable is for, or how the timer bit works, but this did some funky stuff in my emulator just now:

10 A=INT(RND(0)*65535)+1
20 B=INT(RND(0)*256)
30 POKEA,B
40 GOTO10

The first time I ran it, it actually modified itself in pretty crazy ways and then exited with an error.

Re:I will attend... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42485133)

Ooh, even better. One line computer melting:

10 POKE INT(RND(0)*65535)+1,INT(RND(0)*256):GOTO10

Re:I will attend... (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | about a year and a half ago | (#42490873)

Though RND(0) isn't really random; have it only poke characters into video memory and you'll get diagonal lines with untouched areas in between. I'm kinda rusty, but found this and it rings some faint bells: http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue72/random_numbers.php [atarimagazines.com]

Re:I will attend... (2)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about a year and a half ago | (#42490397)

RANDOMIZE TIMER was a statement on the old Microsoft GW-BASIC. There was never such a statement on the BASIC 2.0 of the C64.

The proper way to seed the pseudo-RNG on the C64 was to fire up the SID's 3rd oscillator, set it to a noise waveform and a somewhat high frequency, and PEEK the one register that would output the state of the oscillator to RND, after negating it.

You could also use the CIA #1 or #2 TOD registers, if you started the TOD clock manually, or use the C64's software timer, accessible from the variable TI.

There's a small chance your program could cause some interesting effects if it hit memory locations 1024 to 2023, where the default screen memory is located, the corresponding locations in the $D000 bank where "color memory" was located, any of the VIC registers, or possibly the two CIA bits that selected which 16Kbyte "bank" the VIC was pointed to. Randomly hitting CIA registers could disable interrupts, or cause an IRQ or NMI interrupt storm. Poking random values into memory location 1, which controls RAM/ROM banking, is not a good idea either.

There's no way you could do this on a modern computer not because it's going to write over system files, but because all modern CPUs have a built-in MMU that prevents programs from running at the userland level from overwriting anything the kernel has not given it permission to do so. So all your program will do is shit on itself segfault.

Communicating with peripherals these days usually entails obeying a protocol, which requires multiple coordinated register reads and writes at proper times. Disobeying this usually won't have terribly catastrophic events but may cause the system to lock up or really have no effect. You could still do visually interesting stuff by writing random things to video RAM but that's about it these days.

Re:I will attend... (2)

Psychotria (953670) | about a year and a half ago | (#42484777)

If there is a live Killer Poke [wikipedia.org] demonstration.

That's good, but I'd prefer to see a demonstration of the Halt and Catch Fire instruction. [wikipedia.org]

Re:I will attend... (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42488649)

Back when I had a ZX-81 I regularly visited the home computer department of our local warehouse in the early eighties to take a look at better machines. One of the screens on some Atari said "Do not press a key". I pressed a key, of course, and the Atari imitated a very loud burglar alarm siren. You couldn't even stop it by pushing the reset button. :-)

Anyway, back to the topic. The wikipedia page on "killer pokes" doesn't mention the TI 99/4A but I remember the rumor that it could easily be destroyed by software. Is that true?

I was just at my parent's place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42483981)

Trying to figure out what to do with my PET4032. It's quite large and heavy, and it has that monitor bug which I guess means it needs repair. Other than that, what to do with it? I'm not throwing it out.

Re:I was just at my parent's place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42484209)

Try the classiccmp mailing list. Don't expect too much $$. But it will be preserved and repaired.

Every time someone mentions commodore (2)

Kplx138 (2523712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42484041)

Every time someone mentions commodore, someone somewhere will install UAE or start searching ebay for vintage commodores

Re:Every time someone mentions commodore (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42484393)

It just brings back so many pleasant memories of when it was fun learning and exploring computers. The raspberry pi gives me much of that same feeling and the community spirit starting to spring up around it reminds me of the old user groups.

Re:Every time someone mentions commodore (1)

Kplx138 (2523712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42486167)

Is anyone working on making raspberry pi run c64 or amiga emulators? I also remember operating systems like QNX I'll have to pick up a pi one of these days

Every time someone mentions commodore_forever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42484419)

Like this? [c64forever.com]

Re:Every time someone mentions commodore (1)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about a year and a half ago | (#42487419)

shit, just bought an amiga 600 :(

Android C64 emulators (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42484539)

Is there going to be a keynote explaining the pathetic state of C64 emulation on Android?

Re:Android C64 emulators (3, Informative)

JackAxe (689361) | about a year and a half ago | (#42485301)

I'm not sure what your deal is, or why you're making this claim, but emulators like Frodo 64 on Android works great for me and it's free. I first installed it on my Nexus One, then my Transformer, and now my Galaxy Note 10.1 and it works for the programs I like to keep handy when I'm feeling nostalgic; so all of the programs I've tried.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.ab.c64&hl=en [google.com]

I am amazed that Frodo C64 emu is free on Webos (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42484659)

Now I just need to find a conversion utility for all my BASIC ASCII PET poke routines to get some REALLY strange 1980 junior high program ideas out there. I seem to remember that even polling for keyboard input was different on the C64.

Ummmmm.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42485255)

GET A LIFE, PEOPLE!

Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (3, Informative)

Empiric (675968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42485293)

If you've never written a serial data-transfer routine in Assembly that transfers said data from a floppy drive at the absolute maximum possible theoretical speed, down to the clock cycle, by using both the clock and data lines for data, and leveraging the happy coincidence that the 1541 drive had its own 6502 CPU that ran at the same speed the computer does (once you blank the screen)... I highly recommend it.

No handshaking at all. Just Assembly loops and the data sitting on the pins for precisely the necessary clock cycle duration for the two loops running on the two CPUs on separate devices connected only by serial. Good times.

Re:Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42485653)

No handshaking at all. Just Assembly loops and the data sitting on the pins for precisely the necessary clock cycle duration for the two loops running on the two CPUs on separate devices connected only by serial. Good times.

Sounds exciting, especially if the data is something important. :^) Wouldn't clock drift cause problems after a while? (My understanding is that there is no such thing as a perfect clock; so even if the 6502 cpu and the floppy drive's cpu were nominally running at the same speed, in actuality one would be slightly faster than the other, and the difference might vary slightly with temperature, etc)

Re:Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (1)

Empiric (675968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42485917)

Well, as for "important data", some variant of this technique became the standard for most all of the disk-backup and "fast load" utilities of the time, so I think one could fairly say the scope of the data transferred by this means became eventually "all of it". ;)

It didn't hurt that process that the built-in firmware of the 1541 was horrifically slow out-of-the-box, and though it's been a long time, I'd broad-brush this method as around 500 times faster than "stock".

On clock drift, was never my experience that this was a practical problem, though it's an interesting question. Since the physical movement of the disk and stepper-motor was naturally slower than the data transfer, one would be resyncing the process every few sectors (again, don't quote me, but IIRC the 1541's built-in RAM was enough to buffer 4 sectors), and over that number of bytes I never encountered drift sufficient to lose any bits.

Re:Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42486625)

But what if the two processors are about 0.5 cycles off? How do you synchronize them well enough that they can transfer data cycle by cycle?

Re:Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (1)

ModelX (182441) | about a year and a half ago | (#42486969)

Just writing to the output register takes 4 cycles. The minimum of bit shuffling takes 2 cycles, so one could get new bits on the line every 6 cycles or so. You can solve clock drift during longer transfers by checking for an edge every so many cycles and compensating correspondingly. So the routine would start by running a few 01 transitions to synchronize, then you would transfer X bytes, re-synchronize on an edge, send the next X bytes etc.

Re:Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42486035)

You are correct, no two crystal oscillators keep precisely the same time. However it's all a question of degree, how far apart are they after how much time? Considering the fastest loading an unmodified (no parallel cable added) 1541 can do is about 4 seconds for an entire 64K file into a C64, that's not enough time for the two computers to drift apart enough to cause errors. Of course, you could try sticking the 1541 in a freezer and the C64 in a toaster and see what happens.

Re:Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42487157)

I suspect all the chips on that board shared a common clock signal (or a multiple of it), so any drift would be inconsequential as they would all be subject to an identical referential signal.

Re:Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42487355)

Yes, but there are two boards: one in the C64, and one in the 1541. Both have a 6502 (or variant thereof) CPU. Both have their own clocks. The clocks are not synchronised, but DO run at the same nominal speed.

Re:Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42528427)

Actually, the serial interface includes a serial clock signal. This will most likely be at least an order of magnitue lower than the nominal CPU speed so maintaining synchronisation would be trivial.

Re:Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (1)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about a year and a half ago | (#42487467)

Wait, are you saying that video games aren't important?

Re:Still wouldn't be a bad CS exercise today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42490697)

The C64 ran at 1.02 MHz (NTSC) or 0.98 MHz (PAL). The 1541 floppy drive ran at 1.00 MHz. The trick was to find a suitable loop length for each device so that the drift while transferring one 256 byte block of data was low enough.

Did anyone show up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42485333)

expecting to catch a performance of "Three Times a Lady"?

I think this remake of a former C64 is pretty cool (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#42485401)

Giana Sisters [kickstarter.com] . You can get it for Windows on Steam.

There is also a fan based remake [gianas-return.de] which works on Linux etc.

Re:I think this remake of a former C64 is pretty c (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#42485471)

PS: You can also get Giana Sisters on GoG in case you hate DRM.

Why the continued interest? akin to classic cars? (2)

fantomas (94850) | about a year and a half ago | (#42486245)

Curious as to why there is still a fan scene. Is it like a classic auto scene, where everybody is keen to show off their well kept old machine, or is it the fun of writing code on a limited old machine and seeing how far it can be pushed? I'd be interested to hear about the different motivations people have for participating in the scene. I am guessing there aren't too many people in the scene who do it because they believe the world would be a better / more efficient place if we all moved over to using C64's for our computing needs?

Re:Why the continued interest? akin to classic car (2)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42486479)

Look in the past to take inspiration for the future, I guess.
The Apple may be more popular historically for being the first modern computer as it was the first to copy the Xerox GUI(and the fact they dominate the market nowadays helps too as the history is written by the winners), but if you ask me Amiga/Commodore had a much bigger impact in computing technology, in particular media and graphics. Hardware acceleration, true-color displays, hi-definition sound(including speech) and video playback, all almost a decade before anyone else. AmigaOS is also pretty damn advanced: true multi-tasking, full featured window system, multiple desktops, kickstart, all things that started with amiga.
Basically every thing we take for granted for a consumer computer nowadays basically started with Amiga. If you ask me MAC OS and Windows computers only became a decent substitute for an Amiga computer with the release of XP and OSX. My only regret is that even though my dad bought a Amiga computer for the family(he already had a windows 3.1 machine he hated), back in the 90s, I never really took the time to fully explore it and pretty much only booted it up for the games, which were the greatest of the its time. I had a SNES which I barely touched in favor of the Amiga.

Re:Why the continued interest? akin to classic car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42487711)

s/Amiga/unix/g

Re:Why the continued interest? akin to classic car (2)

Mr. Mikey (17567) | about a year and a half ago | (#42487759)

Agreed... The Amiga was a decade ahead of its time. If Commodore had only been able to market the machine to a wider audience, *it* would have set the standard, and advanced personal computing by a decade. Graphics, sound, OS, even the processor were all superior.

Re:Why the continued interest? akin to classic car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42492759)

It was a decade before its time when initially released, but it greatly suffered at the hands of post-Tramiel Commodore management. Their desire to keep costs down resulted in numerous aborted hardware projects and general stagnation of the platform.

So the OCS was released with the A1000 in summer '85, yet we didn't see a real increase in color depth until fall '92 with AGA. Same length of time to see the base model processor bumped from a 68000/7 to a 68EC020/14. Sound resolution never made it past 8 bits (excluding hacks and third party add-ons). Hard drives were never made standard. I'd say that the Amiga was probably eclipsed around '88 or '89 and never had a chance to make a comeback prior to Commodore's liquidation.

As for marketing, it was much more than that. Commodore never courted nor developed in-house the sort of business software to compete with IBM in the office. Wordperfect lagged up to two years behind the DOS version, and Superbase just didn't match its DOS counterparts. Amiga keyboards never matched the quality of high-end PC keyboards.

In the entry-level workstation market, Commodore stumbled with UNIX when they dumped Coherent and the Commodore 900, failing to pick the ball back up again until the A3000UX. They tickled at the toes of Sun and SGI, but failed to push their high-end. The OS couldn't handle multiple CPUs, so we never saw multi-threading. They stuck with the 680x0 for too long, then complained that the PA-RISC was too expensive for their entry level systems when contemplating a jump before the end.

Commodore might have had a chance had they simply stuck with moderate improvements in their architectures. Instead, they were erratic and unfocused. Too many chiefs with theirs heads up their asses, unable to hear the indians all around them screaming how to make things right.

Re:Why the continued interest? akin to classic car (3, Insightful)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42487005)

Why are there apple/android fan sites today? The C64 was a somewhat affordable computer then that you could do things with. Play sophisticated games, program in understandable basic, copy/share disks of 'cracked of copy protection' games with friends. Communicate with others via 300 baud modems. Type in programs from magazines, line by line, and get a feeling of accomplishment (when you finally fixed the typos you entered) when it ran. All this stuff was new then, never been done before.

See the red & white ball at the top of this page? To get that ball drawn, and bouncing around the screen with shadow effect took hours of typing in a thousand plus lines of machine code from a magazine. ( 001,352,054,859,238,041 {enter} repeat ) And that (for the time) was amazing, never been seen before! A friend of mine created a rudimentary basic program, meant just for his girlfriend, that drew a human figure that got an erection when you answered a couple y/n questions. Took him days, I think, and he had a proud (and devilish) look when he showed it to us. Good times. Maybe it's just a case of 'you had to be there', I guess.

Re:Why the continued interest? akin to classic car (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42505837)

Curious as to why there is still a fan scene. Is it like a classic auto scene, where everybody is keen to show off their well kept old machine, or is it the fun of writing code on a limited old machine and seeing how far it can be pushed? I'd be interested to hear about the different motivations people have for participating in the scene. I am guessing there aren't too many people in the scene who do it because they believe the world would be a better / more efficient place if we all moved over to using C64's for our computing needs?

Well, it's like the classic car scene. It's a computer where one person can legitimately understand the entire machine down to the clock cycle level.

A modern PC isn't at that stage - you need to know the intricacies of the processor, the caches, PCI bus, USB bus, etc in order to understand what's happening.

But with a C64 and similar computers of the era, it's really easy to get down a dirty and cycle count and all that. And comprehend what the machine is doing at any time.

It's a hobby thing. Just like most drivers don't care for classic cars for various reasons (they look pretty, but most will never care to own one), most computer users won't care for retro computing. Nostalgia plays a big part as well - you'll find classic car owners and retro computing enthusiasts to be doing it for the same general reason - they had them in their youth and want something to remember their younger days by. And having means now means they can do things they never would've done before - either they couldn't afford it, or they wouldn't risk damaging it.

Wow (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about a year and a half ago | (#42487593)

Looks like it was a good lineup of talks.

Re:Wow (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about a year and a half ago | (#42488255)

The Pet Synth demo is really nice - brings back memories... POKEing locations 59464, 59466, 59467 endlessly, and scrambling to turn down the amplifier when a sound program crashed.

Discount Nike shox shoes,Air max shoes sale (1)

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