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163 comments

Re: Who cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#181745)

Java is GAY. Totally GAY. Write once, GAY
everywhere.

sweet! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#181746)

This is even better than Mozilla on Amiga. [mozillazine.org]

Apple // has had this for awhile.... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#181747)

The Apple //GS has had TCP/IP and a web browser for a couple of years now. When I submitted a story about these events, Slashdot didn't think it was worth posting - yet, they do for the 64. For serious retro-computing with the Apple //, check out these sites. http://sourceforge.net/projects/marinetti http://sis.gwlink.net/ http://www.btinternet.com/~ewannop/sp.html http://www.a2central.com/

Re:My error in strategic judgement... (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#181748)

I recommend Atari servers and Commodore clients to all my customers. Igonre the ideology and use the tool that works best, that's what I say.

Re:And not only that... (1)

pedro (1613) | more than 13 years ago | (#181756)

Yup. one word: Abacus
Their books contained complete, annotated ROM listings of the kernel, basic, and 1541 drive code.
Nab Commodore's official book (with schematics! holy shit!), plunk down another hundred or so for the Abacus publications, and a copy of Glenn Bredon's MOST excellent Merlin assembler, and Voila! Joo are in bidness!
Oh. As an aside, I have to mention that C64 basic and Applesoft were almost identical under the hood.
For a desperate game port of code written in basic (no, not mine. I'm an assembler kind of guy) I was placed in a position that required that I get Blitz's (a C64 Pcode type compiler) runtime to run on Apple II.
Merlin for the apple provided a utility that would disassemble and comment the Applesoft Roms for you.
Going back and forth between the resulting listing, and Abacus' own, I got that sucker running like a champ on the apple. Almost all of the major routines were the same; I had to patch a bit here and there, and redefine a BUNCH of memory locations, but in the end, it all Just Worked(tm).
Man.. I miss those days.. (sob!)

Re:And not only that... (1)

pedro (1613) | more than 13 years ago | (#181757)

Oops..
Anticipating the obvious question "what about all the Peeks an Pokes..?"
I had to massage this guy's basic by hand and recompile.
Major pain in the ass. That compiler was SLOOOWWW.

The C64 ROCKED as a hacker maschinen! (2)

pedro (1613) | more than 13 years ago | (#181758)

Oh, man! Where do I start?
How about all the hardware features that went virtually unused by practically everyone, Commodore, included?
There was that REALLY neat synchronous serial port built into the VIA chip that was pulled out the back IO connector.
I was doing C64<>Apple II game ports at the time, and needed to transfer files back and forth. I cobbled together a cable that linked the C64 and the apple game connector and wrote assembly routines that shook hands at either end.
I got transfer speeds of about 50kbaud both ways over that sucker. Not too shabby for 1mhz processors
And how about running fastloader code *in the disk drive*? And diddling the interleave factor when formatting to speed things up even further? Or storing data in unused directory sectors to save space?
Whoa. Getting a woody just thinking about it!
Then there's all the neat things you can do with a vertical blank or scanline interrupt!
Of course, there's the SID chip also..
Oh, gawd! Somebody stop me!

Computer Workshops INC?? (3)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 13 years ago | (#181762)

As in Incorporated? Didn't anybody tell them that the time to blow your venture capital releasing goofy products with no real revenue potential ended last year?

Re:Apple // has had this for awhile.... (2)

Jonathan (5011) | more than 13 years ago | (#181763)

But one would *expect* the //GS to have a web browser -- it was a GUI-based computer with at least 256K of memory, after all, Now, a web browser for the traditional Apple ]['s (][, ][+, //e and //c) with their small memories and lack of native GUI, would be a worthy challenge.

C-64 Floppy Disk Drive? (1)

Bilbo (7015) | more than 13 years ago | (#181764)

Anyone want a C-64 Floppy Disk Drive (5.25). Take it home for free (if you pay shipping). Should be enough cache space for 3 or 4 Web pages....

--

Re:OT: Posting and the Slashdot effect (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 13 years ago | (#181766)

Stupid reasons, cache the page, and email the owner of the site with a directions on how to remove the site.
Maybe take PNG or Jpeg pictures of the page, then you are not using thier html code. (-;

Just start cacheing the damn webpages.

OT: Posting and the Slashdot effect (5)

tekan (12825) | more than 13 years ago | (#181769)

One possible idea for curbing the slashdot effect, especially on bandwidth limited websites, would be to have some mechanism whereby when you post such a story about a website that the story submitter could check an option that would allow for "Google" style mirroring of the page(s) to be stored on slashdot for the time that the story is on the homepage. Once the story goes to the archives or just falls off the homepage, then the cached pages are dumped. Just an idea.

Way too much time on your hands.... (1)

bruceg (14365) | more than 13 years ago | (#181771)

Man, what a waste of time. Why bother?

Java is not available already? (5)

color of static (16129) | more than 13 years ago | (#181780)

What do you mean my java code isn't write once and run ANYWHERE? Geez, now I guess you're going to say it won't work on my Timex Sinclair either.

The glory of the C64 (3)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 13 years ago | (#181782)

If you're interested in doing bizzaro stuff with your C64, you might want to check out these links:

LUnix (Fully functioning SLIP-TCP/IP stack for C64) [netsurf.de]

GeckOS/A65 [6502.org] (Multitasking Unix-ish OS for C64s)

Lemon [lemon64.com] for a good stockpile of C64 warez. :)

Re:C64 Specs (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 13 years ago | (#181785)

Sorta. And you didn't double the vertical resolution, you doubled the horizontal resolution (keeping the double-wide pixels) which made for some nice color smoothing. You changed the image and color data once per frame back and forth between two different images (and shifted the screen 1 pixel in either direction and back). There are also ways to get hires with more colors by overlaying sprites (But you don't get 320x200, it's more like 192x200, but still impressive), you can stretch sprites, you can multiplex sprites, you can do all sorts of things with just the right raster timing.
_______
Scott Jones
Newscast Director / ABC19 WKPT

Re:Apple // has had this for awhile.... (1)

spudnic (32107) | more than 13 years ago | (#181786)

...and they just didn't like the old Apples. Still don't.

Re:SuperCPU (1)

csbruce (39509) | more than 13 years ago | (#181787)

Wow!! That's amazing! If these guys are as good at making CPUs as they are at math, then we're in for some fun......;)

A cricual point that you seem to be missing is that software is written in a very different way for a very small system like the C64. Of course it is significantly less functional, but a lot of software worked sufficiently well and ran sufficiently quickly for the stock C64 nearly 20 years ago at 1 MHz (its slow disk drive is a different issue).

When you run this style of software on a processor that runs 20 times faster, WHAMO! It suddenly runs 20 times faster. Whereas modern software follows Gates' law ("every 18 months, the speed of software halves"), and its speed never really increases, only its whiz-bangedness.

The 65816 in the SuperCPU is also a 16-bit processor vs. the 8-bit 6510 (6502). This is a significant potential increase as well, similar to the modern transition from 32 to 64 bits.

Re:Don't laugh (1)

csbruce (39509) | more than 13 years ago | (#181788)

And if one has a 1571 or 1581 Commodore drive, Big Blue Reader is an utility that will read/write/format DD DOS disks.

Hey, you could also use Little Red Reader! [csbruce.com] ;-)

My error in strategic judgement... (5)

Sun Tzu (41522) | more than 13 years ago | (#181789)

Here I sit staring at my unnetworked Atari 800. Finally, I understand why I should have bought a Commodore!

Re:And not only that... (2)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 13 years ago | (#181790)

Meanwhile, back in the present, I've probably spent more than a thousand bucks on software and PC documentation over the last 10 years without ever getting anything that resembles a complete description of the hardware.

A complete description of a modern computer in all its complexity would likely fill a bookshelf. Just the latest draft of the ATA specification [t13.org] is about the same thickness, when printed double-sided, as the Apple IIe Technical Reference Manual I got back in 1987, which provided complete schematics, specifications, and even source code for the ROMs (except for the BASIC interpreter, and if Apple hadn't gotten that from M$, it probably would've been published too).

Psion has also nice browsers (1)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 13 years ago | (#181791)

Psion 5 machines are also devices with limited power (8 mhz for 5, 16 mhz for 5mx), little memory, tiny screen, etc.

But the Psion web browser rocks. And Opera is even better.HTML 4 works. Javascript works. On 5MX, Java is also fully supported. And dithered pictures don't look that ugly. And it renders just as fast as Mozilla on my Celeron 450.

Assembly language and optimization. This point has been forgotten by today's developpers for servers and desktop computers.

When I coded demos on Atari ST, 1 cycle was 1 cycle (actually 4 on 68000), and it should never been lost, or another crew would have done better than your. And when you only have 512 K RAM total, you have to save bytes, too. Code was unpacked and generated on-the-fly, and every piece of hardware was used at its best. For instance, I used the sound hardware to draw 3D (actually to erase the virtual screen by sampling with no volume) . Generated code, precalculations, memory moves, self-modified code, pre-shifted line segments and sprites, etc. This was tricky, this was a hell to debug and to understand when you didn't fully design the code. But it was hard to do faster. We could spent one entiere year just to save some cycles in order to have the best sprite or line routine of all crews.
Today's workstations have 500x more memory that Atari ST had. Their CPU is 200x faster. And the graphic and sound chips are also able to do amazing things without the need of the main CPU (playing a soundtrack module at 16khz + fullscreen took just about 80% of the CPU time per VBL on Atari...) . So why don't we have applications that are at least 200x faster ?
Because there are no more real coders. Just programmers. People sometimes care about algorithms, not about the code itself. And nobody seems to have interest in assembly language. High-level bloated slow languages like Perl and PHP rules the world (no flame here : I love Perl, but the fact is that the same thing could be 100x faster in execution. But 100x longer to code, yes) . I can't imagine what wonderful things we could have on our PC today if everything was coded like good old demos.
And big projects can be coded in pure assembly. The GfA-Basic and Devpac 2 were powerful development kits (interpreter/compiler/assembler/debugger) and 100% pure assembly. The same things goes for HP48 projects. 100% Saturn assembly (hi HP freaks ! HPdream is talking to you !), and there were monster projects (like the meta-kernel, now in newer HP calculators) . Some big demos also needed a lot of source code, twice the size of the linux kernel source code. And it worked. Fast.
Coding in pure assembly nowadays may sound like regression. But maybe fast and lazy programming to get a just-working but slow and bloated result is also a regression.

C64 Specs (1)

raynet (51803) | more than 13 years ago | (#181793)

From what I know, C-64 had two graphics modes, hires 320x200 with 1 background color and 1 foreground color (could be changed per character [40x25]) and multicolor 160x200 that had 2 extra colors, also there was 8 sprites of size 32x32 pixels (hires) or 16x32 (multicolor). With interlacing it was possible to double the vertical resolution and it was possible to mix the 16 colors to 128 colors. C-64 had 3 voice generators with 3-waveforms (square,sawtooth,sine) plus noise, it was possible due to bug in SID to create digitized sounds (4 bit).

Re:flash?? (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 13 years ago | (#181795)

The Linux Netscape 4.7 flash plugin works just fine with Mozilla 0.9 under Linux. I suspect the same would be true of the Windows plugin. Why don't you try it?

sigh... (1)

Nevrar (65761) | more than 13 years ago | (#181796)

My Mum threw our C64 out... :( Sure, the keyboard was totally non-functional (you practically needed a hammer to hit a key before it registered a key press), but its times like these you really wish you hadn't got rid of it.

Guess I'll have to go and find one from somewhere - maybe some museum will have one :)

Re:Don't laugh (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 13 years ago | (#181797)

From what I recall, in addition to great sound, as you mention, the C-64 also had sprite capabilities and 8-bit color at 320x200. The Apple used an extremely hard to code, 7-bit, 4-color system with annoying artifacts. Kudos to all the Apple II game programmers for creating such nice games with such an unwieldy graphics system.

Re:Don't laugh (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 13 years ago | (#181798)

The custom chip set for the Amiga was designed by Jay Miner who also did the graphics chip set for the Atari 8-bit machines. I don't think he had come over to Commodore when the C64 was being designed, but I'm not sure and can't turn up anything on a web search. I also don't know if he is still alive. The Atari 800 and the Amiga were great machines in their day. If he is dead, I'll belatedly mourn his passing.

Thanks for that info. IMO, Jay Miner was a digital graphics pioneer who was way ahead of his time. He should be revered by all and remembered for his significant contribution to the microcomputer revolution.

Re:C64 Specs (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 13 years ago | (#181799)

From what I know, C-64 had two graphics modes, hires 320x200 with 1 background color and 1 foreground color (could be changed per character [40x25]) and multicolor 160x200 that had 2 extra colors, also there was 8 sprites of size 32x32 pixels (hires) or 16x32 (multicolor). With interlacing it was possible to double the vertical resolution and it was possible to mix the 16 colors to 128 colors. C-64 had 3 voice generators with 3-waveforms (square,sawtooth,sine) plus noise, it was possible due to bug in SID to create digitized sounds (4 bit).

Very interesting. I stand corrected. I take it that, by interlacing, you mean it was possible to interrupt the raster and change color registers on the fly. Thanks raynet.

Re:Don't laugh (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 13 years ago | (#181800)

I still use the 128 for all my letters, game playing, label printing and even, via the HandyScanner 64 and PageFox, desktop publishing.

Chris, you are a true believer. I admire your loyalty to the past. It was fun to write 6502 assembly code for those puppies, wasn't it?

Re:Don't laugh (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 13 years ago | (#181801)

and there is nothing today like the feeling one gets of stoping a running program on the 64 via the interrupt button on the Snapshot cartridge, entering the ML monitor, messing with the code, exiting the monitor, and re-entering the running program where it was stopped and watching it run with the new changes.

Now that's REAL power!


I can feel your joy.

The 128 is booted, with my text editor loaded and running before the Macintosh has even loaded it's first line of Extension and Control Panel icons. To print labels on the Mac, I have to load a relatively huge program.

Now this is one of my major complaints regarding today's desktop machines. It takes way too long to boot them and get them to speed. I wish someone would do something about that, although I doubt it can be remedied.

Yes, I still use a slide rule, except for those problems that require more than three decimal place answers. Then I use my Texas Instruments SR-40, the "upscale" version of the classic TI-30 "Electronic Slide Rule" calculator. Nothing says "MATHEMATICS" quite like a red LED display.

Dude! With a little bit of creative thinking, you could start a new techie religion. May I suggest you encase your oldest computer in a clear acrylic block, turn it into an idol of worship, and have your flower-children pray and burn candles and incense to it. Also make them wear a gold-plated 6502 chip on the front of their caps. The slide rule is their cross, of course. :-D

Have fun. Don't ever throw away any of that stuff. In a few years it may have archaelogical importance.

Re:Don't laugh (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 13 years ago | (#181802)

Did anyone else wonder why there wasn't an add without carry instruction?

Wasn't that a deliberate design decision having to do with overall instruction speed?

Don't laugh (2)

Louis Savain (65843) | more than 13 years ago | (#181804)

The C-64, the VIC-20, (and the Pet before that) are the ancestors of the incomparable Amiga. The graphics chip-set of all of them was designed by the same engineeer, who I believe, is no longer among the living. If Jack Tramiel (Commodore's CEO) had given a little bit more attention to improving the C-64 (by adding good disk drives and slots), the Apple II would not have become as popular as it did. The C-64 had 10 times better graphics capabilities than the Apple II.

I am fascinated by the early history of the microcomputer. Does anybody out there still remember the Rockwell AIM-65 computer, a single board 6502 machine with a 20-character LED readout, a keyboard and a calculator roll-printer all attached to the board?

Holy moses! (2)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 13 years ago | (#181805)

"I've seen a C64 browse the web with full HTML 1.0"

No way! FULL HTML 1.0 support? Way to bring the C64 into the early 1990s! Where's my copy of Netscape Mosaic 0.9.2?
--

Re:How's this work? (5)

jkonrath (72701) | more than 13 years ago | (#181807)

Most people still hacking at C64's use a cable that goes from the printer port on a PC to the drive cable on the 64. It's called an x1541 cable. You run a small bit of software on your PC, and then your C64 thinks your PC is a disk drive. The PC program lets you load and save image files of 1541 disks. So you could pull down a bunch of disk images from the 'net to your PC's drive, and your C64 would treat them as floppy disks in the 8 drive or 9 drive or whatever. It's pretty cool, especially considering about a million of those tiny little SS/SD disk images could be downloaded in seconds on a 56K modem...

-Jon

All I need... (5)

selectspec (74651) | more than 13 years ago | (#181808)

is a store where I can buy a Cassette Tape with this program on it and I'm on my way!

Re:SuperCPU (2)

nlh (80031) | more than 13 years ago | (#181809)

From the site...

It must not be compared with a PC which just runs a bit faster after an upgrade. A P300 only runs about 3 times faster than a P100. A SuperCPU-C64 runs 20 times faster than a stock C64!

Wow!! That's amazing! If these guys are as good at making CPUs as they are at math, then we're in for some fun......;)

nlh

Impressive? I have my doubts... (2)

Lion-O (81320) | more than 13 years ago | (#181810)

The last time I actually used a terminal program on my old C64 was to get an old database from the C64 onto my laptop. I merely needed my RS232 interface (small box which goes into the userport and contains one small chip to translate all the data to a full blown RS232 connection) and a null modem cable.

After I was done I skimmed around in my (dusted) software archive and stumbled across NovaTerm; a completely modular build terminal program for the C64 which offered anything you'd need. You need one side of a 5.25" disk for it (it will take up aprox. 80%) and the other side can be used as a datadisk. Because it was modular its functions expanded; right up to full ZModem support.

Taken that into consideration and the total size of the ppp stack in the Linux kernel I must admit not being very impressed by this project. I'm sure that if the novaterm developers we're still at it there would be a lynx style Internet access for the C64 ages ago. Maybe it could even evolve into full blown graphical support, who knows.

Basicly; this looks nice but I'm sure the C64 can do much more.

Oh Man! (1)

jimmcq (88033) | more than 13 years ago | (#181811)


Could you imagine a Beo...

Ah, forget it!

Re:Suicide case. (1)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 13 years ago | (#181812)

Hey, you couldn't effectively run Art Department Professional 2.5 on a C64. ARexx really shined then.

My kingdom for that flexibility/simplicity on any other PC OS...


Re:flash?? (1)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 13 years ago | (#181813)

I've seen some really annoying flash adverts. You don't want flash...


Re:Just submit the Google cached version (1)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 13 years ago | (#181814)

I don't think google caches graphics. The stuff that really eats bandwidth.


Surfing Moral Equivalent (2)

4of12 (97621) | more than 13 years ago | (#181816)


This has got to be the moral equivalent of impressing Real Surfer Dudes by hanging ten off one of those dinky 2 ft styrofoam dog paddle boards (like I used in the kiddie pools.)

Dammit... (3)

chegosaurus (98703) | more than 13 years ago | (#181817)

On hearing this news I have reluctantly decided to abandon my C64 port of Mozilla.

The Wave by Maurice Randall (1)

ShadowM (101995) | more than 13 years ago | (#181818)

As others have noted, that article is hard to get to. Is it talking about The Wave? This is a web browser by Maurice Randall, who wrote the GEOS upgrade called Wheels. You can read about it at http://www.ia4u.net/~maurice/gbrowse/wave.html GEOS, for those who don't know, is a GUI operating system for the Commodore 64.

Re:Java is not available already? (2)

DeepDarkSky (111382) | more than 13 years ago | (#181820)

I agree, I have a hard time trying to get Java to run on my abacus as well.

Re:Lynx on C=64 (1)

jred (111898) | more than 13 years ago | (#181821)

My first computer was a C=64, and my first internet account was a dial-up to a VMS box at the university. I had Lynx access all I wanted. Of course, most of the sites back then were text only, so graphics support wasn't too necessary.


jred
www.cautioninc.com [cautioninc.com]

flash?? (2)

wunderhorn1 (114559) | more than 13 years ago | (#181822)

Since Macromedia can't get their sorry asses going with Flash support for Netscape 6 (or more importantly, mozilla) under *Windows*, I can't see them supporting tbe C64 just yet...

And how 'bout a Shockwave player for Linux, huh?

Re:flash?? (1)

guhknew (123675) | more than 13 years ago | (#181823)

As had been mentioned by the previous response, the netscape navigator plugin works fine, and, although I could be wrong, I think they have ported the shockwave player over [finally].

Just submit the Google cached version (4)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#181824)

story submitter could check an option that would allow for "Google" style mirroring of the page(s)

A very frequent suggestion [slashdot.org] . Here's how to implement it: When you're submitting a story that links to a low-monthly-bandwidth web site, insert www.google.com/search?q=cache: right after the http:// in the URL. That way, viewers get a Google cached version with a link at the top to the most current version.

Re:Just submit the Google cached version (1)

Anonymous Squonk (128339) | more than 13 years ago | (#181827)

Here's how to implement it: When you're submitting a story that links to a low-monthly-bandwidth web site, insert www.google.com/search?q=cache: right after the http:// in the URL. That way, viewers get a Google cached version with a link at the top to the most current version.

Yes, but the Google cache doesn't show the pictures. I don't think this would be very interesting without being able to show the C64's browsing abilities (to the 99.99% of you who won't actually download the software to try browsing on their own C-64...)

Re:sigh... (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 13 years ago | (#181828)

Guess I'll have to go and find one from somewhere - maybe some museum will have one :)

In fact, a museum does have one, but they are saying totally wrong things [trulyfree.net] about them.

It makes me wonder who payed for that exhibit cough! Intel cough!.

Re:C-64? (1)

crazy_swimmer (136348) | more than 13 years ago | (#181829)

Interesting. I think that my dad used to have a Commodore-64, but I don't think I've seen one (maybe in a box at a garage sale) in my lifetime.

The above post raises an interesting question, though; how much backwards compatibility in new software/hardware is reasonable? How much is overkill? How much is blatent trolling to force customers to upgrade?

Suicide case. (3)

tcc (140386) | more than 13 years ago | (#181830)

That's pathetic, my Commodore 64 will end up having java support but not my classic amigas.... god damn it I knew I shouldn't have switched when the amiga 500 came out.

Great. (2)

yellowstuff (142885) | more than 13 years ago | (#181831)

One more client web developers have to support.

Re:Sure... (2)

suss (158993) | more than 13 years ago | (#181837)

Sure the C64 is great, but my hostname at work says it all... -- i.wish.my.vic20.had.more.than.fivek.com

Maybe you should've gotten the 16K expansion module? I still have one laying around here...

Re:How's this work? (1)

MikeSweetser (163852) | more than 13 years ago | (#181838)

BTW, my C64 is beige and looks nothing like all the other ones I see in pictures.... Anyone know what's up? It's not a C128 or anything. It's just a different looking C64.
It's a 64C, Commodore's rerelease of the 64 in the late-80s/early-90s. It came out about the same time as the 128 in order to make the two look similar.

It also has the latest revision of the ROMs for the 64 (the version in some of the original 64s had a nasty bug with scrolling and deleting that could lock up the 64).

I owned both a 64 and 64C, and the 64C seems easier to type on, for some reason.

Mike

VNC (1)

bbn (172659) | more than 13 years ago | (#181841)

They could just make a VNC client and it would magically run any X11 application. Or any windows application if remote controlling a windows machine counts.

Re:This is simply idiotic... (1)

Matthew Luckie (173043) | more than 13 years ago | (#181843)

yeah but imagine a beowolf cluster of them

Re:Quick! (1)

Maddog_Delphi97 (173780) | more than 13 years ago | (#181844)

whoops, now I look like a fool... If I had followed that AC's link, it was a slashdot article about browsers for NeXT..

Re:Quick! (2)

Maddog_Delphi97 (173780) | more than 13 years ago | (#181845)

Umm... NeXT was the very first platform to have a world wide web client...

http://www.w3.org/History/1994/WWW/Journals/CACM/s creensnap2_24c.gif

Sure... (2)

CodePoet82 (177189) | more than 13 years ago | (#181846)

Sure the C64 is great, but my hostname at work says it all... -- i.wish.my.vic20.had.more.than.fivek.com

Re:how gay (1)

JamesGreenhalgh (181365) | more than 13 years ago | (#181848)

And amusingly, the low end pentium box couldn't emulate a C64 at full speed.

mhz does not purely a fast machine make..


--

Re:Assembly Language Rocks (1)

msa26 (192167) | more than 13 years ago | (#181850)

The problem with his line of reasoning is how complex the damn processors are nowadays. If you reckon you can beat commercial compilers optimization routines when dealing with a fifteen (or more) stage pipeline then good luck to you. I don't even want to start thinking about optimized register allocations what with MMX and all that jazz. Hand coding small bits of hardware dependant routines is one thing but major applications with real-world functionality? Forget about it.

Re:Don't laugh (1)

Pig Bodine (195211) | more than 13 years ago | (#181851)

I was in the Atari camp, but talk of 6502 assembly can put me on a real nostalgia trip. Did anyone else wonder why there wasn't an add without carry instruction? Nearly 5% of my code must have been clearing the carry bit (CLC). The quirks of this chip were burned on my brain during my teenage years.

I still have my Atari 800, though I haven't run it for years. I can't quite bring myself to get rid of it.

Re:Don't laugh (3)

Pig Bodine (195211) | more than 13 years ago | (#181853)

The custom chip set for the Amiga was designed by Jay Miner who also did the graphics chip set for the Atari 8-bit machines. I don't think he had come over to Commodore when the C64 was being designed, but I'm not sure and can't turn up anything on a web search. I also don't know if he is still alive. The Atari 800 and the Amiga were great machines in their day. If he is dead, I'll belatedly mourn his passing.

Re:C-64? (1)

core10k (196263) | more than 13 years ago | (#181854)

Umm, Coco TRS-80 . Don't try to fake old-school cool when you just don't get it, okay Safety Cap?

Re:C-64? (1)

core10k (196263) | more than 13 years ago | (#181855)

That would be CoCo = TRS-80 .

Re:C-64? (1)

core10k (196263) | more than 13 years ago | (#181856)

I was saying that anyone who actually used a CoCo with any regularity would feel no need to distinguish between the two in any way whatsoever - they were, for all intents and purposes, identical. If there was a RAM differentiation, then fine, it's like the difference between having 32megs of RAM and having 256 megs of RAM, but it's still the same machine.

Re:C-64? (3)

guinsu (198732) | more than 13 years ago | (#181858)

I've seen a card that lets you add IDE [volny.cz] to a C-64, is that good enough?

Re:C-64? (2)

BluedemonX (198949) | more than 13 years ago | (#181859)

He's differentiating between the Color Computer (CoCo) (a TRS-80) and the TRS-80 model 1... another TRS-80 model.

One was aimed at the home computing market, the other was a "business machine" (with accompanying price tag)

Re:C-64? (2)

BluedemonX (198949) | more than 13 years ago | (#181860)

So, uh, what was that you were saying about not trying to fake old-school cool???

Re:C-64? (2)

BluedemonX (198949) | more than 13 years ago | (#181861)

There was no difference between a CoCo and a Model 1?

uh....

In some ways, sure... but not so in others. The TRS-80 series (Mod 1, etc) were a different class than the CoCo. No chicklet keyboards on the Mod series, for starters...

I wonder... (2)

shumacher (199043) | more than 13 years ago | (#181862)

I can't seem to get at the manual, but I wonder if it's just a terminal program "adjusted" to work with a modified version on Lynx....

Of course, it's a neat idea, but with what computers are going for today, I wonder what I could reasonably use it for. (Don't believe me, go to ebay and search for "IBM Thin Client") Personally, a web server would be better. It would then be really useful for various embedded applications. I could put one in a robotic lawnmower or my refrigerator. I even have an old children's book lying about that details the building of a robot that interfaces with the C64 - in other words, it's dead easy.

Oh, and ahem.... "Could you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?"

Photoshop for the TRS-80 (5)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 13 years ago | (#181863)

Sure, it's a little hard to see what you're doing (what with the 128x48 screen on the Model I). But 6.0 rocks! I have to save all of my multi-layered graphics onto audio cassettes, which can be a bit of a pain. It's at least faster than that paper tape drive that came with it.

Gotta go. I've got to make some hard copies with my snazzy thermal-transfer printer.

I've gone nuts with Photoshoppery [ridiculopathy.com]

Re:They must be using one for their Web hosting to (2)

jacklf (214580) | more than 13 years ago | (#181864)

Strange enough, I guess that's possible [sourceforge.net] :

"Some of LNG's key features (unordered)...
* A simple web server (experimental)"

Re:C-64? (1)

at_18 (224304) | more than 13 years ago | (#181865)

Interesting. I think that my dad used to have a Commodore-64, but I don't think I've seen one (maybe in a box at a garage sale) in my lifetime.

Hey, home computers are not so old. I'm 24 and I have a C64 somewhere collecting dust, which I used a lot in childhood (learning 6502 assembly was FUN).
Now if only someone puts out a SCSI Raid card for it, I can see some good use...

Why this type of development is important (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 13 years ago | (#181867)

People say these systems are outdated, slow, ect. Other's say the proper place for these relics from the 80's is the landfill. Hogwash!

These systems are the perfect development platform for embedded devices. As cool as palm is it would have been many many times cooler to have shrunk any 6502 80's computer into that format. That would have given them a head start on the amount of software availiable to them. Everything from productivity apps, games, programming languages, even terminal servers in the form of bbs's existed for these old machines. Imagine running a BBS on a palm sized commedore, you could probably fit 60 of them into just 1u of rack space if they used modern IC's.

With the sophistication of modern DSP's, PGA's and ASIC's there would be two roads to take to get one of these to fly, either
a. rewrite the O/S to take direct advantage of the new CPU calls.
b. Just run a emulator within the DSP's native o/s that would emulate one of these old systems.

The biggest roadblock to that goal however is the cost of the dev kits are still very high, even to the average hobbyist. A TI DSP devkit can cost as high as several thousand dollars. For that price i'd rather by a PC though.

Hopefully someday the chipmakers will wake up and realize there is a potentially huge market for these old computer platforms, and thus bring down the price of ther dev kits which will bring these "obselete" computer platforms back into a second generation of use. Remember the atari science kits with tempature and soil water content probes? At that time most farmers would have gotten their gun if you came walking onto their property hooking that thing up to their irrigation systems. Today though I don't know a farmer that wouldn't love to have it all automated. Society has changed alot in the last 20 years, and I think the public is perfectly ready to co-exist with technology in their lives.

--toq

Re:Impressive? I have my doubts... (1)

xenoweeno (246136) | more than 13 years ago | (#181870)

The final versions of Novaterm, release 9.6 and beta 10, are available at the author's FTP site:

ftp://ftp.exitlight.com/Novaterm/ [exitlight.com]

He discontinued them in Sept. 2000 and released the source also.

For the record, what made Novaterm amazing was the fact that it [e|sim]ulated an 80 column display on the C= 64's normally 40 column text display. It was a bit difficult to read, but it worked, and I distinctly remember being a happy boy when I could finally use BBSes in all their 80 column glory years ago. :)

--

SuperCPU (5)

sparcv9 (253182) | more than 13 years ago | (#181871)

Here's a link [cmdweb.de] for the SuperCPU the article mentions. For the hyperlink-wary, you can find it at http://www.cmdweb.de/scpu.htm. It plugs into your C64 or C128 and boosts it from 1MHz to a whopping 20 MHz, and lets your Commodore support up to 16MB of RAM.

C-64? (2)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 13 years ago | (#181872)

Huh? There are actually people who still have one? What's next? DVD players for the Vic-20, Media editors for the Coco and a Web server for the TRS-80 (mod 1, natch!)????

Re:Java is not available already? (2)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 13 years ago | (#181873)

Once the Z-80 Java runtimes are ready on cassette, we'll let you know...

And not only that... (2)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#181874)

You could go to B. Dalton and slam down twelve buks and get a manual which told you everything you needed to know about the C64 to write professional grade applications -- every hardware register (and there were a lot of them for a machine of its era), the entire memory map, every plug and socket pinout, details of the 1541 disk drive interface, and quite a few useful ROM hooks.

Meanwhile, back in the present, I've probably spent more than a thousand bucks on software and PC documentation over the last 10 years without ever getting anything that resembles a complete description of the hardware.

Assembly Language Rocks (2)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#181875)

And nobody seems to have interest in assembly language.

Too true. It's not really that much harder to code a sizeable project in Assembly, if you have a bit of discipline about it. The hardest thing is defining your data structures and sticking to them. You build the "language" as you need it in the form of purpose-built subroutines. I just got finished doing a 12,000 line project for an embedded controller. I socially engineered the manufacturer into giving me a few hooks -- which added about 2 pages to the firmware source code I'm told -- and then supplemented their well-designed but miserably slow BASIC variant with blazingly fast background Assembly. Now this gizmo which can only execute 100 lines or so of BASIC per second is weighing and sorting 150 pieces per minute, doing true weight conversions at 60Hz (the firmware only manages 10Hz due to the use of floating-point math) and doing accurate 60Hz timing which BASIC cannot do.

As one of the engineers said after seeing the video, "Well, I guess you've been telling us this was possible since 1995."

This controller uses a 20 MHz 80186. Its replacement introduced last year uses a 40MHz 80386DX, and my code still runs an order of magnitude faster on the old hardware than BASIC code does on the new board. Another thing I told them back in 1995 -- you may spend a lot of time to write software, but you only have to write it once. When you up the CPU specification it increases the cost of every unit you produce.

They must be using one for their Web hosting too (5)

localroger (258128) | more than 13 years ago | (#181877)

Only 9 comments and the site is already slashdotted.

Re:Psion has also nice browsers (1)

mAriuZ (264339) | more than 13 years ago | (#181878)

let's write an web browser in pure assembler (mozuki) then small and dangerous like opera is there is an project asmbuilder or something like that and i saw some examples of win32 appz made with masm (iczelion demo) we could do the same things on linux of course

Re:Impressive? I have my doubts... (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 13 years ago | (#181880)

Have you ever used lynx on a 286 based minix machine? You should be impressed.

The time to decode the layout of the website is something that is rather cpu intensive.

Re:Don't laugh (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 13 years ago | (#181881)

Nope - Amiga Inc was a seperate company - and commodore bought them up when they ran out of money.

The guy who developed the Amiga video chipset was none other then Jay Miner - who used to design chipsets for Atari.

Besides the Amiga is kinda slow at browsing the web. I can't imagine what it would be like on the C64 :).

Re:Don't laugh (1)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 13 years ago | (#181882)

So then Louis Savain sez:

"If Jack Tramiel (Commodore's CEO) had given a little bit more attention to improving the C-64 (by adding good disk drives and slots)"

Actually, the C64 and C128 DO have slots. Virtual slots. Depending on which memory location a cartridge used, one could have two cartridges in use on the C64 and three on the C128, by using a cartridge slot daughterboard in the Expansion Slot of the computer. This is why I can use my SwiftLink high speed modem interface with my 1megabyte RAM Expanison Unit or my REU with my SuperSnapshot utility cartridge.

As for drives, that's what JiffyDOS from CMD is for. Replace a ROM in the computer and each disk drive and the I/O times decrease by an order of magnitude.

And if one has a 1571 or 1581 Commodore drive, Big Blue Reader is an utility that will read/write/format DD DOS disks.

If I could find a local ISP that offered dialup shell accounts, I'd be using my C128 in place of this PowerMac for virtually all of my Internent needs.

I still use the 128 for all my letters, game playing, label printing and even, via the HandyScanner 64 and PageFox, desktop publishing.

Re:Way too much time on your hands.... (1)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 13 years ago | (#181883)

So then bruceg sez: "Man, what a waste of time. Why bother?" Because it's a neat hack. Because it shows what REAL programmers can do in a limited amount of RAM with a modest command set and somewhat primative hardware. As opposed to the codemonkeys who don't worry about code bloat because RAM is cheap and the user can always upgrade. The nackers at MIT long ago, even before Bill Gates had been accepted at Harvard, had a slogan: Bummed to the minimum, hacked to the max. Which means. the fewest possible lines of code, doing the most work. Why create a web browser for the 64? Because it can be done, there are some folks who will happliy use it and because, it's a damn cool hack and a fine example of fast, tight coding. "Bummed to the minimum, hacked to the max!"

Re:Don't laugh (1)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 13 years ago | (#181884)

So then Louis Savain sez:

I still use the 128 for all my letters, game playing, label printing and even, via the HandyScanner 64 and PageFox, desktop publishing.

Chris, you are a true believer. I admire your loyalty to the past. It was fun to write 6502 assembly code for those puppies, wasn't it?

and there is nothing today like the feeling one gets of stoping a running program on the 64 via the interrupt button on the Snapshot cartridge, entering the ML monitor, messing with the code, exiting the monitor, and re-entering the running program where it was stopped and watching it run with the new changes.

Now that's REAL power!

It's not so much "loyalty to the past", it's really more that it suits my needs perfectly.

The 128 is booted, with my text editor loaded and running before the Macintosh has even loaded it's first line of Extension and Control Panel icons. To print labels on the Mac, I have to load a relatively huge program. On the 64 side of the 128, I load a minescule program that has all my regularly used labels already as part of the code. (Thanks to SuperSnapshot, which allowed me to make a RAM image of the program with the address file already loaded. That RAM image was then converted by Snapshot into a program. I load the program, and there's the label maker, with addresses and configured exactly to my printer output specifications )

For my needs, the 128 and the software I regularly use are ideal. For someone else, I'm sure that their hardware and software are ideal for their needs.

Now, if you really want to talk about devotion to the past, let me tell you about my slide rule... (A bright yellow Pickett Microline 120)

Yes, I still use a slide rule, except for those problems that require more than three decimal place answers. Then I use my Texas Instruments SR-40, the "upscale" version of the classic TI-30 "Electronic Slide Rule" calculator. Nothing says "MATHEMATICS" quite like a red LED display.

How's this work? (1)

BassGuy23 (308297) | more than 13 years ago | (#181889)

I can't read the article, as the site is slashdotted. Does anyone know how this will work? Last time I checked, PC drives cannot read/write the old C64 disks. I beleive it had something to do with hard/soft sectoring or something along those lines... Is the code going to be distributed as a high quality MP3 to be recorded onto a cassette? Or do you have to manually type it in? Or are they *selling* copies of the browser? This sounds like it could be loads of fun with my Commodore. BTW, my C64 is beige and looks nothing like all the other ones I see in pictures.... Anyone know what's up? It's not a C128 or anything. It's just a different looking C64. It was a great computer in its day. Now its day is returning.

~Mike

~Mike

Re:AIM-65 (1)

calidoscope (312571) | more than 13 years ago | (#181890)

I knew a Rockwell engineer (now RIP) who had one of those beasts. He even got a single sided Tandon floppy drive for it. but never got it hooked up. Neat little toy for learning how a micro worked - with a serial port it would make for a good programmable peripheral.

One thing I don't miss is using a cassette tape for back-up and storage.

Sweet! (1)

strictnein (318940) | more than 13 years ago | (#181891)

I've got two C64s right here. Along with a 300 baud modem. Should be fun :)

Re:how gay (1)

strictnein (318940) | more than 13 years ago | (#181892)

You can buy a low-end pentium box for about $20. It's about 50x faster than the C64 Obviously you know so very little about the C64, one of the greatest computers ever. Which is too bad. A low end pentium box would probably be more like 10,000-50,000 (maybe even more?) times faster then a C64, considering it had a total of 64KB of RAM and it's processor ran at around 1mhz. C64 processor info: It has 3 registers, 256 opcodes (although not all of them are useful), and runs at around 1 mhz (that was from everything2.org). Take any computer engineering class in college and you'll end up designing hardware that's a ton more complex then that.

Re:Way too much time on your hands.... (1)

number one duck (319827) | more than 13 years ago | (#181893)

Is anyone doing small things like this on.. larger platforms? If I could get a full web browser than ran in 64K of memory, I'd love to run it on my pentium, etc etc...

Re:C-64? (1)

Compton Q. Groundhog (320295) | more than 13 years ago | (#181894)

C64s have had SCSI for a long time (no RAID, sorry). CMD (http://www.cmdweb.com) used to produce them.

Re:C-64? (1)

Clyde Radcliffe (413851) | more than 13 years ago | (#181898)

Still got mine running atop of my PC connected to the parallel port for cross-compiling. got a dreamcast connected to the serial port (yup - cross compiler again) and a gameboy exchanger on top of that... how much crap can you plug into the back of a PC?

Re:C-64? (2)

Bob of Dole (453013) | more than 13 years ago | (#181902)

ack? my TRS-80 web server is almost complete!
now somebody else will complete it first!
Well, alot of people still have C64s, they were a nice computer.

telecommunications and the C64 (1)

deathcow (455995) | more than 13 years ago | (#181904)

I remember spending about 1 hour on my Commodore 64 trying repeatedly (and unsucessfully) to download simple 30k games between Wiz-Kids house and mine back in ?1983?1984?

My emails are frequently larger than that now.

Hey, with the aggregate throughput of the Commodore 64, it might be like "the visible TCP/IP stack" -- you know, you could see it do stuff like this:

[PAUSE] TCP packets prepared and ordered. Contacting IP layer.
[PAUSE] IP layer active. TCP packets received. Sending packets to hardware.

Re:How's this work? (1)

BawbBitchen (456931) | more than 13 years ago | (#181905)

If it is not brown (tan) then it is a 64C. Same computer with some bug fixes and an updated case.
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