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Commodore C-128 on 1084 monitor - possible to do both CLA and RGB modes??

legendre

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Jan 24, 2014
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Funnily enough, this is the second time it happened in the last week.

I just finished up repairing / restoring a Bang & Olufsen Beomaster 2400 receiver - which (and Anders probably knows this already) uses DIN connectors for all connections - phono, tape, speakers, etc. The tape input uses a DIN-5, and so I had to wire up a cable to connect a CD player to the receiver's input.

So all was well, and it worked fine. But then I was playing with the cables at the source end, and noticed something wasn't right - yes, you know it, the damn channels were swapped!! And this, after following the diagram which came from a well-known B&O enthusiast's site.. what a joke. :p

That reminds me, I should probably check out the speaker cabling.. how much do you want to be the absolute phase is reversed? LoL
 

jltursan

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Glad to hear that you finally get a working cable!. Now, upgrade your VDC RAM and try some VDC software right now!. there're a lot of hidden gems out there...:)
 

legendre

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Glad to hear that you finally get a working cable!. Now, upgrade your VDC RAM and try some VDC software right now!. there're a lot of hidden gems out there...:)

Yes, that makes at least two of us.. that initial cable-fail was a very big annoyance. I try to make a tidy & workman-like job of anything, and it ticks me off if I have to revise it.

As for the VDC RAM you'll have to excuse me, but I'm not up-to-speed on this stuff, yet. I assume VDC = Video Display Controller... but how and +why+ would I upgrade the video RAM? What is the advantage?
 

legendre

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OT: So I'm thinking about going totally heretical and getting one of these flash-RAM based "disk drives".

Which is the best? What I'd want, is the ability to:

1) Load .d64 or .prg onto an SD card - from any OS / machine. Totally platform agnostic.
2) Plug said card into a special hardware, that is attached to the IEC (serial..) port on the C-64 or 128
3) Read & write that card + device as if it were a genuine 1541 etc. hardware drive

Obviously, there are some issues, and I'm not sure how they are handled. For instance:

1) The huge storage size, and lack of track/sector/block organization
2) Basic C-64/128 DOS (what there is of it) doesn't support sub-directories, as far as I know.


Now for something completely different - are there many C-128 'only' games or softwares? Stuff that uses the 128 hardware to the max, but cannot run on the C-64?

Please forgive my newbish ignorances on these points. I'm just getting back to this after a 10-yr hiatus. That, and I never ran a 128 "back in the day". In fact, I didn't even know I had a 128 - or how damn cool it was - until I started digging through my collection a few months ago. Seriously, I cannot recall even buying this machine, much less where / why I got it. But boy-oh-boy, am I happy that I did! What a wonderful machine for the C-64 lover!!
 

carlsson

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Usually you put a lot of D64 images onto a FAT formatted SD card, and then use a custom Commodore DOS command to "cd" into respective D64 image. You can load PRG files etc directly from the FAT file structure too, but any program that assumes it can read individual sectors from a floppy disk would need to live inside a D64. As far as I know, most if not all sizes of SD and SDHC cards tend to be supported, but e.g. a 4 GB card would swallow the vast majority of software you want to have available.

There are at least two schools of memory card readers:

1. The sd2iec category, to which also uIEC/SD belongs. It can be said to simulate a floppy drive. Standard loaders work fine, a selected few turbo loaders too including JiffyDOS support. However as you probably know, the 15x1 drives with their own CPU and RAM to some extent are reprogrammable, you can load drive code for custom loaders on the fly. As the sd2iec does not entirely emulate every chip of the drive, you would have some software that won't load unless you transfer it to physical floppy disks.

2. The 1541 Ultimate category, which is a rather more expensive device with bigger capacity chips. It fully emulates all parts of the floppy drive, which means software with custom loaders will work just like on a real floppy drive. Many users who want as little hassle as possible and are not sensitive to the price go for the Ultimate series. Those may sometimes be out of stock so there is a waiting period, I don't know what the situation is right now.

There may be some more variants like networked solutions or projects to use a RPi as the SD host, but the two above are the most dominant.

As for C128 only software, I think the range of games is counted within the dozen or two. Some games came in C128 enhanced versions with extra music or loading more data into memory at once. I think the selection of productivity software is a bit larger, but most of it would be the kind that you today ask yourself why you would prefer it instead of something more modern. Of course the C128 could boot into CP/M if you're into that.
 

RobertB

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There are at least two schools of memory card readers:

1. The sd2iec category...

2. The 1541 Ultimate category...
There is also the no-longer-developed 1541-III.
As for C128 only software, I think the range of games is counted within the dozen or two. Some games came in C128 enhanced versions with extra music or loading more data into memory at once. I think the selection of productivity software is a bit larger...
A long list of C128 commercial software can be found at

http://www.commodore128.org/index.php?topic=1008.0

Not including the Loadstar 128 disks,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://videocam.net.au/fcug
 

carlsson

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Hm, wasn't 1541-III a forerunner to the sd2iec series, or am I thinking of MMC2IEC?

For that matter, I think there is some USB solution that can use memory sticks instead of SD cards, but I haven't looked into it and might have mixed it up with some other vintage computer. Of course there are a few IDE interfaces too for anyone who either wants to hook up a hard drive or a CF-IDE adapter to use CF cards instead of SD cards.

Also, thanks for the link to C128 software. I suppose the list has been carefully composed, so e.g. 21 known commercial games (at least from the old days) would be quite relevant.
 

RobertB

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Hm, wasn't 1541-III a forerunner to the sd2iec series, or am I thinking of MMC2IEC?
You're close. The 1541-III by Jan Derogee came out in 2006, and then the MMC2IEC by Lars Pontoppidan came in 2007. Shadowolf took over the MMC2IEC and then developed the SD2IEC.
For that matter, I think there is some USB solution that can use memory sticks instead of SD cards, but I haven't looked into it and might have mixed it up with some other vintage computer.
There has never been a USB solution for the C64/128; however, there used to be one for the classic Amiga 3000/4000 (the Zorro III-based computers).
Of course there are a few IDE interfaces too for anyone who either wants to hook up a hard drive or a CF-IDE adapter to use CF cards instead of SD cards.
I can only think of one for the C64/128, which would be the IDE64, the latest version 4.1 having a CF slot (and with appropriate adapter, you can put a SD card on it).

Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://videocam.net.au/fcug
 

carlsson

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Didn't Jim make an IDE or at least CF version of the uIEC in the beginning? I never paid attention to those models, but believe they exist (just like e.g. the 1541-III exists even if it might no longer be produced).

Anyway, I think Legendre has got some pointers to what to look for. What I don't know if how respective solution works in C128 mode, if some of them would default to C64 mode or not, if either is particularly applicable if you would want to run C128 CP/M or if that is possible at all from Flash based devices. I know that GEOS and DNP (?) files may be supported but that is a different story.
 
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