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What can you do with a C64?

ZenHacker

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Feb 2, 2015
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12
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The land of the lost
So the Commodore 64 and Commodore 1702 monitor that I ordered arrived recently. This is literally the first time I've touched a working computer from before 1995. Really exciting. It took me a while to get used to the keyboard layout and the commands, but I got the hang of it fairly quickly. I've started doing some BASIC hacking, nothing really impressive, but I've managed to get comfortable with it. Now I want to know what kind of things can I do this this computer? I know there's a ton of software available for it. I wonder if I can do 6502 assembly programming on the C64. Or what can I do in terms of file management? Or networking? What is this computer capable of?
 

sjgray

Experienced Member
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Feb 3, 2009
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467
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Markham, Ontario, Canada
What's it capable of?... You'd be surprised. And too much to list here. If you google you'll find out pretty much anything you want to know. C64 resources on the web are readily available.

Here's some keywords for you:

1541Ultimate, uIEC, iec2sd, jiffydos, epyx fastload, super snapshot, pal, power, hesmon, final cartridge, supercpu, 64NIC+, EasyFlash, sidplayer, dual sid, magicvoice, demoscene, csdb, cbm command, kipperbasic, basic on bails....

Steve
 

KC9UDX

Space Commander
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Jan 27, 2014
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Lutenblag
Can you? Yes. With enough patience your 64 can do literally anything that any other general purpose electronic computer can do.

I wouldn't call it hacking, whatever you're doing, but that's just me. In any case keep doing it.

Once upon a time, I wrote a 6502/6510 assembler in BASIC on a C64. I learned how to do that by reverse engineering machine language program listings in Compute! magazine. I taught myself 6502 and wrote a file editor and then ported my assembler. If it can be done, you can do it.

My favourite thing about this type of machine, the C64 especially, is that right out of the box with no additional software, anyone with enough ambition could easily write their own software library to do whatever they will.
 
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Bungo Pony

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Mar 31, 2008
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616
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Winnipeg
I use mine to look at 8-bit x-rated images :D

But seriously, you've got a wonderful computer. You can kill hours with it playing games, looking at demoscene stuff, writing your own programs, typing in programs from books, and so much more!

The best thing you could do is get yourself an XE-1541 cable and make your own disks. There's tons of downloadable stuff on the internet.
 

Llamarama

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Jan 2, 2013
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24
Location
Tyneside
I used to like hardware hacking with mine, Theres a good few books on Archive.org that talk about interfacing with the user port to log data, build interfaces and all sorts like that. If you have an interest in electronics that it's about as ideal as you can get. With software the choice is nothing short of vast. You can create music, draw, create spreadsheets (Remember when that was billed as a major feature?) play thousands of great games and thousands of not so great games and program!

For mass storage the best thing I have used is a cable that links the serial port to a parallel port of a PC, then use a program on the PC as mass storage, it's not authentic, but is cheraper and more reliable that floppies especially if you only have the C64. I'm 90% sure it's called the X1541 and is little more than a lead with some diodes in, so they should be cheap enough if you don't want to build your own.

For file management you could try GEOS, I think there was a very basic version for the C64 but for the number of files you could probably fit on a disc, the command line is probably going to be enough unless you get a hard drive add on or something.

They're great machines and have a very devoted following, so for a first retro, you can't really go wrong. Have fun :)
 

T.K

New Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4
One can also do wordprocessing and spreadsheets.
I wanted to see what it was like to do wordprocessing back in the days with C64. I bought the old book Speedscript-wordprocessor for C64 and VIC 20, and typed the 6K's of code from the book. It took some time...but the program works :) and is quite impressive.
I also found the d64 disk image of MS Multiplan spreadsheet program from the net. Thats interesting software too. Its really good to have a X1541 cable (or some newer) so one can find stuff from net, and have them easily transferred to 1541 floppy.
 

wbochar

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
77
Location
Toronto
I like ASM and making demo's. The music from c64 is godlike. Also, Darkterm and Commodore ASCII Graphics. There was nothing like BBS'ing on a Commie.
Figure out how to connect the c64/1541 to your PC to download floppies etc. That's Fun. Or just find an Ebay lot of floppies and start loading random stuff.
 

tipc

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Jan 16, 2005
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Principality of Xeon W-2140B the Great State of Ce
I can't remember if I started playing w/assembly language on the Commie or Tandy 2000 first, but in any event the machine code for the 64 was pretty simple. Never did a lot with it. Some carts have a machine language monitor as icing, and that's a good way to get your feet wet. I did use a packaged assembler though, don't ask me what it was. Many (if not all) books on that subject and other aspects of the 64 are available for download.
I worked at a company in the late 80s and their club computer (until they all bought 386s) was the 64. They had a file cabinet full of disks you could sign out. There were loads of foreign (to the US) games and utilities that really made using the machine worthwhile.
 
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