Categories
C64

RIP Oliver Frey

ZZAP!64 Issue #50: Speedball

Back in the day, magazines were a huge part of the computer scene. Each machine had a dedicated magazine, and if you were lucky, more than one.

I bought my Commodore 64 in 1989, but I had a Speccy 48K before that. A company called Newsfield published a magazine called Crash that catered to the interests of the Speccy, and also one called Zzap!64 for the C64. The transition from Speccy to C64 meant moving from one magazine to another of course. One constant in both worlds was Oliver Frey’s amazing artwork that graced the covers of both magazines.

My favourite is probably the cover of issue 50 of Zzap!64, the first issue of that magazine I ever bought, but he painted so many others it’s hard to choose.

Choose I did however, as I bought a number of prints off his website in late 2021. I bought the Speedball print featured above, as well as the Retrograde and Elite covers. I’m awful for hoarding things and I still have the tube the prints came in with what is probably Oliver’s writing on it, or maybe his partner, Roger’s, who knows?

All this is to say I’m a huge fan and admirer of Oli’s work. So it was with great sadness that I read that he passed away at 7:55 this morning. He was only 74. Thank you for the art, Oli. My condolences to your partner, family and friends.

Categories
C64

A C64 Wall

Now, this is how I’d like to have a wall painted in my home-office, if it was large enough, and wasn’t already bulging with shelves and posters.

Patrick Nance posted this photo of his nerd room on this Commodore 64/128 group on Facebook recently, and it was very well received.

Categories
Tech

Bye Bye Relics of 1999

It’s about time I dumped some of this stuff. Two of my machines have a CDROM drive but I don’t use either of them. I haven’t had a 1.44MB floppy drive in well over a decade, or more likely fifteen years!

I recently found the binder with these items, the motherboard manual and other things. They were stored away in a dark corner of a cupboard for more than 20 years. Safe in their dark spot but ever so slowly decomposing. The machine they belonged to has been long disposed of.

When was the last time you installed software from a CDROM or a floppy disk? I ripped the DVD box set of “All Creatures Great and Small (1978)” last December. It was on my ageing Macbook, but I do not remember the last time I used a PC floppy disk at all.

February 2012 was the last time I used a C64 disk. I archived as many of my C64 disks as I could then. Those disks are still in the attic. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to throw them out. I guess they’ll be disposed when I’m gone and they’re an ancient artefact of a bygone era.

Categories
C64

Freespin – a 1541 demo

Demos come in all shapes and sizes, 4k, 64k, intros, demos and more, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen a demo running on a Commodore 64 disc drive, or 1541 drive. You can read more about it on the Freespin homepage.

The 1541 family of drives have the same CPU as the Commodore 64 so adapting code to run on it will be easy for anyone familiar with the machine but what’s different here is that the drive is hooked up directly to the monitor to display the demo.

Sound is supplied by the drive, and as expected is the usual buzzing sounds until the end when it changes and becomes slightly more musical.

Worth a watch, even if you have no interest in demos. The idea of running software on a disc drive like this blows my mind!

Categories
C64

Yes, it is at home

My Commodore 64 is in my home office. How did they know?

Categories
C64 demoscene

Mahna Mahna

There were some great demos, music and graphics released at Transmission64 2021 yesterday but one of my favourite demos was Mahna Mahna by Mahna Mahna. You can watch it above but if you have a C64 emulator or real hardware then grab it from CSDb and watch it there. So fun. I love it.

I loved the PETSCII King Tut too. An amazing piece of work when you realise it was made from the characters available on the C64 keyboard and not drawn pixel by pixel.

Find more of the releases on this page at the Transmission64 website but before I leave you here’s a selection of the stunning graphics entered in the competition this year.

The entire stream of the Transmission64 demoparty is available on Twitch.

Categories
C64

Cat Vibing To Levan Polkka

Remember that cat vibing to Levan Polkka?

Well, C64 demo coder Logiker created a C64 version and it’s awesome! It’s a one part #PETSCII production and a funny addition to the #demoscene. You can find it in the usual places but if you just want to watch it look here.

Categories
C64

Fairlight Intro Remix

This one’s for the C64 fans out there. The Commodore 64 had a huge piracy problem but the groups that distributed games often put small intros at the start to show off. The same thing happened on all platforms and I presume still does, but with the advent of Steam and Humble Bundle it’s easier to buy games than pirate them.

Fairlight was one such group and used the same intro and music for a number of games.

LukHash has created a great remix of the Fairlight intro music that will leave you wanting more. It starts off simple but then the remix kicks in and I love it! He has a Bandcamp page too where you can download an album of his work.

Categories
C64

Berniemania

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have been added to a C64 demo called Berniemania by the talented Pretzel Logic. Even includes the knitted mittens!

Older readers may recognise the setting for the demo looks very like the classic Batmania by the same group. Nice bit of work reworking an instantly recognisable demo!

Categories
C64

Memento Mori

remember that you die

Memento Mori is a stunning Commodore 64 demo released by Genesis Project that won first place at the Function 2020 demo party recently. The picture above was shared by Raistlin/G*P on Twitter saying:

Razorback delivered this stunning piece for Memento Mori. This is a 408 pixel wide multicolour bitmap that we scrolled, right through the side borders, at 25fps, streaming from disk as we went. A world first on C64 🙂

Raistlin/G*P

Watch it here on Youtube!