I presume I’m not spoiling anything when I post the screenshot above from The Matrix Resurrections. Close to the middle of the frame is the distinctive, rounded casing of a Commodore 1530 (C2N) Datasette. It’s the cassette player the Commodore 64/Vic 20/Pet used for storage way back in the 80s and early 90s. This Wikipedia page has more if you’re interested.
I’ve searched online, but so far only found one person who thinks the same as I do. If it’s not a C2N cassette player, then what is it?
UPDATE in December 2021! Chris released version 2.0 of PiMIGA. There’s only one version this time and it comes in a huge 23GB 7z file. You can grab a torrent to download PiMIGA 2.0 from his video here:
This version runs on a 64bit version of Linux and feels faster. It does not come with Amiga ROMs so you must provide them. Chris explains where to put the kick31a1200.rom in his video. If you receive an error saying /dev/sda1 is missing on boot up and nothing else happens then you haven’t copied the ROM into the right place!
I found another video elsewhere where the author complained of really bad lag but it may have been some weird HDMI issue, or sound buffer lag. The only problem I noticed was that Syndicate ran way too fast. Maybe the JIT had to be disabled?
Make sure you change the sound settings (F12->Sound):
Set Frequency to 22050
Filter to off.
Sound Buffer Size to Min.
Don’t forget to save the configuration.
UPDATE on Feb 15, 2021! Chris Edwards has released version 1.5 of PiMIGA. It now comes in two forms and works (sort of) on the RPI3b as well as RPi4 and 400. The two versions are a 32GB “lite” version and a 128GB “MF” version:
Lite edition, all programs and games, no videos , no mp3, all mods. MF edition, 65,000 + ADFs from the complete Commodore Amiga Tosec archive (de-duped /cleaned / virus scanned ) 128,000 executables in a 13 cd pack of stuff from eab archives of yesteryear. emulations, music, videos all sorts of goodies.
More details are to be found on his release video, including links to the torrent files for both.
UPDATE! Chris Edwards released version 1.4 of PiMIGA for the RPI4 or 400. More info in his release video here.
UPDATE! As of November 23rd 2020 there is now a PiMIGA 1.3 Pi 400 Edition thanks to Chris Edwards. This version has been cleaned up so the happynewyear96 virus has been removed, and it now works out of the box on the Raspberry Pi 400! It works on the Raspberry Pi 4 too of course. Pi3 owners will want to download the original 1.2b version. Here’s a teaser trailer.
PiMIGA 1.3 is available as a torrent, so download it with your favourite torrent client. The password on the archive is still pimiga but I haven’t tested it yet, it’s still downloading. This Reddit thread has more info and a useful comment linking to PiShrink that will reduce the size of the image from 32GB to 20GB. I am very excited about trying this on my Raspberry Pi 400!
The Commodore Amiga was an amazing 16 bit computer of the 80’s and 90’s and is still used today by people who love the system.
WinUAE is the best Amiga emulator for modern systems and it has been ported to many operating systems. FS-UAE is a great port I use on Mac and Amiberry or Amibian use the uae4arm port that runs on Raspberry Pi boards.
To load games and apps on the Amiga you used 3.5 inch discs but if you had a hard disk back then the Amiga supported it. I never did so I put up with the relatively slow loading of the discs.
As I have been spoiled by much faster loading of modern systems, loading games from discs in an emulator soon became a bore. Many games used to (slowly) load an intro with thumping music and an animation, but after hitting fire on my joystick I’d be prompted to “Enter disc 2” for yet more loading.
Enter WHDLoad, a system that patched games so they could be loaded from a hard disk image. It sounds great in theory but over the years I could never get it working the way I wanted. I just wanted to see a nice Workbench desktop UI with an disk image of games to play around in.
I’m not the only one apparently. Through this video on alternative operating systems for the Raspberry PI I found out about PiMIGA. It’s a 32GB disk image you burn to SD card for RPI 3 and 4 and when booted up presents a rather nice Workbench desktop with lots of games and apps. BTW, the password is ViWsC7oU3.
It’s based on Amiberry, and uses WHDLoad of course and everything is set up for you!
I haven’t tested it yet myself. My RPI3 is busy running Plex, Backuppc and Pihole but I want to get an RPI4 to give it a go!
Here’s a word of warning however. The video above shows a virus checker running and it finds a couple of viruses that are removed (in Amiga apps) so I would isolate the Raspberry PI device from the rest of your network if you can. Use the guest network of your router perhaps or just leave the device offline.
An alternative to PiMIGA is AmiKit which appears to do something similar but runs on Windows, Linux and Mac (and RPI4 with some fiddling around) and even lets you launch Windows, Linux or Mac apps from within Workbench. It looks rather nice!
Can you tell me why the very short BASIC programme above has a syntax error?
But then the one with a slightly renamed variable name is perfectly ok?
It turns out it’s one of the limitations of Commodore BASIC V2. As explained here:
Variable names were limited to two letters. Or, specifically, any variable name longer than two characters was truncated, so that MARKUP and MAINTOTAL would both point to a single variable named MA.
Can somebody confirm this? IIRC, the C64 could handle longer variable names, but it’s a long time ago so I could be wrong.
Correct, the first two letters of a variable name must be unique. Also, your example variable MAINTOTAL contains the reserved word INT which would produce a ?SYNTAX ERROR. —CarstenKlapp
The word BORDER contains the BASIC commandOR that cannot be used in a variable name!
I have no idea if I knew this back in the 90s. I presume I did but it had me scratching my head for 10 minutes last tonight trying to figure out why my BASIC programme wasn’t running.
The (re)discovery that variable names shouldn’t be longer than 2 characters long also explains the terse variable names I used in the BASIC portion of DMSREADER. We’re spoiled these days.
I also discovered that petcat doesn’t like uppercase BASIC commands but I have a nice Makefile now to compile BASIC and ASM portions of Disk Masher and copy them into a D64 for testing so it was a productive night.
You can be nostalgic about something for a lot longer than that thing was current. So it is with the Commodore 64, the Speccy and early computers in general.
I had a rubber keyed Spectrum 48K for a couple of years followed by a C64 that I used every day for another 4 years or so and here we are in 2019 and I’m reading about those ancient computers. I’m not the only one. There are vibrant communities around both computers and it’s great to see!
Somehow I can’t see myself feeling the same way about Windows 3.1, but I have to admit I have maybe not so fond memories of tuning autoexec.bat to get a few KB more memory in the DOS days…
What are the books I’m reading and where can I get them?
Vice, the Commodore 64 emulator is a cross platform emulator that works on Windows, Linux, MacOS and other operating systems. It also allows you to emulate the Vic 20, C128 and other early Commodore machines.
Double clicking on a Commodore d64 disk image file will load x64, the Commodore 64 emulator and load the first programme on the disk image.
Quite often I want to look at a D64 image directory listing instead of running the first programme on the disk.
You can do this by unchecking the “autostart” box on the file open box of course but it’s not as convenient.
So, last Friday I asked on Twitter if it was possible to drag and drop a D64 image onto Vice to display the disk contents. Logiker replied and helped me by DM to handle double clicking on a C64 disk image.
#c64 fans. Is there any way to drag/drop a d64 image onto Vice so it does NOT autostart with LOAD "*",8,1 ? I'd much rather a directory listing most of the time. I know about the autostart checkbox in the file dialog.
What I needed to do was load the disk image and then feed the directory listing command to the C64.
Getting MacOS to accept the command line was harder to achieve. In Windows you can change the start up parameters for a programme. In MacOS it should be possible to modify the emulator “package” with a script that calls the real executable but I couldn’t get that working. In Linux I would have just created a shell script that called the emulator. 🙂
What did work in MacOS was using Automator. I created a “Run Shell Script” action and filled it in with the following. If you want to follow along at home you’ll have to change the path to x64.
I saved that as a new app in ~/bin/ called “Vice64”, and associated all D64 images with that application. Now double clicking on a disk image shows me a directory listing!
It doesn’t work unfortunately when I have an Action Replay cartridge loaded. Maybe I need to add F3 or F7 to the keyboard buffer?
One of the advantages of looking at the directory structure is the directory art some demos have. Here’s one from Pearls for Pigs, a D64 I happened to use while testing this but there are loads of them. I saw that Logiker has a page dedicated to directory art!
Here’s rather impressive remix of the Xenon 2 Megablast main title tune created by a talented banjo player!
Long time readers may remember I used the original music in a video for a short but fun game of Bad Company 2. We joined a game with nobody on the other side so we had fun with the crates, grenades, bullets and smoke. Looking at the date on the video I can’t believe that was almost six years ago!
CSS3 C64 is an old school C64 intro created completely in CSS, the technology that is normally used to style web pages. You can read more about it here, and the source code is available in your browser, but also on Github. No need for an Action Replay cartridge to peek under the hood this time!
The Commodore 65 was a prototype computer produced by Commodore between 1990 and 1991 to be an improved Commodore 64. I’ve hardly ever come across it online and never heard of it back in the day, but when Commodore was liquidated they sold the prototype machines. If you have one and are willing to part with it you could be in for a nice surprise!
This one on Ebay went for €17,827 last month. It’s not as if much can be done with it as it was never official released but I guess you can run it in C64 mode.
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