Archive for January, 2011

Commodore Plus/4, C116, C16 (TED) Technical Documents

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

The Commodore Plus/4, the C16 and the C116 from 1984 were members of the 6502-based “TED” series, named after the 7360 TED (“Text Editing Device”) video controller. The TED systems were basically the low-cost cousins of the C64: The overall system architecture and the video chip are very similar to the C64′s, but they lack certain features like hardware sprites. On the other hand, there are some added features like extra colors and more control over the internal timing of the video chip.

In the Commodore archive at zimmers.net, there is a collection of GIF images that are scans of the some very interesting technical documents on the TED series, originally provided by Tibor Biczo and published by William Levak and Marko Mäkelä. I sorted the pages and converted them into searchable PDFs that are much nicer to look at:


“TED System Hardware Manual”

(PDF, 48 pages, 7.6 MB)


“TED 7360R0 Preliminary Data Sheet” (Apr 1983)

(PDF, 23 pages, 5.8 MB)


“TED Extra Pages”

(PDF, 5 pages, 1.4 MB)

The “Extra Pages” contain a map of the circuit board, a Plus/4 memory map in German, a TED register map, and a German version of section 4.5.2 of the TED System Hardware Manual.


“Service Manual Model Plus 4 Computer.pdf” (Oct 1984, PN-314001-04)

(PDF, 25 pages, 4.9 MB)

The service manual is also taken from zimmers.net.

How to not get sued by Sony

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Hint:

  • White t-shirt: get sued.
  • Black t-shirt: do not get sued.

Oh, and Sony also fails, among other things, at the Spanish naming system.

In case you haven’t watched the video yet, you should do so now: Console Hacking 2010. I have a short cameo, repeating my age-old point that systems should be open, otherwise hackers will open them.

Final Cartridge III Undocumented Functions

Friday, January 14th, 2011

The “Final Cartridge III” has been among the most popular Commodore 64 extensions, providing a floppy speeder, BASIC extensions, a machine language monior, a freezer and even a (rarely used) graphical desktop. The major advantage compared to other C64 cartridges is the consistent way in which the Final Cartridge III extends the C64 experience.

As it turns out, there are several undocumented instructions implemented in the Final Cartridge III.

Filtered Directory

DOS"$<filter>"

The DOS”$” command passes all characters following the “$” to the disk drive, allowing the user to specify filters, like this:

DOS"$A*" :REM SHOW ALL FILES THAT START WITH "A"

This feature is not available for the “@” command in the monitor.

Fast Format

DOS"F:NAME,ID"

The 26 second fast format known from the “DESKTOP” GUI is also available from the command line. Note that this also works with the “@” command in the monitor. If the ID is omitted, this only overwrites BAM and directory, just like the “N” command.

Disk Rename

DOS"D:NAME,ID

This commands renames the disk without erasing it. The ID can be up to 5 characters, so the default “2A” can be overwritten.

FC III ROM Banking

B<0..3>
B

B, followed by a digit between 0 to 3, in the monitor enables the view of the ROMs of the Final Cartridge III. The specified ROM bank will be visible between $8000 and $BFFF. B without a parameter switches the ROM back off.

The following commands in the machine language monitor can be used to dump the complete ROM of an FC3 to disk:

B 0
T 8000 BFFF 8000
S "B0",08,8000,C000
B 1
T 8000 BFFF 8000
S "B1",08,8000,C000
B 2
T 8000 BFFF 8000
S "B2",08,8000,C000
B 3
T 8000 BFFF 8000
S "B3",08,8000,C000

Reverse Engineering the MOS 6502 CPU [video]

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Here is the video recording of my presentation “Reverse Engineering the MOS 6502 CPU” given at 27C3, on the low cost CPU that arguably launched the home computer revolution.

A high-quality MP4/H.264 video file of the presentation can be downloaded here.

P.S.: If you enjoyed this, you might also like my “Ultimate Commodore 64 Talk”