The monitor built into the Final Cartridge III is one of the best ones for the C64. Some of its unique features are:
In the series about the variants of the Commodore Peripheral Bus family, this article covers the lowest two layers (electrical and byte transfer) of the “Standard Serial” bus as found on the VIC-20/C64 as the main bus, but also supported by all other Commodore home computers.
My side-by-side C64 ROM disassembly/commentary page has been completely redone!
You might think the DOS ROM of the Commodore 1541 disk drive has been analyzed to death. But here are two new resources:
In my quest to make the C16 more usable, i.e. more like the environment I’m used to, i.e. a C64 with a Final Cartridge III, I’ve ported the Final Cartridge III monitor to the TED series (C16, C116, Plus/4).
Over the years, the ROM source code of many Commodore computers and peripherals has appeared. I have been collecting them in a git repository here:
The well-known Serial Bus (aka Serial “IEC” Bus) of the Commodore 64 that connects to disk drives such as the 1541 is just one variant of a whole family of busses and protocols used by the line of 8 bit Commodore machines from the PET to the C65. This is the first article of a multi-part series on the Commodore Peripheral Bus family.
For decades, PC users have been able to relax by watching the computer defragment a disk. Now C64 users can do the same! Introducing “defrag1541”, a disk defragmentation tool for C64 and 1541.
The Commodore Datasette recording format is heavily optimized for data safety and can compensate for many typical issues of cassette tape, like incorrect speed, inconsistent speed (wow/flutter), and small as well as longer dropouts. This makes the format more complex and way less efficient than, for example, “Turbo Tape” or all other custom formats used by commercial games. Let’s explore the format by writing a minimal tape loader for the C64, optimized for size, which can decode correct tapes, but does not support error correction.
The text screen of the Commodore 64 has a resolution of 40 by 25 characters, based on the hardware text mode of the VIC-II video chip. This is a step up from the VIC-20’s 22 characters per line, but since computers in the professional segment (Commodore PET 8000 series, CP/M, MS-DOS) usually had 80 columns, several solutions – both hardware and software – exist to allow 80 columns on a C64 as well. Let’s look at how this is done in software! At the end of this article, I present a fast and full-featured open source implementation with several different character sets.
There are many MOS 6502 cross-assemblers available. Here’s a new one. Or actually a very old one. “Macross”, a very powerful 6502 macro assembler, which was used to create Habitat, Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken, was developed between 1984 and 1987 at Lucasfilm Ltd. and is now Open Source (MIT license):