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Floppies_only
May 1st, 2008, 07:41 PM
Gang,

Please pardon my imitation of of the movie "Frankenstein." I'm just a seven-bit actor :)

I got my C64 running today. It's the kind with the DIN5 video connector. It took two orders to get the a cable with the right one. It seems to work well enough. There is a little ripple of the two vertical lines that separate the border from the active area of the screen. The ripple started small and got smaller as time went past. I thought that it might be a result of the capacitors in the power supply not working well due to deterioration, and it's possible that they re-formed from being charged. I'd need an oscilliscope to know for sure.

I was wondering about speeding up disk loading and copying? It took me an hour to make two copies of my Paperclip 64 program disk. Can anybody tell me how the speedup programs work?

Thanks,
Sean, in eight bit heaven

carlsson
May 2nd, 2008, 12:03 AM
There were a couple of software disk turbos, but I can't give accurate names or links right now. I believe one was known as Pink Floyd, but there were better ones (disk turbos, not referring to the pop group with the same name).

In modern times, most C64 owners either owned an utility cartridge such as Action Replay or Final Cartridge, or that they had installed a hardware turbo like JiffyDOS, Dolphin DOS and so on. JiffyDOS still today is possible to buy, with the caveat that the remaining distributor is very slow at expediating orders (but keen on getting paid, so many customers feel cheated). The utility cartridges also live on in the form of Retro Replay and MMC Replay, which however may be a bit expensive and too much for you to acquire if you won't grow a major interest in the C64 and use it at least weekly.

If your C64 only has a 5-pin video out, it truly is an early model, I suppose no later than 1983, perhaps even 1982. Do you mind sharing the serial number on the bottom? It might be worth a bit of money, even though C64's in general are plenty. It surprises me that you had to redo the order twice to get the right cable, as a 5-pin DIN video cable supposedly should be according to the "American standard" found in at least a half dozen different home computers of various brands. The 8-pin S-Video capable cable is more exclusive to the Commodore range though.

carlsson
May 2nd, 2008, 12:08 AM
Can anybody tell me how the speedup programs work?
Sorry, I didn't notice your question in my previous reply. Technically, I believe software based disk turbos install code into the floppy drive; remember it has its own CPU + RAM and works independently. This code bypasses the GCR data decoding made by the drive, and transmits the rough data read from the floppy disk to the computer, where it is decoded into binary data. The computer has more memory to use for decoding and can do it faster, plus that there might be fewer timing issues when you send a long stream of raw data without needing to acknowledge it. Saving using a turbo would do something similar but the other way around as far as I know.

I hope I wasn't too technical, and may have misunderstood something but I think that basically is the concept. JiffyDOS on the other hand installs a parallel port so it can send whole bytes at a time instead of bit by bit.

Floppies_only
May 2nd, 2008, 03:38 PM
If your C64 only has a 5-pin video out, it truly is an early model, I suppose no later than 1983, perhaps even 1982. Do you mind sharing the serial number on the bottom?

[Sean wearing Jedi robes] The droids? They're for sale, if you want them, and the price is right...

Seriously, the serial number is P00266###. "#" means a number from 0 to 9. Over in the military radio community, some people trade things to get what they want. If this C64 has a low serial number, I'm pretty sure that somebody else would enjoy having it more than I would. I would be happy using a later model.

I started "Super Huey" last night and I was really impressed with the resolution of the graphics. It seemed to be a well-executed program. Of course, I wasn't able to play it because I don't have the instructions, but I managed to win a copy of the program with manual on eBay. So I look forward to playing it. I am going to use a Commodore for writing snail mail, too. I've got GEOS 2.0, a Super Graphix printer interface, an IBM Graphics Printer, and about three thousand sheets of tractor-fed paper for that.

Could you please tell me how expensive Jiffy DOS and it's associated parallel port cost?

More later, must run to dinner now.

Sean

carlsson
May 3rd, 2008, 01:56 AM
The Click Here Software web shop: http://store.cmdrkey.com/agora.cgi

Basically, the chips are $20 + $19 = $39 plus shipping. I might've been wrong about the parallel port, it belongs to another similar product. Beware that Maurice Randall who runs the store and currently is the only legal distributor of JiffyDOS is notoriously slow at expediating orders. From time to time, customers may have been put on hold for a year or so. This leads some people to make pirate copies of the chips and even sell on eBay.

In the mean time, I'll look up some software turbos. Either by name, or I can copy them directly from my old disks. These would make a small improvement in loading speed. You could also look for second hand Epyx Fastload, various Power Cartridge, Final Cartridge, Action Replay and so on.

This one looks like a decent buy, although 5X faster seems dog slow compared to what the other speeders can do:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260235869831

Bungo Pony
May 5th, 2008, 07:13 AM
If you want a fastload cartridge, I could send you my Alienware one. However, there is a catch... it destroys C-64s. I've destroyed about 3 or 4 C-64s with it and they will no longer turn on. I found it's much safer to avoid using it.

Other than that, it's a nice cartridge. Has disk copying tools built into it.

Floppies_only
May 6th, 2008, 12:06 PM
Beware that Maurice Randall who runs the store and currently is the only legal distributor of JiffyDOS is notoriously slow at expediating orders. From time to time, customers may have been put on hold for a year or so.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260235869831

I wonder if he is doing that so that he can place mega orders for the chips from his manufacturer, and get a lower price.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260235869831

Five times as fast works for me. I don't really want to open up my C64 to install the chips. But can you do the things that JiffyDOS can do without it? It's an academic question, I do have Maverick, which can copy programs. But it would be neat to just do it from BASIC's command line.

Thanks,
Sean

carlsson
May 6th, 2008, 02:18 PM
No, older fast loaders just load faster. They don't include fancy copying routines, machine code monitors and such.

As a matter of fact, today I acquired a loose The Final Cartridge III. I will PM you with a supposedly decent market price, if you want to buy it.

Edit: Hm.. the TFC 3 tends to be ultra cheap in Germany, but terribly expensive in all other countries, if it exists at all. For example, on eBay.de they go for 5-10 Euros ($8-15) each but none of the sellers will send it outside of Germany. In Sweden though, the going rate is more like $35+ and upwards for a loose cartridge, which is a bit silly. If you want a fast loader a bit more advanced than the Epyx one and not wait for JiffyDOS, I'd suggest you visit eBay.de, search for Final Cartridge and then ask some sellers if they'd consider worldwide shipping on a such small item.

Edit 2: Or you could go to eBay.nl which also has a bunch of those, and sellers more interested in shipping items worldwide than the Germans are.

Floppies_only
May 13th, 2008, 08:45 AM
If you want a fastload cartridge, I could send you my Alienware one. However, there is a catch... it destroys C-64s. I've destroyed about 3 or 4 C-64s with it and they will no longer turn on. I found it's much safer to avoid using it.

Bungo Pony,

I consider it absolutely admirable that you warned me about that. The average person would just try to make a buck and care less about the costs to the buyer. You are someone who well represents the best facets of the vintage computer community. A real gem. You are someone who's opinions should be given weight. In short, among us you are a leader in the community.

Thanks for all that you do,
Sean Kelly