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Uityyy
March 17th, 2016, 07:08 PM
I recently gained access to a SX-64 but haven't played with any software for it other than the ROM BASIC. Does anyone have advice on classic apps, trussed trusted tools or favourite type-in books I should try?

ClassicHasClass
March 17th, 2016, 08:40 PM
Well, what would you like to do with it? There's lots of games. There are a number of productivity apps. Many people like GEOS. There's lots of interesting hardware options. What's your goal for the system?

KC9UDX
March 17th, 2016, 08:43 PM
I tell you what, you picked a great machine. The SX 64 is pure awesome.

The sky's the limit though with a C64. Like Classic said, we need an idea of what you want to do.

Uityyy
March 21st, 2016, 11:35 AM
I got the machine thinking it could be a fun vintage programming toy, so I'd love to learn about people's preferred programming tools beyond the ROM BASIC and also what they use to interface with newer complete. I also think it would be fun to collect a few old tools and games to demonstrate the capabilities of the machine, get inspiration or just monkey around.

Unfortunately, I think my disk drive might not be working. I'll try a few more disks, but when I tried formatting my first DSDD disk, the drive light kept blinking continuously even after BASIC said OK, and while no errors appeared while writing a file, I could not verify it or read it back. I'll try to check a few more disks with it later.

My keyboard has fairly bad contacts, requiring me to pound some keys repeatedly to type, but I think this may be getting a little better with wear.

dave_m
March 21st, 2016, 12:07 PM
I recently gained access to a SX-64 but haven't played with any software for it other than the ROM BASIC. Does anyone have advice on classic apps, trussed trusted tools or favourite type-in books I should try?

Here from Bombjack are a lot of books to download and to learn the C64. Some of the books are good and some are terrible; you will soon learn which ones are good. http://www.bombjack.org/commodore/books.htm

ClassicHasClass
March 21st, 2016, 04:01 PM
Unfortunately, I think my disk drive might not be working. I'll try a few more disks, but when I tried formatting my first DSDD disk, the drive light kept blinking continuously even after BASIC said OK, and while no errors appeared while writing a file, I could not verify it or read it back. I'll try to check a few more disks with it later.

Clean the heads.

KC9UDX
March 21st, 2016, 07:19 PM
I got the machine thinking it could be a fun vintage programming toy, so I'd love to learn about people's preferred programming tools beyond the ROM BASIC and also what they use to interface with newer complete. I also think it would be fun to collect a few old tools and games to demonstrate the capabilities of the machine, get inspiration or just monkey around.I think generally speaking, Commodore BASIC V2 was what most people used for everything. I wrote my own assembler, and I use that, but I still use Commodore BASIC, as much as I have always disliked it (and every other interpreted language, and every language that doesn't have native indirect addressing!).



Unfortunately, I think my disk drive might not be working. I'll try a few more disks, but when I tried formatting my first DSDD disk, the drive light kept blinking continuously even after BASIC said OK, and while no errors appeared while writing a file, I could not verify it or read it back. I'll try to check a few more disks with it later.
The activity light blinking is an indication that there is an error message stored in the drive. Commodore BASIC will not normally tell you about it.

The standard way to retrieve an error message is a short program (yes it has to be a program):
0OPEN1,8,15:INPUT#1,A$,B$,C$,D$
1PRINTA$,B$,C$,D$:CLOSE1
RUN

If the disk drive didn't do anything but flash the activity light when you tried formatting a disk, I wonder how you did that.

The command to format a disk is NEW, and must be executed thusly:
OPEN1,8,15,"N0:DISK NAME,ID":CLOSE1

N is NEW (and could be spelled that way but it's not generally a good idea). 0 is drive 0, always specify that, always, even though you don't have a drive 1. DISK NAME is any 30 character name you wish to give your diskette. ID is any two character identification you wish to use; ideally each disk you have should have a different ID.


My keyboard has fairly bad contacts, requiring me to pound some keys repeatedly to type, but I think this may be getting a little better with wear.That's pretty normal. I wouldn't pound too much, but just repeatedly pressing the keys will wake them up.

Rick Ethridge
March 21st, 2016, 07:50 PM
The Commodore 1541 drive only supports single-sided disks. Attempting to format as DSDD will result in failure. The 1571 and 1581 drives support double-sided but I'm not sure the 64 does.

KC9UDX
March 22nd, 2016, 05:07 AM
The Commodore 1541 drive only supports single-sided disks. Attempting to format as DSDD will result in failure. The 1571 and 1581 drives support double-sided but I'm not sure the 64 does.

The C64 (and SX-64 of course) do support any kind of drive or disk format, but as you say, the 1541 will not format DSDD. There is no means to select what kind of format it will perform.

It should be pointed out that formatting a disk in a 1541 (which the built-in SX-64 drive is) is something that doesn't happen without notice. It takes well over two minutes.

Uityyy
March 22nd, 2016, 05:33 AM
*Inserts a DSDD disk* (I don't think Rick is right. At least on the Apple ][, formatting a double sided disk with the machine just results in a single side getting used.)
OPEN1,8,15,"N0:MYDISK,01": CLOSE1

READY
*Disk gronks, latch opens, and drive starts blinking *
0OPEN1,8,15;INPUT#1,A$,B$,C$,D$
1PRINT A$,B$,C$,D$
RUN
21 READ ERROR 00
00
*Drive stops blinking. My latch has a little trouble catching, so I'll try again.*
OPEN...
*Disk whirrs and clicks for quite a while with occasional gronking sounds. Whirring continues longer than other sounds. Drive ends up blinking.*
RUN
21 READ ERROR 00 00
*Same issue but with a faster fail time when try another disk.*

Looks like I will have to clean the head, much as opening a venerable compact machine makes a clutz like me a little nervous.

Uityyy
March 22nd, 2016, 06:56 PM
What's the best way to transfer data from a modern(ish) PC to a Commodore 64? With the Apple ][ you can emulate a data tape by simply playing an audio recording while connected to its cassette port, but the Commodore uses a more specialised bus for tape access.

KC9UDX
March 22nd, 2016, 09:02 PM
Every way that I know of relies on software existing on the C64 already. Except for writing floppies on another computer.

I have a 1541 connected to an Amiga 2000 for that, but there are ways to do that on other platforms, with or without a Commodore disk drive.

You cannot even make a cassette and read it on the SX-64 with a Datasette. The SX-64 does not have any cassette capability; because cassettes had fallen into complete disuse for computers in the United States at that time.

vwestlife
March 23rd, 2016, 04:32 AM
What's the best way to transfer data from a modern(ish) PC to a Commodore 64? With the Apple ][ you can emulate a data tape by simply playing an audio recording while connected to its cassette port, but the Commodore uses a more specialised bus for tape access.

This web page lists the various option for data transfer between a PC or Mac and a C64:

http://dreamsteep.com/tutorials/general-tips-and-tutorials/251-transferring-commodore-64-disks-to-modern-formats.html

Unlike the author of that site, I was able to make an X1541 cable and use it to connect my 1541 drive to my PC and use it to write disks which I could use with my C64. This site has more info:

http://sta.c64.org/xcables.html

ClassicHasClass
March 23rd, 2016, 09:01 AM
I use a XUM1541 (Jim Brain's ZoomFloppy) and a 1571.